One of HTC's coolest new features is automatically creating highlight videos from still images, videos, and Zoe captures. However, I've also been checking out the BlackBerry Z10 and I find their Story Maker integrated solution to be compelling in its own right.
You can obviously create highlight videos with images and video captured from your smartphones using a number of desktop applications. However, the ability to create these kinds of videos on my mobile phone means that I am 99% more likely to do so. I just don't have the time to sit at my computer processing videos and using software, but I do have a couple minutes here and there while out and about to create things on my phone.
As you can see below, there is also no learning curve with BlackBerry Story Maker, so anyone can create a video in seconds. Like the HTC One video highlights, I think these videos look pretty professional, too. HTC limits you to 30 seconds, but in BB Story Maker I think you are just limited by the amount of content you select and available memory.
The BlackBerry Story Maker application doesn't automatically create highlight videos like the HTC One, but it is still drop dead easy to use and let's you have much more control over the content and end result. I think HTC's solution is slick and will appeal because you don't have to do anything, but when you do want to control the content that goes into their highlight videos it is quite a process, as I detail in my post with the eight manual steps needed.
On a BlackBerry 10 device you go out and capture still images and video, or import them from another source, and then launch BlackBerry Story Maker. Here are the simple steps you take to then create a video:
- Choose your media. Still and video content stored on your phone.
- Choose your music. You can use any music you have stored on your BlackBerry or choose from one of nine pre-loaded sample songs. Don't worry about the music length since it will be adjusted to fit your selected media.
- Add titles and credits. You can now add in two lines for titles and two lines for credits. The title appears at the start and the credits at the end of your produced video.
That's it! Your video will then play as a preview so you can check it out.
You can then go to the right of the display and choose from one of the following themes to give your video a different look.
- Bleach bypass
- Black and white
In my sample video I used the Vintage theme. There are menu options to change your media, change your music, change your titles and tweak your video. If you select the tweak option then another screen opens up so you can manually reorder the content as it appears in your video. By default, the application does this automatically when you first create your video.
If you captured a long video, remember that you can easily go into the BB10 Videos app and choose to edit and then clip just part of the video that you then can use in your Story Maker content.
You can then save and share your video with family and friends. I like that the BlackBerry Story Maker software gives me a bit more control than HTC One's video highlights while still allowing me to create a fun video in just a couple minutes.
The Apple iPhone also has similar functionality with their $4.99 iMovie application (iTunes link) that functions much like the BlackBerry Story Maker software that BlackBerry includes in the OS for free.
I could not find this functionality in Windows Phone devices or on Samsung Android devices, but there may be a 3rd party application I haven't yet discovered. I understand the new Galaxy S4 has the ability to add some audio content to a still image and use both cameras to record video, but did not see anything on the device that offers this type of custom video creation.
As people use their smartphones more and more to capture images and video, I think having software like this to share your experiences with family and friends is important. Every time I share these videos people enjoy them and get a chance to see more than just a still image that doesn't necesarily capture the moment.