One feature of the iPhoto program on my iMac desktop computer is the ability to produce “animated” slideshows with music, like this one entitled “Best of Europe 2009,” that are rendered as “movie” files which can be uploaded to YouTube.
But just this week the developer of the Fotor still photo editing app released a new app called “GoPix– Slide Movie Maker for Instagram” ($1.99 on the iTunes App Store) that lets you create somewhat similar slideshows that can be uploaded to YouTube and shared on Facebook and Instagram.
Here’s how the app works.
Creating a GoPix movie is incredibly simple.
First, click on the “+ sign inside of the big orange “ballo0n” on the app’s Home screen. (“My Movies” will let you view and play GoPix movies you’ve previously created. “Discover”seems to let you see only a “promo” video. Tapping on the three bars in the upper right corner opens the “Settings” menu.)
Next, pick 6 to 9 still photos (videos can’t be used) stored on your iPhone or iPad to be included in your “movie,” hit the “X” to remove any photos you don’t want, drag and drop them into the desired order, and tap on the “Start” button.
The “Preview” screen will show what your slideshow style “movie” will look like. Tap on the circled “Styles” at the bottom of the screen to select one of the six.
Each “Style” has a default song associated with it, but if you tap on the song’s name above the circled “Styles” you can pick any of the app’s dozen tunes to use.
Here’s my first effort in making a GoPix “movie.” For the “Style” I found “Cutsey” a good choice for my “cinematic masterpiece” and the “Good Time” song seemed to fit the mood of the photos.
Sharing Your GoPix Flick
Once you are satisfied with what you see in the “Preview” screen, tap on the sharing icon (three dots connected by two lines) at the top right side of the screen.
Tap “Save” to save the project to your mobile device’s Camera Roll, or on the icons for Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube to share it on those social sites.
The “+” button to the right of the YouTube (“play button”) icon gives you other options: Sharing on Facebook, iCloud Photo Sharing or Vimeo, or opening the project in other apps (such as iMovie) on your device.
You can also share your project with other nearby Apple mobile devices or a Mac computer using AirDrop.
If you close the GoPix app, then reopen it, you can find the projects you’ve previously created by tapping on “My Movies,” play them within the app, or share them.
Using GoPix with Other Apps
Since GoPix “movies” are saved as “.mov” video files, they can be imported as video clips into video editing programs like iMovie, including both the full program on Mac computers and the “lighter” app for Apple mobile devices.
Initially, I thought I might use my GoPix movie as an “Intro” to a short film about Lassen Volcanic National Park. But then I decided instead to put it at the end of the film as the background for the film’s scrolling credits.
Good News, Bad News
There’s both good and bad news with the GoPix app.
The good news is that it’s very, very easy to use.
But there are some slight drawbacks:
- Once you’ve saved a project, you can’t re-edit it. You’d have to start over.
- There doesn’t appear to be a way to give your project a distinctive name, such as the place where the photos were taken.
- The app names the project after the “Style” you picked. So I’ve got two named “Scrapbook” and the only way I can tell them apart is by looking at the thumbnail (the last photo selected) the app decided to use.
- You can’t display the name of your GoPix movie or other text as “titles” as is the case with that iPhoto slideshow I did, or as with iMovie projects.
- You can only use 9 photos at most, far fewer than in the iMovie slideshow that I included at the top of this story.
- GoPix “movies” run only 15 seconds (the maximum limit for any video posted on Instagram), far less than that iMovie slideshow and the length of videos that you can upload to YouTube or Facebook.
- Since on YouTube GoPix videos play at a maximum quality of 480P (compared to High Definition, 1080P for my iPhoto slideshow), they can look blurry, particularly when viewed full-screen on a computer or streamed to a TV.
Although you are limited to using the 12 songs within the app rather than songs in your device’s Music library, this limitation has a couple of advantages.
First of all, the app’s songs are timed to perfectly fade out, rather than end abruptly, as the conclusion of your GoPix “movie.”
Secondly, using a song (such as any Beatle’s tune) from your device’s Music library could prompt YouTube to delete your video for music copyright violation. (You may own the right to play that Beatle’s tune on a CD or MP3 player for your personal listening pleasure, but you don’t own the right to use it in producing a YouTube video.)
While I’d personally prefer to use iMovie on my iPhone/iPad/iMac, ease of use and the ability to create slideshow movies on a mobile device makes the GoPix app a fun way to do something different when sharing your vacation photos and worth the $1.99 price tag.
(The GoPix app developer provided Tales Told From The Road with a complimentary copy of the app for testing and review purposes.)