126: Tempting the Universe


00:00:00   I was just trying your method of putting the headphone over both ears.

00:00:03   My method?

00:00:04   Yeah, that's the mic method.

00:00:06   If you wear the headphone over both ears, that's the mic method.

00:00:09   The grey method is headphone over one ear when you're recording a podcast.

00:00:13   I forgot about this.

00:00:14   And I just tried it with both ears.

00:00:16   It sounds awful.

00:00:17   Awful in what way?

00:00:18   What's awful about it?

00:00:19   It just sounds so weird.

00:00:20   It doesn't sound like it's supposed to sound.

00:00:22   I hate everything about this.

00:00:24   I don't know.

00:00:25   It's very distracting.

00:00:26   It's less distracting.

00:00:28   - You don't hear anything else.

00:00:30   You just hear your voice, my voice.

00:00:32   - I don't know, my voice is too big in my head this way.

00:00:37   I don't quite know how to describe it.

00:00:38   It's very strange.

00:00:40   You have to have one ear off.

00:00:41   Yeah, this is so much better.

00:00:42   Okay, I've gone back to my method

00:00:44   because I can hear my voice through one ear

00:00:49   so I can listen for microphone problems

00:00:53   and I can make sure that I'm close enough to the microphone.

00:00:55   But I'm also not distracted by the way my voice sounds on the microphone,

00:01:01   because I can actually just hear my voice the way it sounds when I'm normally talking.

00:01:06   So that's why this is the superior method, and the mic method is no good.

00:01:10   - Unnecessary amounts of information I'm giving you now,

00:01:13   in respect of the fact that maybe our entire audience will hear this, but...

00:01:18   I believe that if you're still using any of the equipment that you've mentioned to me

00:01:22   you're using in the past who could honestly tell. A lot of these things they

00:01:27   have a dial so like mine has a dial called pre and PC and so I can adjust the

00:01:33   balance between what's coming through the interface via USB so from the

00:01:38   computer and what's coming in from the microphone so you can adjust the balance

00:01:41   so less of me more of you and you can turn all the volume down and you'll be

00:01:46   quieter in your own ears.

00:01:48   But that doesn't change anything because if I just make my

00:01:51   own voice quieter than, then I can't hear me at all because I can't hear me through

00:01:55   the headphones.

00:01:56   But you don't need to make it so quiet that you can't hear yourself.

00:01:59   You have an adjustment.

00:02:00   You have control of the adjustment.

00:02:01   It's not like, you know, there is a lot of in the middle between those two things.

00:02:06   No, no, I know what you're saying.

00:02:07   I have a dial here where I can turn my microphone down.

00:02:10   I can do that.

00:02:11   No, it's not turning your microphone down.

00:02:13   But look, I can, I can turn here.

00:02:15   I could, I can mess up all of your recordings by turning my microphone down.

00:02:18   No, but that's not why I'm asking you to do.

00:02:20   I don't think you're listening to me.

00:02:22   What I'm saying is, I believe your hardware,

00:02:25   probably the same as mine,

00:02:26   only for using that stupid travel gear again.

00:02:30   - You certainly don't mean the Rode NT

00:02:33   that I'm recording on right now.

00:02:34   - Oh, then who could tell that thing

00:02:37   just threw it out of the window.

00:02:38   But if you're using any of the really expensive,

00:02:40   unnecessary gear that you've bought,

00:02:42   it would have dials on it to like adjust the balance.

00:02:47   It's not about turn your microphone down,

00:02:49   it turns down the monitoring of your own microphone,

00:02:52   specifically.

00:02:53   - Look, I understand what you're saying here, Myke.

00:02:55   - Do you though, Greg?

00:02:56   'Cause when you say I don't wanna turn my microphone down,

00:03:00   that would suggest to me that you don't know what I'm saying.

00:03:03   - No, but that would be, what you're suggesting

00:03:05   is even worse.

00:03:06   So I get it.

00:03:07   I leave the microphone volume up so that I'm recording it.

00:03:10   And I turn the output of the microphone

00:03:14   and my own headphones down so that I can, I guess,

00:03:17   I don't know, just barely hear my own voice.

00:03:20   - But that's what you wanted.

00:03:21   You didn't want your voice to be so loud.

00:03:23   - But if I can just barely hear my own voice,

00:03:26   it's crazy. - You're the only person

00:03:28   saying barely, I didn't say barely.

00:03:31   I just said turn it down a bit.

00:03:33   Now you're like, oh, then I'm whispering in my own ears.

00:03:36   I never said to do that.

00:03:38   I just-- - Okay, look, look, look.

00:03:41   So I have adjusted the microphone ever since,

00:03:44   you won't even notice, Myke.

00:03:45   I've adjusted the microphone ever so slightly so that my voice in my ears through the headphones

00:03:53   only is about as loud as it sounds when I'm just talking, right?

00:03:57   So I've got it that way.

00:03:59   But it doesn't sound the same.

00:04:02   Like your voice doesn't sound the same through a microphone than going into headphones.

00:04:08   Right.

00:04:09   But this is okay.

00:04:11   This is one of those things where you have to.

00:04:13   - Okay, my suggestion is in a way I think about this,

00:04:15   sacrifice potentially my own comfort for the audience

00:04:20   because it does not matter how your voice sounds

00:04:24   in your own room for this purpose.

00:04:27   What matters is how your voice sounds

00:04:30   whilst it's being recorded.

00:04:32   - No, I understand that.

00:04:33   - I just imagine it.

00:04:35   I would be so distracted having just one ear to the wind.

00:04:39   - No, it's one ear to your own voice.

00:04:41   - But what's the other ear doing?

00:04:43   - The other ear is listening to you.

00:04:45   - What?

00:04:47   - You're coming in through the headphone that's on my ear,

00:04:50   and then I take the other headphone off my opposite ear,

00:04:54   and then I can hear my own voice through that ear.

00:04:56   That's the gray method.

00:04:57   - Right, but that's what I'm saying.

00:04:59   I'm only in one of your ears, right?

00:05:00   - No, you're in, well, if in the mic method,

00:05:03   you're in both of my ears.

00:05:04   - Yeah, which is best?

00:05:05   - Okay, look, I'm gonna try it.

00:05:07   I'm gonna try it this episode.

00:05:08   I'm gonna try it the mic way.

00:05:09   - You're gonna get surround sound.

00:05:11   So now mic is in both of my ears and even though I can hear my voice just fine,

00:05:17   psychologically it feels like talking in a very muted way somehow.

00:05:22   It's very uncomfortable.

00:05:24   But I'll try it.

00:05:26   It is because you're not getting the room reverberation and stuff.

00:05:31   Yeah.

00:05:32   Which we don't want, you know, in the audio.

00:05:34   So you got to think about the whole audio experience.

00:05:36   Right, no, but okay, but like switching between the mic version and the gray version

00:05:39   It doesn't change whether or not there's room echo on the mic.

00:05:43   No, it doesn't.

00:05:44   I think that you need to, like me, like step into the podcast, you know, both feet into

00:05:50   the podcast, you know, like both ears in, we're both in, we're in it now, we're making

00:05:54   it, we are like now one and the same as the podcast in our real lives, you know, like

00:06:00   so you just got to step in, now we're inside the podcast together, the two of us now, along

00:06:05   with everybody else.

00:06:06   Right.

00:06:07   I'm talking in a way that just doesn't sound like my own voice now.

00:06:11   So it's, it's straight.

00:06:12   This now sounds like the person who does those videos and does this podcast.

00:06:16   That's, that's his voice.

00:06:17   Right, but that's the important thing for this, you know?

00:06:20   Okay, so I just need to learn to talk with a new voice for this podcast.

00:06:24   No, no, don't, don't like put on an accent or something.

00:06:28   Just be normal.

00:06:30   Okay, being normal commencing now.

00:06:34   Look at me just being normal.

00:06:36   Yeah, just a regular guy. Regular guy over here. Regular Joe.

00:06:42   Mm-hmm. Yep. Just a person who doesn't have their own voice and is talking with a different sounding voice

00:06:50   that's very close to, but not quite their actual voice. How could that be weird and different?

00:06:56   It definitely isn't. This is all very normal.

00:06:58   Have you ever looked into this? This seems like something you would have looked into.

00:07:01   What?

00:07:02   the idea of how our voices sound different to us than when they're recorded and stuff.

00:07:06   Like, have you ever looked into it? Like, I just wonder if this is the thing that you


00:07:11   Like, what do you mean? What are you — the reason?

00:07:12   I think there's something about the echoing inside of your own skull or something, I think

00:07:16   I might have read once? Like, the way that you hear your own voice is different to how

00:07:20   it actually sounds, because in your own head it, like, it's amplified differently or

00:07:24   something.

00:07:25   Yeah, yeah. Your own — like, your own voice is being transmitted partly through your skull

00:07:28   to your inner ear.

00:07:29   Right.

00:07:30   sense the way sound works, right? That the sound comes out of your mouth, so you're never

00:07:36   hearing the way you are directing sound, and different frequencies fall off at different

00:07:43   rates. So there's a bunch of reasons why it totally makes it. It's not like a weird psychological

00:07:46   phenomenon, it's a physics phenomenon.

00:07:49   Because what I like specifically about the microphone I use right now, which is called

00:07:53   the Neumann KMS 105 is a professional grade microphone is when I listen back I sound like

00:08:00   how I sound to me that's what I like about this microphone it sounds how I hear my own

00:08:07   voice sounding and it feels natural to me that's why I like this microphone so much

00:08:12   maybe this is why I can handle the two ear mic method Neumann U87 is that what you said?

00:08:16   No Neumann KMS 105 it should be great the microphone you are speaking into unless you've

00:08:21   decided to change that again.

00:08:23   Wait, sorry, what microphone am I supposed to be?

00:08:25   Oh my god, are you being serious with me right now?

00:08:27   Have you just changed microphone again?

00:08:29   I don't know if we need to discuss this on AirMyke.

00:08:32   Don't we?

00:08:32   Because you seem to bring it up a lot.

00:08:34   Have you changed microphone again?

00:08:36   Wait, wait, well, here's the problem.

00:08:39   I think the answer is yes, but I don't remember ever being

00:08:44   suggested this microphone.

00:08:45   This is the first time I'm ever hearing of this Neumann KMS

00:08:48   104 microphone.

00:08:49   - What microphone are you using?

00:08:51   - Okay, well, so for the past two years,

00:08:53   I've been using a completely different microphone,

00:08:56   but I switched last episode to a new microphone

00:08:59   and I just didn't tell you about it.

00:09:01   I'm using the, what is it?

00:09:03   It's the, it says here on the side,

00:09:07   it's the Shure SM58.

00:09:10   That's the one I have in front of me right now.

00:09:11   - Why have you done this?

00:09:13   - It was in my box of microphones.

00:09:15   - What were you using before?

00:09:17   Previously, I was using the Shure SM7B microphone.

00:09:22   Does that mean anything to you immediately?

00:09:26   - Yeah, no, I know what it is.

00:09:28   - Okay, I thought you might.

00:09:30   So I've been using that for the last, I don't know,

00:09:34   since the pandemic started, I think.

00:09:35   I think I got that from my home office set up

00:09:37   when I was doing a bunch of stuff.

00:09:39   So I switched to that a long time ago.

00:09:42   And only just recently, as in with the last

00:09:45   vacation trip that I took, decided that microphone is just more of a pain in the butt than it's

00:09:51   worth.

00:09:52   I do think it sounds really good, but it's too fiddly, and it's particularly fiddly with

00:09:57   having to change settings between going back and forth, between recording something for

00:10:03   me to use in the video and recording for us talking.

00:10:05   Like, I just—it doesn't matter why I can't keep the same settings for both of those situations.

00:10:10   They have to be different.

00:10:11   convinced that there was a point where I got you using the same microphone I use.

00:10:17   I've never heard of this microphone before in my life. But here's the thing

00:10:24   Myke, you're not wrong. There is a non-zero chance that at some point I was

00:10:27   using this microphone and I just totally forgot. I don't remember. It looks like

00:10:30   the one you're currently using. Do you want me to rummage around in my box of

00:10:34   microphones on air and see if this microphone is in there? Honestly, if you have all of your

00:10:39   microphones in one place, then yes, I want you to see if you have a microphone in that

00:10:43   box that has a little red label on the side that says Neumann, because now I feel like

00:10:48   I'm the one who's losing their mind.

00:10:50   Okay, hold on a second, I just need to take my headphones off to grab it, but within iSight

00:10:54   I have a little box that I keep all my audio equipment in, so let me just grab it.

00:10:57   Do you though? Do you keep it all in one place? I just can't imagine you keep it all in one

00:11:01   place.

00:11:04   Okay, I'm back. Headphones on and the mic method.

00:11:08   I actually think this is a little bit... I keep trying to think of ways to describe this.

00:11:13   This feels a bit like when you have a cold and your voice sounds weird.

00:11:16   Everything about this mic method is terrible.

00:11:18   Okay, so I have this microphone box. It's a smallish shoebox.

00:11:24   What a great place to keep all this expensive gear. Just a shoebox.

00:11:28   you put it by the radiator, by the leaky tap in the corner,

00:11:33   where does it go?

00:11:33   (laughing)

00:11:35   - Well, look, I have it all in one spot.

00:11:36   See, so I've got my little zoom recorders.

00:11:40   I've got a bunch of aux cables.

00:11:43   Oh, I have a spare one of those

00:11:45   lightning to 3.5 millimeter cables.

00:11:49   - Oh, we'll be talking about those later on.

00:11:51   - Yeah, which is without a doubt the product

00:11:53   that Apple makes the largest margins on

00:11:54   of anything they sell.

00:11:56   That is outrageous.

00:11:58   Oh, there's another microphone in here at the bottom of the shoebox.

00:12:02   No, but it's not this one.

00:12:03   So it's the Shure Beta 87C.

00:12:06   - Okay, there are no more microphones?

00:12:10   - There are no more microphones in my audio box, no.

00:12:13   Myke, can I just be clear here for a second?

00:12:16   Are you wanting me to buy another microphone to swap out and to use on the podcast?

00:12:21   Is that what you're saying? - At this point, no.

00:12:23   - Is that what you're suggesting?

00:12:24   - Because I am convinced that I made you do this.

00:12:27   I strongly suggested that you get the same microphone as me because it's very reliable

00:12:33   and I am convinced that you bought this microphone and have used it because I remember this being a

00:12:41   thing of like oh Grey's audio is so much better now because I made him get the good microphone

00:12:46   this is a thing that has happened and then what I expect has happened over time

00:12:51   is you've moved around to whatever you've moved around but you're in the monolith now

00:12:57   Which is gonna make pretty much any half decent microphone sound good because it's so horrifically sound-defening inside of that thing.

00:13:07   Every time I think about what it's like to stand inside of that little construction you've built for yourself, it's like even I can't even hear myself thinking there. It's horrible.

00:13:17   It's so funny. I have become completely immune to the difference between the rooms where even when I am not in the middle of my recording setup, it's just in my home office.

00:13:25   But my wife just does not want to spend more than a second necessary in my home office because of how physically uncomfortable she feels

00:13:33   With just the amount of sound editing equipment that's in here.

