How To Video: Record silent Instagram videos
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How To Video: Record silent Instagram videos

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Love your Instagram videos but hate all the noise and unintentional dialogue that comes with them? CNET's Donald Bell shows you how to capture video with no audio.

Hey. I'm Donald Bell for CNET.com. I have been playing with the new Instagram, Instagram Videos, for about a week now. And I have to admit, I kinda missed the old Instagram, the old quiet Instagram. There's nothing against videos here. I just don't like all the audio and hiss and unintentional dialog that comes with them. So that to thinking how hard would it be to record silent Instagram videos? And it turns out it's harder than you'd think. There's no built-in mute button in Instagram, and there's no way to actually mute the hardware for your iPhone or for an Android phone. So, how do you do it? Well, you could try covering up the microphone with your finger or plugging in a headset and covering up the microphone on the headset. But in the best case scenario there, you're gonna get some muffled audio-- you'd still gonna get some audio. Worst case, you're gonna get some distortion from your finger rubbing on the microphone. Then I thought, what if you got a pair of cheap headphones with the microphone built in that kind of have the special 3-banded mini jack on the end? You could just snip the cable and eliminate the microphone, right? Well, it turns out that works. At least, it works on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. When I plugged in the headphone jack, it was enough to override the internal microphone, and just having that little knob plugged in at the top allowed me to record video silently. Unfortunately on my iPhone, the iPhone needs to be able to detect a very specific electrical resistance in the cable in order for it to work properly, and cutting the cable in half defeats that. So, I gave up on headphones and I tried another adapter I had on my desk. This thing is called iRig. It's a little adapter that allows you to plug in your guitar or any kind of line instrument cable into your iPhone and built to do recordings. You can find these or adapters like these for around $10 to $20. And when you plug it in, it has the miraculous effect of overriding your iPhone's microphone, leaving it mute so long as you don't plug your guitar into here. Now, I know it's not pretty, but it's a workable solution you can take around with you if you're serious about this whole silent video thing. Another cool thing about using this is that you have an external input here that you could run audio source into and record that into your Instagram video. So, if you wanted to have Guns N' Roses be the soundtrack of all of your Instagram videos, you could do that with this adapter. Although, I suspect the lawsuit you'll get from Axl Rose might not be worth the effort. So, there you go. That's how to make silent Instagram videos the hard way. Now, if you've got a better tip for doing this, let me know over at howto.cnet.com. And if you're an Instagram or Facebook employee, please make this video obsolete by adding a microphone mute button to your app. I'm Donald Bell. See you next time.
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