We Need Ways to Make Video Better
I’ve been messing around with internet video creation going back to the days of cameras recording on digital tape. It was hard and slow.
Today, changes have made it more straightforward for almost anyone. Smartphones have all but replaced traditional amateur cameras (or if you want to take pictures in the strangest places possible, a GoPro). There are lots of ways to send off little video snippets, from private email to Facebook, to live Meerkat and Periscope, and others. Many developers, such as established players like RealNetwork’s RealTimes to Artkick create easy ways to get videos on a variety of devices from phones to the TV sets.
But one of the things you should want to do with videos is tell stories but it’s really hard. Although it’s possible to make a real video on a phone, or somewhat better on a tablet, it’s still a process that works best on a PC with a big screen. That means getting video recordings accessible among devices with a minimum effort and an easy way to handle files. There is plenty of software available. Some, such as iMovie (for Mac or iOS) are fairly simple. The more complex offerings, from Final Cut Pro to Adobe Premiere Pro to Pinnacle, offer much more capability all the way up to professional production but require lots of learning. [pullquote]What we really need is a simple, clever approach to make it possible [to] create a really good story easily distributed.[/pullquote]
What we really need is a simple, clever approach to make it possible for people who want a way to take the video shot, most likely on a phone, edit it, mix in photos, sound, music, etc., and create a really good story can easily distributed. It’s starting to happen, but it still has a long way to go.
Three factors. There are basically three factors to the movie business. The first and third pieces are already good and starting to get a lot better. First, you need to collect the shooting, sharing, and storage of the video, a task complicated by how quickly the recordings get big. Cloud storage is growing fast, as is device sharing. The third step is distributing when you finish. Many apps make it possible to supply videos in the proper form to public and private sources, though there can be confusing choices over just what can be sent where.
Lyve is an increasing rich approach focusing on the first step. It pulls all of the potential sources together in the cloud and makes them available for use through iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Windows, and Macs, with ready switching between them. Lyve is adding a personal, home-based cloud to make the storage of content easier. The Lyve Studio is a 1 TB storage system designed to hold all of the content on your local network for $199; the Lyve Home is a $299 version that includes a display. (You can also set up home cloud storage on a Seagate local drive.)
The company is also developing a new camera that is useful for the home. It’s a cylinder-shaped unit that can sit on a desk or table to do a much better job than holding or trying to prop up a phone and it sends the content directly into the Lyve cloud.
Challenge needed. The challenge is in what you do next. Lyve gives you some tools that provide photo and video tools for issues such as focus, keeping images horizontal, or improving lighting. But it stops well short of even a program like iMovie. If you want to splice pieces of video or add photos, forget about it. You keep the audio that’s on the video, but that’s it. You can, of course, transfer the video bits you have created into more capable software, but then we are sort of back where we started.
Magisto understands the need to make assembling clips into something good, but it is wrapped in some true weirdness. Software is available for iOS, Android, and Windows (not Mac) and it will take the videos and photos and wrap them together in one of a variety of themes, cover them in music, and have them ready to send out. The themes, however, rarely struck me as anything you’ll want to watch. Even stranger, it slaps on the music —from your library or a decent offering of choices — and totally eliminates any video sound. There must be a point of this to someone, but I can’t figure it out. It seems they are using some very interesting video production to yield some very poor programming.
I hope this area will move along soon. The apps for building video that could greatly ease the requirements on consumers is needed. The technology is developing, but it will likely take some time to reach the consumer. We could use it and it would really improve the way to show videos to produce much better stories.