Creating a Watchable Video

With smart phones and a few guidelines

TSS (The Short Story)

  • Framing – in Landscape mode
    If Interview – Rule of thirds.
    If Presentation (Like the news) Subject in middle, eyes on top rule of thirds horizontal line
    Use some space around the subject top, right, bottom, left and back and front.
  • Stability – not handheld
  • Lighting – subject faces the light, shoot near a window
    [ Subject   <- Camera (between light and subject, but not blocking light)  <- Light]
    Do not shoot into the light
  • Audio – get close
  • Set / Sound – quiet
  • Make a test video


Be yourself. Your knowledge and enthusiasm make the video interesting.
Be aware of your sound quality. Speak loudly and clearly.  Enunciate every word and use variety in your pitch and inflections.
Use clear, concise sentences.
Use videos to enhance, rather than repeat, material about your topic that is already in a brochure or web pages.
Practice a couple of times.
Put some pizazz in your presentation — this is no time to be shy — you’re a pro gangdammit.
Show Some Enthusiasm!  Channel your inner movie star!

Camera Operators

Get to know your equipment!   Press all the buttons. My Nexus 5x  video camera screen has 3 icons on the right and a menu on the left.  Far right is the setting for  flash, on or off.  Next to that is the setting for lighting, auto and 4 other types of lighting, Cloudy, Sunny, Fluorescent and Tungsten, and next to that the selector for what type of grid (see rule of thirds below). After you start up either your photo or video camera, tap the screen, this sets your focus and exposure level for the shot (autofocus). Depending on your version of Android, you may get a slide control that lets you manually change the exposure level.

Where is the microphone for the rear camera?
On my Nexus 5x its is the tiny hole in between the USB port and the Aux ports at the bottom of the device. I get better audio when I take my phone out of its case.


Your smartphone camera is an amazing device.  A child can make a make a pretty good video.  With a little practice, so can you.  I am an android smartphone user.  These tips are mostly not iPhone or Android specific. This link talks about using exposure lock and not using digital zoom, other than that, it has the same tips as in this article.

Sunny Lenarduzzi has some short, to the point videos

How to Make Videos with your Phone

How to Get Comfortable on Camera

MAKE SOME VIDEOS.  Use these tips and find out what works for you!

More Tips and Tricks

Chose a good location. Determine if the background is appropriate to your topic.
An office background is fine; however,  make sure there is no movement or distracting items.  You want the focus on the subject. You do not want something in the background drawing the viewer’s attention.

Record in a quiet place and use the best quality microphone available.
If you’re not using a mic, get as close to the subject as possible.
If you shoot outside, or inside in a public area, a microphone is critical.
Close all windows and doors. Turn off any fans, heaters or other noises in the room.

Try and have a nice natural light shine on your subject.
The subjects should face the light (the window, etc.)!

Shoot a test video.

View it to determine if there is wind or any other noise. Do a soundcheck! Check for reflections and shadows, glare, etc.  If your test video is too dark, try using a lamp off to the to side, and shining down on subject

The Rule of Thirds and The Golden Ratio

What are those Grid Lines on your camera’s viewfinder?  When shooting a single speaker, it is fine to frame your subject in the center, with the eyes along the top line of the rule of thirds grid.  For other landscape scenes, take a look at the next 3 links.
Rule of third examples
The golden ratio examples

File Formats

If multiple people are making videos, make sure they all shoot in landscape!
The video format standard to use, or save as, or convert to is Container mp4,  Video Codec H.264. Youtube will convert a lot of formats when you upload to a decent streaming format.

Video Stability

Use a tripod or some kind of fixed stand.

SmartPhone Tripod Adapter $1.62
Amazon and Best Buy are pricey, try Walmart and Ebay.

Homemade Tripods

A couple of really easy do- it-yourself tripods can be found here: My favorite:


Does the camera have to move? Let me google smartphone dolly for you.

Example Mic

Older microphones use the TRS plug standard. It has 2 rings. Mikes that plugin to your phone use the 3 ring TRRS standard. On android, you need to use Open Camera to select the microphone as the audio input.  Let me google “microphone for iPhone” for you

Example Winsock for Shooting Outdoors

One of the real pains in shooting outdoors is wind noise.  A winsock aka dead cat (let me google that for you ) really cuts down and this problem.

Homemade Winsocks

spongewinsock Trim it with scissors, and color it black , it does the trick

Example Video with Tips on Making Types of Promotional Videos I have included this link as an example of how to present in a video.  Notice the gentlemen’s style. Relaxed, yet enthusiastic.

