Seagull, Sandbridge, Virginia – October 2015
Seagull, Sandbridge, Virginia – October 2015
(Skip to the bottom of this post if you just want to know how to connect to your GoPro using an internet browser.)
As I mentioned my GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition has been giving me issues lately.
It started 6 months ago as an iOS app connectivity issue. I would connect to the ad-hoc network that the GoPro Hero3+ creates, open the iOS app, and attempt to transfer the files to my phone but it would only work about 10% of the time.
I figured out how to deal with this issue by first attempting to control the GoPro using the app before attempting to transfer the photos and video off of it. I have no idea why, but this worked for a while. But then even this “hack” stopped working about a month ago.
For these times I would connect my GoPro to my Mac via USB and transfer the files. But recently this has stopped working too. The GoPro doesn’t mount to the Mac. And in Image Capture or Photos for OS X you can only see the GoPro being connected for a few seconds before it disconnects, reconnects, disconnects, repeat repeat repeat. Maddening. It isn’t the cable. Is isn’t the USB port. (I’ve managed to rule these out.)
After searching online for a bit I see a lot of people having similar issues with their GoPro cameras after they’ve had them for a little while. Some ship with these issues.
I do not have a micro USB chip reader so I have no way to get larger files off of the GoPro with all of these crazy issues. Smaller files can still be transferred using the iOS application thankfully.
On Wednesday I attached my GoPro to my kayak and paddled around for a while with the camera pointed under water. Typically I try to stop and start the video recording every few minutes because I know I can only transfer smaller files to my phone. But I just let it run for a while.
Today I cannot transfer that file to my phone (using the app) or computer (using USB). And I don’t have a card reader. So what other option do I have?
It turns out that GoPro Hero 3+ comes with a small web server on it that you can connect to, browse the files, or even see live video from the device. I had no idea this was an option. It wasn’t until I stumbled across a few poorly recorded YouTube videos that I saw it. I’ve read the manual that came with my GoPro at least twice and I don’t think it is mentioned in there either. Just to be sure, I checked the manual again while writing this post. I do not see it mentioned.
Here is how you connect to your GoPro using a web browser.
It isn’t fancy. But it gets the job done.
I still wasn’t able to download the 2.1GB video file. It halts at around 1.47GB and just sits there. I think my GoPro is telling me it is time to be retired. Sad GoPro. However, I tried transferring a few other smaller files and it worked very smoothly. So perhaps this is easier than using the iOS app or even mounting it via USB. Who needs cables?
I’m really happy I found this feature.
GoPro’s stock price and sales figures are plummeting. And as I sit here, going over everything they have, and comparing their strategy against other companies that had similar products and failed — I don’t know exactly what can save them. In fact, I rewrote this blog post three times as I’ve changed my mind about what might work.
GoPro needs software in spades, far beyond just something to make editing easier. The company that created the first mass-market visceral experience broadcasting device ought to have a hand in every dimension of the current live revolution, not just be one of its few cameras. That requires software.
As my friend Gary Vaynerchuk recently said in Daily Vee #29… just as large broadcasters can turn their companies around by having a hit show, software and hardware companies can turn themselves around with features. It is an over simplification (Gary knows this) but he is right. If GoPro had a hit application (or was integrated fully into one) it would turn everything around for them, especially in the eyes of the public investor.
Obviously, they won’t save anything without selling hardware. Hardware is where they make all of their revenue and it always will be. And, as Matt points out in his piece, they already make great hardware. So perhaps great software would stem the tide for GoPro?
Matt’s proposition that GoPro build the next Periscope is intriguing. It had me thinking all last night of what that could look like and how it would be received. Rather than allowing Periscope or Meerkat to integrate into GoPro (and they already have), Matt proposes that GoPro itself build a platform for live streaming video that would allow input from GoPro cameras and other devices.
This would be a huge gamble for GoPro. Live streaming isn’t easy nor inexpensive. Matt knows this very well so I know he does not make this suggestion lightly. And, GoPro already has experience in live streaming (sort of) with Herocast. So I’m sure the thought of putting a platform behind that has crossed their minds. Perhaps they even built something in a lab. To get live streaming right they’d have to put some major resources behind such an endeavor and the Board would definitely see it as Nick’s (the CEO) last effort to turn it around.
I love GoPro. But I’m not as optimistic as Matt. I fear the Board will call for Nick’s head after another bad quarter. And I believe it will take several quarters, a few acquisitions, and the recruiting of a few key team members (all in design, software and platform) in order to turn GoPro around. If Nick goes the whole thing goes I say because once a founder is kicked out recruiting can be tough.
Will they go the way of Flip? I hope not. Let’s just hope the team at GoPro isn’t sleeping and is way, way smarter than I am and can figure it out.
This summer I’ve found myself shooting with my GoPro Hero3 a lot. And not just while kayaking. I really dig the perspective and most of what is captured is fairly Instagrammable. I’ll also mention that the GoPro form factor is less obtrusive than the iPhone in that people hardly notice the GoPro at all.
In late-June Kyle and I made an unexpected and unplanned business trip to San Francisco so I took my GoPro along and shot a few photos along the way. These are unedited (save for size) direct from the camera.
There are several small tweaks that I typically make to the photos coming from my GoPro before posting them to Instagram — such as bumping up the saturation, bring some light to the shadows, sharpening, etc. — but overall I think the GoPro has a just different enough perspective from the iPhone that I’m dig using it.
I will say, however, that when I want to capture something with far better quality than the GoPro provides I still take out my iPhone and shoot.
Since I’ve been shooting with a Hero3 this summer I’m definitely eyeing up the GoPro Session. Based on the comparisons I’ve read it seems a capable little device.