Video Editing Software For Your Camcorder
** Kodak Playsport Zx3 Included Software **
The Playsport comes with ArcSoft MediaImpression software loaded right on the camcorder itself—the same software that came with previous camcorders from Kodak. The version loaded on the Playsport, however, is slightly updated compared to what you'd find on the Kodak Zx1, Zi6, or Zi8. The main improvements include more internet uploading options and extra video editing controls (see images below).
Upon opening the software, you have a variety of instant upload options.
While previous versions of ArcSoft MediaImpression did assist with uploading video to YouTube, the new version on the Playsport also has quick upload settings to Facebook, Twitter, and Vimeo. Quick access to these upload options are available as soon as you install the software, or you can find these settings after you import your videos. The editing section of the software has also been updated, although the overall layout and process is similar to previous incarnations of MediaImpression. Below, you can see that new icons have been added to allow you to add music, voice overs, or other media to your editing timeline.
The editing portion of the software has options for adding music and other media.
Other than these updates, as well as a few stylistic improvements, the editing software on the Kodak Playsport is very similar to what we saw on previous Kodak camcorders. You can read about this earlier version of ArcSoft MediaImpression below.
** Kodak Zi6, Zi8, and Zx1 Editing Software **
The first wave of ultracompact Kodak camcorders all shipped with the same built-in editing software. The Zi6, Zx1, and Zi8 all come with ArcSoft MediaImpression stored right on the camcorder. As soon as you plug your cam into a computer, you'll have access to the plug-and-play accessibility that has made devices like this so popular.
Unfortunately, Flip has set the bar very hard in this regard. Flip Video is incredibly easy to use and compatible with Macs and PCs. The ArcSoft software is PC-only and is not as intuitive or streamlined as the Flip software.
The welcome screen is self explanatory, but it's strange that only a couple options appear here. Without doing some exploration, there would be no way to know that you have to 'Browse My Videos' in order to do simple video edits. If you jump straight to the YouTube upload, you'll probably miss this option altogether.
The media browser is a simple thumbnail view with the classic Windows list browser to the left. At the bottom are a handful of options, like importing, file conversion, emailing, and uploading to YouTube. There are also tools for capturing a still photo from your video or 'making a movie.'
|The browser is where you'll find links to most options.|
The movie making option lets you combine clips, add music, and rotate/trim clips. This is also where you go if you want to make a DVD—an option that's not very obvious unless you make it to this screen and see the button in the lower-right corner.
|The movie-making portion of the software is unimpressive.|
The most commonly used option in the software will probably be the YouTube upload feature, which takes you through the steps required to put your clips online. There aren't any other video sharing sites available (i.e. Vimeo, Flikr), but the process for YouTube is fairly straightforward.
|Uploading to YouTube is pretty simple.|
Unlike the software on the Flip camcorders, the Zx1 software lets you fill in a lot more information on your video, including tags, privacy settings, a category, etc. This is a great addition! Unfortunately, these fields are all required before the software will allow your video to be uploaded. If you wanted to just name the video and be on your way, you'll be disappointed.
Once you tell the program to upload, the video will be appropriately labeled and compressed for YouTube.
|You have to fill in all the details, even if you'd rather not.|
Overall, the software is a bit disappointing, considering the target demographic. If Kodak wants to provide its users with a simple post-production experience, they're going to need to focus on providing a more intuitive interface. The ArcSoft application is surprisingly inaccessible considering the bare bones functionality offered.
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