Vine: What would you share in 6 seconds?

vine app logoVine is my latest addiction. It is a free video sharing service that allows you create and view six-second videos that run in a loop. Six seconds might sound like a ridiculously tiny amount of time, but you would be surprised at what can be done with it. Each six-second video is a window into someone’s life or imagination. Some people have gotten very creative filming wonderful animations, mini films, clever videos, tiny slices of life or six-second observations from around the world.

Although the Vine app is made for iPhones it can be used on the iPad as well. Tap the 2x on the lower right of your screen to enlarge the app window on the iPad.

When you sign up to Vine you can use any name, it doesn’t have to be your full name. You can even go into your Settings to change your name at any point. Also under Settings you can Invite your friends via email or text to follow you and join Vine.

On Vine you can Follow people, Like individual Vines and Comment on Vines. When you’re watching a Vine you can tap on the screen to stop the video if there is something you want to look at longer.

It is super simple to create your own Vines. Give it a try! Film your pet, your food, your surroundings, whatever catches your eye. You can always decide to delete the video before posting it or even after it is posted.

How to create a Vine video

  1. Tap on the movie camera symbol on the upper right corner to open the camera.
  2. Filming won’t begin until you touch the screen. If you let go of the screen, filming stops. This touch and release method is how you create edits or stop motion animations. Or you can just touch and hold the screen to film for the entire time.
  3. Once your 6 seconds are filmed you can either choose the black X to delete your video or choose Next.
  4. Add a caption to your video. You can include hashtags if you’d like it to show up in specific searches. You can also add a location if you want.
  5. Choose to Post to Vine, Twitter, and or Facebook. Then tap Done.

There is no editing, no adding an additional soundtrack, no filters. The simplicity of Vine is part of its charm and its challenge. It makes you think of your surroundings in a whole new way.

Everything posted to Vine is public. If you would like to make a private video, you can do the following instead of posting it.

How to save a Vine you don’t want to post

First make sure Vine has access to your Photos app. Open your iPad Settings. Then go to Settings > Privacy > Vine: On

  1. After you film a Vine, tap Next.
  2. Go back by tapping the triangle at the upper left.
  3. Tap the X at the upper right and Delete post.
  4. That’s it. Now your video will be in your Photos app and not on Vine.

There is currently no way to upload to Vine from Photos, so once you save the video this way you will not be able to post it on Vine at all. But you can email it to people the same way you would email any photo or video.

What are the symbols below each Vine?

  • Smiley face: tap to Like
  • Speech bubble: tap to comment
  • Three gray dots:
    • Report this Post (use to report offensive content)
    • Share this post (this will only appear on on your own Vines and Vines that the maker has already posted to Twitter or Facebook)
    • On your own Vines you will have the additional option of Delete. This will permanently remove the Vine and it will be completely gone.

Vine is owned by Twitter, but you do not need to have a Twitter account to use it. I don’t have any interest in joining Twitter, but I find Vine to be very fun and engaging. I tend to seek out the stop motion animations. But you don’t need to be an artist to create Vines. Some of my favorite Vines are simple peeks into other worlds.

I’m AnnStudio on Vine. You can look at my Likes for more recommendations. If you are on Vine please leave your user name in a comment below.

Organize Apps On Your iPad

Organize apps on your iPadAfter you have accumulated a good number of apps it gets harder to find the app you are looking for when you need it. It’s time to get them organized!

You can move apps around so that they are in an order that makes sense to you and you can put apps into folders. You might want to make a folder of apps that serve similar functions, such as Travel or Kid’s Games.

Organizing Apps into Folders

  1. To organize your apps into folders first press and hold on any app until they all start to jiggle. Then drag one app onto another.
  2. The iPad will create a folder and automatically name that folder. It will give its best guess judging from the apps you included. You can use the name it comes up with or type in another name.
  3. If you empty a folder the empty folder just disappears.
  4. When you’re all done getting organized, press the Home button on your iPad frame and the jiggling will stop.

I will admit I miss having the pretty app icons visible on my screen but sometimes I am willing to give up beauty for function. The apps I use the most often are on my first screen, not usually in a folder.

