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It has been shown at a few user groups this year, but this weekend TouchEdit for the iPad was finally released to the world. Will Dan Lebental's skeuomorphic heavy cutter make editing easier and more importantly, more fun?

Dan Lebental has been a working editor on feature films for more than 20 years. To give you an idea of the productions he has edited, you might have seen his name on the credits of Iron Man and Iron Man 2.

His latest creation is an iPad app called TouchEdit which you can find on the iTunes store for $49. It has already been shown at various user groups and meetings this year.

TouchEdit takes on the familiar look of a source and record monitor, but wrapped up into a GUI that echoes an old moviola machine complete with a well worn patina. The two filmstrips under the monitors are swiped left and right to advance the footage back and forward. Each frame on the filmstrip represents 8 actual frames, the top strip is the source and the bottom is the record.

Other simulations such as grease pencil marks for in and out points, bins for projects and the rather neat audio desk when used in portrait mode all add up to a good looking application for your iPad.

Will it be any good for cutting?

Let us take the stumbling block of getting your video into the app first. TouchEdit uses the media already on the iPad or video that has been transferred via iTunes sharing or Dropbox in either H.264 up to 1080p, MPEG-4 up to 640 by 480 or M-JPEG up to 1280 by 720 formats. Which means that should you be using this in conjunction with FCPX, you will have to convert your media if it doesn't exactly match those specifications.

The amount of footage you can hold in the program will be limited by the size of memory in your iPad. The app runs on iPad2 or later and iOS 6 is required.

Getting your finished cut out is less complicated. QuickTime videos can either be shared via iTunes or you can export FCPXML to match everything back up in Final Cut Pro X. So a slightly awkward start even before you commence editing. Maybe somebody will write a script/automator function/share destination or similar that would do the job of an assistant editor and get all the footage converted with a few clicks.

Operationally, we will have to let our readers post their comments on the pluses and minuses of TouchEdit in action at the coal face. As more apps are being driven by touch commands, will this fill the need for editors who miss the tactile feedback lacking in nearly every NLE ever built?

We always welcome new products to the market and we are sure this app will find its place. We had a healthy debate with Dan over the pricing as we belive $49.99 takes it out of the impulse buy category. Maybe a cheaper edition with paid for add-ons (such as FCPXML) might have made more commercial sense. The world of iPad apps is a tough one!

Dan has made some great tutorial videos that show TouchEdit in action. If you would like to see Dan give a live demo of the app, then he will be at the Boston Creative Pro User Group on Thursday February 21st.


Understanding the landscape Edit Page


Basic Editing on the Landscape Page


Grease Pencil Mode


Working in Portrait Mode


For the other five video tutorials, head on over to the TouchEdit YouTube page.


• Edits with H.264 up to 1080p, MPEG-4 up to 640 by 480, M-JPEG up to 1280 by 720
• Can edit with multiple resolutions and frame rates
• Supports sample rates of 44.1KHz, 48KHz 
• Multiple Projects
• Accommodates Multiple Sequences in each Projects
• Eight tracks of Mono or Stereo Sound
• Scrollable Visual Timeline
• Smart selection for Video and Audio Tracks
• Displays Timecode of Clips
• Imports Media from iPad Photos, iTunes Sharing or direct from Dropbox
• Imports Audio from iPad Music
• Includes 60 sample sound fx from Wildfire Post-Production Studios
• Exports QuickTime Videos to iTunes Sharing
• Exports FCPXML (compatible with Final Cut X)
• Uses Touch-Driven Filmstrips to control Source and Record monitors and to perform 
   editing Gestures such as Insert Edits and Overwrite
• Import and Manage Media in Collections (Bins)
• Preview and Inspect Media
• Add Edit Button
• Play/Pause Button and Gesture
• Fullscreen Playback
• Left and Right Scissors buttons to trim head and tail of edits
• Next Edit and Previous Edit Buttons
• Parent Gesture for Match-back
• Open Clip's Collection gesture
• Paperclip Mode notations for source and sequence text notes
• Grease Pencil Mode to Mark In and Out Points
• Multi-Channel Sizable Timeline Display in Portrait
• Eight Channel Audio Mixer
• Audio Patch-bay and Channel Selector
• Advanced Trim Functions: Roll and Ripple
• Lift and Load to Source Monitor
• Help Screens for all Pages



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