iphone 5s

Finally, true video rotation on the iPhone!

October 27, 2013

The "Video Rotate" app from Gadget Juice is just what I've been looking for!  It allows you to do a frame-by-frame reencode of movies on your iPhone adjusting for a specified rotation.  This is useful if you accidently switch rotations during recording, but is also useful for rencoding the video so it can be played back in VLC and other non-Apple players with the proper rotation.


When you first open the app it will ask for permission to access your photo library.  Once you grant that access, you can see your recorded videos in a list.  Tap on the video you wish to modify.


The app detected that my video already had a meta tag saying the rotation should be 90°.  Even though it was already selected, I tapped on 90° and was prompted to choose a rotation mode.


Choose "Slow" mode to re-encode your video.


On my iPhone 5s I was averaging around mid-fifties for re-encoding framerate.  Not bad!  My wife's iPhone averages in the mid-thirties.  This sort of heavy lifting really shows how a 64 bit architecture improves performance.


Once done your new movie (complete with a new filename) is added back into your library.


My original movie was 27.3 MB.  After the reencoding it was 34.7MB.  I didn't notice any degradation in quality.  Keep in mind at this point it is still a 1080p video.  I like to save my files in 720p to save on storage space.  I shared the new movie with my mac via iMessage (send an iMessage to yourself from the iPhone with the Messages app open on the mac) and it came across as a 3.7 MB 720p video.  I haven't spent much time comparing the quality of the iMessage encode to that of Handbrake, but my guess is handbrake is much better so I will continue to use it.  By the way, did you know the Handbrake app can do batch?  Just add an entire folder to Handbrake, it will scan each movie as a separate title.  In the File menu you'll see there is a new "Add All Titles To Queue" option :-D

Getting slomo video off the iPhone 5s

October 26, 2013

I upgraded to the iPhone 5s and ran into a new problem.  How do you get the slomo video off the iPhone?  When I pull the videos using Image Capture it copies over the 120 FPS movie, as well as an .SLM file.  The SLM file is XML containing the start point and duration of the slomo event, which is how the iPhone knows how to control the playback.  Opening the .MOV in Quicktime just plays back the video at normal speed, although it does now contain a new "Slo-Mo" button"



You can use iMovie to split your movie and make the desired segment playback at 25% speed, but that doesn't nicely transition into and out of the Slo-Mo the way the iPhone does.  


Best thing I've found so far is to iMessage the movie to myself out of the Photos app on the iPhone.  The movie comes over at 720p with the nice slomo fade-in exactly as it was on the iPhone.  My test file was 131 MB straight from the iPhone, and 21 MB after I iMessaged it to myself.  So I like this solution because it keeps the Slo-Mo exactly the same as my iPhone and it compresses the video.  The outstanding issue remains rotation.  As mentioned in an earlier post I've found that all iPhone videos are shot with the volume-button side of the iPhone as down.  QuickTime respects whatever meta flag is used to signify playback rotation, but VLC and others do not.  


Please let me know in the comments if you've found any other solutions, or a way to overcome the rotation problem.


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