00:13:37   I'm convinced that I convinced you to buy this microphone and now

00:13:41   now I feel like

00:13:44   Something as bad has happened to me that I can't that this seems to not be the case

00:13:49   I don't think this has happened. There's no record of us talking about our audio setups at any point in time on the show

00:13:55   - Yeah, but the thing is though,

00:13:57   is I feel like you would hide things from me.

00:13:59   - What?

00:14:00   That's outrageous.

00:14:01   - As it's been proven.

00:14:03   Right, so like I could say to you,

00:14:05   get this microphone and you go, okay.

00:14:07   Right, and then never do it.

00:14:08   In the sense of like I just found out that

00:14:11   inexplicably you changed microphone two episodes ago.

00:14:15   Hang on a minute.

00:14:16   - What?

00:14:17   - Hang on a minute.

00:14:18   Two episodes ago?

00:14:19   - No, the last episode.

00:14:20   Last episode is the one I swapped.

00:14:22   - All right, you knew what I was gonna say then.

00:14:24   No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no

00:14:54   seen any interview show on YouTube where someone is talking to someone else, they all use that

00:15:00   microphone.

00:15:01   Yeah, all video podcasts with a set have these microphones.

00:15:05   Every single one of them uses it.

00:15:06   And I don't know why because that microphone is a real pain. This is known. And also as

00:15:11   well, the SM7B only works with certain people's voices. Like it doesn't sound great for most

00:15:19   people. I don't know what Shure have done. I think it's like the professional look of

00:15:25   it, like it looks like a professional microphone so everyone just gets it. Like, it's weird.

00:15:32   I got it at the start of the pandemic, partly because I had seen a ton of people using it,

00:15:37   right? I was completely influenced by seeing other people use it. I got it, I tried it

00:15:42   I did like it better with my voice.

00:15:44   And so I did keep it, but I am convinced,

00:15:48   especially after my two years of what a pain in the butt

00:15:51   this microphone is and how finicky it can be,

00:15:55   I'm convinced that the physical look of it

00:15:57   is a huge reason why on every podcast

00:16:01   that has a video component, you see it.

00:16:03   Because otherwise, like the microphone I'm using right now,

00:16:07   microphone arm, oops, let me not bump everything.

00:16:10   (laughing)

00:16:12   - Bang!

00:16:13   (laughing)

00:16:13   No problem here.

00:16:14   - If you're trying to do an interview with two people

00:16:16   and you're visually recording it,

00:16:18   microphone arms are big, chunky equipment.

00:16:22   And I think it can look a little weird

00:16:25   to then have a dinky microphone on the end of it.

00:16:28   Like the microphone I'm using now

00:16:29   is just a regular little microphone.

00:16:31   - It's the one thing I don't like

00:16:32   about my amazing microphone,

00:16:33   is it looks like a singer's microphone.

00:16:36   - Yes. - I don't like that.

00:16:37   - Yeah, I totally get that.

00:16:39   So I suspect that's the reason why everyone uses it.

00:16:42   But anyway, the thing that really put me over the edge is when I did my

00:16:47   Gracation and obviously to record the audio for the Interstate video,

00:16:52   I was not going to bring that giant chunky Shure SM7B with me while traveling.

00:16:58   So I just took my travel microphone, which is this, the 58, which looks

00:17:02   like a little singer's microphone.

00:17:03   And it's been a long time since I recorded a video in a travel location.

00:17:10   And having done that, I thought, "This is totally fine."

00:17:15   Like, I don't know why I thought, "Oh, let me try to squeeze out the last 3% of audio quality

00:17:22   with a microphone that is 10 times more annoying than a simpler microphone."

00:17:27   So that was really the final, final thing that made me say, "What the heck am I doing?

00:17:33   I'm going to just stop using this giant chunky microphone and I'm going to go back to something simpler.

00:17:37   I recorded a very popular video with this simpler microphone and nobody noticed or cared.

00:17:44   It makes no difference to any of the viewers, so...

00:17:47   The SM58 is a great microphone. I've used them a bunch.

00:17:53   The reason I don't use the SM58 is it makes me sound a little too bassy.

00:17:57   Like we used to use them for, I believe, I'm pretty sure we used to use the SM58s for live stuff.

00:18:04   And I think I have one here as well, like for if I would go traveling I would take an SM58.

00:18:10   I think that's the one I would have.

00:18:11   I do a bit of post-processing on my voice, particularly for the videos to

00:18:15   debase them so it sounds clearer, so I can completely understand that.

00:18:19   It can make someone's voice sound a bit too bassy.

00:18:21   Anyway, this is microphone talk!

00:18:23   I don't understand. I don't understand what has happened.

00:18:27   I don't know why this microphone has disappeared.

00:18:32   I never had this microphone. I never had this one.

00:18:35   But I also don't believe that that box contains every microphone you've ever owned.

00:18:40   I guarantee you it does. I guarantee you it does.

00:18:42   No, because you used to use a really bad microphone.

00:18:44   Oh wait, every microphone I've ever owned?

00:18:47   Yeah, because I just think that you've used the one that I asked you to buy.

00:18:50   I mean sure, yeah, I don't have my old Yeti Blue microphone in this box.

00:18:56   like some of the old microphones I've gotten rid of, but no, this never happened, Myke.

00:19:00   This was all in your head.

00:19:01   I feel like I'm talking so loud into this microphone because I can't hear myself.

00:19:09   - What is this show now?

00:19:11   - Am I crazy?

00:19:12   - What are we doing?

00:19:12   - Do I sound like I'm so much louder to you?

00:19:15   - No, of course you don't.

00:19:17   - It's like I'm deaf in my own head and I can still hear me.

00:19:21   - It's like one of those things where like, what is it?

00:19:23   Like it's like object impermanence in babies.

00:19:25   Because you're hearing yourself louder, you think you're louder to me,

00:19:30   like now I'm like, "Oh, he's too loud, turn him down."

00:19:33   - No, I feel like I'm straining my voice talking to you

00:19:37   because I'm now trying to hear my own voice.

00:19:40   - Gray? - Yeah.

00:19:41   - Just take the headphone off.

00:19:43   - No, I refuse to do this now.

00:19:45   - Well, then stop complaining.

00:19:46   Stop complaining, you know?

00:19:48   Do one or the other.

00:19:50   - No, I'm gonna do it your way and I'm going to complain.

00:19:53   - I feel like I should just give up, you know?

00:19:54   I feel like people have been listening to me

00:19:57   over the last maybe 18 months, I think.

00:20:00   Just like every episode, some level of despair.

00:20:03   And now just like the pure fundamentals

00:20:05   of what I believed was the audio gear is not true anymore.

00:20:08   So I don't even know, you know, like at this point,

00:20:11   why do I put all this emotional energy

00:20:13   into just trying to make sure that my podcast co-host

00:20:17   has a halfway competent setup or a reliable one

00:20:21   or isn't just changing gear on me left, right, and center.

00:20:25   So I should just give up on it.

00:20:26   But I feel like if I give up,

00:20:28   you'll give up from whatever it is you're currently doing,

00:20:31   and then you just use like an iPhone headset or something.

00:20:35   - No, I would never do something like that.

00:20:37   I want high quality for the recording.

00:20:39   That's why I have all this equipment.

00:20:40   - If you want high quality,

00:20:41   I'm gonna send you a link later on,

00:20:43   you buy the microphone that I already know you bought,

00:20:46   and then you can have another one.

00:20:47   - You want me to buy it?

00:20:48   Oh, I was like, you want me to buy a duplicate

00:20:51   of the one I have now and record with two microphones,

00:20:53   but no, you want me to record with this Neumann KMS 105.

00:20:57   - Mm-hmm.

00:20:58   - I'll consider it.

00:21:01   - Or just find the one that you already bought.

00:21:03   - I didn't buy one of these.

00:21:05   - Just find it.

00:21:06   Can you search your email?

00:21:08   - God damn it, okay, all right, hold on.

00:21:10   Let me search my email.

00:21:11   - Just search Neumann, N-E-U-M-A-N-N.

00:21:15   - Yeah, yeah, yeah, I got it, I got it.

00:21:16   - No, you don't, how do you know you got it?

00:21:18   Was that how you would have spelt Neumann?

00:21:20   - Yeah, John von Neumann, like I know Neumann.

00:21:22   - Who's that?

00:21:22   (laughing)

00:21:23   Who's this now?

00:21:25   Who's this character?

00:21:26   - Okay, you Google for John von Neumann

00:21:28   and I'm gonna look up this KM184 Neumann microphone.

00:21:33   (laughing)

00:21:34   - We have real things to talk about today.

00:21:36   Why are we doing this?

00:21:38   John von Neumann was a Hungarian American mathematician,

00:21:42   physicist, computer scientist, engineer and polymath.

00:21:45   - Probably one of the smartest human beings

00:21:47   who's ever lived.

00:21:48   Probably, I don't know, develop the Neumann microphone.

00:21:51   And anyway, I've got zero hits in my email for Neumann.

00:21:55   - But can your email be trusted anyway?

00:21:58   - Probably not.

00:21:59   - Look, Myke, what is true?

00:22:02   No one knows. - No one knows.

00:22:03   Talking about mathematician, I found out yesterday

00:22:06   that the Romanian word for mathematician is matamaticen,

00:22:09   and I think that's very funny.

00:22:10   - Why?

00:22:11   - It just sounds very funny to me, matamaticen.

00:22:13   - It sounds cute.

00:22:14   - Yeah, I like it a lot.

00:22:15   It sounds like this isn't gonna be as funny for you

00:22:17   particularly, but for math, mathematics, and mathematician, it's, uh, is it Matty,

00:22:23   and then Matty Matyka and Matty Matychan, it sounds like a Pokemon evolution.

00:22:27   And I find that very, very adorable.

00:22:31   I found this out yesterday.

00:22:32   It does.

00:22:32   It does sound like a Pokemon evolution.

00:22:34   Onto the show.

00:22:36   This episode of Cortex is brought to you by LinkedIn jobs.

00:22:41   During this great reshuffle, a record number of employees are

00:22:44   considering switching jobs.

00:22:46   and so now's your chance to try and attract them.

00:22:49   LinkedIn Jobs is here to help you connect

00:22:51   with the people you want to interview faster and for free.

00:22:55   You can create a free job post in minutes on LinkedIn Jobs

00:22:58   to reach your network and beyond

00:23:00   to the world's largest professional network

00:23:02   of over 770 million people.

00:23:05   Then add your job and the purple hashtag hiring frame

00:23:09   to your LinkedIn profile

00:23:11   to spread the word that you're hiring

00:23:13   so your network can help you find the right people to hire.

00:23:17   With simple tools like screening questions,

00:23:19   making it easy to focus on candidates

00:23:21   with just the right skills and experience,

00:23:23   you're able to quickly prioritize

00:23:25   who you'd like to interview and hire.

00:23:27   It's why small businesses rate LinkedIn jobs number one

00:23:30   in delivering quality hires versus leading competitors.

00:23:33   Why would you try anywhere else?

00:23:34   LinkedIn has everyone already there.

00:23:37   The person you are waiting to find

00:23:39   is already there on LinkedIn.

00:23:40   They have wonderful tools to make it so easy

00:23:43   you to be able to filter through your applicants. You can even do it on the go with their wonderful

00:23:47   mobile app. Super awesome stuff. LinkedIn Jobs helps you find the candidates you want to talk to

00:23:52   faster. Did you know every week nearly 40 million job seekers visit LinkedIn? Post your job for free

00:23:59   at linkedin.com/cortex. That's linkedin.com/cortex to post your job for free. Terms and conditions

00:24:06   apply. Our thanks to LinkedIn Jobs for the support of this show and all of Relay FM.

00:24:11   Let's talk about our travel bags because we're going on trips.

00:24:17   Yes, you are going to Tennessee.

00:24:21   And I am going to the other side of the earth.

00:24:26   So we have trips in front of us.

00:24:29   So you're going to be in Hawaii for the next year?

00:24:32   No, no.

00:24:35   I'm going to be in Hawaii for just barely over eight weeks.

00:24:41   That's how long I'm going to be in Hawaii.

00:24:43   It's going to be a real great vacation for you.

00:24:45   Ahh, well...

00:24:47   No, I'm just messing around, you know.

00:24:49   My reasoning here was going to Hawaii for a short period of time

00:24:54   is significantly worse than going for a long period of time

00:24:57   because the jet lag back and forth and adjusting, I was like,

00:25:02   Man, if I go to Hawaii for 10 days, that is going to just completely destroy like a month's worth of work.

00:25:10   So I'd rather just like, okay, let's go for a long time and then I can, I mean, this is the plan anyway.

00:25:19   Hopefully actually get real work done while I'm in Hawaii.

00:25:24   That's the idea. That's part of the reason why it ended up being such a long trip is

00:25:29   If I'm going to the other side of the earth, it is not going to be for a short period of

00:25:34   time, it is going to be for a long period of time.

00:25:36   Because you're doing family stuff, it's not like you're not just gonna be sitting

00:25:39   on a beach drinking Mai Tais for six weeks or whatever.

00:25:42   Oh no, yeah, no, this is entirely a family trip, like that is the reason for this trip,

00:25:48   there has been scheduled like a rota of family members who are coming in and out over this

00:25:53   whole period of time.

00:25:54   Yeah, so this is after all of this time to finally catch up on a bunch of family stuff

00:26:01   that has been delayed for literally years because of the pandemic.

00:26:06   So that is the big Hawaii trip and that's why there's a lot of logistics around this.

00:26:11   But yes, it also does make it an interesting experiment and challenge to think about how

00:26:17   am I going to be working on that trip.

00:26:20   But you are doing a much shorter trip.

00:26:23   Much shorter.

00:26:24   magnitude sure I think. We're just gonna be away for eight days so every year me and my co-founder

00:26:30   the Real FM co-founder Stephen Hackett we would get together every year just spend time together

00:26:35   go over some business stuff but really just be in each other's company it's like an important thing

00:26:39   you know he's one of my very best friends on the entire planet like I wanted to be in his company

00:26:44   but also we work together right like we've run this thing together for seven years eight years

00:26:48   I don't know who could tell at this point and we like to get together and like just go over stuff and being in each other's company

00:26:56   New ideas would just form naturally like it became like a really important part of our year to spend that time together

00:27:02   Well, we obviously haven't done it since 2019

00:27:05   I think this has been the longest time that we have not seen each other

00:27:10   Since we first met Wow, like I think from us first like having an interaction online

00:27:18   to me going to Memphis for the first time,

00:27:20   which is a shorter period of time,

00:27:22   than it has been since,

00:27:24   I think I lost the room in September.

00:27:26   It's the first podcast of them.

00:27:27   That was the last time we saw each other.

00:27:29   Which that feels like eons ago.

00:27:33   - Yeah. - Podcast of someone.

00:27:35   Yeah, so I'm really excited.

00:27:38   Speaking of which, I'm gonna be going

00:27:39   and seeing the team at St. Jude

00:27:41   and we're gonna be doing a bunch of stuff together

00:27:42   'cause I haven't seen any of them for ages, right?

00:27:45   Two years or whatever.

00:27:46   and we've been working together on this project

00:27:48   for that amount of time.

00:27:49   I'm really excited, genuinely really excited about it.

00:27:52   I cannot wait for this trip.

00:27:54   But because we are both going on trips

00:27:56   at about the same time,

00:27:58   I thought it would be nice to look again

00:28:01   at our travel bag situation.

