“If I Had a Dollar” is a series that highlights one useful or entertaining app per week that costs less than $1. Skip your vending machine soda and try some new apps!
Youtube was born out of a fairly populist idea: Internet video should be accessible to everyone. That same accessibility to creativity has been integrated into Youtube co-founder Chad Hurley’s latest app, Mixbit.
Granted, Mixbit is a free app from the get-go, which makes it similar to popular photo and video sharing app Instagram (and also undermines the dollar that is burning a hole in my pocket). However, I decided to highlight Mixbit because it’s 100% free with full functionality — there are no hidden costs that require additional payment (I’m looking at you, premium filters) to enjoy the complete experience. Plus, it’s the app responsible for capturing and distributing the great Kanye West/Kim Kardashian proposal, so I figured it was worth a try.
The interesting thing about Mixbit is that it’s less focused on video capture than it is on what you can do with that video. The app can record up to an hour of a single event, then chops the footage into bite-sized, 16-second packages. From there, users can edit, time-alter, and even move around footage to create the story of their liking. Then others can take those clips and “remix them” by changing, reordering or adding onto them. It turns a video into a conversation rather than just entertainment.
The app itself is decidedly minimalist, no doubt taking cues from the flat vision that Jony Ive created with iOS7. And after a few quick taps, it’s easy to start making separate video clips. Although it’s quite a bummer that they can’t be stitched together to create one seamless video easily (the app makes it painfully obvious when and how something is separate), the clips can be manipulated into some good storytelling. Plus it’s not necessary to film continuously, so greater effort can be made to tell a whole story in a few minutes.
Another downside is that Mixbit’s relatively short existence as a network means there really isn’t a wealth of clips to remix — although adding funny faces to the Kanye/Kim proposal is an easy target. Mixbit’s small user base and newness means that the quality of the clips is also questionable — too often there’s a “just testing it out” clip of someone filming a keyboard.
But for free? It’s worth a spin to get your creative juices flowing.
Do you have an app that is worth my dollar? Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Dollar App” and the app’s name in the subject line.