More on Lighting LED Lights.
A nice LED light for $25 LED that you can mount on a tripod.  nice tip on white balance.

Video Editing

You need an opening credits and closing credits,  Sprinkle in some slides.
I use NCH Videopad.  Learn how to trim clips, add transitions and add music.  Overlay text to make important points.

Use Some Public Domain Music

Video Hosting

Use Youtube or another suitable streaming video platform to host your video.
Container mp4,  Video Codec H.264.

Learn about your Smartphone’s Video Assistant Capabilities.

I use an Android Nexus 5x with Google Project Fi.  I go to I click on assitant, and I can create animations, collages and a number of other cool things. The capabilities on my phone are even more amazing.  I can create a movie using up to 50 pictures.

Making a video can get out of control, hopefully, this this will help put things in perspective:

The Millennial Marriage Proposal :

Taking it to the next step, the Upgrade
In Boston, you can rent really nice equipment to make videos. More gear.

My Youtube Account  SCEH Youtube page

Other Resources

Boston Film and Video Production

Android users may find it a little more difficult to get more detailed information about their devices. There are many more manufacturers for Android devices. Luckily, you do not need much more than what’s here to make a good video.

There is way, way, way more to photography and video than these tips.   Take for instance this very short tip on Depth Of Field:

The first rule for understanding aperture and depth of field is very simple: the larger the aperture, the shallower your depth of field will be, meaning a smaller portion of your image will be in focus. The smaller the aperture, the deeper your depth of field will be, resulting in more of your image being in focus. Now here’s the tricky part: aperture size is denoted by a number, and the smaller the number, the larger the aperture. Setting your aperture setting to f2.8 will yield shallower depth of field than setting it to f11. Another way to think of it is that a smaller number means less depth of field.

A more comprehensive tutorial on the subject has, not all kinds of light are equal, Overexposure, underexposure, iso shutter speed, etc.


Finchie needs to speak.

From the Daily Mirror

So after the past few weeks of shite that’s been floating around on Facebook iv tried to stay out of it.

But I can’t, not anymore. Finchie needs to speak.


What’s the craic lads! I don’t think we have officially met. Finchie here from Ireland, we are that non aggravating, laid back post English island to the west of the bulls***.

So how’s yourself? Been busy I hope. I see from the shallow media outlets and “copy paste” fear posting on social media that ye have been up to your neck in it the past few months. Good for you!

Sorry to be bothering ye boys while ye are busy planning the world’s biggest burning man festival in the name of Alan, (or what ever he’s called) but something has come to our attention to past few days that we need to have a quick “chat” about it.

What’s this I hear about ye adding us to a list of countries called “The Global Coalition” in some mad 80’s themed propaganda video? Ah lads come on will ya, shtep down from 3 legged horse now for a second and rewind the cassette cuz I think ye got it wrong.

First of all, lads were only here for the craic! We have been through too much sh**e hawking over the past couple of thousand years to be goin all “rouge and sh**” and joining in fights we clearly don’t want to be part of

“It’s like when a fisht fight breaks out in primary school between Vince and Iano Kelly. Most of us just watch, shout a bit and kick a bin to make noise or whatever, but we don’t bother getting involved (well Vince is English so any sly opportunity for a shneaky kick to the shins and were all over it) we couldn’t be a***d with the hole thing, we’re simply too laid back.

Now keeping that in mind let me let you in on a few tips if you do decide to come over here and pi** in our cornflakes.

Don’t judge us on the actions of the lads across the pond. We don’t like that craic. I get that ye have yer fight an all, but dont drag us into it, we don’t give a left b****ck for Alan and what he tells ye to do.
Sharon’s law, (or whatever it is) won’t work here. I know a Sharon, and she’s a c***. We don’t like her either.

Don’t bomb our sh**. We just finished building it back after breaking free from the very enemy you also have on your hit list. (if you want tho you can destroy leitrim, absolute sh**ehole lads I’m not joking)

We have more than one army. 1 official army (actually went training in north cork recently to prepare for your arrival. And yes north cork is exactly like Damascus, especially fermoy on a Friday night).

We also have a few non official, highly secretive, multi talented armies all with the same name (you get used to it after a while) who hate each other but have one very important thing in common…all mad b****rds. Let that sink in

By the way the unofficial armies are all trained in guerrilla warfare. Meaning your f***ed. Like actually f***ed. Unless you want to buy weapons, then some of them will turn a blind eye to “the cause” and sell ya a few AKs while you visit.

