Mobile Apps for Editing Video

By Will Sullivan on November 18, 2010 2 Comments Ideas

Mobile Journalism Reporting Tools Guide

The Basics          
  1stVideo Showcase ReelDirector iMovie iTimelapse Pro
Cost $9.99 $7.99 $3.99 $4.99 $2.99
Size 18.7 MB 19.1 MB 9.2 MB 35.1 MB 11.0 MB
Titles/Supers No No Yes Yes No
Multitrack Editing Yes Yes No No N/A
Export/Sharing Allows for sharing via IP address entered online Allows for sharing via IP address entered online Save to Camera Roll, Email or Upload to YouTube Save to Camera Roll and Export From There Send to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Email or Camera Roll
Render Time Very fast Very fast Slow Fast Fast
Compression Time Very fast Very fast Very slow Fast N/A
Upload From iTunes Library Yes Yes Yes Yes Only their music
Recommended? Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Recommended Recommended Recommended
Where to purchase iTunes App Store iTunes App Store iTunes App Store iTunes App Store iTunes App Store
Manufacturer VeriCorder Technology Inc. VeriCorder Technology Inc. Nexvio Apple Laan Consulting Corp.
  Vimeo Highlight Cam
Cost Free Free
Size 20.1 MB 1.6 MB
Titles/Supers    
Multitrack Editing    
Export/Sharing    
Render Time    
Compression Time    
Upload From iTunes Library    
Recommended? Highly! Not for journalists.
Where to purchase    
Manufacturer Vimeo LLC Highlight Cam Inc.

1stVideo

Review by: Andrew Dumas

1stVideo Networks Edition
1stVideo Networks Edition

Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPod touch (4th generation); requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later

So, I've pretty much just been working with the 1st video application in one way or another so far, and I have to say, it's a surprising application that takes a little getting used to.

Now, at first, it seemed like an incredibly time consuming process. I assumed I would need to go clip by clip and trim them all before I could drop them into a timeline. This was my fault for not understanding how the application works. I'm sure it probably saved me a little time in the REAL editing phase, but it doubled my clips and took about an hour before I even so a timeline, at which point I commenced to cut and clip things without regard for my earlier trimming. Once you start a new project, though, this baby shines.

The video editing section of 1st Video just WORKS. My fingers are a little big, so sometimes it got frustrating trying to snag the indicator, but once I got the hang of it I was zooming. Plus, the feature where you can tap the screen with two fingers to enter into a menu of abilities, chief among these being copy, paste and cut was a godsend. It was intuitive, worked where I needed it to, and didn't bite back too many times. I say too many times because I found myself cursing after five minutes of getting exactly the right selection, only to skip the drag and drop stop and insert the entire clip into my timeline. Aligning sound was also a cinch, although something weird was going on with my leveling. Still, I took to it with the attitude that, if I repeated my command enough times, the program would eventually become agreeable. A little tyrannical, maybe, but overall effective.

The audio recording feature on this application is also pretty astounding. the meters are actually handy, and you can cut and clip just like with video. Plus, there's a separate track for audio in the project timeline, so there were absolutely no difficulties (other than the leveling from before) in putting it all together.

The picture taking facet of the application worked exactly like taking pictures with the phones internal application, except that every picture was put into a queue after being taken. Eventually, you hit a button, give a name to the pictures you want taken, and it files them all. Call it "Roots and Blues" and you will get every picture you've taken saved as "Roots and Blues 1, Roots and Blues 2...". I suppose this would be annoying if you wanted to name every picture individually, but you can go back through and rename if you really want/need to, so no problem.

When you get to showcase, things get trickier. Getting the pictures to time out to the audio can be a trip and a half. The phone may have a new little scratch from repeated hurling. However, with enough patience, it can eventually be done. It works in separate tracks again, like with the video and audio.

Finally, exporting. I haven't seen how this works on another camera, and it could simply be that I am not registered with Vericorder yet (it's a phone that was a trial phone by Vericorder a year ago, so the MIMS expired. However, I have yet to find a way to get this stuff off my phone. In fact, it doesn't eve show up on my phone under my pictures or videos. It's off in some memory bank I have no access to. I'll have to go see the tech department about that. Still, this is a serious problem. At the very least, there should be an option to export to your phone's memory.

In all, a useful application for video and voiceover, but when it comes to pictures, you can do better. That goes for audio slideshows and exporting too.


Showcase

Review by: Jennifer Elston

Showcase Tiles Mode
Showcase Tiles Mode

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad; requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later

Showcase is the Soundslides of VeriCorder Technology. If you are looking to save money, I would recommend purchasing 1stVideo because you have the option of making a Showcase presentation under the 1stVideo application. The same rules and buttons apply as VC Audio. For the VC Audio review, click here. Just like the other VeriCorder applications, the Networks version is free with a subscription and the Consumer version for Showcase is $7.99.

The only major problem I had with Showcase was the building blocks type button where you can see all of your clips. You cannot see an image on the blocks, simply just a colorful box with the amount of time on it. Also, half of the time it wouldn't let me slide over and I would have to drag one of the first pieces over to see the end clips. Then, it wouldn't let me rearrange them at all. This only happened one time, but I was quite frustrated.

If I were to recommend two changes for VeriCorder's programs, it would be to be able to see an image on the 'blocks' and not just a colorful square and also the ability to make points and change specific volume parts of clips.

Sharing is the same with Showcase as it is with VC Audio. To get the information off of my phone, I click on Sharing and then Start Server. From there, it gives you an IP address that you can enter in a browser on your computer You can download your files from there. This is definitely the easiest part.

All in all, I really like VeriCorder, but if is definitely built for serious audio editing. You can do simple things in the program, but this is meant for those who know what they are doing.


