Tag Archives: video audio az

Universal Cell Phone Tripod Mount – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Universal Cell Phone Tripod Mount by Carlus.  Recently we launched our new instagram (ItsAJackLife) and Dorothy has been managing it for me.  We started to do some short videos there and decided being able to use our tripod would be a good idea.  Issue was my old adapter made by DaVoice didn’t work for vertical, only horizontal.

Up till now that was not a problem because I hate VVS (vertical video syndrome) on sites like YouTube but for Instagram you have to do vertical and I get why.  So I figured why not get a mount that does both.  I almost passed on the Universal Cell Phone Tripod Mount by Carlus simply because it was so cheap.  I mean how good could it be for 6.88?

But it just looked like  what I needed and with Amazon you can always return something if it is crap so I gave it a shot. 72 reviews and 4.5 stars.  Gets an A on Fakespot and the Company itself Carlus gets and A as well.

When I got this thing I was impressed.  It is plastic but well built, thick plastic and that is the right material for this little product.  The thumbscrew holds firmly and has a rubber gasket to keep it clamped down.  It mounts to a standard tripod or monopod shoe and it like everything I recommend just works and always works.

Some reviewers did note that on some larger phones the phone won’t fit with a case on it.  I measured the max spread of the clamp at 3.75 inches so measure any larger device you might want to use it for.

You can also get the mount along with a small tripod and a bluetooth remote for your camera.  I can’t speak for the tripod because I have enough tripods and didn’t need another one.  The bluetooth remote is the same one DaVoice uses and many other vendors do as well.  They work just fine, just if you use it make sure the phone is screen side to you so you can be sure it started when you pushed the button.  If not you could finish a 10 minute video but have never started the camera, ask me how I know.

In any event the Universal Cell Phone Tripod Mount by Carlus is a great little tool for the money. So if you need something like this for your phone give it a try, at less then 7 bucks it can’t be beat.  In fact I now recommend it over my prior recommendation from DaVoice.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

DaVoice Cell Phone Tripod Adapter & Bluetooth Remote – Item of the Day


Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is a very simple and affordable DaVoice Cell Phone Tripod Adapter with Bluetooth Remote Control.  I love this little gadget.  It works with most iPhone and Samsung Galexy phones.  See the description on the Amazon Page for this Item for full compatibility.

The control is pretty much a on and off camera button, but it also does take stills.  I use this a lot in my videos in the kitchen when I am cooking, making mead etc.  I also use this on my desk top to do Youtube segments of just me talking.

So many people want to get into doing youtube videos, well your smart phone, something like this and a tripod you can buy for less than 20 bucks, is a simple way to get started.  For great audio just get an inexpensive lav mic and run it across the floor using an extension cord and clip it to something on your table or work surface.

With that simple set up, using the phone you likely already have for under 50 bucks you can start making great quality youtube videos.  Here are some additional pro tips.

  • Pro Tip One – If you want to make a videos over 10 minutes long.  Just shoot segments about 7 minutes each, upload them all as “private” videos.  Then go to Youtube.com/editor an splice them together.  This way you can make videos and never even use software, just directly upload and piece them together.  The youtube editor isn’t great but for splicing segments together and adding transitions it works fine and is VERY intuitive.
  • Pro Tip Two – You likely already have a good behind the camera mic.  What I mean if if you are doing show and tell videos from behind the camera, like I do with The Duck Chronicles, just plug in your ear piece you use on phone calls as your mic.
  • Pro Tip Three – If you are shooting behind the camera, MOVE SLOWLY, avoid panning side to side and up and down, move to an object of attention slowly then talk and keep the camera relatively still.  Modern Smart Phones have cameras that rival 1000 dollar video cameras if you do this, but they don’t have the frame rate to handle a lot of motion without making your viewers kind of well, sea sick.

I still struggle with number three myself.  Anyway if you are looking for a low cost way to shoot great quality videos that are mostly Vlog, or show and tell type things, like say Meads of the Week, this is the easiest and most affordable way I know to go about it.  It also prevents the dreaded illness called VVS!

So check out this affordable Cell Phone Tripod Adapter with Bluetooth Remote Control, I can’t think of anything that can do as much for the content producer out there for under 12 bucks.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – Warning Cat Attractant Remote Control Unit – Just a funny thing, likely will not effect you.  I have repeatedly had to go without my little remote due to our cat Alice.  For some reason she is very obsessed with the remote and will attack it if she sees it unguarded.  I made a habit of leaving it on our bar in the kitchen and she will eventually knock it to the ground, bat it around until it inevitably ends up under the refrigerator.  Requiring me to drag it out to retrieve it.

