Highlight Hunter Helps Sports Fans Create Video Highlight Reels

Amateur sports videographer? Soccer parent? Career little league coach? Just like to shoot video? All of these, and most of the rest of us have miles of video and for most users, no real skills in video editing so we force people to watch hours of bad film for the few minutes of footage that you are truly proud of.

The ease of shooting video, much like the low cost of digital photos, has lead to a huge backlog for many people who then need a solution to help sort this all out. There are a number of solutions out there seeking to solve this issue for you and one that we just recently bumped into is from Highlight Hunter.

Program helps to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff in videos

It will not actually fix any backlog issue you have but going forward could tremendously ease the task of finding the highlights in the video you are shooting at to edit it much faster, by as much as 8x according to the company.
It is a simple three step process. The first is simply record your video, as much as you want. Taking the example that Highlight Hunter uses, let’s say you record 3 hours of a ski trip of a group of friends on the slopes. The second step is very simple. After any event that was noteworthy you bookmark it by simply putting your hand over the lens of the recording device for one second.

A user then downloads the video into the company’s app and it will automatically create a 30 second highlight backtracking from the one second bookmark. So for a three hour video a user could do all of their editing within ten minutes rather than be forced to watch the entire three hours.

The Highlight Hunter app is available for both Macintosh computers and PCs and can handle video from all digital cameras. It is compatible with most other video editing applications so that a user can add additional features to the program as well. The company also has a free version of the app so that potential customers can give it a test drive.

Women’s World Cup Final Available on Sprint Phones

Want to watch the women’s World Cup soccer final game this Sunday but won’t be near a TV? Sprint smartphone users are covered thanks to the carrier’s ability to provide a live stream of the game (which starts at 2:15 p.m. Eastern time) via its ESPN Mobile TV channel on its Sprint TV app.

To watch the U.S. vs. Japan game Sprint users will need to have the “Sprint Everything” data plan which includes unlimited Web, texting and calling while on the Sprint Network. The everything data plans start at $69.99 per month plus a required $10 add-on charge for smartphones.

As I write this I’m watching the British Open live via the Sprint TV app on my Samsung Epic 4G, and the video is pretty good even through a 3G connection. (They are doing an endless loop replay of Tom Watson’s hole in one right now.) Seems like a great alternative for soccer fans who may be out and about when the U.S. and Japan get together to decide the title.

T-Mobile Targets NBA fans with Fast-Talking Mobile Video

Striving for the game-changing impact of a final minute Kevin Durant 3-pointer, T-Mobile is stepping up marketing efforts aimed at mobile sports watchers. 

In an awesome performance by a fast-talking rapper, T-Mobile just launched a campaign touting the new 4G Sidekick. The commercial depicts the merits of getting golf programming and NBA programming on the Sidekick, and is chock full of NBA name-dropping.

The campaign underscores the rise of sports programming as key to the success of new mobile devices. The new Android-powered T-Mobile Sidekick was released April 20 at a price point of $99 with a new 2-year service agreement.

In recent months, T-Mobile has also produced commercials feature Miami Heat superstar Dwayne Wade and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, among others.

BlackBerry Sports Fans Finally Get a Pad: The PlayBook

Blackberry users hoping to get a tablet of their own have finally had their patience rewarded as Research-in-Motion (RIM) has debuted the PlayBook tablet, its offering in the increasingly competitive tablet space. The question facing the company and its users is if the PlayBook is too little, too late?

RIM used to be the king of the mobile-device hill with a market share that was the envy of the industry. But that is all past history, even if it is recent history, and its market share has been in freefall for the last year as first Apple’s iOS and then Android have seriously eroded its cache and more importantly its market share.

The company now seeks to roll back those market losses with the PlayBook tablet. It compares favorable in many ways not only with Apple’s offerings but also from the growing host of Android tablets. Powered by an operating system that was developed in-house for the device, it will come in three basic flavors, all with Wi-Fi, but no cellular at this point.

The PlayBook’s screen measures 7 inches diagonally and includes both front and back cameras. The entry-level model is priced at $499 and will come with 16GB of memory. The $599 model will ship with 32GB of memory and the $699 version will include 64 GB. Cellular access for the device is expected to be available this summer when Sprint starts offering connections.

For BlackBerry smartphone users, cellular can be at hand right now by using a Bluetooth connection between the tablet and the phone, providing access to all of the phone’s diverse capabilities and features including calendar, tasks and documents. For heavy BlackBerry users who want a pad interface the phone is a must since these features are not native on the tablet for some reason. There are reports that AT&T is blocking the tethering feature between AT&T Blackberry smartphones and the PlayBook, a major issue for users that seek a synchronized platform. However this could be only a short term issue.

