Disclaimer: We know, love and work with the people from 12seconds. Impartiality is severely dented, if not discarded outright.
Today 12seconds.tv did a few cool things:
- They’ve re-designed their website – cool new look and feel, with a strong focus on video consumption
- They’ve concluded their invite-only Alpha phase and opened up in a public Beta where anyone can register and use the site
- They’ve had their iPhone application approved and launched in the iTunes App Store (for $0.99)
I’m happy for their progress from Alpha to Beta, and I think the re-design looks great. But I’m most excited about the iPhone app. You all know (both of you) that I’m an iPhone user, and one of my few frustrations with the device has always been the lack of a video recorder. Apple steadfastly refuses to release one, and there’s no third-party video recording application available (unless you choose to jailbreak your phone). This annoys me.
12seconds did not manage to sneak a video recorder through Apple’s QA team. But they did create about the best possible workaround. App users will take 3 photos (or choose 3 from their picture library), record twelve seconds of audio, and then post their creation to their 12seconds account (unregistered folks can create an account on the fly, in their phone.) Somewhere in the cloud, the pics and audio are combined and then spit out as a twelve second video slideshow. Users can email a link to their video directly from their phone Each video has it’s own unique URL on 12seconds.tv, and can be emailed, embedded (as HTML) or downloaded onto your hard drive. Here’s a demo video on how to use the app.
One thing I really like about this app is the story telling aspect. The series of pictures with audio narration really give you that James Earl Jones feeling of comfort. Also, if you flub the audio and need to re-record, you can do so as many times as you like. With traditional video, if you blow it, it’s blown. The moment has passed. Here’s one video I recorded with a trial version of the app.
The app is a first draft. It works, and it’s intuitive, but there are some features I’d like to see added, including wanting better flexibility in choosing photos and saving drafts. But on the whole I think the app is very usable. There’s just room to improve.
Kudos to the 12seconds team on a great launch and a cool app. This is the best solution to the video-recording conundrum that Apple’s created that I’ve seen yet.
This post is also published on 1TO10REVIEWS.