ReelDirector

Review by: Jennifer Elston

The main editing screen in ReelDirector
The main editing screen in ReelDirector

Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad; requires iPhone OS 3.1 or later

There are a lot of reasons why this video editing application is not on par with traditional video editing, but it is not all bad. The main problem I found with ReelDirector was the extensive amounts of time it takes to perform a task. When selecting a video clip to add to your movie, it must compress, which ranges from fairly fast to a few minutes. To view the piece as a whole (and not just individual clips), you must render the video which takes anywhere from 5-22 minutes for a 2 minute finished product. This defeats the purpose of mobile journalism. Mobile journalism should be fast and easily edited for the web.

Another reason applications such as 1stVideo and iMovie, as well as traditional film editing tools, blow ReelDirector out of the water is the should-be simple action of cutting clips. You cannot watch the clip while editing – you have to just guesstimate and hope that you didn't cut off something important. I was forced to memorize the raw videos and look for visual cues. Another problem with cutting is the editing software is only sophisticated as rounding to the nearest second. If your clip begins in the middle of the 10-11 second range…well, that is a problem.

My recommendations for this software is only use this for short interviews with no editing needed besides possibly cutting off the beginning and the end. If you want to use this app to clean up a short feed, or for a single interview, then it is fine. I would recommend this application for those who do not know what they are doing or if they only want light video editing software. If you goal is more advanced editing, then I would wait to buy this app until there are multi-track editing and a shorter render time.

The Breakdown:

Pros:

  • In my opinion, ReelDirector looks a lot more professional that iMovie in terms of fonts and super styles and placements.
  • The audio software allows you to fade in and fade out clips.
  • You can easily drag and rearrange clips on the timeline.
  • Very easily create a slideshow with pictures and audio if you edit the audio in another application such as Monle or VC Audio Net.

Cons:

  • Render time is absolutely too long for any serious editing and especially for mobile journalism.
  • The clips cannot be watched while being edited down.
  • There is no multi-track editing, and thus, the audio that is put under the video is there as is. It may muffle the audio associated with the video clips.
  • Cannot edit to the exact place desired; the software rounds the edit.

iMovie

New Review of iMovie

Review by: Amanda Heisey

iMovie
iMovie

Compatible with iPhone 4, and iPod touch (4th generation); requires iOS 4.1 or later

I've used iMovie multiple times for various videos and I've found that it works best as a tool to put together clips in a string, and that's about it. I am a big fan of the application, it's easy to use, doesn't glitch, and exports quickly to your Camera Roll. It's incredibly easy to get off of your iPhone when linked to your computer and simple enough to upload to whichever video site you want.

The issue is you can't do voiceovers like a conventional news story because there's no multitrack editing. You would need to time your clips and voiceover separately, which would really defeat the purpose of mobile journalism. So if you are doing breaking news and film a standup of yourself at the site and then edit different b-roll with an interview clip, that would be your story. No voiceovers, trust me. You can't actually control the volume of the sound, which can get unfortunate if your video was taken from too far away and without a stick mic.

In actuality the application is ideal for putting together short movies. For people that like to put together little films of their day, or of an event, this is a great tool. You have the ability to add music from your iTunes or choose from theme music the application provides. You can't control the sound once you put it in, so if you want to make a movie that has different songs you need to edit that music on a different application and send it to your iPhone's iTunes. It's simple to add the clips directly from your camera roll, to add supers and to cut or shorten the clips. The supers/titles only come in a minimal number of themes, and you can't use too many words. You can also add a transition between clips.

I've edited videos while watching TV on this program because it's so easy. Just don't expect to have the highest professional quality because of the aspects of your video you can't control. It is possible to come out with a pretty polished looking clip though depending on the video you gather and how you piece together your raw footage.

New Review of iMovie


iTimelapse Pro

Review by: Andrew Dumas

iTimeLapse Pro

iTimelapse is an interesting animal. We weren't sure whether to categorize it as a video editing or photo editing software. What we DO know is that it does exactly what you would expect a time-lapse application to do, and it makes it pretty easy. You can click a couple buttons, set the camera up, and let it go.

Once you let it go, though, you run into the normal problems. You need a tripod to really use this application to its fullest extent. You could conceivably hold it in your hand and take pictures, but after taking pictures every 3 seconds, I needed at least 5 minutes of capturing before I had enough material to make a 10 second video. Long story short, you can either skip the tripod and wear your arms out, or you can invest in a little tripod and have some nice pictures.

Once you're done, there aren't that many options, so it is both simple and frustrating. On the one hand, to render it into a movie is really, really easy. But you also have very little control. You can't re-order or adjust your pictures in any way. You can designate resolution size and frames per second, but you can't, for instance, designate a set amount of time and then have it fill that amount evenly with the pictures you've taken. They also thoughtfully provided you with a few music tracks to lay over your video, but you better really like the ones they give you, because uploading from iTunes is not a possibility with this application.

After you've gotten your video rendered comes the part of the application that absolutely SHINES. You can export to youtube, vimeo, facebook, send it to email, or export to your camera roll. And using only the 3G, I was able to upload a 20 second video to youtube in about 5 minutes. It's not bad at all.

The only downfall to the application aside from the lack of control you actually have is that you can't store multiple videos. You can export them, or save them to a camera roll, but if you were hoping to save several time-lapses before doing anything with them, then you're out of luck. There's also not a way to use only certain [pictures you've taken. Either you use all the pictures you've taken in your video, or you delete the ones you don't want to render. You also can't upload pictures to the application. So, get what you need and make the video and export it quickly if there are several things in a given time you need to capture.

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Comments

Splice

I have tried the all but I ended up with Splice. Its very simple and works nice Check it out.

Android editing apps?

Appreciate your reviews - but is there nothing out there for Android phone users?

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