00:28:03   Now, I know we first spoke about,

00:28:06   like gave like an in-depth look at what we put in our bags

00:28:09   all the way back in January, 2016 for episode 20.

00:28:15   I don't remember if we've ever covered it since, so.

00:28:18   - Yeah, I don't feel like we have.

00:28:20   And also, frankly, I'm hoping to crib from you a little bit

00:28:24   because I have felt just bizarrely panicked still about--

00:28:28   - Okay, this isn't good then because I was hoping

00:28:31   that you were gonna come in here

00:28:33   and give me a bunch of great ideas.

00:28:37   - But that's how I, like, okay,

00:28:40   so I know that I went to America, right?

00:28:43   I did that whole trip to Cherokee,

00:28:44   But I have this mental feeling like, I don't know,

00:28:48   like I was like a cartoon character

00:28:51   with just like bits falling off and just like looking crazy

00:28:55   and not having anything in order for that trip.

00:28:58   It felt very slapdash for what is my actual equipment.

00:29:03   I've tried to do something a little bit better

00:29:06   for this time, but I was thinking,

00:29:07   oh great, Myke is going to tell me a bunch of stuff.

00:29:11   - Okay, well then my hope now is,

00:29:14   Maybe between the two of us?

00:29:16   Right, between two internet professionals we can assemble a backpack.

00:29:23   A half-way decent bag.

00:29:25   Alright, let's try to do that.

00:29:28   The problem is, and I think we touched on this a little while before,

00:29:32   late last year when we both did some traveling, is during our long stint of no travel,

00:29:39   and I knew a lot of people did this, that slowly dismantled their travel bag,

00:29:43   you like grab a dongle from here, grab a cable from here.

00:29:46   And then also at the same time, our needs changed,

00:29:50   but the travel bags stayed like in stasis, right?

00:29:54   So like one of the things that changed

00:29:56   is USB-C just became more and more prevalent.

00:29:59   And we both came to this decision,

00:30:01   like many people I'm sure listen to this show,

00:30:03   I just don't want USB-A in my life anymore

00:30:05   for as much as I can have it,

00:30:06   I'm gonna start replacing all my cables.

00:30:08   So like this was when I then started traveling again,

00:30:11   I realized that is an untenable way to live

00:30:15   if you're traveling.

00:30:16   So I'll tell you the big thing that I noticed

00:30:18   was I was going to hotels

00:30:20   and I would get the cables out of my bag

00:30:22   and I would need say, on the bedside table,

00:30:25   at least one cable for my phone to charge,

00:30:29   one cable for my Apple Watch to charge, right?

00:30:32   All hotels have USB-A ports now, it feels like.

00:30:37   So going all USB-C, that tends to not work

00:30:40   because then I can only plug one thing in at a time.

00:30:44   Because all, seems like all hotel have like,

00:30:47   all hotels just have like one plug socket by the bed,

00:30:50   and then they have USB sockets.

00:30:52   So that doesn't work.

00:30:53   So now in my travel kit,

00:30:54   I do have one USB-A to lightning cable.

00:30:57   So I can charge my phone from just the USB port in the wall

00:31:02   and then plug my Apple Watch in or something like that.

00:31:05   That might honestly be my top tip for someone

00:31:07   who is trying to get back to thinking about traveling again.

00:31:10   make sure that you're at least keeping one USB-A

00:31:12   to something cable around so you can take advantage

00:31:15   of the old technology that's now embedded into hotel walls.

00:31:19   'Cause that's not gonna change for a really long time.

00:31:21   Like how sometimes you go to hotels

00:31:23   and they have alarm clocks with the 30-pin iPod

00:31:26   dock connector on them.

00:31:27   - Yes, I always enjoy that. - Like that's still a thing.

00:31:28   So USB-A is not going away in those scenarios

00:31:31   for a really long time.

00:31:33   - Okay, yeah, so you mentioning USB-C did feel like,

00:31:36   for me in the past few days of trying to get ready

00:31:40   for this trip, which is coming up alarmingly fast.

00:31:43   Realizing, okay, USB-C is the main change about this,

00:31:47   and years ago when I was traveling,

00:31:49   I'm trying to build for myself a consistent,

00:31:51   like, okay, how is everything going to work?

00:31:53   Oh, I know, I'll have a hub of USB-A plugins

00:31:58   that I can put on the desk, and I can have like eight slots.

00:32:01   Won't that be great?

00:32:02   I can plug everything in and just run one wire to the wall,

00:32:05   And I just imagined that our USB-C future would be like that,

00:32:11   but it just isn't because there's no charger like that.

00:32:14   There's no hub like that where you can take one USB-C cable

00:32:18   and turn it into eight plugs, which is still very frustrating.

00:32:22   I feel like, hey, could someone could just make that,

00:32:24   even if each one of those slots only did 10 watts,

00:32:28   I would be very happy, but that doesn't exist.

00:32:30   So for me, trying to plan this trip,

00:32:33   The place where it actually started is,

00:32:36   what is the thing that is going to do the charging?

00:32:39   And so what I did is I thought, okay,

00:32:43   I have a bunch of these USB-C plugs for the wall,

00:32:46   but it's incredibly frustrating that most of them

00:32:48   only have a single USB-C cable.

00:32:51   I thought, there must be ones that exist with multiples.

00:32:55   I wanna find something that I can use for travel.

00:32:58   I want something that's relatively small.

00:33:00   I went on Amazon and ordered like 10 different versions of these things to try and I'm sending

00:33:07   to you now, this is my number one pick for traveling.

00:33:11   I found this little wall charger called the Mini X.

00:33:16   So this is a relatively small wall charger.

00:33:19   It has two USB C outputs that go up to 65 watts.

00:33:24   It has a USB-A slot, and you can swap out the front of it for US plugs and UK plugs.

00:33:33   This is good.

00:33:34   This must be a GaN.

00:33:35   Yeah, this is a GaN.

00:33:37   What's a GaN?

00:33:38   Gallium nitride.

00:33:39   GaN technology.

00:33:40   Anker used this a lot.

00:33:43   It's a more efficient way to charge, which is why these things can be so small.

00:33:48   Hmm.

00:33:49   I never really thought about what's inside.

00:33:51   Presumably it must be a transformer that doesn't heat up too much, I'm guessing?

00:33:55   I don't know.

00:33:56   Well I can tell you it's gallium nitride.

00:34:00   I can tell you nothing more.

00:34:02   I was just wildly speculating.

00:34:03   I know nothing about the technology.

00:34:06   So this is the core of my traveling.

00:34:11   Because this has always been the problem of what are you going to plug actual wires into.

00:34:14   I do always want to be able to have chargers that I can just switch between EU, UK, and

00:34:20   - Yeah, this does make this one a bit of a winner.

00:34:23   Because I like Anker's products for this stuff

00:34:27   and they make a lot of similar products.

00:34:29   I try and, but you know what I'm like,

00:34:30   I try and not go with companies that I don't already know

00:34:33   and trust in some way.

00:34:35   And I've never heard of Mini-X until now,

00:34:37   which makes me a little bit like, I'm not sure.

00:34:40   But I don't know if I've found an Anker product like this

00:34:43   which has the ease of swapping out the plug adapters

00:34:47   for different locations.

00:34:48   That's a bit of a winner on this one.

00:34:50   Yeah, so I bought a bunch of them off of Amazon so that I can have them.

00:34:54   And that's what I'm building my whole system around.

00:34:57   Now I'm using this for everything, right?

00:34:59   I just want to have a plug.

00:35:00   So 65 Watts is not fast enough to charge my laptop when it's running at full capacity.

00:35:08   But I've played around with it and I've tested it out and it's like, I can still render out a

00:35:13   video using this lower power cable and it's fine.

00:35:16   Like the battery runs down, but that machine is still good enough that I can get to the end of the video with

00:35:22   tons of margin on the actual like bottoming out. So there's no problem with that and then it will just

00:35:29   slowly build backup charge over time because the machine normally isn't actually running at over 65 watts.

00:35:36   So this is my base and for me in particular, the important thing is that everything in my life is

00:35:44   USB-C now,

00:35:46   except for a single thing that I can't get rid of,

00:35:50   which is the electric toothbrush that I use,

00:35:53   charges with the USB-A plug on the end.

00:35:57   And so that's why this is also great for me

00:36:00   because there is one slot for that USB-A

00:36:02   where I can still plug in my old electric toothbrush

00:36:05   and so this is perfect.

00:36:07   - Well, what's on the other end

00:36:08   of the electric toothbrush?

00:36:10   - The toothbrush.

00:36:11   - Oh, okay.

00:36:12   'Cause I have a toothbrush which you can charge it

00:36:14   of like a USB mini or something in the case.

00:36:18   - Right, right, yes.

00:36:19   - And so I just could swap that over from C to mini, but.

00:36:22   - No, the one that I use, it charges in the case

00:36:25   and the case has to be plugged into a USB-A connector.

00:36:28   - Right.

00:36:29   - So this now covers all of my needs.

00:36:32   I'm very happy to have found it

00:36:34   and I'm gonna be taking, I don't know,

00:36:36   between my wife and I, I think we're gonna have

00:36:37   like five of these with us on the trip.

00:36:39   - I'm really tempted by it.

00:36:41   - I can give you a long-term report later on after I've,

00:36:44   We can see if it holds up in hot and humid Hawaii or if it dies under those conditions,

00:36:50   which in my experience, many electronics do.

00:36:53   So here's my biggest issue with my travel situation is the charging cables and bricks.

00:37:01   So at the moment, I have two kind of pouches that I'm using.

00:37:06   They're both from Bellroy, which is a company that I like.

00:37:09   I previously mentioned I use one of their bags as my daily bag.

00:37:12   It's the tote pack that they have.

00:37:14   I really like this stuff. I have a wallet of theirs, it's just really nice. Nicely made,

00:37:18   nicely designed. And I use the Bellroy tech kit and the Bellroy pouch. Now ideally I just

00:37:26   want to use the tech kit, but I have a couple of issues that are preventing me from doing

00:37:31   so. So one is the obscene size of the MacBook Pro charging brick. That thing is massive.

00:37:43   And I want to have it with me for the reason that you have described where like, I mean,

00:37:49   it's unlikely that I'm going to be pushing it at full power, but I don't want to, I don't

00:37:54   want to be in a situation where I have like 20% battery life and I need to sit down and

00:37:58   record a view and it's not charged and it just won't keep charge, right?

00:38:01   Yeah, that's understandable.

00:38:03   And then the other part is just how big UK plug adapters can be physically.

00:38:09   They're large and they're bulky.

00:38:11   And so the combination of that with Apple's whole package makes it really large.

00:38:16   So then when I'm at the point where I've got to take a couple of these bricks with me,

00:38:21   because I want like my charger for my iPhone, say, and a charger for my Mac, and then I've

00:38:27   got like a bunch of cables, and maybe an adapter or two, because I like to make sure I have

00:38:32   enough adapters for me and Adina, like if she doesn't have something, I'll be like,

00:38:36   "Don't worry, I've got an adapter, we can sort it out."

00:38:40   all too much to go in one of these pouches but I only want one pouch because so in the

00:38:47   Bellroy tech kit I have basically the minimum amount of cables that I need and then the

00:38:52   MacBook Pro charger and maybe like one other smaller charger but then in the little pouch

00:38:57   is where I have a few more cables I have some international adapters I have an HDMI cable

00:39:02   which is actually pretty useful and I also have the AirPods Max cable which is that thing

00:39:07   that we were referencing earlier.

00:39:09   But I really want to be able to compress these down

00:39:11   to just one pouch, but I have yet to find a way

00:39:15   that I can efficiently do this

00:39:17   while also feeling like I have everything covered.

00:39:20   This is just like a problem that I'm having at the moment.

00:39:23   So I'm hoping that maybe if this thing,

00:39:25   if these little guys are nice and powerful,

00:39:27   then maybe that would work for me enough.

00:39:29   I don't know.

00:39:31   I'm not looking for a solution here

00:39:32   'cause I actually don't think there is one.

00:39:34   I think the way to solve this is I need to just pare it all down and hope that it will

00:39:39   be enough.

00:39:40   But I just don't feel comfortable with that.

00:39:42   Yeah, this is always the problem with traveling is you want to minimize the amount of equipment

00:39:48   that you need.

00:39:49   But then that always has the risk of, oh, you don't have enough of whatever this thing

00:39:54   is.

00:39:55   And obviously, it's worse to not have enough.

00:39:59   Even on my most recent vacation where I was just working, I thought I was totally fine

00:40:04   with the number of USB-C wires that I had, just four things.

00:40:08   But it's always like, no, no, you underestimate

00:40:10   how many wires you're actually going to need

00:40:12   at any particular moment.

00:40:14   And it's just very easy to do.

00:40:16   And then that is super frustrating to be on a trip

00:40:18   and like swapping stuff back and forth

00:40:21   and just making your life way more annoying.

00:40:23   But I don't have a good tech pouch.

00:40:26   So do you like the Bellroy tech kit?

00:40:28   - Oh, I love this thing.

00:40:29   It's great. - Okay.

00:40:30   Well, I am on Amazon right now.

00:40:33   - Yeah, they have them on Amazon.

00:40:34   They have an Amazon store.

00:40:35   So here's the biggest thing for me.

00:40:37   I know that I could make this easier for myself

00:40:40   if I got rid of one thing,

00:40:42   but getting rid of this one thing,

00:40:44   I feel like I have to accept a bunch of other things.

00:40:47   - What's the one thing?

00:40:48   - It is whether I take an external battery

00:40:52   on trips anymore or not.

00:40:53   - Oh, Myke.

00:40:55   Myke, I suggest that you don't,

00:40:57   but tell me what you're thinking here.

00:40:59   - So I have, I just replaced my battery

00:41:02   'cause I took my battery out of the bag

00:41:04   and it's swollen a little bit.

00:41:06   And I was like, "Uh-oh, time to say goodbye to you,

00:41:09   "my friend, and replace you."

00:41:10   So I now own an Anker Power Bank PowerCore 3 Elite.

00:41:15   - Whoa, that is a serious name there.

00:41:18   - But again, this is like one of those huge chunky batteries

00:41:20   like it's got 65 watts power delivery,

00:41:23   it could charge my entire laptop and life for two days.

00:41:27   'Cause here's the thing,

00:41:29   - I don't remember the last time I used one of these.

00:41:33   Right? Like I've had one in my bag for years.

00:41:35   Like even before the pandemic, right?

00:41:37   I feel like I had not used one of these things in forever

00:41:40   because it's actually becoming easier and easier and easier

00:41:44   to find power on trips at the same time

00:41:47   when the batteries of my devices are getting better.

00:41:50   Like my iPhone, I can go across the world now.

00:41:54   And as long as I have it on low power mode

00:41:56   and put it into airplane mode and I'm on the plane,

00:41:59   it will last the entire time, my iPhone.

00:42:01   Like I have no problem with that anymore.

00:42:03   But my concern with this,

00:42:05   this feels like one of those times where

00:42:07   as soon as I stop taking it,

00:42:10   next trip, I'm gonna be stuck somewhere

00:42:13   and I need Pat, you know,

00:42:14   like this is the issue with this one.

00:42:16   It's like I have to,

00:42:17   I feel if I can let this go,

00:42:19   I can probably condense enough

00:42:23   with a little bit of swapping around for each trip.

