Ask Rick Maybury 2012



Ask Rick 229 03/11/12


The Downside if iPhones

Is there a way to correct a video taken upside down in error on my iPhone? Although I have followed the instructions and held the camera sideways with the volume plus and minus buttons on the top right, when downloaded the video plays upside down and I can't fathom how to turn it the right way up.

Marilyn Farnham-Smith, by email


This is an odd one, and it is not your fault. It happens because Apple decided to allow the volume buttons on the iPhone 4 and iPad to be used for shutter and record start/stop functions. This puts them on the top right hand side and it feels intuitive, but essentially you are holding your iPhone (or iPad) upside down. You won’t be aware of it when shooting because the internal motion sensor rotates the image and you don’t notice it if you only use Apple products and play back your movies on an iPhone, iPad or Mac PC. That’s because there’s rotate ‘tag’ embedded in the recording, which tells Apple software to turn the image the right way up, but it all starts to go wrong if you play the recording on a Windows PC, as most media players, editing programs and even some third-party Mac software, does not read or recognise the tag. To stop it happening again, when shooting video always hold your iPhone or Pad with the Home button on the right.


If you are a Windows user there are several ways to turn your videos right side up and we’ll begin with a couple of free options. Freemake Video Converter (free from works well and has a Rotate function on the Edit menu, which can be applied to videos when they are exported in the format of your choice. Windows Live Video Maker  ( also has a Rotate facility but you can only export movies in .wmv format. Both methods may involve a drop in quality, depending on the original footage and the settings used. If you want to minimise or avoid quality losses you will have to stump up £18.70 for Quick Time Pro ( Since it is an Apple product it plays the video in the correct orientation and if you want to flip it permanently all you have to do is export the recording and it saves the file the right way up.



Bringing Order To Android

I have a Nexus 7 Android tablet that I am pleased with and have used one or two of your tips published in The Daily Telegraph. My problem is that I cannot get slideshows of my pictures to appear in the order they were taken; they always start with the latest photo first. I have reloaded making certain that they were in the correct order but to no avail. Do you have any suggestions?

John Beal, by email


I do, and that’s to stop using the Gallery app. For some reason it plays and displays photos in reverse chronological order, and to make matters worse it uses a weird system, determined by date the file was created, rather than when the photo was taken. The long and the short of it is that you can’t change the way the app works and the only way to force Gallery to display photos in a chosen order is to manually change the file creation date of each picture. Clearly that’s impractical so my suggestion is to switch to an app called QuickPic, free from Google Play. It looks and works like Gallery and it has a Sort facility on the menu so you can set the order, ascending or descending, by name or date.



Universal, except for Apple…

Do you recall two or three years ago, mobile phone chargers were going to be universal, in other words you would only need one charger for any phone? Was I imagining it, or is it not going to happen?

Bob Lovett, Earles Colne, Essex


This dates back to 2009 and in an attempt to reduce the growing problem of electronic waste the European Commission, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and a number of leading manufacturers came up with an initiative called the Common External Power Supply or EPS. It uses the now familiar Micro USB connector format and is now widely used on almost all smartphones, tablet PCs, e-book readers and numerous digital devices made in the past couple of years. By and large it has been quite successful, however, there have been some holdouts, most notably Apple. It initially signed up for EPS but has decided to stay with its proprietary 30-pin Dock, and now the new Lightning Dock connector, used on iPhone 5 and most future products. You can get Micro USB to 30-pin Dock and Micro USB to Lightning Dock adaptors for charging, but Apple’s famously controlling attitude means it is unlikely that it will adopt the EPS standard any time soon.



Flat Broke?

I have been given a 26-inch flat screen television, which I would like to use as a monitor with my PC. The PC has VGA and HDMI outputs; the TV has an HDMI input and two SCART sockets. I have purchased a VGA to HDMI converter but have had no luck in getting anything on the TV screen. Any ideas?

Brian Richards, by email


Flat screen TVs often make unsatisfactory PC monitors. The screen and processing circuitry is optimised for broadcast television pictures; they can be okay for displaying moving video but you may find that static web pages, documents, emails and so on look fuzzy, squashed or stretched. I am a little mystified as to why you’ve bought a VGA to HDMI converter since you say that both your PC have HDMI connectors. An HDMI cable will ensure the best possible picture quality and it has the added advantage of carrying the audio signals as well, so you only need the one cable. As to why the VGA to HDMI converter isn’t working, I cannot say; it may be faulty or you may need to delve into the TV’s menus and select or enable the correct input, either way I would take it back to the shop and buy a decent HDMI cable.



© R. Maybury 2012 0810

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