Bust out your hard drives

Magisto’s desktop app wants to edit all your photos and videos

The average smart phone user captures 150 photos every month. That’s 1,800 photos a year. Add a DSLR camera or maybe a GoPro to the mix, and you’ve got a whole lot of personal media. With any luck, it’s all getting backed up and archived on computers and external hard drives, only to never be seen again.

Mobile video editing specialist Magisto now wants to help users rediscover some of that footage. Magisto launched its very first desktop app for Windows PCs Tuesday. The app scans and analyzes a user’s personal media collection to turn it into shareable video clips, complete with soundtrack and professional-looking transitions.

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Magisto has been doing the same thing with its iOS and Android apps for some time, and the company recently shared a number of interesting data points about people’s mobile media collection habits with us. For example, the average camera roll holds about 630 pictures. Compare that with your typical hard drive, which may contain hundreds of gigabytes of personal media, and it becomes clear why Magisto wanted to be on the desktop as well.

But it’s not just those photos we archived long ago that make the desktop so valuable to Magisto. The company’s CEO Oren Boiman told me during a recent conversation that he also views action cams like GoPro as a huge opportunity. GoPro users easily capture gigabytes upon gigabytes of video, but a lot of that footage isn’t all that valuable, and very few users have the time and resources to ever edit the highlights. Magisto’s desktop app can now make use of that footage by selecting the best moments, and editing them together to a small, shareable clip.

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Magisto isn’t the only company trying to solve problems around personal media. Google is also offering to automatically edit pictures and videos that are uploaded to Google+. But uploading large amounts of HD video still can be a burden for users, especially those with low upload speeds. That’s why a desktop app may, at least for now, be key to unlocking long-forgotten photos and video footage.