[App Friday] Crispify – a video trimmer for mobile phone videos

25th Oct 2013
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If sharing pictures and videos is what you like to do on social networks, then do check out Crispify. Crispify is an Android App that allows you to enhance the tempo of a video you shoot, and by doing so also compresses the file size, to enable easier sharing across social networks. We played around a little with the app and this is what we think.

Features

Interface: The Crispify interface is very simple – which is a good thing for people wanting to try their hands on new app.

Colour scheme: The yellow-red-blue-white interface is also pleasing to the eye.

Login: Presently you can login to Crispify only using your Facebook login, but founder, Balaraman Lakshmanan says they will be implementing separate login authentication for Crispify soon.

ScreenHome
Home screen

Video search: On the home screen, you see the list of videos uploaded on Crispify and can scroll through the list to look at what you like. We tried searching for a couple of terms, but got a “Server not responding error”. We think the search feature needs to be looked at closer to enable better discovery of video. Some keyword searches which did throw up a video were dependant on the title of the video and whether the keyword searched was present in the title.

For example: when we searched for “moving legs”, we kept getting the “Server not responding” error. The keyword search for “window” threw up the video ‘Train window’ – which has the word ‘window’ in the title.

Searching by tags also drew a blank. Videos which had ‘madurai’ and ‘heritage’ as tags in it did not show up when searched for those specific words.

This feature needs refinement we say.

Video upload: This one is pretty simple and works the normal way we upload all videos. Once you select the file that you want to upload, Crispify gives you the option of adding effects to your video -- you can choose from six options in all. There are plans to add more filters and stabilisation option to the app. Plans to automatically add music according to the mood of video. A 'trim' option where the user can select the start time and end time of the video for Crispifying is also in the roadmap. There are plans to connect with more social networks such as Whatsapp, G+ and allow video uploading to Youtube and Vimeo, says Balaraman.

When you are uploading a video, you have the option of switching the Crispify meter on. A Crispified video can undergo upto 40% compression, he says. For example, if a video you shot was originally 20 seconds, then on Crispification the video will reduce in length, and the final video will be 15 seconds. Balaraman claims that one can upload upto 100 MB fie size in a single upload, which is 20 minutes video of VGA resolution and 2 minutes of Full HD.

When we tried to upload a 3 minute HD video we had trouble and could not do it, but a 30 second HD video uploaded well. We were using a mobile phone network to upload, so its is possible that mobile phone network fluctuations could also have affected the upload attempt.

Once uploaded, the video can be shared on social networks with sharing, rating and commenting options.

Notifications: As the term suggests, this tab in the app will tell you about the activity surrounding your video. So if you have received comments or shares for your video, it is captured here.

Sharing: I did not find this option active – which is the icon that looks similar to the ‘lesser than sign’ on top right of the screen. Clicking on the sign a couple of times threw up this error “Unfortunately, Crispify has stopped”.

Other video editors in the space

ScreenUpload
Video upload screen

Crispify is currently only available on Andriod and is up against other video editors like Magisto and VidTrim – some of the options available on Andriod. While we haven’t used Magisto & VidTrim and cannot comment on how Crispify compares with those two editors on the feature front. As far as the app size is concerned Crispify is light and occupies about 4 MB of space, compared to Magisto’s 17 MB.

Compared to Vine and Instagram, which limits good quality video uploads between 6-15 seconds, the video length of 2 minutes(HD video) that Crispify can help upload is also longer compared to the two.

Crispify can be used on any Andriod phone starting from version 2.3, while other apps support from 4.0 version. As a result about 3,308 Android devices can use Crispify on it. Balaraman says they are focused on the Andriod market currently and want to first succeed in this space before they look at Windows or iOS space.

About the startup

Balaraman was working as a video product engineer for sometime before he decided to take his plunge into entrepreneurship. In his corporate role, Balaraman was involved in development and optimization of video codec for mobile phones, which gives him a good understanding of mobile phone OSes. He was also involved in short film-making as a hobby, which exposed him to the video editors in the market and the problems they had. “Video editing is a very tough process and needs lot of time and effort. Anybody can take cool pictures with phone, but if you take video with your phone you will not like it,” says Balaraman about the birth of the idea. Given the wide spread sharing of pictures online, videos couldn’t be far away, but the reason videos were not shared much was because original videos don’t look too good and video editing is quite expensive. “Video editing is a tough and cumbersome process, and cannot be done through mobile phones. That’s how I got the idea of Crispify, which solves all three problems currently in the space – makes the video look better, reduces file size and share it over internet easily by automating the process,” he says.

Balaraman2
Balaraman Lakshmanan

Balaraman is helped by his brother Sundar, who has past experience in consumer web and mobile product development. Sundar was also in the past involved with the launch of Yahoo! messenger app. While R&D, video processing and algorithm development happens in house, app development has currently been outsourced to a team from Jaipur. Plans are afoot to bring on board more team members as they grow. 

The app has received over 200 downloads on the Google Play store and Balaraman says based on user feedback they continue to tweak the interface and intuitiveness of the app.

Review summary

If you want a simple, no frills video loader then Crispify is your toy. But when you call something a video editor, you want something that can do more than simply add effects to a video. So yes the video size is condensed, but the condensation is mostly automatic, based on an algorithm. For real parts of the video which you shot and you didn’t like and want to be out of the final video, you will have to wait until Crispify incorporates the features.

Basic things like sharing a video should have been enabled and tested, before the product is out. As a customer if my user experience is not complete/fulfilling I am not sure if I want to stick around.

The app is also not responsive in design – so to use it upright, your device – in my case Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 – had to point North, so that all the options/features were upright, and you didn’t have to crane your neck to look/use them. Being responsive you would think is basic for an Android app, but not in this case. So like the other features that are still under development in Crispify, even for it to become responsive we will…just wait.

Check out Crispify here.

preethi@yourstory.in

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