Today’s challenge was prompted by the need to include in an iMovie I’m finishing for the board some footage of an iPad 2’s screen while someone reads a student-created iBook on it.
The iBook was made on a first generation iPad using some pretty straightforward technology. The writing was done in pages on a Mac. The teacher scanned images of the paper book the child had made in her kindergarten class and typed the prompts that had been in the original worksheet that the children had used in the classroom (the book was on the theme of the number 100 as the lesson had taken place on the 100th day of school).
These documents were collected into one Pages document and saved in ePub format. This was then exported to the iBooks shelf as an eBook.
So far, so easy. The finished documents can be seen on the virtual bookshelf – and the children receive a considerable boost from seeing their books alongside established classics such as Winnie the Pooh and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (or for that matter War Horse as in the example below).
The problem is although still photos of the iPad’s screen’s content are easy enough to make using the home button and the on/off button pressed simultaneously (the resulting screenshot being saved to the iPad’s camera roll), it is much harder to screenshoot moving images from the iPad. Most people who do this rely on apps that are only available to jailbroken iPads, and these obviously mean anything one shoots from the screen is a screenshot of a jailbroken iPad, not a standard iPad.
There is a workaround to this problem that involves using an HDMi cable (pictured below) and some special hardware and software.
A Macmost video that explains this in more detail can be seen here. But I figured there must be a simpler way. I looked into Air View, which is wonderful software for use with Apple TV, an IWB or even if you just want to work from two screens at the same time and only have one Mac and one iPad (see below).
But I needed the Mac to show what was on the iPad – i.e. moving footage of an iBook being read with sound, turning pages and everything else. Air View only lets you see your Mac’s screen on your iPad, not the other way around. So the search went on.
Then my esteemed colleague, Steven Cliff, had an idea. Here’s what you do. Go to http://reflectionapp.com and download Reflection. It costs US$14.99 for the one-Mac license or US$49.99 for up to 5 Macs (this is for OS X 10.6 by the way). There is also a free time-limited trial which may be worth using if you can get everything you need recorded completed inside ten minutes.
Reflection will allow you to see on your Mac whatever is playing on your iPad provided both are linked to the same WiFi network. You can use the screen capture software of your choice on the Mac. Obviously, many will plump for Quicktime, but I have to say the one piece of software that I have never regretted spending money on is Ambrosia’s Snapz Pro X. It remains for me the best screen capture software available and well worth the asking price (which is currently US$69 but there is a free trial version available which allows 15 days’ use or 100 captures).
Anyway, this solves a problem that I know from having searched Google and other sites for answers and being directed to countless Cydia fanboys’ pages, dodgy YouTube sites and even downright illegal practices filmed for all the world to see, is a big question many of us have. I’ll post a sample video in my next entry, but this is already just about the longest blog entry I’ve made so I’ll cut this short for now.