Daily iPad App: TouchCast creates an interactive presentation that mixes video with web content
There are a lot of video editors in the iOS App Store, but few are like TouchCast. The app lets you record a video and overlay widget-like elements that can hold web pages, maps, Twitter streams and more. Users watching the video can click on these multimedia elements and interact with them while the video continues to play. TouchCast is an interesting concept that mixes video with the best that the web has to offer.
TouchCast is an iPad app and it lets you preview TouchCast videos created by both the company and other TouchCast users. These galleries give you a feel of what type of videos the platform can be used to create. There's also a composition side that lets you record, edit and share your TouchCast videos.
The video recorder and editor is the meat of the app, and, not surprisingly, is a bit difficult to use. You start by recording a video using your iPad's front- or rear-facing camera. You can pick from several themes like newscast or review that'll insert titles and other elements to get you started. There's even a teleprompter feature to help you speak succinctly during this recording phase.
On the editing side of things, TouchCast uses a timeline to lay out the elements of your video and allows you to drag / drop extra content like titles, a whiteboard and vApps. vApps are the widget-like components and include maps, Facebook content, Twitter streams, Flickr photos and more. The UI is arranged nicely with buttons at the bottom for all these different features. There are a lot of options, though, and it does take some trial and error to get elements to appear where you want them to be.
Part of the difficulty with TouchCast is that it challenges you to think differently about video production. Video is not just frames and transitions in TouchCast. It includes interactive elements that provide you with options for engagement that don't exist in other video editors. For example, when you mention an app in a video, you can now load up the developer's website. The person watching your video can click on the website and explore the app while you continue to talk. TouchCast calls its product the video web, which is a simple, yet accurate description.
When you are done creating your TouchCast video, it is hosted online on your TouchCast channel and viewable by folks using Chrome or Safari. From within the app, you can share these TouchCast videos via Facebook, Twitter and email. You can also upload it to YouTube as a regular, non-interactive video.
TouchCast is an iPad app and available for free from the iOS App Store. Desktop versions are currently under development.
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