Time lapse with Nokia phones

Sequence Mode

The people that are lucky enough to run around with iPhones in their pockets probably wonder what to do with their old phones. Here is a suggestion. Regular readers will know that I like photographic experiments. So first, the ones that just retired their Nokia N95. It has built in time lapse photography. Something called “sequence mode”. Simply choose what kind of sequence you want, click the trigger and let the camera snap an image at the selected interval.

Sequence Mode

I did an experiment and placed my N95 in the window of my car while out driving. It happily snapped an image every 10th second. Giving a stop motion movie of my short ride.


Very short and very useless.

The problem with proper time lapse photography is the fact that it takes time. I am not the happy owner of an iPhone, so I can’t just place my N95 in a window for a couple of weeks. So I decided to put my old and trusted Nokia 6630 into duty. You know, the phone that survived the 20 meter drop. It has no proper time lapse function built in. A little searching around the net and I found a solution. One involving a Java application and one involving a Python script. I decided to try the last one.

Nokia 6630

First you install Python on your phone. That involves installation of two applications. You find them here. You need the versions that are right for your phone. For my 6630 these are the files I installed:

1. PythonForS60_1_4_0RC1_2ndEdFP2.SIS
2. PythonScriptShell_1_4_0RC1_2ndEdFP2.SIS

You find some help installing Python on your phone here.


When these are installed your phone will start running “.py”-scripts

The script on Foozia’s blog mentioned earlier was made for Nokia N80, so I had to do some modifications to make it work on my old 6630. You can download my 6630-version here: 6630Timelapse.txt

Before you install it on your phone you need to remove the “.txt”-extension and replace it so the file name ends with “.py” and only “.py”. In other words, the file you send to your phone should be named “6630Timelapse.py”.

Before you run it you also need to make a folder on the memory card of your phone. Use the built in file manager and make the following structure: Memory Card (e:): python/timelapse/

Your images will be stored there.

Run Script

Then you start Python and select “Run Script” from the menu. Give the project a name, decide a number of images and an interval. Note about the interval, choosing anything less than 5 seconds might cause problems. The phone needs some time to store the image on the memory card.

Time Lapse

Time to test it. I simply put it outside our window facing the sky. Snapping an image every 15th second during the evening until the sky went dark. My experiments indicates that the phone can snap about 500 or 600 images on one charge. Of course depending on the time interval. If you connect a charger you could leave it until the memory card is full.


And here’s another one. A couple of hours outside the window at work.

And how I made the videos? Install QuickTime and choose “File->Open Image sequence” on the first image of the sequence that your phone just made. Or just google “software make time lapse video from image sequence” or something like that…

I’ll bring that phone when travelling. Leave it in my hotel room to document the cleaning process. Leave it on stage while speaking, to document how many people left during my presentation… Endless possibilities.

Time lapse with Nokia phones

5½ lessons that legitimate retailers can learn from pirates

Bob the Millionaire 11

Sadly, the story about how Bob the Millionaire Became a pirate is still highly relevant. And not long ago Mark Pilgrim had an article out that describes a couple of lessons that the professional part of the industry could learn from the pirates. Well worth a read.

A story to show the problem
If you have two shops down the street. One sell illegal copies of movies and one sell legal originals.

The shop with the illegal copies work like this: you go inside, find what you want, have a look at it, pay and go home. At home you play the movie on whatever equipment you want.

The shop with the legal originals work like this: you need to pass five security checkpoints before you can enter. You need to register with credit card and all kinds of data before you can buy. If you’re citizen of the wrong country you get thrown out. If you have the wrong media player you get thrown out. If you have the wrong operating system you get thrown out. You can’t have a look at the product before you buy. The product you buy is infected with huge amounts of commercials for other products and annoying videos telling you that piracy is a crime (yes, only the people that actually pay for their products get the “piracy is a crime”-propaganda).

…what shop would you choose?

And a quick disclaimer:
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think piracy is OK. I am working within the content production industry. I know that it cost money to make high quality content. I think content producers should have the rights to earn money from what they make. The problem is that currently most of them have a very, very wrong idea of how to get paid and how to treat their customers.

(Thanks, Asbjørn Ulsberg)

5½ lessons that legitimate retailers can learn from pirates