00:42:26   Like because in that little pouch

00:42:28   where I have adapters.

00:42:30   I just keep all of my Europe and US adapters

00:42:33   just in that pouch and just keep it in my bag.

00:42:36   But if I was to just take the ones I needed for each trip,

00:42:39   then I would probably be able to then put it all

00:42:41   into the one tech kit.

00:42:43   If I didn't take the external battery anymore,

00:42:47   then I would be happier,

00:42:48   but then I'm taking a gamble, you know?

00:42:50   - I have a lot of sympathy for you in this situation.

00:42:54   You don't want to put yourself in a situation

00:42:59   where you're tempting the universe to cause you a problem.

00:43:04   I think about that with a lot of different situations

00:43:07   where if you find yourself in a moment

00:43:10   where you're thinking, "Yeah, it'll probably be fine."

00:43:14   I think it's good to anthropomorphize the universe

00:43:19   as a thing which goes, "Oh yeah?

00:43:22   this is the time that the bad thing is gonna happen.

00:43:25   - We'll see about that, won't we?

00:43:27   - Yeah.

00:43:28   There's just a lot of situations where I think

00:43:31   this is really the case, that I'm not saying it's true,

00:43:35   but I'm saying that I believe it, that, say,

00:43:40   if you did something like, "Oh, today,

00:43:42   "I'm going to drive my car,

00:43:45   "and I'm not going to wear a seatbelt."

00:43:47   Now, mathematically, has the chance of you getting

00:43:52   into an accident, gone up.

00:43:55   No, it hasn't.

00:43:56   But I believe that it has.

00:43:59   I believe that the universe looks at you and goes,

00:44:02   "Huh, well isn't that funny?"

00:44:04   Right, like that's how I think the universe operates.

00:44:07   - Let me give you my feeling on this.

00:44:09   I have that in the back of my mind too,

00:44:11   like you know, you're tempting fate.

00:44:13   But what I know for me is if I was in a situation

00:44:18   and didn't have power, but did have the battery pack

00:44:21   with me and it's this imagine it even ran out.

00:44:23   It's like, well, there's nothing I can do about this.

00:44:25   I tried my best.

00:44:26   But if I was in a situation where I had made a choice,

00:44:30   and then the thing happened to me, I get angry at myself.

00:44:33   That's my biggest problem.

00:44:35   - Right, okay.

00:44:36   - Where I'm like, if I cannot blame myself,

00:44:38   well, there's nothing, I could just blame the universe

00:44:41   and I don't feel so bad about it.

00:44:42   If I have the opportunity to blame myself,

00:44:45   then it's a lot worse for me.

00:44:47   - Okay, well, that's your problem.

00:44:49   - That's my problem, yeah.

00:44:51   I don't agree with that conceptually.

00:44:53   - But conceptually you do agree with the idea

00:44:55   that the universe is against you?

00:44:57   - Against is too strong.

00:45:00   - Out to get you?

00:45:01   Likes to tease you.

00:45:05   Which one is it?

00:45:07   - The universe is cruelly indifferent.

00:45:10   That's what the universe is.

00:45:13   And I just believe that part of its mechanism

00:45:17   is engage in risky behavior

00:45:20   and the chance of disaster goes up.

00:45:24   The day you leave your house with the phone on low charge

00:45:28   because you think, oh, I'm just going to run

00:45:32   this short errand is the day that you get swept up

00:45:35   into some big thing where you definitely need your phone

00:45:38   on full charge.

00:45:38   That's just how the universe works.

00:45:41   All of this is a preface to say,

00:45:43   even I, very cautious man, have made the decision

00:45:48   that carrying these extra battery packs

00:45:51   are no longer worth it.

00:45:53   This was one of the things that I cut

00:45:56   in trying to put together my own travel for this time,

00:45:59   is I was going, you know what?

00:46:00   This is not worth it.

00:46:01   - Okay, I'm gonna do it.

00:46:03   - Wow, okay.

00:46:04   - So I'm gonna go home today when we're done,

00:46:08   and I'm gonna remove that from the tech kit,

00:46:11   and I'm gonna do everything possible

00:46:13   to get all of my stuff inside of that one tech kit.

00:46:17   Great. And as an extra bonus here, now if you are in a situation when you are traveling

00:46:23   and you run out of charge, you can blame me instead of blaming yourself.

00:46:27   Oh 100% that was what took me over. You saying it was like great I can blame Gray now. And

00:46:32   then also the other thing I'll have is, oh and if I do get in this situation, at least

00:46:36   it'll be a funny story for the show. So you know, it'll benefit me somehow.

00:46:41   To anyone out there who is still traveling with one of these things, you can let it go

00:46:46   and you can blame Gray.

00:46:47   Now with all that said, what I haven't told you

00:46:49   is that I did replace this with something,

00:46:52   which is I am bringing Apple's weirdest product

00:46:56   ever created, which is their little extra battery

00:47:00   that goes on the back of the phone.

00:47:01   - MagSafe battery pack.

00:47:03   - Yes, the MagSafe battery pack,

00:47:05   a product that I find completely baffling

00:47:08   in almost every respect.

00:47:10   But my calculation here is really the only thing

00:47:15   that you absolutely can't have run out of charge,

00:47:18   that you want to have a backup for, is the actual phone.

00:47:22   That's the critical point of failure.

00:47:25   Everything else can survive.

00:47:27   And Apple's little MagSafe battery pack thing

00:47:30   is way smaller and way lighter

00:47:33   than any of these external batteries.

00:47:35   And you can just slide it somewhere in your backpack

00:47:38   and just totally forget about its existence.

00:47:41   So I do have one of these that I'm bringing along with me.

00:47:44   This only works if you don't put a popsocket directly on the back of your phone, like I do.

00:47:48   Yes, but I think you should rephrase this in your mind as this is the emergency backup for your phone has totally run out.

00:47:56   And in that situation, it's going to be worth it to take your popsocket off, right?

00:48:00   Or even if you have some funny case, to take the funny case off and use this.

00:48:05   That's what this is. It's the fallback.

00:48:06   It would be easier if I had the case, right?

00:48:08   But yeah, I can understand, like, this would be like, so bad, remove the popsocket.

00:48:12   - Here's what, I'm not gonna get one of these

00:48:14   'cause I feel like I understand the trip enough

00:48:16   that I'm not worried too much

00:48:17   and I won't be on my own, right?

00:48:19   - Yeah.

00:48:19   - You know, most of the places where I could imagine

00:48:21   being in these situations is like travel hubs.

00:48:25   And most travel hubs these days

00:48:28   have these types of products available for you to buy

00:48:31   for this exact reason, right?

00:48:33   - Yeah.

00:48:33   - Every airport has the ability

00:48:36   for you to buy a little power bank.

00:48:37   So I'm just saying like that would have been my

00:48:38   in case of emergency type situation.

00:48:41   I do like what you're saying.

00:48:43   If I had the ability, if I,

00:48:45   if it was more convenient for me

00:48:47   to charge one of those things, I would get one,

00:48:50   but I am gonna go this time, no power bank.

00:48:53   - We have one of these in the house

00:48:55   because an unspecified member of the house

00:48:59   often neglects to keep her phone charged up.

00:49:03   - Their phone, right?

00:49:04   - Yes.

00:49:05   - We're not specifying, remember?

00:49:07   - Yes, an unspecified member of the house

00:49:11   neglects to keep their phone charged up and when the charging fairy isn't always on top

00:49:18   of his job of making sure that the phone is charged, we can be in a situation where this

00:49:25   unspecified person needs to go somewhere and the phone is at 3%.

00:49:29   So I keep in my office always fully charged up and plugged in one of these extra Apple

00:49:35   MagSafe batteries so it can just be grabbed at any moment and brought out.

00:49:39   I will just say, I appreciate that Apple made this product.

00:49:42   This is a way better idea than every year

00:49:45   having a different case.

00:49:47   - Yes, I agree with that.

00:49:48   - That also always took them like six or seven months

00:49:52   to even make.

00:49:53   - That was the same with this one though.

00:49:54   Like the phone was out with MagSafe

00:49:56   for the best part of a year

00:49:57   before they introduced the MagSafe battery pack.

00:49:59   - But the difference is now that MagSafe

00:50:01   is an existing thing, presumably you'll be able

00:50:04   to use this same case on the next phone, right?

00:50:06   It's not the situation where,

00:50:08   "Oh, you're just out of luck for a battery case for six months."

00:50:10   - This will last multiple years. - Yeah.

00:50:12   So, I'm very glad they made it, but I do just find it such a strange product,

00:50:17   and the number one thing that drives me crazy is,

00:50:21   why doesn't it have a USB-C connector on it?

00:50:25   It should have a USB-C connector.

00:50:28   And then this way, oh look, you can charge your phone,

00:50:31   whether you have a lightning cable, and you can plug it into the phone,

00:50:35   or a USB-C connector and plug it into this.

00:50:38   Every time I use it, it's baffling to me,

00:50:40   and I can't, like I psychologically cannot remember

00:50:44   that this is a lightning device,

00:50:46   and it's such a strange decision on Apple's part.

00:50:49   But this is the world that we are in.

00:50:51   There are two cables, there's USB-C,

00:50:54   and then there's lightning for an annoying amount

00:50:58   of iPhone peripherals in a whole bunch of ways

00:51:02   that they don't need to be,

00:51:03   and is very annoying for cable management,

00:51:05   especially when traveling.

00:51:08   - This episode is brought to you by Fitbud.

00:51:10   Between balancing work, family,

00:51:12   and everything else you've got going on in your life,

00:51:15   it can be hard to make fitness a priority.

00:51:17   So what you need is a program that will work with you,

00:51:20   not against you, and that's why you need Fitbud.

00:51:23   Fitbud has an algorithm.

00:51:25   This algorithm is super smart.

00:51:26   It's gonna learn about you and your goals

00:51:28   and your training ability,

00:51:29   and it's gonna craft a personalized exercise plan

00:51:32   that is unique to just you.

00:51:34   And their app makes it so easy to learn

00:51:36   exactly how to perform each exercise.

00:51:38   This is something super important to me.

00:51:40   I wanna make sure that I'm being careful

00:51:41   that I'm doing things the right way.

00:51:43   And what I love about Fitbaud

00:51:44   is their wonderful HD video tutorials.

00:51:47   They shoot these from multiple angles

00:51:49   so you can make sure that you're learning

00:51:51   every exercise properly.

00:51:52   This is super cool.

00:51:53   I love this feature.

00:51:55   I also love that it integrates with my Apple Watch.

00:51:57   So as I'm working out, I can move things along.

00:52:00   so I could say like, oh, I want to go to the next exercise, the next exercise.

00:52:03   It's really great.

00:52:04   I don't have to be on my phone if I don't want to.

00:52:06   Personal fitness isn't just about competing with other people.

00:52:10   You don't want to have to look to others

00:52:12   and try and stack up against them doing what they're doing.

00:52:15   What you need is something that's going to work for you.

00:52:17   That's when it sticks and when you see the results that you're looking for.

00:52:20   So Fitboard will use data to create and adjust your own dynamic fitness plan.

00:52:24   So you can have instant access to your own personalized routine

00:52:27   in their fantastic app.

00:52:29   Everybody's path is different. That's why Fitbod does so much work to make sure that they customize

00:52:34   things exactly to you. They make sure to learn from your last workout so your next will be even

00:52:39   better whether you workout twice a day or twice a week. Fitbod even tracks your muscle recovery

00:52:44   to make sure your plan is balanced with a variety of exercises to make sure you're not overworking

00:52:49   anything. Personalized training of this quality can be expensive but Fitbod is just $12.99 a month

00:52:55   or $79.99 a year but you can get 25% off your membership right now by signing up at fitbod.me/cortex

00:53:03   and you'll get 25% off your membership when you do that's fitbod.me/cortex so go now and get your

00:53:10   customized fitness plan one last time fitbod.me/cortex our thanks to fitbod for their continued

00:53:16   support of this show and relay FM. Alright so we've spoken about dongles and dongle bags in our

00:53:22   travel bag section without actually talking about the travel bags themselves. This is

00:53:28   like another thing for me where I'm a little frustrated at my bag. So I use and have continued

00:53:34   to use, I mean I've had this bag for a long time now, the Peak Design Backpack.

00:53:37   Okay, which one of the Peak Design ones though?

00:53:40   Okay, so I have the small one and I have the previous generation one.

00:53:46   Are you, but do you mean the everyday backpack?

00:53:49   The everyday backpack. Okay, it's the everyday backpack.

00:53:50   - Yeah, sorry, that's the other thing that's changed

00:53:51   is now they have a million bags.

00:53:53   When I bought this, Peak Design had one bag, right?

00:53:56   It was one backpack, I should say,

00:53:58   and it was the everyday backpack.

00:54:00   And they've made some tweaks to the everyday backpack,

00:54:05   like they've changed some of the inside organization

00:54:08   and stuff, like they've changed that around a little bit

00:54:11   in the modern version of it,

00:54:13   but it's by and large the same bag.

00:54:16   The frustration I have is I really like this bag,

00:54:19   Like the construction of the bag,

00:54:20   the way that you get in and out of the bag,

00:54:22   like I like all that stuff.

00:54:24   It's just, I wished I had a little more space,

00:54:28   but I don't want the bigger one

00:54:31   because that looks like a really big bag.

00:54:34   So this is the frustration that I have at the moment,

00:54:37   which is my current bag, I want a little more space.

00:54:40   However, that may be made better

00:54:41   if I can actually do what I want to do

00:54:43   and combine all the dongle bags into one little pouch.

00:54:47   Maybe that will help.

00:54:48   but I wish I just had a little bit more.

00:54:51   - Yeah, so I have the same backpack.

00:54:53   - Okay.

00:54:54   - You can see it in some of my vlogs.

00:54:55   Like I love this bag.

00:54:56   I think it is fantastic for very many reasons.

00:54:59   The main one for me is the side accessibility,

00:55:03   the way that you can just unzip it from the side

00:55:06   and instantly get access to everything that's in there.

00:55:09   That's one of those features I feel like

00:55:11   I never knew that I wanted it.

00:55:13   And now I can't unsee needing this feature

00:55:16   in every backpack that I'm ever going to use.

00:55:19   Like it's just so great.

00:55:21   I love being able to just throw this thing on a table

00:55:23   sideways, open it up, and also be able to open it up

00:55:26   from either side, which again is surprisingly useful

00:55:30   under some circumstances.

00:55:31   But I'm with you 100%.

00:55:32   I really like Peak Design as a company.

00:55:35   They have a bunch of just great stuff.

00:55:37   Also on my own travel list is it took me forever

00:55:40   to find a new iPhone case.

00:55:43   And I totally love their new iPhone case.

00:55:46   their MagSafe adapter one.

00:55:47   It's amazing.

00:55:48   They're a really great company.

00:55:50   - Oh, did that come out?

00:55:51   - Yes, yeah, that was a Kickstarter project and it came out.

00:55:53   - Yeah, 'cause I remember being concerned

00:55:55   about that project, 'cause they announced it

00:55:57   like a week before the iPhone shipped with MagSafe.

00:55:59   - Yeah, so they adapted it so that it's MagSafe compatible.

00:56:02   I can use the battery with that case.

00:56:05   It's fantastic. - That's cool.

00:56:06   - Oh, also, I didn't realize, for you,

00:56:08   one of the reasons you might like it

00:56:11   is the case has a little loop on the back of it

00:56:15   that you can put your fingers through.

00:56:17   So for me, this has replaced the pop socket.

00:56:20   - Yeah, but I don't like cases on my phones anymore either.

00:56:23   - Okay, well if you don't want a case, then that's--

00:56:25   - When you said that, my ears perked up,

00:56:27   but then I remembered I prefer

00:56:29   to have no case on my phone now.

00:56:31   This is one of my things that got spoiled on lockdown.

00:56:33   I was like, lockdown starts,

00:56:34   I'm just gonna take the case off my phone,

00:56:36   and now I never wanna put a case back on my phone again.

00:56:39   I like it too much.

00:56:40   - I get it, the caseless phone is really nice.

00:56:42   Sorry, we're getting derailed here.

00:56:43   I have something else to say about cases.

00:56:45   Let me just find the name of the other one.

00:56:47   - Well, what I'll say before you're finding that

00:56:49   is I think one of the things,

00:56:50   one of the issues I have with these types of phone cases too

00:56:55   is once you're in on this system,

00:56:57   you have to hope that they're gonna have cases ready in time

00:57:00   for the new phones.

00:57:02   - Yes, yeah, that is always a problem.

00:57:03   - Some companies make that work.

00:57:05   Some companies make it work because Apple helped them,

00:57:08   like AutoBox.

00:57:09   So like, that's one of the things

00:57:11   that actually makes Popsockets pretty cool

00:57:12   is Otobox is one of the companies like Belkin,

00:57:15   I believe that Apple give the files to in advance,

00:57:19   because they have their cases out really quickly,

00:57:22   and they always have a pop socket compatible case.

00:57:25   And that comes out pretty much at the same time

00:57:28   as the new iPhones.

00:57:30   And so I would hope that Peak Design can get to that point,

00:57:33   but like, because they have this whole system,

00:57:35   like it's not just that it's MagSafe compatible,

00:57:37   they have their own magnetic system, right?

00:57:39   They have a bunch of accessories.

00:57:41   If you go all in on this lifestyle,

00:57:43   you've got to hope that they,

00:57:44   if you are a person who updates their phone every year,

00:57:47   you've got to hope then that they'll update the cases.

00:57:50   They will update them every year, but will they do it soon?

00:57:53   Will you have to put a pre-order down

00:57:55   and wait three weeks, a month, two months?

00:57:57   You know, like that's,

00:57:58   - Yeah. - that's the,

00:57:58   I think can be the problem with these types of things.

00:58:00   - Oh yeah, no, totally.

00:58:02   And for me, the only connector I'm using

00:58:04   is the one for the bike.

00:58:05   They have like a bike connector

00:58:06   that works with this case, which is great.

00:58:07   - It's really cool.

00:58:08   The whole system that they built is very cool

00:58:11   and impressive. Like they have like a wallet that I've seen people really dig.

00:58:14   Yeah, so tangents to iPhone cases. I was just having a really hard time finding an iPhone

00:58:19   case that I like this year, but I really like peak designs and a big reason I like it is

00:58:23   because of the little loop on the back for your hand. So for me it's very comfortable

00:58:27   to just slide my ring finger in and then have a better grip on the phone. But I'm actually

00:58:32   bringing two different phone cases with me. And the other one that I really like is Polar

00:58:38   Pro's phone case. I think they call it the Light Chaser. Yeah, here we go. Here's the

00:58:43   link for it. Light Chaser. Yeah, that's it's a cool name. Or I think that's the name of

00:58:47   their their different system. Whoa, what is this? So it is a just a good phone case. But

00:58:54   what I really like about it is that they have a like a grip that you can put on the outside

00:59:01   of the phone and you can put this grip anywhere. It's a little bit like a pop socket, except

00:59:06   a million times more secure because it's physically locking into the grip.

00:59:11   This webpage is really hard to understand what the product is.

00:59:15   Yes.

00:59:16   Can you explain to me, because all I see, I can't understand what you've got.

00:59:22   Okay, so the company is called PolarPro, and one of the reasons I was looking into them

00:59:26   is I've been thinking more and more about some of the Grey Goes Outside stuff, and it's

00:59:31   really important to me that I just want to be able to always have a very simple and compact

00:59:37   filming setup. And so, obviously, build around the iPhone for that. And so the Tesla video

00:59:43   that I shot in North Carolina was shot entirely on my iPhone, and I used this case as part

00:59:52   of that system. And so it is a case, but it has two key features, one of which is there's

00:59:59   is an area over the actual camera lenses where you can lock on accessories. So you can either

01:00:06   get a different lens to put over the front, which I don't really have any interest in

01:00:11   using different lenses. What I cared about is you can also put on what's called an ND

01:00:17   filter. Basically, this is a thing that makes filming outside look a little nicer when you're

01:00:22   in super bright sunlight. It kind of tones down the light from the sky, but it keeps

01:00:27   the ground light and it just, you get less blown out skies, the video can look a little

01:00:31   bit smoother.

01:00:32   It's just one of these little tricks for how do you make video look better if you want

01:00:36   to put a bit of effort into it.

01:00:39   That's nice, but the real selling feature to me of this case is that they have just

01:00:45   this chunky grip that you can put on the side.

01:00:50   And it was really interesting using this on the last trip because the grip is very big,

01:00:56   But it lets you hold the phone much more comfortably like it's an actual real camera.

01:01:03   Like if you think about the way Canon and Nikon design their cameras, they have a very

01:01:07   particular – almost all of them have like a grip that's on the side in the same shape

01:01:12   because it's a very comfortable way for a professional to hold a camera.

01:01:17   And this case with the grip accessory replicates that experience as closely as you can of how

01:01:25   would you hold an iPhone like it's a professional camera?" And I cannot tell you how much I

01:01:31   loved having the grip on the phone when I'm using it really as a working device. And there

01:01:39   was an unexpected way that I loved it, which is why I mention it for travel. So I ended

01:01:46   up using this case on the phone with the grip while traveling, because what I really liked

01:01:53   doing is I could put the phone in my pocket, but the grip would just stick out of my pocket.

01:02:01   So I could very easily always take my phone out and put it back in my pocket without having

01:02:07   to actually reach into my pocket to get the phone. And when you're traveling and you need

01:02:12   to constantly show your boarding pass or you're always paying for stuff like I freaking loved

01:02:18   using this grip as just an easier way to get my phone in and out of my pocket while traveling.

01:02:25   So this is also one of my recommendations. It's a weird case, but I can really recommend

01:02:30   it.

01:02:31   Okay, I'm looking at the video they have on their page now and now I can actually see

01:02:35   what on earth the grip is. The product photography is not great.

01:02:39   Yeah, they're doing that thing where it's like when you're trying to check out a hotel

01:02:42   and they have nothing but close-up photos of everything. You're like, "Dude, just show

01:02:45   me the thing!"

01:02:46   just showing it in action. There isn't a clear photo on their website of what the grip

01:02:53   looks like because people are just holding it. I can't see it, but I see now. Does it

01:02:58   have a shutter button on it?

01:02:59   Yeah, so there's an option that connects with a Bluetooth. I personally don't happen

01:03:02   to have that one, but you can make it work as a Bluetooth remote to actually start and

01:03:06   stop video or to take pictures.

01:03:08   Does it have a loop of any kind so you can attach it to your wrist or anything?

01:03:14   Yeah, so that is another one of the features.

01:03:16   There's a bunch of slots where you can put a lanyard through.

01:03:18   And again, like with a case from Peak Design,

01:03:21   I feel especially when you're traveling,

01:03:23   you want to be able to have a more solid grip on your phone.

01:03:27   Like again, you're daring the universe to drop and break your phone when you're traveling.

01:03:32   And so I do use the Polar Pro case with the lanyard on it.

01:03:36   And again, it is one of those things that I thought,

01:03:39   I don't know how much I'm going to care about this,

01:03:41   but I actually really liked having that as an option when I'm using it.

01:03:44   Oh, and I realized there's one more thing here, which is that the bottom of that case

01:03:48   works really well with another thing that I bring with me while traveling,

01:03:54   which is another Peak Design product, which is their travel tripod.

01:03:59   Peak Design makes this travel tripod, and I got the carbon fiber one,

01:04:04   and it is one of the best video accessories I have ever bought.

01:04:10   It's a real full-size tripod, but the carbon fiber makes it reasonably light.

01:04:15   It's as easy to travel with as something like this can be.

01:04:20   You can set it up to be just a ton of different heights,

01:04:23   and it's designed to work really well with an iPhone.

01:04:26   They have a native way where you can plug your phone in,

01:04:29   but the PolarPro case lets me sort of screw it in and attach it more securely.

01:04:33   So, again, not that I do a ton of this stuff, but this is like my version of optionality.

01:04:38   I want to have the option to be able to film something with my iPhone if something interesting comes up.

01:04:45   And so I do always now want to keep a tripod with me.

01:04:49   I keep this Peak Design tripod with me.

01:04:52   And then I need some way to be able to use my phone as a reasonable filming solution with that as well.

01:04:57   And so I was looking into cases and so the Light Chaser Pro is the best like filming case for an iPhone.

01:05:04   Man I wish someone was doing stuff like this in audio.

01:05:06   I know what you mean. Yeah.

01:05:08   I wish that there was like a brand who was making a really strong, lightweight microphone arm that I could attach to a hotel table

01:05:15   Rather than me needing to take this thing with this silly weight on it

01:05:19   I totally understand that

01:05:20   Video is just cool

01:05:22   Video is cool, it also has the ability that you can show off your product in a cool video, right?

01:05:28   Like it's sort of a product that sells itself in that way

01:05:31   - I mean, it's also, it's aspirational,

01:05:33   and also if you're like a parent,

01:05:36   you can have this way better thing

01:05:38   of catching your family memories.

01:05:39   I get why, like, it's like a thing, you know?

01:05:42   But it just, I wished that I could have that thing

01:05:46   in the stuff that I want it in.

01:05:47   - Yeah, I completely get it.

01:05:48   And also the market for travel audio needs

01:05:53   is just so much smaller, right?

01:05:56   It just really is.

01:05:57   - It's minuscule compared to video.

01:05:59   I know, I just wish there was someone doing it.

01:06:01   But I completely agree where the audio stuff traveling with it still feels very clunky.

01:06:06   I think it will always be clunky just because of the size of the market.

01:06:10   But I mean for me now, that trip to North Carolina for the Tesla stuff was like an interesting

01:06:16   test for me of what can a mobile setup be like.

01:06:21   And on the video side, I feel like, oh, I've totally solved the minimum viable filming

01:06:27   solution which is this case and this tripod. It's actually it's a funny thing

01:06:33   but on that Tesla video the shots that are done sort of from the back seat

01:06:37   where you can see the driver's seat and then also you can see out the windshield

01:06:42   all of that stuff was done by taking my phone and sticking it into the tripod

01:06:48   and I had the tripod in the back seat I just spread the legs out in this very

01:06:53   weird way, but that tripod like lets you have all the legs at different angles and lock

01:06:58   them in super solidly. So it's like, yep, I can just throw this thing in anywhere and

01:07:03   now I can mount the phone at a perfect spot to take these like point of view rear seat

01:07:10   shots that fit both like the steering wheel and everything out the front window. So it's

01:07:16   like, yes, this is great. I love this as a travel accessory.

01:07:18   That's cool. I didn't necessarily think about the fact that any of that might have been shot on an iPhone.

01:07:23   The whole thing was shot on the iPhone, with the exception of some of the... I have some dashcam stuff,

01:07:27   like the purely out the front window stuff was from the dashcam, but

01:07:31   everything else was shot on an iPhone and then...

01:07:35   I think there's two shots that are on my DJI, the little pocket gimbal thing,

01:07:43   but it's basically an iPhone video, which is also why I made the mistake of shooting it in HDR.

01:07:47   I was like, "Ooh, let me try this too."

01:07:49   And that was a terrible mistake.

01:07:50   - No, don't do that.

01:07:52   Nothing can accept that, really.

01:07:54   Very well.

01:07:55   Except just, if only you were to watch it back yourself

01:07:57   on your own iPhone, you'd be fine.

01:07:59   - Yes, exactly.

01:08:00   But no, that was, you have to try things and learn stuff.

01:08:03   Setup, great.

01:08:05   Shooting in HDR, terrible.

01:08:07   - So we're both using the Peak Design.

01:08:09   I mean, for me, these days, it's my MacBook Pro

01:08:12   or my iPad Mini are the two things

01:08:14   that are going in that back pocket,

01:08:16   like the computer pocket area.

01:08:18   And that mixture works pretty nicely,

01:08:20   especially as the MacBook Pro is pretty big

01:08:24   in all dimensions.

01:08:25   So having the iPad mini is like the perfect compliment

01:08:28   for it because in the peak design,

01:08:30   it basically sits where like a Kindle is supposed to go.

01:08:33   Like it's like a very small pocket

01:08:35   that's in the top of that area.

01:08:36   So that fits in really nicely for me.

01:08:38   One of the biggest changes of course is air tax.

01:08:40   You know, I have an air tag on the backpack,

01:08:41   which is just great.

01:08:42   Outside of that, I mean,

01:08:44   It's the usual little bits and bobs like allergy medicine.

01:08:48   Well, now I have face masks and antibacterial wipes,

01:08:51   which wasn't a thing that I had before in my bag.

01:08:53   AirPods Max.

01:08:54   - Yes, AirPods Max. - My headphones.

01:08:55   And I keep them in this hard case

01:08:57   that friend of the show, underscore Widget Smith,

01:09:00   suggested to me, which was, he found it on Amazon.

01:09:04   Like they found it on Amazon,

01:09:06   and he came over to the studio one day

01:09:08   and took this out of his bag.

01:09:09   I was like, what is that case?

01:09:11   It's just called Smart Case for Apple AirPods Max.

01:09:14   And it is just a hard case which covers it fully,

01:09:17   but also has magnets built into the case,

01:09:20   so it can do like the sending them to sleep kind of thing.

01:09:23   And it was a relatively cheap case,

01:09:25   and I like that it completely like covers the AirPods Max.

01:09:30   But the problem is it's massive.

01:09:33   - Yeah.

01:09:34   - Because the AirPods Max are massive and they don't fold.

01:09:36   If Apple ever makes another version of these headphones,

01:09:39   I desperately hope that they make them folding.

01:09:42   - Oh, I'm with you so hard on this.

01:09:44   I really love the AirPods Max.

01:09:46   - I think they're fantastic, I love them.

01:09:48   - They are my favorite headphones.

01:09:50   They've just been a real surprising winner,

01:09:53   how much I like them.

01:09:54   And it just kills me how bad they are at traveling.

01:09:59   It's just awful.

01:10:01   - When it feels like that is their entire purpose.

01:10:03   - I disagree, I think Apple's vision of this

01:10:05   is these are the headphones you use

01:10:07   in front of your computer.

01:10:08   It just, everything about them feels that way.

01:10:11   I understand that.

01:10:12   Or if you're like Federico Viticci and you're someone who just sits in a chair

01:10:16   and listens to music and that's the only thing you're doing, like that actually

01:10:20   might be their ideal use case is, oh.

