Muvee video editing tools come to Android


posted Monday, February 24, 2014 at 7:19 PM EDT


Digital cameras and smartphones have made video capture incredibly accessible, but how often do you take the time to sit down and edit some of your short video clips into a single, cohesive video? If you're like most of us, the answer is probably far less often than you'd hoped to. Video editing can be a tedious task, and it's far to easy to put it off in favor of going and doing something more fun. Your video clips either languish unseen, or at best get played back piecemeal, without any attempt to combine them into a more polished product.

That problem is one the folks at Singaporean software company Muvee aim to solve. Way back in 2001, they launched a Windows app called muvee autoProducer, which made light work of editing videos by automating the task. Videos were assembled and set to music automatically, with beat detection algorithms identifying the best points in the background track at which to cut between clips. Since then, the company has built its technology into smartphones and standalone cameras, and sold it on iTunes and the web.

One thing it hasn't done, though, is to sell directly to Android users. If your smartphone didn't include Muvee algorithms licensed by the manufacturer, you had to rely on offloading videos to your PC, where the desktop app could do the editing. That's about to change.

Muvee reFrame allows you to crop and pan your video to draw attention to your subject.

At the Mobile World Congress show, Muvee's Device Solutions App has announced its first four apps to appear in the Google Play store -- or at least, they'll be there shortly. Muvee reAction, reFrame and reTrim are all based around the company's CODEN engine, which allows video to be cut without transcoding, allowing it to work even on the relatively underpowered processors found on mobile devices. (In fact, according to Muvee it should even allow 4K editing without quality loss on mid-range smartphones.)

All three apps should be available on the Play store soon -- the company's press materials actually say that this is already the case, but we checked, and as of right now, none of the apps are available to download.

Muvee reAction lets users slow down a one-second portion of a video clip for dramatic effect, and various slow-motion profiles are available. These can slow down the action gradually or suddenly, and in some cases, even pause the video altogether briefly. ReFrame, meanwhile, allows the user to crop a video to direct focus towards a particular subject, and then move the crop frame around the video to follow the subject. (This is achieved simply by clicking and dragging on where you want the crop to be centered, while the video is playing in real time.) And finally, reTrim lets you trim a clip's start and end, and set it to music with control over balance between the music track and the natural soundtrack.

Muvee reAction can be used to apply a variety of slow-motion effects.

A fourth app has also been announced, but is a little further from launch. Muvee Action Studio is set to ship in mid-March, priced at US$20. This looks to be an Android variant of the company's core automated editing technology, able to set multiple clips to music in one of three modes. Automatic mode cuts to the beat and applies effects and 3D transitions automatically based on a user-selected style, while Pro mode lets the user select how to cut, frame, filter, transition, and caption as they want. Finally, Fast mode applies the same edits (and uses the same CODEN engine) as in the other standalone apps.

Interestingly, Muvee Action Studio is being aimed at GoPro owners who want to travel (and edit) light, uploading more polished videos of their exploits from the field without needing to bring along a laptop for editing.

As well as all of these tools, Muvee has also announced a software development kit that will allow Android developers to add Muvee technology into their apps with a minimum of fuss. According to the company, delivery of apps based on the SDK should take as little as six weeks.