Vintagio brings old-school aesthetics to your videos

Vintagio is an iOS app from MacPhun that aims to combine the ease of use of Apple’s own iMovie video editing application with the distinctive “retro” filters so popular in mobile photography apps such as Instagram. It’s available now as a $2.99 download from the App Store, specifically designed for iPhone.

Vintagio has two modes of operation: “Express” and “Pro” mode. Alongside this, there is also a “showtime” element that allows users to see videos created by the community and submit their own creations to an online contest.

In “Express” mode, creating a video is a simple matter of selecting a visual effect (ranging from scratched ’80s film to “classic sepia”), a video quality (anywhere between 192×144 and 1080p), a soundtrack (either from several library tracks that correspond to the visual effects, or from the user’s iTunes library on their device) and a speed. Once this is done, the user either shoots a video or selects one from their camera roll and this is automatically processed. Upon completion, the resulting video can be shared on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, saved to the user’s camera roll or submitted to the online contest.

“Pro” mode offers users a lot more control. Rather than shooting an individual video and automatically processing it, Pro mode allows users to combine photos, videos and title cards together on a timeline and rearrange them as they see fit. Clips may also be duplicated, played in reverse or mirrored, and single frames may be extracted as still images, though only as part of the project, not to the camera roll. Once the project is completed, it must then be rendered manually and then, again, may be shared on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, shared via email or submitted to the contest.

The app doesn’t make it immediately clear what the “contest” is all about — there’s no indication of prizes, terms and conditions or any other pertinent information until the user actually begins the submission process, at which point a “help” button becomes available. The contest allows users to submit their silent movies to Vintagio, with the best being featured on the official YouTube gallery for the app. A Twitter and Facebook presence also keeps users updated as to upcoming special events, but again, these are not made particularly obvious to the user until they have already begun the submission process.

Another issue rears its head occasionally when returning to the app from multitasking — obtrusive full-screen advertisements for MacPhun’s other apps sometimes monopolize the display and must be dismissed before returning to working on a video. Cross-promotion for a developer’s other apps is nothing unusual, but unsolicited full-screen advertising in a paid app is something that users do not generally respond particularly well to in App Store reviews. MacPhun’s cross-promotional efforts are perhaps best saved for less obtrusive parts of the app, such as the “feedback” menu on the main page (which also carries a link to one of MacPhun’s other apps) or even the tips that appear while the user is waiting for a video to render.

This relatively minor issue aside, however, Vintagio is an excellent app that works very well. It’s simple to use and produces convincing-looking “retro” video results that can easily be shared with others. It could perhaps benefit from an Instagramesque social component beyond the “contest” feature, allowing users to like and comment on each other’s creations, but this would require a fundamental restructuring of how the app works and handles online. Since the main focus of the app is on creating content and then sharing it to established social networks, however, this is not a particularly big problem, and many users will likely be happy to not have yet another mobile social network to keep an eye on.

Vintagio is currently ranked at No. 86 in Top Paid Photography Apps, and No. 124 in Top Grossing Photography Apps. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.