Workout Week 20–Workout Gear

(Disclaimer: Amazon Affiliate links included where possible and I deem them relevant. I’ll earn a small commission, as described in my privacy policy from eligible purchases made through these links.)

 

In which I splurge on additional equipment and finally try casting the Oculus to my PC… only to find out it’s easier said than done.

 

Two gamiefied workouts this time (funny how the plan was to start increasing that to twice a week once I’d made a dent in the non-gaming backlog… and I still haven’t touched the backlog) plus a lazy attempt at recording Beat Saber.

First we have my randomizer’s obsession with Wii Fit despite all of the other games to choose from, starting with….

The yoga move called a Chair Pose:

If you’ll remember me commenting throughout the Ring Fit videos, I hate this pose. In hindsight amateur that I am thinks it’s practically the same thing as doing squats, with the critical difference being duration–several ups and downs in the span of, say, a minute, versus trying to hold the pose for the full minute.

But the randomizer said to do it, and short of rigging it for when I don’t have access to the TV (that’d be where the Beat Saber/PC test came in) I’m going to try to follow the randomizer.

That one was followed by another yoga move that I find difficult for a very different reason, the Standing Knee:

Here the difficulty is mostly a lack of balance on my part. Inner-ear issues, ya know? (I was one of those kids… and while my hearing isn’t at “I need a hearing aid” levels the chronic infections and subsequent surgeries had a lasting effect on pretty much anything pertaining to my ears.)

I’m going to try to do this workout now and again without holding onto something–there doesn’t seem to be an advanced mode to unlock so the change in score won’t interfere with that–in the hopes that I can get a more accurate measure of any improvement… but I’d do so knowing full well that my score will be much worse without that support.

 

And then there is the lazy attempt at recording Beat Saber via my computer.

Why lazy? *shrug* Because the entire point of the video was to try out a different recording option in the form of Oculus’s own “casting” page (requires Chrome or Microsoft Edge)–no “exercising” this time around–so I simply played it while sitting down.

The real work in this video was in getting the computer set up to something I like. For the purpose of this test I used Bandicam (I have a paid lifetime license so I figured I’d start with that before trying to learn a different program like OBS), on the grounds that it supports the use of recording webcam footage as part of the video. Should be simple enough in theory.

Except the webcam side of things was really, really laggy. We’re talking “really super old outdated webcam” kind of laggy (it’s a Razer Stargazer if you’re curious–technically outdated but not enough to justify this sort of problem), where it looks the person you’re chatting with is jumping around the room instead of anything that could even remotely be described as “smooth.” The gameplay footage was fine with Bandicam, and the webcam footage was smooth enough when using Window’s built in camera app… and I’m pretty sure Bandicam cooperated with everything before I’d factory reset my computer earlier this year so I really have no idea why it didn’t work right this time around.

Due to the webcam lagging, I wound up recording with both the camera app and Bandicam at the same time, with much better results than Bandicam alone. Obviously I’ll want to make some changes, like repositioning the windows so there aren’t all of those black bars to crop out (I might just leave the camera behind the browser and then combine footage the way I’d been doing for the split screen videos), not to mention figuring out why Bandicam doesn’t like my webcam right now, but in terms of lagging, syncing, etc, this version came out so much better than trying Chromecast or screen mirroring on my TV.

But there is also the matter of sound. Because apparently it is a common problem that the browser-based casting page completely fails to transmit sound from the Quest to the computer. I mean, I guess the webcam picked up the sound okay, better than I thought when I originally uploaded (see my rambling in the video’s description to see what I mean), but I’d really rather it be part of the “in-game” audio that the screen capture can pick up alongside of the video. So until I can find something that says how to properly transmit the sound via casting, my next plan is to get my hands on a wearable microphone (connected wirelessly to the computer so I have the same freedom of movement that the untethered Quest normally gives me) to see if that solves the problem… and I think I’m going to start by pairing my Aftershokz to the computer for the job.

Barring all of that I might just stick with the 360/split-screen option from my Fusion for sake of consistent video formats and only worry about screen capture once I’ve got something set up for mixed reality.

 

But speaking of the Aftershokz, there is finally the matter of my excursions with Zombies Run!

First on the list is the next two sessions in the 5K app:

You’ll notice both of those are from the same episode… but with vastly different results. I’ve noticed this entire time that my phone, no matter what power mode it’s on, will always effectively kill parts of this app as soon as the phone goes to sleep. Normally this just means that the display doesn’t update–no ability to see how far I’ve “run” or for how long or anything like that–but it still gives me reasonably accurate numbers once I’ve ended the mission. (I say “reasonably” accurate because Charity Miles keeps giving me almost a full mile more than ZR for the exact same outing–I haven’t tried tracing my route yet so I don’t know which app is wrong.)

On Monday, though… well, I’m not sure how my phone ended up on “medium” power mode, but not only did it kill the app’s ability to update the display, it also killed the app’s ability to use the phone’s GPS, without affecting its ability to track the time I was using it! (Charity Miles shows all of my mileage for a given day, not just during the time I’m actively using the app, so it’s hard to be sure but it looks like CM was accurately tracking my GPS… or as accurately as it normally does.)

And of course there’s no ability to completely disable sleep mode like you could freely choose to do on a computer. The only related options I’ve found are to set the display to stay awake for the longest duration available (ten minutes of idle time) or to set the “stay awake” function in developer options to make it just… stay awake indefinitely (which only applies when it’s charging). I’ve ordered a charging case to see if it will work with that second choice, but until I receive it I may want to get in the habit of tapping the screen periodically to keep the phone from going to sleep.

 

And with Homefront I got my hands on a “sit up machine” which actually supports my back enough to encourage proper form (seriously, why do things like the Ab Roller only support your head?) as well as hauling the Ring Con into my room to use during “dance” segments.

Regarding the Ring Con, now I kinda wish I’d held on to the Joy Con charger, instead of donating it the local thrift store once I got that charging stand for the entire console, so I could just keep one of the Joy Cons charging in my room for the purpose. But I figure by the time I’ve decluttered enough to have somewhere to put it I’ll probably be done with Homefront anyway. (I did locate my charging grip, though, so that should help if I do end up needing it.)

As it turns out, I am not getting the full 500 daily multitask points on Ring Fit from using it during Homefront’s dancing segments. But I’m still getting more than what I’d get if I left the Ring in the living room, and that’s what counts.

 

Suggested products in use, Amazon Affiliate links included where possible:

  • GoPro Fusion 360 degree camera
  • Wii Fit U plus Fit Meter
  • Wii Fit U digital version (there are different price points on Amazon but as much as I’d like to support secondary sellers I haven’t decided how I feel about buying a digital copy from them, though there’s always the option of just buying a Nintendo gift card and buying the game straight from the Nintendo shop)
  • Wii Fit Balance Board plus Fit Meter (This is the bundle to get if you go straight for the digital version without owning hardware from the previous incarnations)
  • Fit Meter (green) or Fit Meter (black) (the color is solely a matter of personal preference)
  • Full Wii Fit U bundle (game, balance board, fit meter)
  • Core Max Home Gym a.k.a. “sit-up machine” (There are actually eight recommended workouts for this thing, but sit-ups are what I bought for so “sit-up machine” it is. 😉 And unlike the previously mentioned Ab Roller, this can be folded down and shoved under my bed alongside the step deck, so no cluttering up the floor when I need the space for other things.)
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