Don’t even think about blowing up Leo Burdocks!!! Consider this your harshest warning!

If any single pub is damaged during your short stay here, we will consider this an act of war!!! And we praise to our God Arthur, we will strike down on you with great vengeance and furious anger on those who attempt to destroy our drinking patterns during a time of crises!.

On a final note, remember these and you should be fine:

1. Offies close at ten

2. Don’t leave the immersion on

3. PM me for Bono’s address

4. Don’t bomb sh** when the toy show is on

5. Start with leitrim

6. If your looking for virgins you won’t find any on Harcourt street

7. Get a Tesco clubcard. Trust me.

8. If you want to blow up a stadium, go to dalymount please.

9. Go to a water protest, they don’t judge you for where your from, just if you pay or not.

10. Finally, if asked for change, eyes down and keep F***ing walking!

So ISIS its good to meet you. Do yourself a favour and us, stay where you are. You don’t want to come here, were not bothered with the issues you have.

But if you do, we will beat the sh** out of all of you using mammies wooden spoon, kilkenny hurlers and the bouncers from the copper faced Jack’s.

Yours unintentionally

Finchie and the rest of Ireland

Planning for my new Audio / Video Setup

Main Objectives Baseline

Quality OTA (1080i or better, dolby 5.1 compatible) recording (2 tuners) access from main TV room.
One programmable remote to control 90 percent of the functions of all components.
Streaming Lossless Music Playback (high quality, better than mp3 quality).
Ability to add and replace service providers like Netflix, HULU, Amazon, Youtube, Sling without investing in a lot of proprietary boxes.
A new TV that does not lock me into its smart features.

I will probably need to get a new HTPC / jukebox and a new receiver.  

I have a small string of lights behind the TV for illumination, other than that, we watch in a darkened room.  I currently have a have a 43 inch Panasonic TV, a ONKYO home theater receiver and a 5.1 sound system, a HTPC and a NETFLIX win 10 machine.  I use Media Monkey as a music jukebox player and have most of my CDs ripped as FLAC.  We currently use one other TV, and 2 other stereos and 2 pcs.

I want to upgrade our OTA recordings capability to something that is not dependent on my Windows 7 box.  Streaming that to another TV is nice, but not really a priority.

I have yet to see any clear advantages in the OTA recording options. More importantly, I don’t see the limitations or conflicts that could arise.

When I start to consider Plex, Kodi, Media Portal, Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center (OpenELEC), I start to overload.

Tablio for KODI?    with dolby 5.1

Serious Work  on what to do


This blog is called the random musings.  This post is a great example.  One of things I am planning for is to prevent lock in.  Your cable company, your satellite tv provider, want you to be a customer for life.  If you want an idea of how badly, just try and cancel your service.  After I canceled DirecTV, I wrote this. To customer retention specialist everywhere: Really aggravating process.  I don’t mind using their services; however, I want to make sure it is easy for me to switch, well, in case they start (continue ..) price gouging.   I start with my  AV-receiver as the heart of my system, then the speakers, the TV and then I lay out how various providers connect to them.  And I need an easy to use remote control setup to control it. My last setup seems simple compared to what I am planning for next.  I need internet protocol, irc, rf, bluetooth and who knows what else kind of control.  Alexa and the Google Home product come to mind. I need a centralized data store for all this audio and visual content. I plan on hardwiring the biggest data hogs so that I don’t have to worry about wireless access degradation.

Today, I have a Windows 7 machine that I use as an Home Theater PC (HTPC) and a jukebox.  Mickeysoft has pretty much abandoned Windows Media Center, so our doing OTA recording on this machine looks dicey in the near future.  TV has a line going through it.  Sound is fantastic, bought, it takes up a lot of room.  We got rid of DIRECTV and set up a laptop to stream Netflix and play movies.  I did this so as not to interfere with the  HTPC recording.  Disk, arm contention and all that jazz.   Having a HTPC as part of the system has worked out great.  With it, I was able to say, I really won’t miss Directv that much.  I am worried that all the vendors know this, and they want to sell you proprietary boxes. Well, not worried, but wary.  My prefered method of accessing new services is through a HTPC, so I don’t get locked into proprietary devices.  It also can make accessing by remote a little cleaner.  My baseline for audio over these services is dolby 5.1.  But life gets complicated.  To run Netflix with 5.1, you have to use Windows 10.  This is an example of the kind of thing I plan on working around.  One of the things I can’t work around is the fact that if you try and buy a non 4k tv, it is probably not going to have the bells and whistles that you want.  Not being able to get a few of the things you want is a pretty common occurrence. The big providers have no incentive in doing anything that makes it easy for people to plan make own systems.  I say we draft the Netflix guy for president. He really popularized an easy, inexpensive alternative to what is easily one of the biggest industries in the world.  That is genius.  I rant to easily!