Alice is a cat that you would nicely call “special” so your cat likely won’t have this issue, that said you have been warned.  Keeping everything in the little bag and attaching your bag to your tripod both solves this issue and makes sure you can always find your gear.

P.S.S. – Sadly our special little cat Alice has passed on since this was first posted.  She was a good little girl who we cared for over about 14 years.

Vtin 2 in 1 Professional HD Camera Lens Kit – Item of the Day


Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Vtin 2 in 1 Professional HD Camera Lens Kit.  For only 16 bucks this little gadget provides both a .45 wide angle lens and a 10X macro lens for your camera on your phone.  This kit works with the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy and most cell phones where the lens is within 0.51in (13mm) in diameter. That is the distance between the lens and one of the edges of the phone is within 2.5cm (0.98in).  Pretty much most any smart phone.

Again this is a 2 in 1 product.  The .45 wide angle lens provides a much wider field of view when shooting still or video on your phone.  This really excels for close up table top review style content production and larger landscapes as well.

The second feature is a 10x macro lens.  This is for taking very close up detailed still photos, see the photos below for examples of how well it works.  For this feature you want to get the lens 4-5 centimeters from the subject.  This is great for detailed photos of say insects, plants, sea shells or any small object you want to photograph in great detail.

Props on finding this product goes out to Steven Harris who recommened it to me when he saw this video where I show my sprouting system.  It would have come out much better with this lens for sure.

To use this all you do is clip it on your phone and start shooting.  It has no electronic parts and is pretty much fool proof.  Just like any lens, you need to keep it clean.

I have to tell you that it does a better job with photography then many of the early DSLR cameras and man that says something.  So how much will it set you back, well a whopping 16 bucks.  So check out the Vtin 2 in 1 Professional HD Camera Lens Kit and upgrade the hell out of your photo and video ability on your phone for under 20 bucks.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

PS – Here is a live video showing the lens in action.  Please understand this is not really the way the lens is meant to be used, it is much easier to center properly if you put it on before shooting rather than take it on and off during shooting.


PPS – Next up here are some photos I took with and without the macro lens of a knife handle to give you an idea of the added detail you can capture with the macro 10X lens.  The reason the non macro pic is so out of focus is the camera is way to close in an attempt to capture small details.  Again distance from the macro lens is best at 4-5 cm, or about 1.9 inches.





Samson C01U Podcasting Pack – Item of the Day

micEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Samson C01U Podcasting Pack.  Okay cutting the fancy sounding title it is a Samson C01U Microphone with cables and a desk top microphone stand.  If you just want the CO1U mic you can save some money and get it stand alone, but you will need a way to mount it and unless you already have stand gear, you will end up spending more money.

This is the mic I have used for 7 years now on TSP.  It is simple to set up, I don’t use a mixing board, it just plugs into the PC via a USB port, and it flatly like everything I settle on, just works, it always just works.

I recommend this mic as a starting point for anyone that wants to start a podcast or just make quality voice recordings.  It is also good for those of you who are frequent guests on podcasts or call in to radio shows and what have you via skype.  Or those that participate in online webinars as either a student or an instructor.

Are there better mics?  Yea sure, but you have to ask if they are worth the money or if you really need an expensive mixing board to do a one man podcast with say some skype interviews?  Is your voice so amazing as to rate encoding at 128 mbps so anyone can even here the difference, and hate downloading your audio files too by the way.  FWIW TSP is encoded at 32kbps which is FM quality audio.

The other type of person this mic is for is the person that does say screen capture Youtube videos and the like.  People will deal with a bit of out of focus video a lot more than they will with bad quality sound.  Anyway I mainly did this because I get questions about my set up for the show all the time, so in the future I will cover the other things I use.

Included with this “Podcast Pack” is a copy of Audacity software, look don’t be impressed it is free to download online and you can get it for PC or for a Mac.  The case is very nice though.  I like this set up enough that I have sponsored three different people into podcasting and gifted them this set up to get them started.  And that is a lesson as well.

I didn’t buy my first CO1U, a listener that wanted to help make the show better had one he wasn’t using and sent it to me as a gift.  So over the years when I have worked with a person who I believed in to get going I have given away three of them myself.  I think that really is how the best things come to be.

In any event that gift was over 7 years ago, and that same mic is sitting in front of me right now, ready to roll again with episode 1854.  So I recommend it on longevity alone.  If you need a good mic and don’t want to mortgage your house to pay for it, check out the Samson C01U Podcasting Pack it won’t let you down.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com