It’s great that the iPhone finally has the ability to record video, right? But once you’ve captured your video, the iPhone doesn’t allow you to do much with it, other than upload it to YouTube or MobileMe. Pixelpipe overcomes this limitation, by allowing you to upload your videos directly to a wide variety of online locations. But the service also suffers from a few shortcomings of its own.
Pixelpipe is available for free in Apple’s App Store; the startup also offers versions for Nokia and Android-based phones. The app lets you take content from your computer or mobile phone (including photos, videos, audio files, and more) and upload it directly to a variety of social networks, photo-sharing sites, blogs, and more. On the iPhone 3GS, Pixelpipe supports uploading of video to more than 40 services; the iPhone itself only offers direct uploading of videos to YouTube and MobileMe.
Installing Pixelpipe on my iPhone was a breeze, but once I had the app up and running, things didn’t run quite as smoothly. In fact, the first thing I noticed about Pixelpipe was how slow it was — even though I was using it on a speedy, new iPhone 3GS. The first time I launched it, the app seemed to hang and was unresponsive. As it turned out, though, it was just indexing all of the photo and video files on my phone and placing them in my Pixelpipe Media gallery. But it didn’t tell me it was doing this, and — what’s worse — it repeated this process (which took a minute or longer) every time I opened the app.
Once your media files have been indexed, you can browse through a list that’s nicely organized — with one pretty big exception. Pixelpipe’s gallery displays thumbnails of your photos, but all of your video files have a blank, white thumbnail instead. So, if you’re planning on uploading a video that you captured, you best remember when you took it, as the files are displayed in that order. If you know the file name, you’re in luck, but the iPhone assigns those names, and doesn’t let you alter them. Pixelpipe is aware of this bug, and says it’s working on a fix.
To upload your photos and videos, you go into Pixelpipe’s settings and select your destinations. All of your options are arranged in a neat list, and in most cases, you simply enter your login and password for the sites you choose. Once your destinations are set up, you can go back to your media gallery and upload all of your files, or pick and choose individual items.
I tried to upload a variety of videos to my Facebook and Flickr accounts simultaneously. While all of the files neatly appeared in my Flickr account, I had to wait — and wait — for them to show up in my Facebook page. And when they finally arrived, not all of my videos made the journey. Pixelpipe’s web site has a handy tool where you can check on pending uploads, and it told me that an error had occurred during my upload. I was able to restart the upload right from the site, rather than having to go back to the app on my phone — a nice touch.
I found Pixelpipe a little slow to use and still a bit buggy. If the company can iron out some of the problems — specifically the missing thumbnails on your iPhone videos — I would find myself using it very often, though.