Streaming and Possible Data Caps and 4K TVs

In 2015, the FCC redefined what really constitutes “broadband” speed in the US as 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download speeds, up from 4 Mbps, which was the standard since 2010.

We love streaming. We are seeing some great movies with the Netflix DVD plan.  I miss maybe 3 or 4 shoes that I don’t get, but it’s more than offset by being able to watch Kimmy, Evil (House of Cards) and a zillion other things.

So I go to look at TVs.  4K TVs are the rage.  We set our Netflix Windows 10 app to play at High Quality, up to 3GB per hour in data.

Comcast has capped data usage at 1 terabyte per month in 20 states or so, so I am using that as my monthly budget.  I have seen articles that say they will offer data beyond the cap at an extra $50 a month, but, Comcast is the last company I want to give more money to.  3 GB per hour or 333 hours to use a terabyte of data.  A high estimate of our streaming usage is 5 days a week, 4 hours or 20 a week or 80 hours a month.  80 hours of Netflix at High is 80 x 3 or 240gb or around 1/4 of the cap.  So cap wise, we look okay.

To stream 4k, they say you need a good internet connection.  Our speeds are not bad.  We stream at high quality, Dolby 5.1 and our current TV is 1080i, or half the bandwidth of 1080p.  We when we first start streaming a show, the quality is not so good.  Okay, they use a lot of compression in streaming, and they do a lot of tricks to conserve bandwidth.  I think of it like this, they do not paint all the pixels in the background for the first bit of viewing, until they figure out how to paint them on the screen correctly for this particular show.  On our TV, it only paints half the pixels of HD 1080p, and the quality at the beginning is low.  HDR basically quadruples that.  I have heard mention of HDR streaming is crap.  I goggled “tips for streaming 4K”.  I was not impressed with what I saw.  Pretty much useless drivel.  So it’s June in 2017, streaming 4K does not look like a real possibility.  There is another technology called HDR that has promise to increase video quality, however, in both cases 4K and HDR, the content available with these technologies is low.  I doubt many OTA broadcast stations will offer any 4k soon.  I would be surprised to see even 1080p in the near future.


My bottom line, if you a cord cutter, wait on 4K and HDR.

Securing 4K video on a television also requires you to buy an all-new monitor and cables that support both HDMI 2.0 and the new HDCP 2.2 copy-protection standard—which, chances are, none of your existing hardware does.

HDR might be nice to have, but,

Right now, 1080p HDR televisions are practically unheard of, as vendors market 4K and HDR together as premium features. And on the content side, movie studios tend to bundle 4K and HDR, with Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and on-demand streams costing more money than their 1080p counterparts.

FYI, I get a little confused when I see YouTube saying look at this 4K (Ultra HD) content, which they scale down and show on my PC at 480i. The videos are nice, but, I know I am watching 480i.  I think they should say, your equipment can’t handle the 4K

Via Slashdot :

The latest televisions have more pixels than ever. But can your eyes detect the difference? The answer is yes — if you sit close enough. Old TVs had 349,920 pixels. High-definition flat screens bumped up the total to 2 million. Ultrahigh-definition sets inflated it to 8 million. And manufacturers are now experimenting with 8K TVs that have an astounding 33 million pixels. More pixels render hair, fur and skin with greater detail, but the benefit depends on viewing the screen from an ideal distance so the sharpness of the images is clear, but the tiny points of illumination aren’t individually distinguishable. According to standards set by the International Telecommunication Union, that ideal distance is 3 times the height of an HDTV screen, 1.5 times the height of a UHDTV screen and .75 times the height of an 8K screen (Editor’s note: the link could be paywalled; here’s a PDF copy of the newspaper). Given those measurements, viewers should sit 6 feet away from a 50-inch HDTV with a 24.5-inch tall screen. But they should sit just 3 feet from a UHDTV of the same size, closer than most Americans prefer.
I like sitting more than 6 feet away!
You can stream 4K Ultra HD on several online video services: Netflix, Amazon, and Vudu with their devices.  I need research on how to connect their devices to a Home Theater Receiver.

