Moviola's Pro Video Guide logo showcases sleek design and professionalism.

Moviola’s Pro Video Guide Reviewed

Moviola Studios has kicked-off 2010 in grand style with their Pro Video Guide, a nifty new app that should live on every media-maker’s iPhone and iPod Touch.

In a nutshell, Pro Video Guide is a well organized, fact-filled reference manual that covers all the important technical aspects of a modern digital workflow. It’s not perfect but priced at a very modest $1.99, it’s twenty bucks cheaper than the last reference guide I purchased (which had less useful information).

The guide is broken down into five sections: Library, Glossary, Organizations, Bookmarks, and History.

The Library offers useful, easy-to-understand explanations of complex topics (i.e. Video signal standards, bit rates, color space, etc.). The information is broken down by category, and relevant sub-categories. When necessary, images are also provided to further explain or demonstrate a concept — with varying degrees of success.

The Glossary provides a comprehensive list of terms along with excellent, to-the-point explanations. You can scroll up and down through the terms, or narrow down the list by using the search box.  Unlike the search box in the iPhone’s address book, the Glossary search box remains fixed at the top of the screen — a thoughtful touch.  Ideally, future versions of the Guide will implement an app-wide search function.

Organizations presents a list of unions, guilds, groups, and forums. Each entry includes a description (sometimes too brief) and a URL. It’s even got a section for filmmaking related blogs… which currently doesn’t include Hand Held Hollywood.  What’s up with that?!  It’s also missing ProLost, one of the best blogs on the intertubes.  Clearly, these heinous omissions need to be corrected in future updates. </self-serving-hype>

You can bookmark any entry in the Library, Glossary and Organization sections for later review. Your saved bookmarks can be found in the Bookmarks section. This is where I have my biggest complaint. The app offers no way to delete an individual bookmark. You can only choose to clear them all. Yikes! That needs to be addressed, pronto!

The History section shows where you’ve been in the app — like the history section of a web browser.  Not much else to say about that.

I experienced a couple of minor bugs while swiping between library entries, one of which led to a crash.  But I suspect they’re the sort of bugs that will vanish in a 1.01 release.

Whether you’re a tech-whiz or a video newbie, Pro Video Guide will make a worthy addition to your iPhone arsenal.  And at $1.99, it’s a significantly better investment than Fart Shaker Deluxe. If you’re 12, please disregard the previous statement.


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10 Responses

  1. I just bought this app based on your review. You were sooooo right. I’m going to be using this at work all the time (I’m a post supervisor). Thanks!

  2. $1.99 = FAIL
    I’m already using an iPhone… I can get all this information for FREE by using Google.
    This looks more like some way to advertise than a real app. If it’s advertising, then you should make it FREE!

  3. I was doing the google thing, but this is well organized and you can use it without an internet connection. And you can bookmark too (which I guess you can do in safari). I like that it’s all in one place. Totally worth two bucks. I didn’t notice any ads. If you want complain about ads in paid apps, let’s talk about the cnn app. Those ads make me want to throw my phone out the window!

  4. It reminds me of those old DVDs from Trish (beautiful name) Meyer. I forget what they were called. They had tons of good technical facts, and it was easy to follow. I think that’s why I really like this app.

  5. Trish,

    I think you’re talking about VideoSyncrasies, published by Desktop Images. Those were GREAT DVDs. I still have my set floating around here somewhere. FYI, I hosted a series of After Effects training videos for the same company. They were called After Effects Boot Camp. But… that’s another story… and a lifetime ago.


  6. Hi Erick!

    Thanks for the feedback! I’d like to address your points.

    While it’s true, all the information in the app is available elsewhere, I’ve never seen it so well presented for a mobile platform. It’s smooth, fast, and well organized. I was able to find concise descriptions of multiple concepts within seconds. If I’m shooting in some remote location (which I often am) without decent network coverage (which is often the case thanks to AT&T), and I need quick access to technical info, this app is going to be a lifesaver. For me, the $2 is well worth it.

    I’m curious… would it change things if it was $.99? Or is it not about the price? Are you simply opposed to paying for info that’s available elsewhere for free?

    To your second point… There’s no advertising in the app. At least, none that I noticed. The app was developed by Movioa, a well respected name in Hollywood. I don’t think they’d cheapen their image by putting in ads. If you found ads, please let me know. I’d be annoyed by that, too.

    Thanks again for posting your thoughts!


  7. Taz, you said in your comment:
    "The app was developed by Moviola, a well respected name in Hollywood."

    You’re kidding, right? Moviola Digital has a terrible rep in L.A. on a lot of fronts. Don’t get me started! I just have a hard time believing they made a good app based on all the stuff I’ve heard about them from friends and my own personal experiences (there were 2 — both bad… and never a 3rd time!).

    Sorry Taz, I don’t think I’ll give them even that little bit of money. I don’t want to get boned by them again. Keep up the great work with the site though. – MM

  8. Hi Mike,

    Ek! They do? That’s not good.

    They’ve always done well by me. I’ve rented and purchased from them on several occasions. Granted, it’s been about five years since I’ve done business with them, but I’ve always been satisfied. Hopefully, they haven’t turned to the dark side in my absence. …perhaps they have.