How to Rearrange Your Apps

  1. Again, press and hold on any app until they all start to jiggle, then drag your apps around to reorganize them.
  2. To move an app from one screen to another drag it all the way to the very edge of the screen until it jumps over to the next screen. Sometimes it can be kind of tricky, so give it another try until you get it.
  3. If you want to move a folder, just drag the folder around the same as you would drag an app.
  4. When you’re all done, press the Home button.

Here’s a quick video that illustrates the steps:

That’s all there is to it. Isn’t straightening up your iPad way more fun than cleaning your house?

Easily Amplify Your iPad Sound

Amplifiear iPad speakerWhen listening to audio or watching movies on my iPad I often find myself cupping my hand behind the iPad’s built-in speaker to enhance the sound. Because the speaker is on the back of the iPad the sound is being projected out and away from the user, sometimes making it sound muted or muffled.

Boost your sound with Amplifiear

Several companies have developed gadgets to help solve this problem. The one I am currently using is called the Amplifiear. It is a simple plastic device that couldn’t be easier to use. You just clip Amplifiear over the speaker corner of your iPad. It bounces the sound forward which is how it should be.

Amplifiear can be used with all current iPad models. Because the models vary in thickness it comes with adhesive foam pads to get the fit just right. My iPad 2 is in a thin silicone case and the Amplifiear fits right over that without using one of the foam pads.

The designers of Amplifiear claim it increases the volume of your iPad up to +10dB. I don’t have a way to measure that, but I made a little video so you can hear the difference when using it.

Amplifiear is not a substitute for exterior stereo speakers, but if you want a small, lo-tech gadget that amplifies your iPad sound I think you’ll like the Amplifiear as much as I do. The Amplifiear is available in 6 colors: Black, White, Red, Green, Blue and Orange. It sells for $24.99.


Watch TV Shows and Movies on Your iPad

iPad TV

There are many ways to watch TV show and movies on your iPad. Here is a sampling of apps that make that possible.

Watch for Free

ABC Player iPad app

ABC Player

Free. Watch full episodes of ABC shows with lots of commercials, repeated often.Usually the last 5 episodes of  a show are available for 6 days from when they air. You can check the TV schedule for the week. Close captioning available.


NBC iPad app


Free. Watch full episodes of NBC shows with commercials. Usually the last 5 episodes of  a show are available. Watch clips, previews and some behind the scenes videos. You can check the TV schedule for the week. Close captioning available.

CBS app for ipadCBS

Free. CBS has finally releases their network app. Watch full episodes of CBS shows with commercials. Some shows are available 24 hours after airing, while others are available 8 days after initial broadcast.


PBS for iPad app

PBS for iPad

Free. Watch full episodes of PBS shows with brief sponsor commercials. Watch clips, previews and behind the scenes videos. You can check the TV schedule for the week on your local PBS station. This is one of the best designed TV network apps I have used. For children’s shows download the app PBS Kids.


NFB iPad app


Free. This app from the National Film Board of Canada has a variety of very interesting and sometimes quirky films, documentaries and animated shorts. Some in French.


Crackle iPad app


Free. Seemingly random selection of past TV shows and movies. Many I have never heard of, but they do have some episodes of Seinfeld. The programming seems to be heavy on action and comedy.


Smithsonian Channel iPad app

Smithsonian Channel for iPad

Free. Videos that explore our planet and culture. Learn about history, art, and science. Full episodes and short videos available. This app has a unique interface that allows you to set up your own “channel” according to your interests.


IMDb iPad app


Free. The International Movie Database is not for watching video, but is where I go to look up actors when they look so familiar, but I can’t quite remember where I know them from. That can drive you crazy!



Watch for a Fee

Hulu Plus iPad app

Hulu Plus

Free app, requires Hulu Plus paid subscription at $7.99/month. Watch unlimited instant streaming of current TV shows and popular classic series. Limited advertising.


Netflix iPad app


Free app, requires Netflix paid subscription at $7.99/month. Watch streaming episodes of past TV shows, as well as a huge catalog of movies and documentaries.


HBO Go iPad app


Free app, requires HBO paid subscription. Watch HBO shows and movies.