Component List of new System

HTPC / DVR/ Sling / Hulu / Youtube /
Windows 10 system with PlayReady (DRM for 4K).
AV receiver
Add on Remotes
Proprietary boxes
Audio Juke Box

Networking and Connecting you sytems

Room Layout

Audio Specs

dolby 5.1

Video Specs

HTPC Specs

hdmi, optical, rgb, …. display port ??
Data store specs


Rated Output Power (North American)
With 8 ohm loads, both channels driven, from 20-20,000 Hz; rated 100
watts per channel minimum RMS power, with no more than 0.7% total
harmonic distortion from 250 milliwatts to rated output.

Surround Mode Output Power ()
(6 ohms, 1 kHz THD 0.9%) 115 W per channel)

● Supports playback in Dolby Atmos format which
provides 360-degree placement and movement of
sounds including overhead sound
● Dolby Surround listening mode expands 2 ch, 5.1 ch or
7.1 ch source to available speaker configurations
● Equipped with 4K compatible HDMI IN/OUT jacks
● Supports the HDMI Standby Through function which
allows signal transmission from players to the TV in
standby state
● Supports HDCP2.2, high quality content (HDMI IN1 to IN3/HDMI OUT)
● Supports ARC (Audio Return Channel)
● Supports  DLNA, AirPlay etc.
● Supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth®
● Bi-Amping capability
● A/V Sync Function to correct deviation of audio and
● 32 bit DSP (Digital Signal Processor)
● Automatic speaker setup available using supplied
calibrated microphone (AccuEQ Room Calibration)

Cabling comments via BLU

Run conduit with pull strings so you can easily install whatever you
need and remove it later when you decide to replace it.

I am sorry, but I completely disagree.  Even with modern Wifi, I can get
much better throughput using physical wires if for no other reason than
each link can be switched and therefore isn’t “shared”.  With Wifi,
every device is sharing the medium.  I.e., I can get 20-30Gbps aggregate
across my 1Gbps physical network, versus maybe 1.2Gbps across my 1200AC
Wifi.  And let’s not even start with interference from my neighbors!
Indeed.  I’m thinking not just IP, but also possibly HDBaseT.  I’m going
to run separate Cat5e for my PoE security cameras (which only need 100mbps).
Cat6a throughout.

Over the top

OM3 multimode with LC connectors can handle 25, 40, 50 and 100G ethernet at
100m. One pair per room should be fine — but really, the
switch cost will be nasty for all the ports you don’t use.

——— more cabling

everything is conduit so it is easy to pull a replacement cable

CAT6 cable, CAT6 wall jacks, patch panels, and patch cables (these connect from the patch panel to the switch and other active equipment.

Use color coded cable identification tags .
Mark the wall jacks something like 1A & 1B and the cables the same way. Post a cross-reference from the number to the room next to the terminations.

Whenever possible, route the power cords away from the signal cables or speaker wires to prevent any hum or interference heard in the speakers.

Items such as Wireless Router, Radio, Cell Phones, desktop fans, Fluorescent lights, Large metal objects, including computer cases and metal furniture may interfere with the signal of the mouse. Please keep the items away from the mouse and check the behavior of the mouse.


Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center (OpenELEC) is a small Linux based Just Enough Operating System (JeOS) built from scratch as a platform to turn your computer into a Kodi media center.


DCD = Directv or Comcast or Dish Sling only has Dolby 5.1 for on Demand, Live TV is stereo

PBS Antenna
ABC Antenna
NBC Antenna
CBS Antenna
Fox Antenna
MYTV 38 Antenna
56 CW Antenna
68 ION Antenna
Comedy Central DCD Sling
Specialized Subscription
Netflix Win 10 app
Amazon Prime
Netflix mail
Not of current interest,
limited original content

Every once in a while its nice to get access to Comcast / Public Access TV for things like St Paddy’s Day Breakfast

Subscription On Demand is nice to have

Hulu as of oct 2017 no dolby 5,1 for Streaming
Amazon Prime, no 5.1 on PC, yes on Amazon FireTV and FireTV stick  BBC (no Yes Prime Minister yet)

Medium is .07 GB per hour or 14,285 hours for a terabyte
High is 3 GB per hour or 333 hours for a terabyte
Comcast 1 terabyte per month (is 1000 GB is 1,000,000 MB)
Average viewing is 5 days a week, 4 hours or 20 a week or 80 hours a month
80 hours of Netflix at High is 80 x 3 or 240gb or around 1/4 of the cap

Plex no DVR
Kodi no dvr
MediaPortal, MythTV, NextPVR, Tvheadend, VDR, Windows Media Center DVR?

