It’s been a busy year for Sony Digital Network Applications, releasing a variety of photo and video editing apps that try to bring media editing and creation to casual users. Their final app of 2011 is Photo Movie Creator HD, and is their first app designed for Android tablets.
This app works similarly to the previously-released Photo Movie Creator for phones, just with an interface for Android tablets. Users take a group of photos, apply borders and text, and output a video containing their photos. This app works wonderfully on Android tablets, with an interface tailored to the wide screen and high resolution of the devices.
As well, the HD version of the app has social networking features. In particular, users can share videos with other users of the app, so that they can share their special moments and photographs with the world at large. Users can comment on the videos as well, and the most popular videos will be displayed on the top of the page.
One of the great things about smartphones is that it makes it easy to take quick snapshots of memories while you’re out and about. The problem, of course, comes with sharing them. You can show the photos to someone else, but they might not necessarily convey the emotion or the reason of why you took the photos – if you could put them into motion in some way, then you could more effectively share them. Photo Music Creator attempts to improve the sharing of your photos, by allowing you to set a video slideshow of them to music.
Photo Music Creator makes it very easy to make a video – you can easily choose photos based on file location, or even based on their location from EXIF data. You can then rearrange and add captions to the photos in your video, add a theme, with choices from built-in music and music from your library along with the slideshow. It’s all very quick and easy to use – I spent less than 5 minutes making this video of my last couple trips up to the Chicago area.
There are two core problems with Photo Movie Creator. First, the videos you create are only visible in the app itself. You will eventually be able to share them via Facebook, but right now the only method you have of sharing the video is to show it to someone from your phone. This ties into the other problem – you can’t export your videos directly to a file. This means that your videos are trapped to the app. While I understand that this is how the app likely works, to generate and play it all back via the app itself, but it’d still be nice to have some way to save these videos directly to a video file. Also, as a minor annoyance, when photos are added to the video, they don’t respect anything but default orientation, although they’ll default properly.
Photo Movie Creator’s simplicity is both its strength and its drawback. It allows you to easily make these photos into something more, but may lack the kind of features that advanced users will want. Still, for those who take a lot of photos and want to find creative ways to share them, this might be worth checking out.