If you need a fast way to produce explanatory videos for your blog or website, check out Explory. It’s a new app for iPads and iPhones that lets you blend images and/or video clips right on your phone. Adding narration is as easy as talking on your phone.
Explory offers an easy way to make “how-to” videos or tell “behind-the-scenes” stories about photo shoots, your art or design project, or research for your book project. You could use it to create promotional videos, document special events, or tell the stories behind selected projects in your portfolio.
“Many of us want to share experiences that are more in-depth than what can be conveyed with a single photo or a six-second video clip. At the same time, few people want to take the time and effort required to edit a video,” said Peter Goldie, one of the founders of Explory. “Explory makes it fun for anyone to quickly create rich, interactive stories, right on their phone.”
Even better, your audience can control the pace at which they view the story and the level of detail they want to explore.
“I’ve been having a lot of fun with Explory, sharing stories with family and friends. It’s easy to use and creates great results quickly. I know my clients are going to be excited to use this to craft their business stories in a compelling and cost effective way. It’s really the next evolution of corporate video,” said Chuck Easler, owner of Easler Communications.
Creating a story with Explory is simple and fast. The “Story Ideas” feature automatically creates stories for you by analyzing the time and location data of photos and videos on your device. Just edit the draft, dictate some narration, and add text and music if you wish.
Or, you can start with a blank canvas and pick content from your photo library. You can also choose to use Explory’s camera to record a story as it happens.
Each story can be as long as you wish; you are not limited to short video clips. You can zoom in on high resolution photos, and play high quality video without aggressive compression.
Explory’s blended media story has a “play” button, but it’s not a traditional video: it’s interactive. Explory allows viewers to easily swipe ahead to skip sections, or explore details that would not normally be part of watching the main story. Your stories won’t bore anyone because they choose the length!
Explories can also be embedded in a Web page or blog, just like a traditional video. Or, you can share your “explories” privately with friends and family via email, messaging, and social media.
If you publish your “explories” publicly in the Explory gallery, people don’t need the Explory App to view your stories; they can use a mobile or desktop Web browser.
Explories are stored in the cloud and optimized for playback on your device. You can share your story immediately and continue to refine it over time. Explory’s cloud synchronization feature lets you work on the story from multiple iPhones and iPads.
Creative pros will undoubtedly find all sorts of ways to use Explory — either to tell their own stories or to tell stories for their clients.
The creators of Explory envision that “makers” will use the app to share step-by-step, how-to instructions for assembling, repairing, or cooking. Digital journalists can use Explory to quickly assemble a story that combines photos, videos, and audio. Small businesses that don’t have the time, skill, or money to create corporate videos can use Explory to demonstrate products, answer frequently asked questions, or provide technical support.
The app is also being promoted as a tool for students, educators, people who want to share special moments in their lives with family and friends, or anyone who wants to describe the world around them and share it with others.
Explory is a free download in the Apple App Store. It requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6 or better. Once you’ve installed it, tap on “Story Ideas” and see your stories! If you want more than the 50 MB free storage Explory provides, you can sign up for a month-long or annual subscription.