Martin on Mobile Apps

About this Blog: All smartphone and tablet apps, all the time. Veteran mobile tech journalist James A. Martin offers mobile app reviews, news, tips and more on a variety of major mobile platforms, with a focus on iOS and Android.

Martin on Mobile Apps

YouTube Founders Target Vine, Instagram with New MixBit iOS App

Does the world really need another mobile app for sharing video clips? YouTube's founders think so, and their MixBit iOS app offers more editing control than rivals Instagram and Vine, according to CIO.com blogger James A. Martin.

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Does anyone really still post videos to YouTube? That’s a rhetorical question. But I think we’re quickly moving into a post-YouTube era, and MixBit—a new iOS app created by YouTube’s founders, no less—is one reason why.

MixBit is a free video-recording/social-sharing app that lets you record clips up to 16 seconds in length. The app, released August 9, comes several months after the splashy debut of Twitter’s Vine app and Instagram’s recent video recording upgrade. (Both Vine and Instagram are available on iOS and Android; MixBit is expected to release an Android app in the coming weeks.)

MixBit iOS

Unlike Vine and Instatram, MixBit gives you robust sequence-arranging options. You can mix multiple clips and rearrange their sequence to create a finished video that lasts up to an hour. (In these days of short attentions spans, though, an hour-long video may be a bit much, unless you’re Woody Allen. And even then…)

Another interesting MixBit feature: You can incorporate other peoples' clips into your own video.

“The whole purpose of MixBit is to reuse the content within the system,” MixBit’s Chad Hurley told The New York Times. “I really want to focus on great stories that people can tell.”

MixBit is easy to use. You just launch the app, and after the brief tutorial, hold your finger down within the picture frame to start shooting. You can hold your iPhone horizontally, too, to capture wide-frame video. When you’re done, you can preview the video, move segments around, duplicate clips, and so on. When you’re satisfied, you give your epic a title and a description (with hashtags). Then you can post it publicly (or limit its audience) to the MixBit community; to your Facebook wall; and/or to Twitter.

The app does have two potential downsides, depending on your point of view. Along with being up for grabs by the MixBit community, your clip is anonymous. You can’t post a video under your own name, and users can’t add comments.

Another similar app that was lost in the recent Vine-Instagram fray is Adobe’s VideoBite, a solid and free recording/sharing app that also has editing and segment-arranging tools. A recent VideoBite upgrade added transitions, title cards and special effects filters. Unfortunately, VideoBite is only available for iOS. Viddy is another a free iOS and Android app that lets you easily create and share short videos.

Vine and Instagram both recently added more features, too. For example, Vine now has categories to which you can add your videos, and Instagram lets you share videos stored on your devices (as opposed to always shooting new video using the app).

I enjoy using MixBit and suspect you will, too. But in these #selfie times, I suspect the app’s anonymity will be a turn off for some, especially with so many other social video-sharing options available today.


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