01:10:23   I'm mixing that up.

01:10:23   That is my entire purpose for them, right?

01:10:26   I only want headphones like this for traveling.

01:10:28   Otherwise AirPods Pro is all I want and need.

01:10:30   Right.

01:10:30   Yeah.

01:10:30   But I think Apple just wants you to sit down with them and close your eyes and

01:10:34   listen to some beautiful spatialized audio and that's their vision.

01:10:37   And I'm like, "Apple, please make them fold.

01:10:40   Please, it's awful."

01:10:42   I looked at some of the cases for these things for traveling

01:10:45   and my decision was absolutely none of them

01:10:48   are worth the space they take up.

01:10:49   It's just too much.

01:10:51   - It is a lot.

01:10:51   - You know what?

01:10:52   I'm just gonna throw these headphones into my backpack

01:10:55   and if they get trashed, that's the price I'm gonna pay,

01:10:58   but I'm not gonna give up like 30% of the space

01:11:02   in my backpack for a case for these headphones.

01:11:05   Like it's just not gonna happen.

01:11:05   I want my bag to be a little bit bigger.

01:11:07   - Yeah, no, I get it.

01:11:08   - Right, this is why.

01:11:09   - Listen, peak design, peak design.

01:11:11   If you're listening, here's my pitch

01:11:13   for the next version of the everyday backpack

01:11:16   you should make.

01:11:17   I think you should make an everyday backpack light.

01:11:22   And the only thing you really need to change

01:11:25   is taking out a lot of the padding that's in this backpack.

01:11:29   Because the version that currently exists,

01:11:32   the reason it's designed the way it's designed

01:11:34   is to protect expensive camera gear.

01:11:38   And it just so happens to be

01:11:39   one of the most amazing backpacks ever made.

01:11:43   But if you think of the use case of a lot of people

01:11:46   are using this backpack

01:11:47   and they're not worried about protecting their $6,000 lens,

01:11:52   I think if they simply took out a ton of the padding,

01:11:57   they could make the backpack lighter

01:11:59   and give it just a little bit more space

01:12:03   and it would be perfect.

01:12:04   So that's what I want.

01:12:05   Like, everyday backpack light.

01:12:07   Take out some of the weight,

01:12:09   and just like 5% bigger would make

01:12:13   all of the difference in the world.

01:12:14   - And also, if it's Peak Design and Honest N'ing,

01:12:16   just a better way to put a water bottle

01:12:18   on the outside of the bag.

01:12:19   Like, the little pocket thing that they have right now,

01:12:23   that isn't what I want.

01:12:24   I want something that doesn't need, again,

01:12:26   to be protective or whatever,

01:12:28   just like a net or something.

01:12:31   Like, way more stretchy.

01:12:32   'Cause when the bag is full,

01:12:35   I can't get a water bottle into the pockets on the outside.

01:12:39   That's my only other gripe with the bag.

01:12:41   Like if my bag is like completely fit to burst,

01:12:44   trying to shove a water bottle

01:12:46   into the side of those pockets is almost impossible.

01:12:49   - Yeah, for any listeners,

01:12:51   one of the reasons why this backpack

01:12:53   ends up stuffed to the brim

01:12:54   is they've made this genius decision

01:12:56   about the way that it latches on the top,

01:12:59   where the backpack is very expandable,

01:13:03   but that also then just begs you to keep going,

01:13:06   "Oh, I can put a little more in."

01:13:08   - Just a little more. - Like, "I could just

01:13:09   put a little more in."

01:13:10   You don't have it clear of a limit of,

01:13:14   "When does this bag say no?"

01:13:17   It's not as clear as with other backpacks.

01:13:19   And so you just always end up putting in,

01:13:22   "Oh, just a little bit more, just a little bit more.

01:13:25   I can have it closer."

01:13:26   And so you do end up with like this bursting back.

01:13:30   And yes, then the outside pocket to put a water bottle in

01:13:33   becomes completely useless

01:13:35   as this thing is just bursting at the seams.

01:13:39   - This episode is brought to you by our good friends

01:13:41   at Member4, the easiest way to sell memberships

01:13:44   to your audience, used by the biggest creators on the web

01:13:47   to generate sustainable, recurring income

01:13:49   while diversifying your revenue stream.

01:13:51   It is very possible that in the last couple of years,

01:13:53   your business's financial situation has changed.

01:13:56   What you're looking for is a proven solution that is quick to launch so you can stabilize

01:14:00   your business and grow.

01:14:01   Memberful handles all of the hard stuff so you can focus on doing what you do best whilst

01:14:05   earning revenue quickly, while leaving you with full control and ownership of everything

01:14:10   that relates to your audience, brand and membership.

01:14:13   Memberful has everything you need to run a membership program of your own.

01:14:16   It includes an optimized checkout, Apple Pay, easy member management, dashboard analytics,

01:14:21   free trials, gift subscriptions and more.

01:14:24   And Memful seamlessly integrates with the tools you're already using including lots

01:14:28   of fully managed integrations with the most popular services like WordPress, MailChimp,

01:14:33   Discord and tons more.

01:14:35   You can even send paid email newsletters directly through Memful without needing to connect

01:14:39   to a third party email provider.

01:14:41   You can even publish your paid newsletter content to a Memful hosted members only website

01:14:46   and there's no additional fee when signed up for Memful's pro or premium plans so you're

01:14:50   going to save money compared to other popular hosted newsletter platforms.

01:14:55   All of these reasons and honestly tons more is why we choose Memberful here at Relay FM

01:14:59   to power our membership program.

01:15:02   More text, you got to get more text.com and sign up so you get that bonus content.

01:15:05   That is all powered through Memberful because they give us the ability to create these private

01:15:10   podcast feeds so people can sign up and when they're a member they get all of the content,

01:15:14   if they stop paying they lose the content.

01:15:16   a great way for us to be able to manage this program into the long term and Memberful make

01:15:21   it so incredibly easy. They're a wonderful partner to have and we're so thankful here

01:15:25   at Relay FM that they're around. So you should try it out for yourself today. Get started

01:15:29   for free at memberful.com/cortex with no credit card required. That's memberful.com/cortex.

01:15:35   Go there right now and check it out and see what it could do for your business. Our thanks

01:15:39   to Memberful for their support of this show and Relay FM.

01:15:43   So over the last few months, there's been a couple of things we've been talking about

01:15:47   with YouTube that I think are coming together a little bit and something I want to talk

01:15:51   about today.

01:15:52   So we were talking about the fact that we were tinkering around with the Cortex channel

01:15:56   a bit and some of Cortex animated and, you know, we were changing around.

01:16:00   Actually, did we talk about this on the show?

01:16:02   You're saying that I'm not sure we've explicitly talked about it.

01:16:06   I think we might have mentioned it a bit in passing on Moretex, but no, I don't think

01:16:12   ever had an explicit conversation that... Because I have a memory of a conversation

01:16:17   that I think was on the show which was where you were changing the names and I didn't understand

01:16:23   what had happened. Yes, I think we did discuss that.

01:16:26   Yeah, so we've been doing some stuff like making the Cortex animated videos maybe a

01:16:31   little bit more clear as to what they were by not calling them Cortex animated episode

01:16:37   blah blah blah, right, which is what I used to call them before. We actually give them

01:16:40   titles now so they're maybe just more like enticing to watch as videos and

01:16:45   then also we've been talking about the fact that you have kind of made the

01:16:49   choice this year as part of new decades dawn again which is your year theme of

01:16:55   truly just embracing YouTube and doing more of what that system is wanting from

01:17:02   you which is changing titles and thumbnails and just trying to make that

01:17:06   overall rapping of the videos more enticing to people. So while we've been

01:17:12   doing that I've been seeing you know like as I managed we both managed the

01:17:16   Cortex channel as you've been doing that stuff I've been seeing that like some of

01:17:20   these videos they're really catching on and recently we had a video which is the

01:17:26   video which is talking about the working week with weekend Wednesdays at the

01:17:32   moment is called like the seven day week is dumb or something.

01:17:35   Yeah.

01:17:35   It has now become our most watched video on the cortex channel overtaking any of

01:17:41   the actual episodes themselves, including episode one, which episode one would have

01:17:48   a lot of views on it for a couple of reasons.

01:17:50   One, it is episode one of the show.

01:17:54   And also it's the video that just auto plays when someone comes to the channel.

01:17:57   Right.

01:17:58   So, but now that video is currently 179,000 views.

01:18:02   The seven day week is done animated video is 193,000 views,

01:18:06   which is in my mind unbelievable.

01:18:08   This is wild.

01:18:10   And so with that, I've been kind of like thinking,

01:18:14   just poking around, just swapping out the titles

01:18:18   and thumbnails every now and then

01:18:19   to see if it gives a boost to any of the videos.

01:18:21   I've been doing that maybe over the last month myself,

01:18:23   just like tweaking them here and there.

01:18:25   And basically my answer is like,

01:18:27   Does it make a difference? Yes, sometimes.

01:18:31   And it is the sometimes part that I'm really struggling with.

01:18:34   So what I can see is that changing titles and thumbnails

01:18:38   does have a pretty huge effect on views.

01:18:40   For us as well, sometimes weeks after posting.

01:18:44   And that's really weird to me.

01:18:46   Like we have a video that went up recently,

01:18:49   the anime that went up for episode 124,

01:18:52   where you were talking about

01:18:53   how you love to watch progress bars.

01:18:55   And about a week ago, I changed the title and thumbnail on that one.

01:18:58   It's now like an image of you flailing around and the video is called "Progress

01:19:03   Bar Disease." And the video views just started shooting up again.

01:19:07   And now that one is at like 40,000 views.

01:19:10   And it was like previously at like 15,000.

01:19:13   I think this has been interesting because obviously YouTube knows I'm interested

01:19:17   in what's going on on the Cortex channel.

01:19:19   So I think whenever you change something, the Cortex animated stuff shows up in my

01:19:22   recommendations very fast.

01:19:24   But it's been interesting to see you play with this a little bit.

01:19:28   And I really think we have an interesting example where the animated episode called

01:19:33   "Why is this still happening?" to me is actually the biggest outlier.

01:19:36   - This is the one that I was gonna get to in a minute because it's the one that's gone weirdest.

01:19:40   But again, like, as I was saying, currently called, that's what I think is like an important thing right now,

01:19:45   is it's currently called "Why is this still happening?"

01:19:48   - Yeah. But that one is the biggest outlier by far,

01:19:52   where at the time of recording, it went up a month ago,

01:19:57   and it's just crossed 100,000 views,

01:20:00   which makes it the fifth most viewed video

01:20:03   on the whole channel.

01:20:05   And also for listener comparison here,

01:20:08   the Cortex YouTube channel has 50,000 subscribers.

01:20:12   So this has done twice as many views

01:20:16   as Cortex has subscribers on YouTube in a month.

01:20:21   And unlike something like the seven day week is dumb, where I link to that at the end of

01:20:29   my video about Weekend Wednesday, and so like there's a lot of people we can see through

01:20:32   the analytics that are coming through clicking on the end card to get that.

01:20:36   So that one makes sense.

01:20:38   But the "why is this still happening" video digging around in the analytics is clearly

01:20:44   a case of the YouTube algorithm just woke up and decided to show this video to a bunch

01:20:51   of people who are not Cortex subscribers. It's interesting and it's also been fun kind of seeing

01:20:57   Myke have some first-hand experience of the insanity of the algorithm and how it can get

01:21:05   in your head and you start going "Oh, I'd like more of this please. What are the reasons this

01:21:10   happened?" Oh, that's a much harder question to answer. So like, this is where I am right now.

01:21:18   Because it's the same with the video now currently called "Progress with Biodisease"

01:21:22   where most of the views are coming from the YouTube system.

01:21:26   And that one has just crossed 40,000 views.

01:21:29   And that one went up 19 days ago.

01:21:32   And so it's like a big difference.

01:21:34   And just to say, we changed something.

01:21:36   I think we changed the title and thumbnail for the "Why is this still happening" video.

01:21:40   It was at 18,000 views or so and it had been that way for the best part of two weeks.

01:21:45   It was just like trickling up.

01:21:46   and then just exploded. In 11 days it got like 75,000 views or something.

01:21:51   Yeah that video had been shown to everyone who was interested in Cortex and was over,

01:21:57   and then a title and thumbnail change quintupled the number of views on it.

01:22:01   Yep. The problem is I don't know really truly what's causing the effect. Like even if I wanted

01:22:08   to do this to a video I don't know how to optimize it. Like I understand that at a basic level

01:22:15   what's doing it is the title and the thumbnail being different. My expectation is what's happening

01:22:21   is it's going to some people who may have already seen the video and they think it's a new one

01:22:27   and so they click it and it's or it's going to people that have never seen this video for whatever

01:22:33   reason and they click it and it's in those people showing interest the system grabs it and starts

01:22:39   showing it to more people and then more and more people come and view it. That's my kind of like

01:22:44   like what I expect is happening here.

01:22:47   But the problem is I don't know how to make that happen.

01:22:50   Like I feel like I understand what's happening, kind of,

01:22:53   but I don't know how to like get YouTube to grab it.

01:22:57   - I'll just point out a quick thing

01:22:58   looking through some of the statistics

01:22:59   so that people can understand this.

01:23:01   I think people have the idea in their head,

01:23:05   because I think Netflix does this,

01:23:07   that changing the thumbnails on YouTube

01:23:09   is like tricking people who have already seen the thing

01:23:13   into thinking it's something new and watching it.

01:23:15   - Yeah, Netflix does do this.

01:23:17   - Right, 100% Netflix does that.

01:23:19   But I can say on YouTube, looking at the analytics,

01:23:22   the analytics do not support that

01:23:24   as what has actually occurred.

01:23:26   And so, like the video, "Why is this still happening?"

01:23:29   That animated one, you can pull up the data

01:23:33   and see what percentage of people watching this

01:23:35   are new viewers versus existing viewers.

01:23:38   And that means not even people who are subscribed to you,

01:23:41   but people who just were on the channel previously.

01:23:45   And when the algorithm picked that video up,

01:23:48   it's almost entirely new people who are watching that video.

01:23:52   It's not getting shown to the existing audience.

01:23:55   I think people to understand

01:23:56   like what is going on here on YouTube,

01:23:59   for a video that for us now is crossing 100,000 views,

01:24:04   the analytics show that YouTube has shown that video

01:24:09   500,000 times across the platform.

01:24:14   Like, that's these kind of very strange things to understand.

01:24:17   Like, why did YouTube all of a sudden decide to promote this video to the tune of half a million impressions

01:24:29   almost entirely to people who have never been on the Cortex channel before?

01:24:35   It can be completely crazy making to think about some of this stuff.

01:24:39   So I think there's a lesson that YouTube says that it wants people to learn.

01:24:46   And that lesson, I think I would summarize as, you should make videos that are enticing to watch

01:24:54   with the combination of their title and their thumbnail.

01:24:57   And so we did that with the Cortex animated stuff.

01:25:00   Saying Cortex animated and a number was un-inticing to anyone who was new.

01:25:08   And so that seems like an obvious change. Oh, give it a title that just is a fun title. So this is

01:25:14   much more welcoming to people who are new. That's fine. I can understand that. That's a good lesson.

