Whether you’re old enough to remember Super 8 movies or you obsessively record your life 24/7 with an iPhone 6, you know that taking the pictures is the easy part. The hard part is getting them into a format where they’re easy to share. Most of the time, they never leave the device you used to capture them.
RealNetworks — yes, the guys behind the Rhapsody music service and RealPlayer video software — have a quick-and-easy solution for this conundrum: the RealTimes app, which is available in free and paid versions.
Every picture tells a story
RealTimes can take the photos and videos stored on your iPhone, Android handset, or Windows PC and instantly create montages on the fly, complete with Instagram-like filters, transition effects, and music. (The Mac OS X version was still in beta at publication time.)
RealTimes automatically ignores duplicate or blurry photos and zeroes in on pictures and videos containing faces. You can then go in and choose different images, shuffle their order, change the effects, and remix the music.
RealTimes automatically ignores pictures that are blurry or have no faces in them, but you can override those choices if you want to. (RealNetworks)
You can save your creation to your phone, share it on Facebook, or link to it via Twitter, SMS, or email. The link sends you to the RealTimes website, where you can view the story or download it.
You can email links to your creations or share them via Twitter or texting. They launch in Facebook’s video player automatically.
But because the app assumes all photos taken at around the same block of time or in the same location are part of the same “story,” it can lead to some pretty surreal photo sequences, like the following:
Pay to play
With the free version of the app, the montages are limited to 30 seconds and you have a choice of 10 royalty-free soundtracks, three transition effects, and three filters. You get 7 GB of free cloud storage, and each video is also watermarked with the RealTimes logo.
For $5 a month (or $50 a year), you can create stories up to three minutes long, get more filters and effects, choose from up to 100 music soundtracks (or add your own MP3s), and store 25 GB worth of watermark-free videos online. You can also upgrade individual stories to premium level for 99¢ apiece. For $10 a month (or $100 a year), you get unlimited storage for your RealTimes creations.
RealNetworks says it plans to add support for services like Dropbox, Instragram, and Flickr — as well as devices like the Xbox, Amazon Fire TV and Kindle, and Roku streaming video devices — in the near future.