12Seconds – Create “Video” Slideshows

Available In: App Store       Price: $0.99  

12Seconds12 seconds? Well, according to the application’s developers, this is how long one will continue paying attention to a video without losing interest. Still reading? Well, if you’re a fan of Twitter, and if you’re handy with a web cam, then chances are you might already be aware of 12seconds.tv. I was unaware of the site and as an iPhone user, I don’t have access to video recording capabilities (note to Mr. Jobs, any chance of video in a future iPhone?) Anyways, the 12seconds team has come up with a temporary solution with its native iPhone app now on sale in the App Store.

Basically, once you have a 12seconds.tv account (you can sign up quickly through the application), you can immediately record an update with your iPhone. Since there is no video capability built into the iPhone, what you will be doing is creating a 3-picture slideshow and adding 12 seconds of recorded audio to your broadcast.

Recording an Update
Impressively, the update process is very straightforward. The program prompts you for a photo at each step. As shown in the screenshot below, you can take a photo with the built-in camera, or you can choose a photo from the iPhone’s library. After you’ve selected your three photos, the app prompts you to record your audio, and it gives you a running countdown as the 12 seconds winds down. Once you have completed your recording, you can review your audio (but not re-record), title your post, add tags, add a location, and email your post. After satisfied with these settings, your post will be uploaded to the 12seconds.tv website. A nice feature that is found on the website is the option to automatically feed your posts to your Twitter account as a Tweet. Check out my intro video here (you can also follow me on Twitter (user: Chanatown) if you would like!). When you view your video, you’ll notice the illusion of movement is added with the “Ken Burns effect”, and this makes your 3 pictures and audio seem that much more lifelike.

Initially, I was intrigued but skeptical as to what this application was going to be used for. However, the simplicity of the app and the straightforward execution of the posting process quickly won me over as a potential fan of 12seconds. I am a fairly new user of Twitter, but I do like the idea of micro-blogging during those times when a full post is just not needed (cheers to you for not abandoning this post!) With YouTube making videos so easily accessible, I can see what the developers of 12seconds have in mind in trying to establish a new field of video micro-blogging. With the popularity of the iPhone, they were smart in making sure that we were included as well. Within a few minutes of starting the app, I had a video posted on the site. It does not get much simpler. With nice additional touches such as the Ken Burns effect, a direct link to Twitter, and a quality user interface, 12seconds has a lot going for it.

Overall, I feel that this application has a lot of potential, especially if the idea of video micro-blogging catches on as Twitter has. Some additions that I would like to see in future updates include the ability to re-record audio, the option to include a clip of a song instead of recorded audio, and the option to edit posts directly on the iPhone. For $0.99, the app is a fun way to explore a different form of blogging, and with a direct link to Twitter in place, 12seconds is a cool application to add to your iPhone. I offer a “Buy Now” rating for the casual user interested in a different form of blogging, and a “Strong Buy” if you are a heavy Twitter user.


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  1. You can record video on an iPhone with Cycorder. It’s in Cydia.

  2. Good point – I know most of you readers are going to work on convincing me to jailbreak. For now, I’ll be known as that stock iPhone guy, however. Thanks for the info!

  3. I think I’ll save the $0.99 and use Cycorder instead.

  4. DJContagious says

    seems like the closest thing to video recording to the unjailbroken iphone user! :P

    • Braden Herring says

      I don’t think taking 3 photos and attaching an audio clip even remotely qualifies as “close” to video recording.

    • Is 12Seconds close to video recording – No. Is 12Seconds the closest thing that unjailbroken iPhones currently have to video recording – Yes. I actually like this application. Though, I totally love picture slideshows!

  5. Oh cool… thanks for the update. I’m a fan of my friends’ use of the 12seconds service, so I have been hoping to see such a breakthrough on the iPhone. Still, disappointed that a wimpy cameraphone is allowed to KO a (relatively) superior device. *pouts*
    Is there a way to use cycorder to post to 12seconds?


  6. This is stupid. They obviously should have released a Qik-like app through Cydia instead.


  1. […] iPhone App review: 12 seconds Jump to Comments No video on the iPhone = creative app workaround. 12 seconds offers a quick way to make a 3 photo slideshow that you can post to Twitter. Full review here. […]