CineBeat Review

CineBeat Review

Make that music video fantasy of yours a reality with CineBeat on iOS

It seems that anyone and everyone can make a music video these days; whether you have the potential to be the next sensation or just a viral hit, the line has been blurred between what divides ‘real’ directors and the rest of us mere mortals.

Apps like Cinebeat give ordinary iOS users the chance to catch a glimpse of what things might look like if they were to star in a music video, or indeed become the next £1 Fish man. The app takes 15-second clips recorded on your device, and then through a range of filters that would have even the most avid Instagram user weak at the sepia-toned knees, remixes and transforms what you’ve captured into cool musical snippets that you can share with the community and world at large.

It may sound like it should be an extensive process, but one of Cinebeat’s best selling points is its accessibility; a simple interface that makes recording and sharing your video a process of potentially no more than three taps. Limiting clips to 15 seconds might feel short when it comes to the ‘starring in a music video’ theory behind the app, but scroll through the Cinebeat feed and you’ll see that creativity is not in short supply when it comes to filling the time span, with everything from funny pet habits to audio status updates being covered in the time frame – all with a punk soundbed and lens flare accompaniment, naturally.

Using the app as a social soapbox is something that was most definitely expected by developer Smule, as the app’s interface is very much geared towards sharing and interaction with other users. Just spend a few minutes within Cinebeat and you’ll be able to make comparisons to social sharing kings like Flickr. The app gives you the option to sign in using Facebook when you first launch, and each video posted can be favourited and commented on by others. Posts in Cinebeat are certainly more unique than in most other video apps, so interaction feels inevitable.

Of course you need to draw the interaction from others by posting something that will catch their attention, and this actually isn’t as hard as you might think. The best way to learn about Cinebeat is to just start recording anything, and even doing this with the seemingly mundane events of your living room can spark enjoyment once given a shot of adrenaline through the filter process. Capturing is very easy; with a camera icon in the clean interface’s sidebar, and a timer counting down your 15 seconds as you record. Once completed the list of filters appear at the bottom of the screen as a scroll bar, though do look out for those with a padlock icon as they will require an in-app purchase in order to be accessible. Without them though there is still a great range of things you can do to make your uploads stand out.

Most, if not all of the filters apply some interesting lens effects to your footage. Lens flair and aging are both common touches, as well as borders and other vignettes that immediately make the video more visually interesting. A lot of the filters will also play with the levels and indeed the sound of the audio; auto-tuning and remixing to create fun results. This is done automatically when you select a filter to preview, and takes place in around a second, keeping the smooth user experience that you’ve encountered up to now going. This also means that you can exercise a try-before-you-buy mentality by previewing various filters on your clip before settling on one you want to use when sharing.

On the subject of sharing, however, you will uncover the biggest flaw within Cinebeat in the form, or indeed lack of, a saving space. The app is very black and white when it comes to storing your clips; it says you can’t. If you choose not to share a video then and there, it is lost forever. It’s a frustrating feature but one that shouldn’t hold you back from trying out Cinebeat. You could update your Facebook status, telling the world exactly what you think of it. Just keep it to 15 seconds.

Rated 5 out of 5

Fun to experiment with, but it also has enough creativity to satisfy serious users.