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Touchcast for iPad review: Great features for video pros

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The Good TouchCast has great tools for creating your own show, and even lets you bring up interactive content for your audience.

The Bad The app doesn't let you add music, which makes videos a little dry.

The Bottom Line As long as you take the time to learn its features, TouchCast has a ton of potential for making great videos.


8.1 Overall
  • Setup 8
  • Features 9
  • Interface 7
  • Performance 8

Review Sections

TouchCast, for iPad only, brings broadcast quality tools for making video blogs, reviews, how-tos, news broadcasts, and more with a touch-friendly and interactive interface. You also can browse and see what other TouchCasters have made and follow them much like you would on a social network.

What sets TouchCast apart from other video creation apps is the ability to add what the developers call vApps (short for video apps), so viewers can interact with the video. So, for example, you might be talking in front of your iPad camera, and next to you could be a photo, your location on a map (via Google), or even a Web page. All of these are touchable by the viewer to bring the content full screen, while the video continues to play in a window. You can even browse a real Web page while the video continues to play. This interactivity gives the app a lot of potential for how-tos and other fun videos, but I'm not sure current TouchCast videos live up to all that potential just yet.

Exploring other user-made videos
There are two sides to the TouchCast app: a place to browse the latest TouchCasts from other users or the "Touch" side, and a place to create them yourself on the "Cast" side.

On the Touch side, the app lays out videos much like a social network feed. There are buttons across the top to explore user-made videos in the Explore section; check out tutorial and example videos from the TouchCast app developers in the TouchFeed; and a place to store and browse your saved TouchCasts in Bookmarks. You also have a magnifying glass for searching all TouchCasts by term or hashtag.

Browse through featured channels to see what other people are making. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

The Explore section has buttons below to break out content into all videos, trending videos, and user-made channels. As an app that just launched a few days ago, there's a pretty good number of videos to explore, but I expect there to be a lot more selection as more people discover the app. Also, it appears people are still getting acclimated with the app, so don't be discouraged if you see amateurish videos early on.

Creating a TouchCast
On the Cast side of the app you can create your own video, and the app has onscreen tools to make it easy to control the content your audience will see.

You start out by choosing the style of your title (also known as the lower third) just like the fancy graphic you see at the bottom of the screen for a television news cast. The app has a few templates to get you started with news, reviews, sports, and a how-to layout, but you also can create your own. With your basic layout selected, you can enter a title that your audience will see.

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