Clipstart: Simple Video Management and Organisation

iPhoto, Shoebox, Bridge – these pieces of software may ring a bell if organization is important to you. The problem is that they all have one thing in common – dealing with photos.

Why does it seem like keeping home movies and video organized is always overshadowed by static photographs? With video technology on the rise and more and more normal, non-tech savvy folks owning devices capable of capturing high quality films, we’re starting to look for something more capable in this area.

If you have a large collection of home videos, you’re in luck. Clipstart is a piece of software to keep your short movies in a well organised, fully searchable database. In this review I’ll cover this app’s uses and how to get the most out of it.

Getting Started

After you install the app on your machine and open it, the program will ask you whether you want to import clips from your hard drive or a device (such as a camera). One thing to note is that when you select a location from which to import your movies, everything from here will be imported – you can’t be selective.

The Clipstart Interface

The Clipstart Interface

The app’s interface is clean and simple. By default, Clipstart keeps your movies organized by date, and the display allows you to filter through content by selecting a year from the drop down menu on the left.

As you tag your videos and add to your library, your list of tags will grow. This list of tags will populate on the left side as well and provides another useful way to search your library.

Dates & Tags

Dates & Tags

Working with Clips

To tag clips, select them, then hit the ‘T’ key to trigger a box to input keywords. If you have a clip selected, you are able to copy the tags and paste them to another clip as well as clear tags.

You can tap the ‘TAB’ key to cycle through clips and tag like a maniac. You can also mark clips for deletion. To do so, hover over a clip and hit the ‘X’ key. Searching with the box in the top left of the screen will find matches based on the tags you’ve entered.

Tagging Clips

Tagging Clips

Uploading Clips to Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr

Being able to seamlessly upload your movies to various online media outlets is another great feature that Clipstart offers. Adding a title, tags and description all in one shot, and from one program, takes the hassle out of this process.

Authorising an Account

Authorising an Account

To authorize Clipstart to post movies to your online accounts, travel up to the preferences pane where you can fill in your username and password for each.

After authorizing, you can select videos and click on the movies tab where you can pick an account to which you’d like to upload.

Uploading

Uploading

From here you can enter a description for your clip and convert it to H264, a highly-compressed, high-quality codec, that will make your movie more “web-friendly.”

If you only want to upload a portion of a movie, you can trim it to your liking by double clicking its thumbnail and selecting a piece of it in the timeline.

Trimming a Clip

Trimming a Clip

A Few Tips

If you take just a little bit of time to learn the handy keyboard shortcuts Clipstart uses, then you’ll probably find yourself saving a hefty bit of time. Here are a few you’ll use most:

  • Shift + Spacebar: Plays Video
  • Spacebar: Quicklook (video plays in a larger screen)
  • T: Tags a video
  • X: Marks Videos for Deletion
  • F: Flags a Video

Another great feature is the ability to capture a video from your MacBook or iMac’s iSight. Go to File > Capture from iSight to do so.

Capture from iSight

Capture from iSight

Other Apps to Consider

We’d be crazy not to mention iTunes at this point! Although iTunes is geared mainly towards music, it does a decent job with organizing movies (though you’ll need to have them in an iTunes compatible format to import them).

iVideo offers a nice way to keep movies organized but doesn’t seem as great as Clipstart. It also doesn’t allow for uploading of content to sites such as Flickr, Vimeo and YouTube.

Conclusion

Clipstart certainly fills a void that we’ve been experiencing for quite some time. It will prove to be very useful for individuals who want iPhoto functionality for their movies.

The affordable price is right on par. All in all the app is lightweight and does one thing well – it keeps your small movie collection neat, tidy, and well-organised.


Summary

Clipstart is essentially "an iPhoto for movies". It provides a way to easily store and organize your home movie collection, make basic edits, tag and search videos, and share them online to various web services. Certainly worth considering if you're a home video enthusiast!

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