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Diptic Video review: Simple video collages, but limited benefit

Choose videos and photos from your photo library to create unique collages with a musical backdrop.

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Jason Parker
Jason_Parker.jpg
Jason Parker Senior Editor / Reviews - Software

Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.

4 min read

Here's a simple, convenient way to thread together a video collage: let the program do it for you. Diptic Video does for movie clips what the company's original Diptic app does for photos -- compile your media simultaneously or sequentially into a collage, accompanied by background music from your iPhone's library.

dipticpromo.png
7.7

Diptic Video

The Good

Diptic Video makes it easy to create video collages with a drag-and-drop interface. It gives you plenty of templates to choose from, and you can customize your collages with your music.

The Bad

Sharing options are limited, and the app seems like more of a novelty than a lasting way to save your memories.

The Bottom Line

Diptic Video creates an easy way to gather your videos and photos into a collage, but is probably geared more toward specific creative types who want to try something new with their media.

The original Diptic collage app came out in 2010 and was one of my favorites for making simple photo collages. It came with several templates that only required you add your photos to capture an event in one collage. But with Diptic Video, you can bring in a mix of videos and photos to make capturing your memories even better.

The only question is, is Diptic Video the new way to capture your memories? I'm not so sure, but before I get into it, let's talk about what the app does.

Create video collages in a few easy steps (pictures)

See all photos

Building your collage

Diptic Video comes with 35 different templates, with layouts that range from basic split-screen to more complex arrangements -- for example, one large frame on top with three frames below. Once you've chosen the layout that best showcases your videos and photos, it's time to add your content.

Diptic Video will let you shoot a fresh video from within the app, but you also can take video clips and photos from your iPhone library. You can go through and select as many videos as you want, and each will be stored in a bar at the top. When you touch Done, your chosen photos and videos will automatically fill in the template you chose, but you can touch and drag in replacement video clips to the template from the bar at the top.

Once you've chosen your photos and videos, you can touch within a frame to reposition them so your audience will see all of the action. You also can touch a frame to flip videos and photos horizontally or vertically, adjust brightness and contrast, and adjust the frame borders.

Adjusting each frame

Along with being able to focus on the action in each frame, you also have several options for how each video plays. By default, the app will start all videos simultaneously, but even with only a few frames in your collage, that can get overwhelming for the viewer quickly. You also have the option to play videos in reverse. After you've selected the videos for your collage, you can hit play in the upper right corner to watch a preview on the next screen, where you have several more options.

Here, you can touch a button to make your videos loop indefinitely, pick from your music library to act as background music, and set the time that all the videos will stop. You also can adjust the volume for both the audio from videos as they were shot and your selected music.

The most important setting here is the ability to toggle sequential playback. With this button turned on, you can play just one video at a time so that when a video finishes in one frame, it starts up in the next. This method will be much more enjoyable for your audience, letting them focus on one thing at a time.

When you're finished, the app almost instantaneously creates your collage so it's ready to send. There is almost no wait time for rendering or any other background processes.

Whom is it for?

The whole time I looked at Diptic Video for this review I thought it was well-made, had an excellent interface for doing what the app was meant to do, and it produced a nice-looking collage when I was finished. The only problem is, it feels like more of a novelty than a lasting way to capture memories. In other words, it's cool at first, but I don't see myself using it more than a few times.

One thing I did find appealing was the ability to mix in photos alongside the video. I'm imagining sending a collage to a grandparent to show the kids at a picnic. With Diptic Video, you could include a couple of the best photos from the picnic, then have a couple of sequential videos play to show some of the action. I can see how that would be a neat thing to receive, but I just wonder if it's something people will really use time and again instead of just sending a single video or a photo.

Conclusion

Diptic Video has all the tools you need to make video and photo collages in only a few steps. The interface is easy to understand, laying out the process in steps that are clear and easy to follow. The app turns your videos and photos into a collage you can share with friends and family quickly with no wait times for rendering or other behind the scenes processes.

With all that said, I still wonder who Diptic Video's audience is. I think it's probably the best way to make video collages in the fewest steps, but I'm not sure if video collages are something people want to make.

In the end, it will be up to you and your creativity. While I think Diptic Video is great at what it does, I'm not sure it's worthy of being your go-to app for sharing memories.

dipticpromo.png
7.7

Diptic Video

Score Breakdown

Setup 8Features 7Interface 8Performance 8
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