01:25:19   That's actually a lesson we should have learned years ago with the Cortex animated videos,

01:25:25   but we just didn't like it just didn't really occur to either of us. But the frustrating thing

01:25:31   is that you can make that obvious change, and there is an overall improvement. But then

01:25:39   within those changes, for reasons that make no sense at all, there are huge order of magnitude

01:25:47   differences that seem to come out of absolutely nowhere in terms of how many people will YouTube

01:25:54   show this video to?

01:25:55   Like there's a thing in the YouTube studio app, right?

01:25:59   And the analytics tab right now, and it says, keep it up.

01:26:02   Your channel got 484% more views than usual

01:26:05   in the last 28 days.

01:26:07   What is it?

01:26:09   What is it that I have to keep up?

01:26:11   What if I said, why don't you keep it up, YouTube?

01:26:14   You're the one doing it, not me.

01:26:16   You keep it up, I am keeping it up.

01:26:18   I've been doing it for ages.

01:26:20   You know, this channel has been around for years.

01:26:22   We've been doing the animated videos for years, you know?

01:26:24   I'm like, "You keep it up." (laughs)

01:26:27   - Yeah, keep it up for the behind the scenes stuff.

01:26:29   YouTube does, they have increasingly started trying

01:26:34   to put in these natural language generated sentences

01:26:39   around how your videos are doing.

01:26:41   And this is one of those things where you'll log in

01:26:43   and they'll say, "Keep it up."

01:26:45   Or there's just so many of these that are weird

01:26:49   and frustrating when YouTube says like,

01:26:51   "Oh, more people are interested in this video than normal,

01:26:56   so it is being promoted across YouTube more than normal."

01:26:59   Or like, "A higher percentage of your viewers

01:27:02   are watching this video."

01:27:04   There are sentences that are useful,

01:27:06   but never in any way that's actually helpful for like,

01:27:09   why does weird random stuff happen?

01:27:13   So how have you been feeling about all of this, Myke?

01:27:14   - So there's a couple of things.

01:27:16   One, at the moment, it's fun.

01:27:18   Like, I'm finding it fun.

01:27:20   I worry about like that fun leading into like obsessiveness.

01:27:25   Right, so I'm trying to keep that in my mind.

01:27:27   But like at the moment, it's just fun for me to log in

01:27:29   and be like, wow, we have had 368,000 views on the channel

01:27:34   in the last 28 days, which is just like,

01:27:38   wow, that's super cool for me.

01:27:39   Like, I've never been involved in a video project

01:27:43   of this kind of magnitude, right?

01:27:45   Like it's like, oh, this is so cool.

01:27:46   This is so many thousands of subscribers

01:27:49   and hundreds of thousands of views.

01:27:51   It's like, wow, that's like just an interesting thing.

01:27:53   And it's also fun to like change a thumbnail

01:27:57   or a title and like come back to it in a couple of days

01:27:59   and you can see the little chart and it goes, boop.

01:28:01   And you're like, oh, okay, that one worked.

01:28:03   And every time I like, I learn a little bit more, you know?

01:28:06   It's like, I think one of the reasons

01:28:08   that the thumbnail for the,

01:28:10   why is this still happening video

01:28:12   looks like it's one of your videos.

01:28:15   - Yeah, I actually, you know what?

01:28:17   I hadn't thought about that,

01:28:18   but I just realized, yeah, the stick figure girls

01:28:21   are in that.

01:28:22   That hadn't crossed my mind,

01:28:23   but I think you might be right about that.

01:28:24   - I think that might help, but that's not necessarily it,

01:28:29   because we've had other videos that haven't done that well,

01:28:32   but are doing really well.

01:28:34   This is the thing, I don't know any of it,

01:28:35   I'm just, it's all stuff that I'm pulling out of nowhere,

01:28:37   because I don't get any actual actionable information,

01:28:39   just like this one did good, oh great.

01:28:42   But what I'm thinking though now is like something

01:28:44   that I'm gonna do is be more intentional

01:28:46   about the thumbnails that we're using.

01:28:48   Because the way I've always done it in the past is,

01:28:51   when you upload a video to YouTube,

01:28:53   it suggests some thumbnails for you.

01:28:56   I don't know exactly what it's doing

01:28:58   to pull out some screenshots basically of the video

01:29:01   as it's uploading them and it gives you three options.

01:29:04   And I've always just chosen the one I like the most

01:29:05   and go with it from there.

01:29:07   Now I am going to actually be taking some images

01:29:11   from some frames from the video

01:29:14   and I will use one that I like and keep a couple in reserve

01:29:18   and then maybe swap it out after a couple of days,

01:29:20   see what happens.

01:29:21   And that's like part of the intention on this of it.

01:29:23   And the same, like the titles I'm doing,

01:29:26   and as you've been doing,

01:29:27   similar to what we do with the podcast,

01:29:29   the titles of the videos are pulled from a line

01:29:33   that's in the video.

01:29:34   I think by and large, I want to keep it to that too.

01:29:38   It's what I'm trying to not do,

01:29:40   something I don't want to do is,

01:29:41   I don't want this to just be like clickbait.

01:29:44   I don't want to make every single one,

01:29:47   like we've had a couple like,

01:29:48   I can't believe this is still happening,

01:29:49   when it actually says, we say it in the video, right?

01:29:51   So like, I'm cool with that.

01:29:53   I don't want that to be like the,

01:29:54   you'll never guess, oh my God, no way.

01:29:56   Like I don't want them to become that.

01:29:57   'Cause that's just like, that feels pointless to me.

01:30:00   But I want to see if there's like,

01:30:02   what can I learn about making these things

01:30:04   seem more enticing?

01:30:06   And like similarly with your guidance,

01:30:08   we've been doing this a little bit more

01:30:09   with the podcast episodes uploaded to YouTube,

01:30:12   where every now and then we just give it a name.

01:30:15   Like it doesn't have episode, blah, blah, blah.

01:30:18   It's just the name of the episode,

01:30:21   which I don't think we need to do every time,

01:30:23   but there are certain times where that makes sense.

01:30:26   Like the one we just put up last time,

01:30:28   making the interstates forgotten code,

01:30:30   like that was the name of the podcast episode.

01:30:32   And we just took the number off and you made a,

01:30:35   you had like a special thumbnail made for it.

01:30:37   And then that worked really nicely

01:30:38   and that video was performed very well,

01:30:39   I think for that reason.

01:30:41   - Yeah, I completely agree with you.

01:30:42   There's always this question of clickbaiting stuff.

01:30:44   With that last episode, we unintentionally made an episode

01:30:48   that almost entirely just talked about the behind the scenes of that video.

01:30:52   And so then it felt like, oh, this makes sense to have a custom thumbnail

01:30:58   on the podcast episode that makes it more visually clear this is related to the interstates.

01:31:05   So if you've watched this interstate video, you might want to listen to this podcast,

01:31:09   which talks about that video itself.

01:31:12   But yeah, I don't think that makes sense to do all the time, it just happened to work

01:31:16   out very well last time to do with the actual podcast itself.

01:31:20   And I can imagine there are listeners that are like, "But Myke, why? Why are you doing

01:31:24   this?" So I have two reasons why I think that this is, it could be something that I

01:31:28   want to just keep my eye on more, and like that the two of us can just keep working on.

01:31:32   Now the channel is actually making a little bit of money, which it wasn't before. Now,

01:31:38   I will tell you, listeners…

01:31:41   say a little bit. We have had 368,400 views in the last 28 days. That has equated to $677

01:31:50   of YouTube revenue. That is not no money, but compared to how many people have been

01:31:56   served ads, that's not a lot of money. You know, where I come from in the podcast world,

01:32:02   those kinds of listeners would equate to a much, much higher amount of money. Yeah. That

01:32:08   amount of listenership in a podcast is astounding, right? And on YouTube it's not.

01:32:16   But that amount of money, like $600 in a month, will go quite a long way to, well, one, funding

01:32:24   the creation of the videos, the animated videos themselves. It will help contribute towards

01:32:29   that, which prior we've just been paying out of Cortex brand money, like we just, we pay

01:32:34   our animator out that well this actually helps pay for that which is nice and also just like

01:32:38   can contribute towards some general business bills that we have so it's like great like

01:32:43   this is a not nothing amount of money where like previously we didn't even have ads on

01:32:48   the channel at all like for a long time yeah well one because we were told that we were

01:32:54   re-uploading someone's content i think at one point which is like very funny to me so

01:32:59   like we hit some flag somewhere but we ended up getting that resolved so yes our own content

01:33:03   - It's what we're uploading.

01:33:05   - Yes, this does exist elsewhere where we make it.

01:33:09   - It's like we can or cannot give it to you, YouTube.

01:33:11   It's up to you, what do you want?

01:33:12   And then also I do think that there is a way

01:33:15   that this helps more people find out

01:33:18   about the podcast in general.

01:33:20   So I saw this quote go by my Twitter feed the other day

01:33:24   where MKBHD was giving,

01:33:27   he was on a panel at a podcast summit

01:33:29   and he said more than 50% of our podcast audience

01:33:32   comes from YouTube.

01:33:33   And I was like, "Interesting."

01:33:35   So Marquez has a podcast called Waveform,

01:33:39   which was at first just a audio podcast.

01:33:43   Then they built a studio and made a video podcast.

01:33:46   And then they have like clips and stuff as well

01:33:49   that they do.

01:33:50   Like it's not just the full episode.

01:33:51   They also do clips,

01:33:52   which for me is kind of like the animated videos.

01:33:54   They're like clips, right?

01:33:56   'Cause there's not really much point

01:33:57   of us doing a clips channel because there's no visuals,

01:34:00   right?

01:34:01   Like I think it helps because they're actually in a studio

01:34:03   recording themselves and obviously we wouldn't do that for some pretty key reasons but also

01:34:09   it's just not what I would want this show to be anyway even if you weren't a person

01:34:13   who was an animated character on the internet you know but we can do this stuff and as you

01:34:20   said we have videos that have 100,000 views right and we have 56,000 subscribers to the

01:34:25   channel so there are definitely people that their first interaction with Cortex is one

01:34:30   of these videos, maybe they check out some of the other stuff and they're like, "Well,

01:34:35   what does this come from?" Or, "I didn't know that these guys had a podcast together."

01:34:40   Right? Like, and then they maybe find the show. So that is just like an extra little

01:34:44   thing in a way which is kind of for me, I felt like maybe years ago, like there kind

01:34:51   of isn't a way to grow the show anymore. Like we'd found an audience which is a fantastic

01:34:56   audience size, like I'm super happy. So I also was kind of like, well there's nothing,

01:35:01   I don't really know what more to do. I'm really happy with where we are. I'll kind of just

01:35:05   leave it there. But now this is like, oh, hang on a minute. There is a way to maybe

01:35:10   try and get to more people. And it's in a thing we're already doing. I don't have to

01:35:15   do any more work or we don't have to do anything extra for this. All we need to do is just

01:35:21   make the animated videos we're already making just maybe a little bit more enticing to people.

01:35:26   Yeah, I think something people underestimate is the difficulty of getting a podcast audience.

01:35:35   Podcasts are built on the old school RSS part of the internet, and they're intrinsically

01:35:42   harder to grow an audience.

01:35:44   I think this is one area that YouTube really should get into and really try to push harder,

01:35:51   is actually having podcasts much more on YouTube.

01:35:55   You see more people doing it in the past years, and I think one of the biggest reasons is

01:36:00   it does make sense as a place to try to actually get your podcast to people who don't know

01:36:07   about it already.

01:36:08   I think this is interesting.

01:36:09   I didn't realize that MKBHD put Waveform up on YouTube.

01:36:14   Also guess what microphone is in their studio?

01:36:17   I know.

01:36:18   It's the Shure SM7B.

01:36:21   There it is, because it looks great on camera.

01:36:23   Of course it is!

01:36:24   It just made me laugh.

01:36:25   Like I click on the thumbnail right away and it's like, "Oh, there it is.

01:36:28   There's the microphone."

01:36:29   I really think YouTube should try to add in more features that explicitly work well with

01:36:35   audio that people are listening to, even if it happens to have visual content as well.

01:36:39   Like, I actually think this is a good area for growth because there's a huge number of

01:36:44   podcasts which all want to solve this same problem of where is a place that I can try

01:36:49   to reach people who might not already know about the existence of this thing?

01:36:54   And YouTube is one of those places.

01:36:55   And it's interesting, like, we've done the Cortex animated stuff for a long time, and

01:37:00   it was vaguely along these lines of, "Oh, this can be a good place for people to get

01:37:06   an introduction to the show as an onboarding process of like, 'Oh, do you like these animated

01:37:11   things?

01:37:12   Then listen to the whole show, maybe.'"

01:37:14   But we've only recently been strategic about it, and it's only recently starting to actually

01:37:20   show up as an effective thing that, "Oh, YouTube really is recommending this to more people."

01:37:28   I also really do have a suspicion that we only recently monetized the YouTube channel

01:37:33   as well, and no matter how much YouTube denies it, I believe that, sure, the algorithm doesn't

01:37:43   directly take into account if the video is monetized about do they show it to more people,

01:37:49   But I think that algorithm is smart enough to know if a video is monetized even if YouTube

01:37:55   doesn't directly tell them and it still comes into account.

01:37:58   It's more of a benefit to them, why would they not do that?

01:38:00   Yeah, again, they explicitly deny that monetization status has anything to do with it.

01:38:06   And I think this is one of those ways where they are saying a thing that is technically

01:38:11   true, but it is also true that once you monetize your channel, you're going to get recommended

01:38:19   more. Those two things can both be true. And I so anyway, that is also one of my suspicions.

01:38:25   It's like, oh, these videos are getting recommended to way more new people than they were previously.

01:38:29   That seems to have been happening roughly on like a four month timeline. When did we

01:38:34   monetize the channel? Ooh, about four months ago. Just, you know, it's a little suspicious.

01:38:39   All of this is kind of funny because it has helped guide my decision making with a project that I've

01:38:46   that I've been working on,

01:38:46   I actually haven't told you about.

01:38:48   So, Austin Evans and I have been producing a show

01:38:51   called The Test Drivers for the last year.

01:38:54   - Right.

01:38:55   - And it's mostly a tech show, like tech news show.

01:38:58   And as is normal with many podcast projects,

01:39:01   over time, the thing that you wanna talk about

01:39:03   starts to shift.

01:39:05   - Oh yeah.

01:39:06   - And ultimately, all me and Austin wanna talk about

01:39:08   is Formula One.

01:39:09   (laughing)

01:39:11   - Okay.

01:39:12   - We've been bringing it into the show

01:39:13   and like it's all we wanna talk about.

01:39:14   About around the time this episode goes out,

01:39:17   we were announcing that we are completely changing

01:39:19   the test drivers.

01:39:21   So we're giving it a new brand, a new name, a new show.

01:39:24   It's being called the Backmarkers and it's Formula One.

01:39:27   - Oh, that's great.

01:39:28   - And what we're gonna do is we're gonna stream on YouTube

01:39:32   live after every race.

01:39:34   - Oh, okay.

01:39:36   - And it's all gonna be video.

01:39:38   - Oh, really?

01:39:38   Okay, interesting.

01:39:39   - We will have an audio podcast,

01:39:41   but the show's primary focus is video.

01:39:45   So we will stream and then we will upload the video

01:39:49   afterwards to YouTube.

