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Daily iPhone App: Video Edit


I love to use my iPhone 4's camera to take photos and videos of my kids. It's convenient, and the quality is good enough that I use it over a point and shoot to capture those spontaneous, memorable moments. Of course, you'll want to share those videos, which poses a problem. Most video I shoot has extra footage that I just don't need. I want to show off my son's first few steps, not the five minutes of coaxing it took to get him to make those steps. This is where Video Edit for the iPhone excels.

Video Edit is a basic video editing app for the iPhone. It lacks all the bells and whistles of iMovie for the iPhone, but it does do one thing exceptionally well. It lets you crop your videos quickly and easily.

You start by creating a new project and adding your video clip to the project. You can choose from your video library or record directly to the app. You can trim the video down using slider controls to select the start frame and the end frame. When you are done trimming, you can output the video back to your iPhone, add it to an email as a .Mov file or upload it to Facebook or YouTube. The app is lightweight, extremely responsive and fast. I can edit and render a 30-second video in under a minute.

The app lets you add more that one video clip to your project, but it doesn't output multiple clips very well. There are no transitions included in the app. When two clips are combined, there's no crossfade or curtain fall, just an abrupt break when one video stops and the other begins. If you want to work with more than one clip, then you should look at iMovie for the iPhone. iMovie lets you combine videos, add transitions, add music and more.

Because there's no transitions, I only use Video Edit to trim individual videos and share them when I'm done. I use Video Edit over apps like iMovie because I don't need all the extra features. I just want to trim, render and share; three things Video Edit does well. Video Edit is available for US$2.99 from the App Store.

Update: Some folks are pointing out the ability to Trim in iOS using the Photos app. It works similar to Video Edit, but does not have the automatic sharing features of Video Edit. I like being able to click render, select Facebook and automatically upload without any additional steps. With the Photos app, you have to select the clip, click on sharing and then choose the service you want to use. It's a small time savings to avoid these steps with Video Edit. Is it worth $2.99? That depends on your workflow. I bought video edit when I was running iOS4 and there was no was not aware of the iOS-based alternative. I still use it because it's efficient.

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