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05 January, 2017

This free iPhone app converts Live Photos into video clips

I love the live photos feature found on the iPhone 6S and up models.

Live photos are actually video clips.

Every time you have the camera app open in 'Photo' mode, the iPhone is also secretly 'rolling' on the video side of things.

What I mean by that is that it is also recording frames before and after the still photo you are actually intending to record. 

These animated still images (called Live Photos) look magical when played back on the phone using the Photos app. So good, that you may be tempted to forget about the still and edit a reel with the short video clips.

These files are written at a lower frame rate and resolution than native video recording and lends a genuine 'Super 8' film feel to the footage. Perfect for cutting together a family vacation highlights reel while waiting in the queue for Harry Potter rides.

That is what I had in mind after filming all day with my kids at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.

Throughout the day I filmed many face, reaction, pov, tracking, wide, creative, and over the shoulder shots as still images.

And then I wanted to import the video the phone also recorded using a video editing app like iMovie, or Clips. (still my fave video edit app for editing a loading up all clip material and cutting into rushes)

The trouble is I could not locate the video clips on in the Photos app. 

Oh, Apple. What have you done? I thought.

Now, within the 'Photos' view of the Photos app, it is possible to create and export an entire movie clip that the app will generate from your related material. (See above photo)

This is one way to export the video from the live photos out of 'Apple Photo Jail,' but it is a bit messy and not very intuitive.

'What would be a better workflow?' I muttered as I waited in the queue for the 'Dragon Challenge' ride.

I was starting to get frustrated and thought an inverted rollercoaster ride would dislodge some solution.

Sure enough after braving five outside loops with screaming teens . . . 

It came to me that some crafty developer would have an app that would reveal those those hidden live photo video files and a user simply copy them out of 'Apple Photo Jail' so that they can be edited and shared with the wider world.

After some digging, I found a free app called LP converter.

And it does the trick, lickety-split.

You open it up and batch select a load of live photos snaps and export them as video clips.

No water marks, no in-app purchases, and no ads.

Love it!

The app's other tricks are also handy, like the ability to export a selected freeze frame as a still image . . . 

 . . .  or save a live photo as a looping GIF animation.

Fun. Practical, and free.

I was able to cut a 4-minute reel from that day at Universal Studios and nearly all of the material was video clips from Live Photos.

And for journalists, it is very handy to have those fleeting moments automagically recorded just before and after taking a snap.

It could be really useful for getting alternate material and takes from breaking news scenes, for example. Or if something unexpected happens when you are shooting something else.

Me, before the T-Rex attack.