The challenge continues
Capture One Pro continues to be a good alternative to Lightroom and so far, it's proving to be a keeper. I have 25 days to decide and in the meantime, I carry on using it to do what I do, importing photographs, editing them, sorting them into a usable arrangement and cataloguing them so that I can find that needle in a haystack. I don't find it easy to simply sit in front of a program and "try it out" and find that I've got to use it for real if I'm to assess how well it fits my needs.
So the challenge just now was "find a photograph of a swimming pool for my blog post". As you can see, I managed to do that - even though it took me a little longer than I thought it might. It would have helped if I had tagged my photos so that I could search "pool" or "swimming", but that wasn't possible in Picasa and was actually one reason for making the leap forward to a more fully-featured program. Tagging 130,000 photos retrospectively is not exactly practical, though perhaps adding a tag or two to photographs as I use them might be a means of scratching the surface.
So why was I looking for a photo of a swimming pool anyway? Since sometime last year, I've taken up swimming again and have actually been enjoying early morning swims at our local pool (which sadly, is not the one in the photograph!) Father Christmas knew that I was tracking my swimming using the Just Swim app on my phone and had overheard a conversation I'd had with a friend about waterproof tech for making that process automatic. The thing is, the one stylish swimming tracker we'd come across received poor reviews about most of them being on the bottom of the pool, since the weakest feature was the wristband clasp. But Father Christmas is a clever old chap and he found the new Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro has a swimming feature and as a result, guess what I found in my stocking on Christmas morning?
It's not the prettiest wearable accessory on the block and probably not something I would wear 24/7 anyway, but definitely worth trying. The thing is, the reviews were not that positive when it came to tracking swimming... It does, however, have an mp3 player integrated, and if there's one thing which could make my early morning km a little more enjoyable, it's a few tunes. So, time to research waterproof earphones then and have a few conversations with my early morning swimming chums. Does Bluetooth connect underwater? I'm not sure it does.
Without doubt, the most recommended product turned out to be the Finis Duo which I tried briefly, thanks to one of its most ardent supporters. It's more of a headset than earphones, clips to swimming goggles and doesn't actually fit in the ear at all, but sits closely against the cheekbones. Weirdly, the sound quality is excellent, though better under the water than out of it. Rather than look further for something to connect to the Samsung watch, I splurged on the Duo.
So this morning, I sat at the kitchen table and set to work, introducing everything to one another. My FitPro2 was already chatting to my phone but so far, I'd not used it to track any swimming, simply continuing to count the lengths as I'd done until now. But I thought that I might as well go full tech, join the dots and give it all a go regardless of what others say - it might work 100% for me!
An hour of installing apps: Speedo On was already on my FitPro but not connected to my phone or tablet yet. A mug of coffee and a couple of Spekulatius biscuits were called for, because it was time to load some music.
I had mistakenly thought that I could load a Spotify playlist to listen offline. We've subscribed to Spotify for years and use it all the time. But though there's the facility to download a list to play offline, it has to be played on a device running Spotify, and clearly, my Duo doesn't, because it's just a simple mp3 player. Still, it was worth investigating what was around, so I searched for a Spotify "Swimming Playlist".
Errm. Michael Phelp's Training soundtrack? I don't think so! Not quite....
I searched again, this time coming across an article My Top Ten Swimming songs If you follow the link you'll see why that wasn't quite what I was looking for, either!
So I searched for "playlist for swimming laps" and came across this one, which seems to fit the bill. Why might it be suitable for swimming laps? Who knows? I guess that it's something I've just got to try out and see if it works for me. After all, in answer to someone's request for suggestions about music to swim to, one respondent wrote "how do I know what you'd like?" (well, there were a few more f's in the actual answer) "I like to swim to Beethoven". And maybe I will too. I've just got to dive in and see. (sorry, couldn't resist)
I was just thinking that I'd gone as far as I could for now and maybe tomorrow, I'll give it a go in the pool when the doorbell rang. It was the postman with a parcel.
It was a box containing a "free" pair of Bluetooth headphones I'd applied for having bought a new Samsung tablet last October. Completing the paperwork and sending the required proof of purchase was far from easy and I'd exercised all my powers of determination to make sure I got the advertised offer. But months have passed and I'd forgotten all about it until now.
Looks like the pile of challenges just keeps growing.