01:39:50   It's all gonna be streamed on YouTube

01:39:52   and the video is gonna be on YouTube.

01:39:54   And part of the reason we're doing this,

01:39:56   one, I wanna just play around with this,

01:39:58   Austin knows video more than audio, right?

01:40:01   And so we're gonna work together on how we try

01:40:04   and make this the best it can be.

01:40:05   I'm starting to see that like,

01:40:07   you can get into the algorithm if you play it right

01:40:10   and you're smart with it.

01:40:12   And I know that our combined audiences for Formula One

01:40:17   is so much smaller than our combined audiences

01:40:21   for technology.

01:40:23   So the amount of people that will probably be in me

01:40:26   and Austin's existing listenership or viewership

01:40:28   that care about Formula One is tiny.

01:40:31   So if we actually wanna make it something

01:40:32   that people can find out about,

01:40:34   probably YouTube is a good place to put that content.

01:40:37   Because the algorithm can maybe get it

01:40:39   in front of other people.

01:40:41   - Yeah, that's totally the case,

01:40:42   that you would need the algorithm to help find the people

01:40:47   who are interested in Formula One commentary.

01:40:50   - Yeah, and so I even expect that it will help,

01:40:53   say, the people in Austin's audience

01:40:56   that care find it as well.

01:40:58   This is the area that I would like us to work together on,

01:41:02   me and Austin, and then I'm like, well, hang on,

01:41:05   there's, you know, when we were talking about

01:41:07   we would do this, I was like,

01:41:08   "Well, why don't we just do video?"

01:41:10   I like the idea of doing a stream after race day.

01:41:13   So it's basically a reaction podcast, really.

01:41:16   We will be reacting to the race we just watched.

01:41:19   And it just seems like a fun thing to do

01:41:21   and I'm planning things a little bit differently.

01:41:24   Like we've been working on all the branding

01:41:25   and having like video assets made and stuff.

01:41:28   And I'm gonna maybe try this again

01:41:30   as like another project of trying to understand YouTube a bit

01:41:34   and with the great benefit of,

01:41:35   like I have you as my guide for our channel,

01:41:39   Austin is my guide for this.

01:41:41   'Cause I don't really know what I'm doing, right?

01:41:44   I'm just like a bear, just like lumbering around

01:41:47   inside of these channels, like bumping into things

01:41:49   and sometimes there's an effect.

01:41:51   But like, you know, I listened to you talk

01:41:53   as into him talking, there's like,

01:41:55   just a greater understanding about all of this stuff.

01:41:58   Austin was like, what do you wanna do with the thumbnails?

01:42:01   Do you want me to make them?

01:42:02   I'm like, yes, I want you to make the thumbnails.

01:42:05   What do you think I'm gonna do?

01:42:06   It's just like a picture of me with my thumb up like,

01:42:08   hey, it's a race.

01:42:09   - Yeah. - I don't know what I'm doing.

01:42:10   - I would strongly suggest that you have Austin

01:42:13   make the thumbnail. - Oh yeah.

01:42:14   I mean, he mocked some up for me and I'm like,

01:42:16   oh wow, yeah, you know what you're doing.

01:42:17   (laughing)

01:42:18   It's like the titles as well.

01:42:19   I was like, yes, Austin, I would like you to come up

01:42:21   with the titles for these videos.

01:42:23   What is this gonna be?

01:42:24   I don't know, but this is kind of where I wanna go.

01:42:27   And also if I do bring it back to my yearly theme

01:42:30   a little bit, 'cause you'll be like,

01:42:31   hey, Myke, what are you doing?

01:42:33   This is another podcast.

01:42:34   I wasn't going to mention it, but yes, it was already running in the back of my mind

01:42:38   of "this seems like it's the opposite of your theme."

01:42:40   Well, we're not continuing with the test drivers.

01:42:43   Ah, okay.

01:42:44   I see what's happening here.

01:42:45   In magic terms, we would say this is "card draw neutral."

01:42:48   Yes, I understand.

01:42:49   Okay.

01:42:50   But it's not neutral.

01:42:51   Because this show will be less preparation work for me, significantly.

01:42:55   Ah, okay.

01:42:56   With test drivers, I'm like looking for things for us to talk about, reading articles like

01:43:00   I do for all of my other tech shows.

01:43:03   For the backmarkers, we're just gonna watch the race

01:43:05   and talk about it.

01:43:06   There's no prep work.

01:43:09   And the posting work, I've gotta get my flow down a bit,

01:43:13   but I reckon I can have the stuff done in 15 minutes,

01:43:17   which is no more time than it took me

01:43:19   to really get the test drivers posted,

01:43:21   'cause I wasn't editing that show.

01:43:23   Because I'm not gonna edit the show.

01:43:24   The video is gonna be a live stream,

01:43:27   and what we'll do is chop the ends off the video,

01:43:30   and that will be the video content.

01:43:32   I'm not then gonna change the audio content massively.

01:43:35   We're gonna do local recordings, so it sounds good,

01:43:38   but it's going to be a vastly less edited

01:43:42   podcast feed as well.

01:43:44   - Ah, okay, that makes sense.

01:43:46   - So the overall effect, I believe, will actually be less,

01:43:49   'cause as well, we're only going to record

01:43:51   when there are races, and for like three months of the year,

01:43:55   there are no races.

01:43:56   - Oh, okay, so you, or I didn't realize that,

01:43:58   so you legitimately are gaining more time back.

01:44:01   - Okay, so it's not just the show prep, right?

01:44:03   - There's like, there'll be a spell of the year

01:44:05   where there's nothing, and there aren't races

01:44:07   every week either.

01:44:08   There are gaps, so sometimes they're every week

01:44:11   and then they're every fortnight

01:44:12   and then there might be a two week break off.

01:44:13   So we're only going to record after Formula One races.

01:44:17   So overall, it will be less work significantly

01:44:20   and I think we'll, honestly, we'll have more fun with it.

01:44:23   And I'm gonna learn more too.

01:44:26   I wanna learn more about YouTube as a platform.

01:44:28   - Okay, I can get behind this plan.

01:44:30   This is much less draw neutral, as in draw one, discard one.

01:44:34   - Of course, yeah, I know, right, ha ha ha.

01:44:36   - This is much more like draw into exile,

01:44:38   play until end of turn, that's what this is.

01:44:40   - Yeah, man. - Right, which is, yeah.

01:44:41   I know, I totally get that.

01:44:42   - I'm really pleased we're on the same page about this now.

01:44:45   - I think the thing that's been interesting to see

01:44:47   with the Cortex channel is it's been a clear case

01:44:51   of just a sudden change with the algorithm

01:44:54   really picking up different behavior

01:44:56   and showing things in different ways.

01:44:59   And I think it's interesting seeing you do that as well.

01:45:02   I'm glad that you're going to be sharpening those skills

01:45:05   with Austin and hopefully you can import some of those

01:45:08   back to the Cortex channel as well.

01:45:11   - I think it'll be both ways.

01:45:13   But that's part of it for me of like,

01:45:15   I wanna make this maybe a part of my overall skillset.

01:45:19   Like I have no desire to like take my existing audio shows

01:45:24   and make them video shows because I do believe

01:45:27   that having a video part to an audio podcast

01:45:30   makes the audio podcast worse,

01:45:32   which is why I don't record on video

01:45:34   with any of my co-hosts for the audio shows that we do.

01:45:38   Because as soon as there's a visual component,

01:45:39   even if the hosts can see each other,

01:45:41   it changes the way they talk to each other.

01:45:43   - Yeah, I completely agree.

01:45:44   - And if you can't see that,

01:45:46   I don't think it's a great thing,

01:45:47   but like just for this particular show,

01:45:50   I actually think video's the way to go.

01:45:53   - Presumably with something like a sport,

01:45:55   There's also things that you may want to just physically show.

01:45:58   Like, that just seems like--

01:45:59   - There's images and stuff like that.

01:46:01   - It's a much more visual, actual medium.

01:46:03   And I do think the disadvantage

01:46:06   that the actual Cortex podcast has on YouTube is,

01:46:10   I do think that people on YouTube

01:46:14   are still expecting a visual experience,

01:46:17   even if that experience is just two people talking.

01:46:20   And so you would have that advantage with Austin

01:46:24   of actually having the two of you on camera.

01:46:26   Like I think that's a good idea.

01:46:28   I think that almost certainly helps also with just retention

01:46:31   that when people click on a thing on YouTube,

01:46:33   they're looking at the screen

01:46:36   and they want to see something happen.

01:46:39   - Yeah, I bet that harms our videos quite a lot, right?

01:46:41   That people click the podcast

01:46:43   and it's just a static image.

01:46:45   - Yeah, this is why I do think there is some place

01:46:48   for YouTube to maybe segregate off people

01:46:52   are looking for audio-only content. It's funny, I was actually just recently trying to cruise

01:46:58   around to find some new podcasts to listen to. And I was very aware like, I just I would

01:47:03   like some place to recommend, oh, I don't know, based on my listening history, what

01:47:07   I might also be interested in. And it was very clearly thinking like, this again, feels

01:47:11   like a total opportunity for YouTube of, hey, build up a recommendation algorithm around

01:47:17   what you know are explicitly podcasts.

01:47:21   Anyway, I think this is a good idea.

01:47:23   I think this is another way for you to have fun trying to learn more about this.

01:47:29   This platform, which is super important, but also so weird and finicky and hard to figure

01:47:36   out at the same time behind the scenes when you're digging through the data.

01:47:41   Why do you like this one, YouTube?

01:47:43   It's very hard to get a really good answer to that.

01:47:47   Having been on the platform for a while, I now think of YouTube as having algorithm weather.

01:47:53   This is just a sanity helping way to try to think about the randomness of the platform.

01:47:59   That there's a bunch of things that you can do to try to help make optimal situations

01:48:05   happen.

01:48:06   But you're also constantly just dealing with the weather of the algorithm.

01:48:11   And that is totally beyond your control.

01:48:14   More than it just being beyond your control, there's two versions of the weather.

01:48:19   There's understandable weather, and then there is completely non understandable weather.

01:48:26   A recent example I have for understandable weather is I had a video, a very old video

01:48:32   of mine go totally crazy.

01:48:36   month it did out of nowhere an additional more than a million views and it was my video

01:48:46   called "This Video is Worth" and then there's a number.

01:48:51   Now this is a video that I made I don't know six years ago and I was talking about how

01:48:58   the YouTube auction system works where YouTube does these ad auctions for every single ad

01:49:05   that appears on the channel based on your demographics and a whole bunch of information.

01:49:11   And then YouTube splits the money with the creators and YouTube takes 45% of that money.

01:49:18   Anyway, this was a video just explaining how that whole system works.

01:49:21   But all of a sudden I could see this video was just doing crazy numbers out of nowhere.

01:49:27   And oftentimes when you dig around, you cannot find what the source is or what the reason

01:49:32   is.

01:49:33   You have no idea.

01:49:34   I'm very certain that I know what happened, which is YouTube put out a statement saying

01:49:41   that they were looking into creators being able to use NFTs as a new monetization option

01:49:49   on the platform.

01:49:50   And I think what happened is that a combination of both YouTube and audience expectations

01:49:59   led YouTube to believe that this was a video about NFTs.

01:50:04   [laughter]

01:50:05   Right?

01:50:06   Because the title is like, "This video was worth $6,000!"

01:50:09   And I think also that people who follow YouTube

01:50:15   knew that YouTube was into NFTs or might be thinking about it,

01:50:20   so there was greater interest in what might NFTs mean on YouTube.

01:50:24   Or just like, there are people that have just interest in NFTs in general.

01:50:29   Yeah, yeah, like this is just a thing that's happening, but it started on the day YouTube made this announcement.

01:50:35   And I just don't think that's a coincidence.

01:50:38   No, no, no, for sure, for sure.

01:50:39   Yeah, and then after I'd sort of like found stuff over the next few days I could see,

01:50:43   there was suddenly a disproportionate number of comments about NFTs in the actual comment.

01:50:48   Like, okay, boom, solved it.

01:50:50   If you sought by newest first, there is a lot of NFT, NFT, NFT? Question mark?

01:50:57   Right.

01:50:58   Remind me, this video, the title, how does that work? You're updating it, right?

01:51:03   Yeah, I think people think I'm doing something much more clever than I am.

01:51:06   Yeah.

01:51:06   I'm actually just, every once in a while when I remember, I update that title.

01:51:10   So what I want to now mention though is there's a subcategory in this video which is the

01:51:16   non-understandable part of the algorithm. So when this video was doing crazy, I was more

01:51:23   frequently going back to update the number, just because like, oh, I'm looking at it,

01:51:26   I'm right here on my YouTube channel. I can see the number. Let me just update it. And again,

01:51:31   I'll remind people that number is before YouTube takes 45% of the money. That's the total revenue

01:51:37   for the video. But so here's what happens with a video that's doing that many views. You have

01:51:44   real meaningful data over what's happened in the last 60 minutes, which YouTube will show you.

01:51:50   They'll show you here's real time in the last 60 minutes. How many people watch this video?

01:51:55   where did they come from? And when I would update this video is worth and then I changed it to

01:52:01   $7,248. Sometimes the live viewership I would see instantly drop by 75%. Boom, all of a sudden,

01:52:15   YouTube stops recommending that video. And the only thing that's happened is I've changed the

01:52:21   the number in the title. And so I would fiddle around with the number, I would pick something

01:52:26   that was close, I would go, "Oh, okay, let me try $7,364." And then, oh, now the traffic

01:52:37   jumped by 25% from the previous amount.

01:52:41   - What is the number?

01:52:43   It was one of the craziest examples I have ever seen of the algorithm is stupidly sensitive

01:52:52   to something that I cannot understand what it is.

01:52:57   But anyway, over the course of a week I kept updating this number a bunch and it felt like

01:53:02   I was playing Russian roulette with the algorithm every time I did it.

01:53:06   Where it's like, "Well, let's just see.

01:53:07   I'm going to update the number.

01:53:09   Oh, traffic just dropped by 30%.

01:53:12   "Okay, let me play around with a number in the ballpark until the traffic goes back."

01:53:18   And I couldn't figure out any kind of pattern to this.

01:53:22   There wasn't any thi-- it's like, is it odd numbers?

01:53:25   Is it numbers that are almost over a threshold but not--

01:53:29   like, it just seemed completely random to me of

01:53:33   sometimes the algorithm really liked the number,

01:53:36   and sometimes the algorithm was like,

01:53:38   This number sucks.

01:53:40   Your video is not getting recommended to anyone.

01:53:42   And then I'd have to flail around to try to figure out a number that was acceptable.

01:53:46   Just, this is the frustration of a lot of the title and thumbnail stuff

01:53:51   from the creator perspective is,

01:53:53   I get the broad message,

01:53:55   "Make your videos more enticing."

01:53:59   Great.

01:54:00   I have internalized it.

01:54:02   but it is also very clear to anyone who plays with this stuff on a detailed level

01:54:09   that the algorithm is also way over tuned to very small changes, right down to the

01:54:19   "I don't like which digits you picked in your number" level, right, which is hugely frustrating.

01:54:27   But yeah, so this was an example of a video that has both understandable weather,

01:54:32   "There was an event," and also completely non-understandable weather.

01:54:38   Oh, you better pick a number I like, because if you don't, no recommendations for you.