A bigger issue is that there is currently a very limited number of apps available for the tablet, roughly 3,000. This pales in comparison to the Android and Apple app space which have hundreds of thousands of apps, although not all are optimized for their tablets. However it is expected that the PlayBook will be able to run Android apps later this year.

BlackBerry development has appeared to be almost an afterthought for many app developers, as highlighted by MLB At Bat 11 which offers the least features for a BlackBerry smartphone. The hope for sports fans is that by now having a bigger screen available, BlackBerry platforms will get more developer love.

Apple Customers Get Best View of Masters Golf Online

If you are a golf fan with an iPhone or iPad, you already have a two-shot lead even before this year’s Masters Tournament kicks off on April 7. That’s because the tourney is tilted in favor of Apple devices for non-TV viewing, especially for iPad owners who will have access to a wide array of features including nine live channels via a $1.99 app, as well as “the only digital live simulcast” of CBS’s weekend coverage.

While Android device owners won’t completely miss the cut, the free official Masters Android app for non-Apple devices will only provide live scoring and radio coverage, with video available only as highlights. (A version downloaded Wednesday night to a Samsung Epic 4G from Sprint also seemed to have issues with it not being able to increase text size.)

Golf fans with iPhones, however, will have access to five live video channels on their free app, an edge that could allow iPhone users to multitask (say, at your kid’s soccer game) on Sunday and not miss any live coverage of a potentially exciting finish.

Though many fans will no doubt be glued to the TV set (since the Masters has only a couple commercials each hour it remains one of the most pure sport-watching experiences) there will likely be many more viewers watching via their PCs, thanks to the beefed-up feature set found at the Masters.com site. One of the first big events to truly embrace the Internet, the Masters in 2011 will add the following online features, according to the tournament press release:

· Eight live video channels, all available in HD-quality

· DVR functionality that allows users to rewind to key moments during live action

· Exclusive live scoring with integrated leader board highlights

· The Internet’s only live, 3D video stream for users with 3D-capable computers

If you are watching via the iPad, you probably want to make sure you are doing so via a Wi-Fi connection, since extended video viewing via a 3G link could potentially burn through your monthly data download limit. But we are guessing there will be many golfing fans with both TVs and tablets ablaze during the tournament, as the multi-screen experience allows for Masters saturation far away from the hallowed fairways of Augusta.

MLB’s ‘At Bat 11’ Provides Baseball for the Mobile Fan

(By Gregger)

Just in time for baseball’s Opening Day, Major League Baseball has released an updated version of its At Bat 11 app which is available at its MLB.Com site. The program will come in several versions, each tailored to different platforms and offering similar, but not entirely the same features. Platforms supported include Apple’s iPads, the iPod touch and iPhone, as well as Blackberry and Android devices.

The $14.95 app is not a gaming program but is designed to bring a wide range of facets from current games and the season to fans who need to access the games using a their mobile devices. For all platforms it allows favorite team designation, the selection of in-progress game video highlights and the option of home or away broadcast teams.

A free trial period for live streaming of all out of market games via MLB.TV is available, sponsored by Volvo, for the opening month of the season but only for users of Apple devices running its iOS. You can watch streaming video of out of area games on Android devices running at least OS version 2.2 (with Flash support and at least an ARMv7 processor) but you do not get the free one-month trial.

It should be noted that if you are planning to subscribe to MLB.TV, it is for out of area games only and you should check to ensure that you are out of area, because some teams claim an interesting cross-segment of the country as their own, and in some cases more than one team claims an area so you might not be able to see the games that you wish. For instance one segment of Nevada is claimed by Arizona, San Francisco, San Diego and Oakland.

The level of sophistication on what is supported varies by device with Apple coming out on top and the Blackberry coming in last. For Blackberry users running at least OS 5.0 the app offers condensed games, notifications on game time starts and news features on all teams.

For the Android platform a minimum of OS version 2.1 is required and its additional features include a widget for an in-progress scoreboard, a pitch by pitch tracker, a customized home screen, expanded highlights and a video library archive that is searchable by player, team or keyword and the ability to access MLB.TV.

The iPhone and iPod touch are much the same as the Android platform but also include live look-ins at key plays for any game in progress, in area or out, and the ability to watch any archived game from 2011 on demand. The iPad also has an enhanced Gameday feature.

While baseball’s first attempts to control online media were a bit halting such as its consolidation of all teams web sites under a uniform banner in a dull and sometimes confusing site, it seems that it really now understands that fans are seeking multiple options to follow their teams and it has made a great effort to support them with its At Bat 11 and other programs.