I have a love hate relationship with digital video. I love the quality of digital video and all the effects and filters you can add.
I hate the umpteen different formats and file sizes and steps you must go through to put video online, on a Windows PC, or even exported to iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices. It’s a mess. Compress this. Save files as that format. Upload only this size. What a mess. Is there an easier way?
No Video Tool Does It All
This is what we videophiles are up against. There are a couple of dozen different video file formats, each works well in one setting, but usually not in another. Flash video on the iPhone or iPad? Nope. Windows video on the Mac? Maybe.
What we need is a one step video stomping utility to pound the format into shape and ship it wherever.
The Mac video utility Stomp was almost there. The whole idea was to create an app that would squeeze a video file into the right format and size for all of our needs.
There’s a difference between stomping, or compressing and changing, a video file, to adding all the features already in a number of other Mac apps. Stomp takes the easy route first.
Presets Are My Life
I love presets and so do you. Presets are settings that do the job with pretty much a single mouse click. Got a video that you want to put on your iPod touch, or iPhone or Apple TV or YouTube, or whatever?
Stomp has presets and most of them are what you need.
The Pretty Batch Of Effects
Stomp could have stopped with presets. After all, you’ve already shot your video and moved it to your Mac, perhaps into iMovie, maybe into iPhoto. If you’re the type of Mac user who can’t leave well enough alone, then Stomp loves you.
Stomp does batches of video. Video compression takes time, so you can set Stomp to do multiple videos all by itself. Go to lunch. Take a nap.
Stomp does pretty. This isn’t an addition to iMovie or iPhoto. Stomp is another way of managing video clips but with the intent to export elsewhere, so the interface is pretty and easy to use. It also uses Core Image effects built in to OS X so you can add some effects to your Stomp-ed videos, including video cropping.
Stomp doesn’t do geek. It’s simple and straightforward.
If you need more features, more video formats, more capability, more complexity, and less price tag, Handbreak is another option to consider. In some respects, Handbreak is a complement to Stomp, though with some feature overlap. Stomp is decidedly easier to use but Handbreak has presets, too, but not as many (but far more video and audio formats from which to choose).
As decent as Stomp is, I have always had this nagging feeling that Apple’s approach to video file format management is the best one for most Mac users. Export as QuickTime (and a few other formats). Export to MobileMe and YouTube. And an export panel which displays the different Apple devices and sizes for each video. That’s as easy as it gets, but just doesn’t cover all the options Mac users will have. For that, Stomp works. So does Handbreak.