Hands-on with the new TouchEdit NLE for iPad
A retro interface, lots of editing tools and the app's creator Dan Lebental answering some questions
By Scott Simmons | February 17, 2013
Random observations from using TouchEdit
This article isn’t meant to be a how to on how to use TouchEdit as the tutorial videos are great for that. It’s not really a review of the app either so I thought that it might be useful just to list some random thoughts and observations that I had while working with the app over the weekend.
• TouchEdit isn’t completely stable as I had several crashes over the weekend of working with it. Of course both iMovie for iPad and Pinnacle Studio seem to crash more often than they should as well.
Keep an eye on the little toggle lights at the top of the Source and Record monitors as they tell you which side of the edit you’re working on. I think they should be more prominent as that little blue dot is what tells me I'm working in the Record monitor / timeline.
.mov files will carry timecode metadata and that’s what the arrow above is pointing to. I assigned code to all of these test clips that I was using such as the 16 hour code above.
• I was able to load both an AIFF and an MP3 into the TouchEdit iTunes sharing but only the MP3 showed up for importing.
• You’ll most likely need to really study the tutorial videos as there’s a number of places where you’ll use long taps or double taps or two finger taps to achieve a certain task. I had to rewatch some of them several times. Hopefully we’ll get some kind of written manual or a gesture cheat sheet to leave up while learning the app.
That mini-timeline at the bottom will be your best friend for a longer edit as it’s much faster to navigate there as opposed to scrolling the filmstrip. Also in the image above you can see both a piece of splice tape that represents an edit as well as the yellow OUT mark.
If you’re in grease pencil mode a double-tap on a shot will give you an IN to OUT duration next to the monitor.
• There’s an Undo button but it seems to sometimes become confused and either not work or it takes a couple of taps for it to actually happen.
You can save different edit sequences and they are represented in the Media bin with a filmstrip around their icon. I found it best just to name them with ‘edit’ in the name as they can be hard to identify.
What’s next for TouchEdit?
That’s exactly what I asked Dan.
Any future plans for TouchEdit you can share with us?
That’s a very ambitious development schedule so it really looks like they’ve got big plans for TouchEdit. I sure hope Apple is able to get the updates approved quickly. Many will think that the $50 price tag is too high considering the cost of iMovie but TouchEdit is aimed at a much different market. While if feels like FCPX is the target desktop NLE companion for TouchEdit I suspect that was by far the easiest thing to support for interchange. Dan probably isn’t going to be cutting his next feature or television show in FCPX. Expect some videos to come online on the TouchEdit website with details on how to encode for the app with Compressor, CatDV and Resolve Lite. I look forward to those.
Dan also said this, which I think is a good final thought:
I think that sums TouchEdit up pretty well at this early stage in its life. It’s not perfect and has a few bugs but for professional editors there’s nothing quite like it on the iPad. If it continues down its ambitious development road it could add something to the editor’s toolbox that we’ve never had before.
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