15 Sexy, Easy-to-Use Multimedia Tools to Up Your Visual Content Game
So, you want to make a series of GIFs for your next listicle? There’s an app for that. Need to convert a video file from some awful codec no one’s ever heard of into a .MOV file? There’s an app for that. Have an almost-perfect photograph that just needs a slight cropping to remove unwanted brand associations? Never fear, there’s an app for that—if not a free, full-fledged computer program. Huzzah!
Here are a few of the easiest (and sexiest) tools that should be in your arsenal:
For making GIFs:
With the web program Gifmaker, you can upload your own photos, choose an animation speed and GIF size, and then download the result. It’s that simple. And awesome.
Chrome users, rejoice: Jiffy is a Chrome extension that lets you make GIFs up to 15 seconds long directly from YouTube videos. It also gives you an Imgur link so you can post and share your new reaction GIF wherever you please.
If you have $2.99 to spare, Giffer is an easy and clean iOS app that allows you to make GIFs from your iPhone videos and photos, and then email or share them.
For screen capture:
Want an individual photo from a video you took? This helpful app for Android separates your video into frames for easy saving and sharing. Even though it’s not free at $2.99, the app can save a lot of time if all you want is a snapshot. Time is money, people.
If you’re looking to capture an entire webpage or record yourself giving a tutorial, Screencast-o-Matic will record a video of your computer screen within the box you drag and select for it. Neat!
For photo editing:
6. VSCO Cam
VSCO Cam is probably the best photo editor for both iOS and Android. It’s very simple to use and offers a wider variety of professional-looking editing options than Instagram, putting you just a couple of taps away from producing the perfect photo.
The interface might look a little scary, but don’t despair: GIMP is essentially the free version of Photoshop, with a platform that Windows and Mac OS X users can easily navigate.
As Gimp is to Photoshop, Inkscape is the free Windows and Mac OS X alternative to Illustrator, enabling you to create vector files quickly without having to shell out money for Adobe Creative Cloud. If you need quick graphics, Inkscape is your program.
For video editing:
This free tool lets you to change video formats in a pinch—just locate one video file and select which codec you’d prefer the video to be. Then, presto! Another copy of the video will shoot out in your requested file format.
Once you register for a Magisto account, you can use the app to edit videos for free on desktop or on your iOS or Android phone. You can also add text and a cheesy video theme to your project.
For audio editing:
This freeware for Mac OS X lets you cut, trim, and join audio clips together smoothly. You can also convert audio into different formats, like WAV to MP3.
12. Audio Memos
If you don’t feel like using Apple’s proprietary Voice Memos app, there’s always the great $0.99 alternative, Audio Memos. Unlike with Apple’s Voice Memos, you can trim and edit whatever you’ve recorded with your iPhone.
Wavepad is effectively the Android version of Audio Memos—just record, trim, and select your audio format of choice.
14. WOW Slider
Have you ever wanted to add a slideshow to your website kept getting hung up on all the extra code it’d take to create it? Then WOW Slider is for you. You can arrange your slideshow like a PowerPoint and then grab and embed the code into your post.
Bonus: Parallax Scrolling Animator
Webydo offers the first code-free parallax animator for adding beautiful illusions of depth and motion to your visual content. The program is currently in closed beta, so you have to sign up for it, but getting in on the ground floor of experimenting with the app seems worth it. Who knows? Maybe Sky Fall will be the next “Snow Fall.”
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