Amazon Instant Video iPad app

Amazon Instant Video

Free app. Purchase individual TV shows (usually $1.99-$2.99 each) or a buy a season at a 5% savings.

Rent movies: usually $3.99-$4.99. Some older movies are available for $1.99. You have 30 days to start watching rentals. Once you start, you have 48 hours to finish it. You can stream the video or download it if you want to watch it later when you do not have an internet connection.

Buy movies: Purchased video can be streamed or downloaded. Prices vary.


iTunes logo


An alternative to the apps is to purchase or rent your entertainment directly from iTunes. You can purchase individual TV episodes, usually for $2.99 each, or purchase a full season (prices vary, around $30-$50).

Rent movies: usually $3.99-4.99. It will download to your iPad and then you have 30 days to start watching it. Once you start, you have 24 hours to finish it.

Buy movies: prices vary, generally around $15-$20


These are just some of the entertainment apps available. Many networks have their own apps, so do a search in the App Store to see if your favorite is there. Also some TV shows have their own apps. Let me know if you find anything good!


How to Play Music Using AutoRip and Amazon Cloud Player

amazon cloud player appAmazon has a gift for you: it’s called AutoRip

Now when you buy any qualifying CD from Amazon, not only will the CD be shipped to you, but the digital file will be available for you to stream or download immediately so you can begin enjoying your new music right away. This service is called AutoRip and is available for any AutoRip Eligible CDs on Amazon. Look for the AutoRip icon. Currently there are more than 37,000 AutoRip Available CDs listed.

how to use Amazon AutoRip

But wait, there’s more!

Amazon is also giving you MP3 versions of every CD you purchased since 1998! And you don’t have to even try to remember what you bought. Amazon remembers and has already stored them in the Cloud Player for you.

To find your digital music, go to You might be prompted to sign into your Amazon account.

I couldn’t have told you what, if any CDs I’ve purchased from Amazon since 1998. But there they all were. Some of them were even CDs I had bought as gifts for other people, so now I have that music too. This might even make me more likely to purchase CDs as gifts since I will get the added perk of getting the music for myself as well. Giving digital music as a gift still doesn’t feel quite as special to me as giving the physical CD.

To listen to your AutoRip music on your iPad

Go to as above. You can listen to your songs streaming over the internet.
Get the free Amazon Cloudplayer app.

This app is sized for iPhones, but can be used on the iPad. If you want to use it at full screen size on your iPad tap the 2x circle in the lower right-hand corner.

To use the app you will need to sign into your Amazon account. You will then be asked to authorize your device to play Cloud Music.

At the top of the Amazon Cloud Player app there are two tabs: Cloud and Device.

From the Cloud tab you can play any of the music you have stored on Amazon’s Cloud as long as you have an internet connection. From the Device tab you can play any music stored on your iPad.

How to download music from Cloud Player to your iPad

  1. From the Cloud tab choose Albums. Select an album.
  2. Tap the downward arrow at top right. Songs will begin to download.
  3. Downloaded songs can be played from the Device tab on the Cloud Player even without an internet connection.

Amazon Cloud Player app Amazon Cloud Player app
Amazon Cloud Player app

From the Device tab you will be able to play your Amazon downloaded music as well as the music that is already in your Music app. However, your Amazon downloaded music will not automatically be added to your Music app.

If you would like to add your Amazon music to your Music app you will need to download the Amazon music to iTunes on your computer and synch it to your iPad. This step is optional. You only need to do this if you prefer to use the Music app to play your music instead of the Amazon Cloud Player.

To download AutoRip music onto your computer

You can listen to your songs streaming over the internet or you can download your Amazon Cloud music onto your computer.

  1. Go to
  2. Hover over the song or album you want to download.
  3. Click on the downward arrow that appears.
  4. Click on the Download option.
  5. Amazon MP3 Downloader will automatically launch, or you will be prompted to install it if you have not previously.
  6. Your music will be available in your iTunes Library (or Windows Media player, whichever is your default).
  7. To get your music onto your iPad, connect your iPad to your computer and synch your music on iTunes.

More about downloading your music is available from Amazon.