USB 2.0 ATSC TV (HDTV) Tuner – White $25

Yes, you can watch and record two different shows at the same time with only one DVB or ATSC TV card.
Use media portal on laptop with external ATSC card

Online EPG service for HTPC users in America named SchedulesDirect.
SchedulesDirect only supports open-source software projects like Kodi and MediaPortal as well as a few others.

Many WMC users are responding by switching to Kodi or MediaPortal, because these are open solutions with superior user interfaces and are supported by SchedulesDirect.

HDHomeRun CONNECT 2-Tuner ATSC DLNA/UPnP Compatible Streaming Media Player – Silicondust $90. Microcenter




Carpentry and TV and Wiring Install (781) 426-1478, from craigslist Joe

Hi I have 15+ yrs exp. as a Carpenter & Handyman
I have wall mounted 100’s of flat screen TV’s

Services offered
IKEA & simular furniture assembly, wall mount your TV, hang pictures and shelves, install any type of tile and laminate flooring, painting ceilings walls trim & doors
Etc etc

Honest, reliable
with references

June 8, 2017 Annie would have been 100

Annie Doherty was a remarkable women. A formidable woman.  A kind, caring and thoughtful woman.  She did not follow fashion, she set it.  In this photo, taken in August of 2016, she is 99 years and 2 months old.  It was taken the day after she fired her last physical therapist.  She called me down, and said “let’s go”.  I thought she just wanted to sit outside.  She had not walked to the park this year.  So she walks from her house down to Doherty Park, a pretty impressive feat for a 99 year old.


IMHO, she did this to prove to us that she did not need “no stinkin physical therapist”.

Annie had wonderful care from lots of people, and some visiting nurses came to the house. That was WONDERFUL. We will always be so very grateful for their care.

From time to time, she had physical therapy. The Annie Grannie was, for the most part of sweet little old lady. However, she did abuse her physical therapists. Her last physical therapist spent time trying to establish a rapport with her. She came 5 times and really tried to make a connection with her. Well, at 99, the Annie Grannie could still bend down and touch her toes. She kept moving every day.  She would do exercises — she just did not like to be told to do exercises.  I was in the room when on that fateful day, when, after quite a bit of conversational stroking, the therapist asks “Can you try and raise your arm over your head for me?  The Annie Grannie’s response — “Just what are you here for, anyway“.

A couple of the last pictures taken of her are below.  She often asked, when is the lord going to take me?  She was ready for her journey.

We celebrate and miss her every day.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard, “Hold on, wait a minute”.

Watch the superstar do her knee bends on Google Photos

MBTA Bus Tracking

Update Oct, 2017 – MBTA – try the Transit app

I have not tested it yet, but, the MBAT likes it

When I use Nextbus or T tracker, I occasionally do not see feeds for going downtown, from Sullivan Station.  The 93 route has a regular route and once an hour, they alter the route to go through the Navy Yard.  During the day, the bus terminates the downtown run at Devonshire St @ Milk St. During the evening, the Bus ends and start from Haymarket.

I did this page to track stops, routes and look up stops:

it allows you to enter in stop_ids and routes

it logs the results to my server

it is easy to use to track the results for your bus, or your app

The source is on   My Personal Repository – under dir mbta

I am keeping a log of a few of the anomalies here:


The results consistently only show a very limited timeframe, for example if a trip starts in less than 10 minutes, or no results at all yet the bus runs every 20 minutes or so.


Under certain circumstances, the MBTA-realtime API does not show bus predictions greater than 30 minutes.

We’re looking into why there are fewer predictions generated than expected. This combined with the 30-minute limit could cause no predictions to be returned, or predictions on only one of the route variations.


The mbta computer system is big, and sometimes when you ask it something, it is not ready to answer, completely.

What do you do?  If I get no results, try again, pretty soon, the system will answer.

If you’re trying to plan to take a bus, what do you trust, the schedule, or the feed?

We Should All Be Feminists

We teach girls shame. “Close your legs. Cover yourself.” We make them feel as though being born female they’re already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up — and this is the worst thing we do to girls — they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form.
—  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists by way of Tumblr