Categories
Podcasts Shortcuts Tips & Tricks Video

“Show me this clip” for video podcasts with this Overcast to YouTube shortcut

If you didn’t already know, my podcast Smart Tech Today comes with a video feed now – you can download a full video feed in Podcasts, or subscribe to the YouTube channel to get the episodes every week, or watch live on Twitch every Monday at 4pm PST.

While the show is designed as an audio podcast, our network This Week in Tech produces the video so anyone can watch too – I have lots of fun being on camera with Mikah.

Being a podcast that’s also “video capable,” I’ve always thought it’s a shame that it’s not easier to listen when you want to, or watch when you want to, with a way to switch between both on the fly.

If you’re on Overcast user, you’re in luck – I’ve solved the problem in one direction, taking Overcast’s “Share URL with timestamp” Siri Shortcut and combining it with YouTube’s timestamps feature to let you jump into the video feed at a moment’s notice.1

The result is my shortcut “Show me this clip” that works well on your Home screen, in the Shortcuts widget, or in Siri. When you run the shortcut, the link from the current podcast in Overcast is converted to a link to our latest YouTube video, with a special parameter to open to just the right time (in seconds).

Sometimes it may be a bit off, but it’s pretty cool to move from the podcast to the video quickly with a simple Siri command.

Other video podcasts that upload their files to YouTube should be able to recreate the same shortcut as well by adding in their own channel’s URL.

Unfortunately, for now, this is limited to people who use Overcast as their podcast player – it’s the only podcast app I’ve found that includes a literal timecode in the shared link. Plus, there’s no easy way to go from YouTube back into the podcast – YouTube also doesn’t support sharing links with timestamps at all, much less provide Siri Shortcuts for sharing the current video2.

But if you’re a smart home nerd who uses Overcast, I hope you’ll listen to our show and enjoy using this shortcut.

Get my shortcut “Show me this clip.”


  1. I originally built this for my old podcast, Supercomputer, when we ran an experiment with a video version of the show for a few weeks. 
  2. I wish they did – I would use the heck out of a set from YouTube. 
Categories
Links Offsite Shortcuts Video

Covering the Siri Shortcuts update for iOS 13 live on YouTube

On Thursday, a few hours after the release of my Shortcuts Library, I covered the entire iOS 13 update for Siri Shortcuts in a YouTube livestream.

After a bug in the macOS Catalina beta last week prevented Final Cut Pro from staying open at all, the work on my in-progress video was frozen1. I couldn’t re-do it in time while I was also publishing over 150 shortcuts for people to use.

So I did it live:

While it did take a little over an hour, I had been researching the information all summer and plowed through almost every detail of what’s new in the Shortcuts app and running shortcuts from Siri in iOS 13 and iPadOS.

I’m adding timestamp links in the description for each section, so you can watch along when you have time or skip to just the parts you’re interested in – I’ll update this post when I’m finished, but I still want to share the whole stream for now.

I had a lot of fun2, so I thank you for your time if you watch along and I hope you learn something useful. These updates are very cool and it’s exciting that everyone on iOS has Shortcuts installed by default, because there’s lots of potential to take advantage of.

Watch the full stream here.


  1. Yes, I know, I’m a fool for putting a beta on my production machine. But hey, it worked out in the end. 
  2. I made plenty of mistakes like my camera dying—I had a battery ready!—and waving the cards in front of the overhead shot, but at least OBS didn’t crash! 
Categories
Links Offsite Shortcuts Video

Shortcuts in 3 minutes: How to make GIFs 🎥

Last fall, I made a simple video for YouTube but never posted it here on my website – it’s a quick tutorial on making GIFs using Shortcuts, where I start from scratch and finish with a usable shortcut:

I’d make some improvements to the shortcut now like adding a Quick Look at the end so users can view it when running from the My Shortcuts view and maybe adjusting the speed slightly.

Plus since then I’ve moved my desk, improved my audio editing skills, and don’t feel nearly as awkward.

Question for any readers: do you like this style of video? I haven’t done other top-down shots like this and want to know what people think – tweet me or send me an email with your thoughts and any other helpful feedback.

Watch the full video on YouTube or in the embed above.

Categories
Podcasts Shortcuts Video

How to jump between the audio and video of Supercomputer

For episode 19 of Supercomputer, instead of hitting the “call” button to record, we pressed “video chat” and proceed to produce our podcast. I edited out some moments, added chapter markers for the audio file, and uploaded the video to YouTube.

This last week, for episode 20, I also added visual chapters, actually used Alex’s correct audio file, and shared our second video recording to YouTube.

But podcasts are for audio, right?

Categories
Shortcuts Video

Look ahead at your day with “Agenda” 📹

Today I released my fifth YouTube video, focusing on building an agenda for the day and walking people through the process of building it.

This is a full-Siri shortcut, meaning it’ll work on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, and CarPlay, with Siri speaking out the results to you:

It includes overdue and upcoming reminders, today’s calendar events, and contacts who have a birthday today – so many people say they only use Facebook for birthdays, so this could help you break that habit too.

In the video I demonstrate the use of Repeat With Each, Magic Variables, and Count/If actions to do some logic where I didn’t get quite the results I wanted.

As usual I’d love any feedback on the video – it’s slightly long, but there’s lots of good material to absorb. There was some fuzziness with my audio too, but I managed to get it listenable enough.

On to the next video – seems like Shortcuts 2.1 will be dropping alongside iOS 12.1 tomorrow!

Categories
Shortcuts Video

How to make a GIF on iOS: Shortcuts in under 3 minutes [Video]

On Friday, I published a shorter video demonstrating how to build a custom shortcut in the Shortcuts app in just under 3 minutes:

For the topic, I picked “how to make a GIF” because it’s not that easy on iOS, and everyone has a library full of bursts and Live Photos that are stuck in the camera roll.

With just a few actions, you can put together an animated loop of your bursts, Live Photos, or sets of photos, and easily share it with people.

Get the shortcut here if you want to make your own.

I could have made some improvements to the shortcut. Since I filmed this without a script, I didn’t add in Save to Photo Album at the end so that every GIF you made would be saved automatically – this is important because most people run shortcuts from the main library view, but you can only see the GIF in my version if you open the shortcut editor.1

I’m working on some new shorter videos, along with a longer main video each week – working out the process now, but I should be able to ramp up to get more videos out for all of you.

In the meantime, let me know if there’s anything particular you’d like to see from my channel2.

And, as always, linking to the video or retweeting it goes a long way – thank you to everyone who’s been supporting me so far.


  1. It also could have all been built using Find Photos to give you more control; getting into that level of detail, however, definitely takes more than 3 minutes, so I’ll have to work sharing the best examples with the least compromises. 
  2. People left more comments that I’m still a robot who doesn’t blink – even though I totally did once! It’s apparently difficult for me to blink naturally with a bright light in my face while trying to communicate the intricacies of this app on the fly.