Editing Video on Android – whats out there? Try TrakAx an Irish company with vision

In November last year I noticed a new follower on Twitter: @trakAx and after a little further research I discovered an Irish company who may well have addressed one of the biggest challenges for Mobile Journalism on the Android Platform: editing.

Image

With iOS/OSX Ive been using FilMicPro to shoot and iMovie to edit on the iPhone,  Pinnacle Studio to edit on the iPad and Final Cut Pro X on the Mac. The workflow is extremely easy no matter which combination you choose. With the iPhone you export from FilMicPro to the camera roll and iMovie sees the video immediately. With the iPad you transfer the video from iPhone either via the camera connection kit (as shown below) or via an App like Photo Transfer or indeed shoot on the iPad using FilMicPro.

It might be time to update this video with an iPhone5s, lightning Camera Connection Kit and iOS7!!!

With OSX you can connect the iPhone via USB and copy the files directly from the FilMicPro Library (no export to camera roll necessary) via App Sharing in iTunes of you can use iPhoto on the Mac to copy from the camera roll.

Image

The quality of the editing tools and the ease of the workflow is one of the fundamental reasons I teach iOS Mojo. However I have often publicly said I would love to have a comparable workflow for Android or even Windows Mobile.

In the case of Android, smartphones like the Galaxy S3 and the Note III have awesome cameras, which in the case of the Note III can shoot at a stunning 4K resolution. But right now (to the best of my knowledge) there is no Video Editing App that can deliver in-phone editing to the same standard as iMovie (or Voddio) can on the iPhone.

So when I saw this promo for TrakAx I got excited…

So here are my initial impressions:

1. There is a lot of potential in the App, it has a substantial advantage in the Google Play store right now as there is really very little to compete with the it.

2. The fundamental functions of editing are all within the App, Insert, trim, mix, audio fade etc.

3. The App leverages the power of the smartphone so as long as it packs a snapdragon 600 chipset or higher it will give great results*

4. The App accesses the photos App on Android so no exporting from other Apps – mind you, if FilMicPro had an Android version that would potentially be a great workflow.

5. I have reservations about the proprietary CHANNEL editing process which is currently limited to six channels, though each channel can support video or a stack of photos.

6. The live Mix solution before output is a novel approach to creating the final story, its more like taking 6 sources into a vision mixer and mixing it live that traditional non-linear timeline based editing. My concern here is that there is no way to pre-programme frame accurate cuts. You have to cut between channels as part of the final mix, the App records a macro of your mix cues, fades, audio mix etc and then at the final stage it conforms and compiles the final rendered story.

Overall I think it is a powerful App and its pitched at exactly the same price point as iMovie on iOS

€4.50, there is a free version too which the developers suggest is a good way to pre-test your hardware’s ability to run the App. Thats a very clever solution to one of the fundamental weaknesses of the Android platform: Market Fragmentation. So many manufacturers, devices, chipsets, cameras, specification variations and custom flavours of Android.

Anyway of you have a powerful Android Smartphone and want to experiment with video editing without having to dump it off to the cloud or to a PC/MAC then TrakAx Movie Express is definitely worth a look.

Image

About these ads

About vjmentor
Innovation Lead, RTÉ | VJ & MoJo (Mobile Journalism) Trainer -Circom Regional | Photographer | HDSLR shooter| Views are strictly personal, not those of my employer.

5 Responses to Editing Video on Android – whats out there? Try TrakAx an Irish company with vision

  1. Dinko says:

    One word, StoryMaker :)

    • vjmentor says:

      You’re right Dinko Storymaker is also an Android editing platform. To be honest its a very different App though, theres a huge amount of emphasis on trying to teach the basics of storytelling, the scenes/overlays/lessons etc are valuable for someone who hasn’t a clue about cobstructing a story, but for a mobile journalist all those extras are just a distraction from the core task: to edit a package. It would be interesting to do a shootout? (Editout???) between the two Apps to see which workflow is fastest!

  2. Please have a look at Together Video Camera as well. Not 100% the same but solves the same task.

  3. Florian says:

    There is actually one video editing app for Android that seems to be comparable to Pinnacle Studio, iMovie and the sorts: KinemasterPro. In some ways, it even surpasses the afore mentioned iOS apps feature wise. You can adjust exposure and saturation and add filters for instance – all within the app! On iOS, you would have to use VideoGrade to do stuff like that and then reimport to your NLE of choice. KinemasterPro is also fairly inexpensive and features an attractive UI. The one big catch to this app is that it is only available for a limited selection of Android smartphones (no tablets are supported at this point!).
    As for TrakAx: I like the innovative approach but as you pointed out, it’s hardly a substitute for a regular, timeline-based NLE app since it’s hard to do precise editing when mixing on the fly. So I guess it’s more of a fun toy than a professional tool.

  4. Florian says:

    Hi Glen!
    After recently treating myself to Samsung’s hybrid monster smartphone S4 Zoom, I was able to actually put KinemasterPro to the test (wouldn’t run with my S3 mini). And what can I say? It’s a winner! There are a couple of features I would like to see added in the future (pre-trimming clips before inserting into timeline, adjustable font size, free placement of titles) but all in all this is an incredibly versatile and easy to use on-the-go NLE and currently the one and only serious choice for video editing on Android smartphones (there’s an app called “VideoPad” for Android tablets that seems to be fairly good). KinemasterPro’s UI is well thought out and it boasts some pretty amazing features for a smartphone NLE: adjustable exposure/contrast/saturation, basic onscreen drawing, timeline markers, trim-to-playhead command and real audio ducking with keyframes like in Voddio for iOS. The in-app introduction is also exemplary, it even features some animations. Kinemaster is available as a free version with a watermark on the exported projects but I highly recommend spending the 2 Euros for the Pro version. The only catch, as a mentioned earlier, is that KinemasterPro only supports a limited range of Android devices. After using this app in combination with the advanced camera features of the S4 Zoom (10x optical zoom, integrated tripod thread, easily accessible Micro-SD), this seems to be the no-brainer duo for MoJos using Android.
    Florian

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,010 other followers

%d bloggers like this: