Pixorial, a video sharing startup streamlining the process of sharing video from any format to anywhere online, is poised to release both Android and iPhone apps sometime either this month or January at the latest, the company tells us.
The mobile apps will enable users to capture and/or upload video to their Pixorial library, which will be entirely accessible via the cloud. Editing and effects capabilities will be added in a later update. (Scroll down to see a few screenshots of the upcoming apps.)
Pixorial is not a destination site like Vimeo or YouTube, however, as company co-founder and CEO Andres Espiñeira insists. I had a chance to sit down with Espiñeira recently and, besides watching a few of his childhood videos, we talked about what Pixorial really is: a company that wants to help people get their videos (whether they’re stored on 8mm or a cell phone) to the cloud and, ultimately, to the eyes of family and friends on Facebook.
To achieve this ambitious goal, Pixorial offers the most base level service: analog to digital conversion. Users literally mail the company their old tapes and film in pretty much every format imaginable--VHS, VHS-C, Digital8, Hi8, Betamax, miniDV, and 8mm, Super 8 and Super 8 film with sound, DVDs and memory cards--and Pixorial digitizes up to 6 GB of the film for you within two weeks of receipt. You heard that right: Betamax. HD and 16 mm support coming soon. After digitization, Pixorial returns tapes and film (unless you specifically request to have the tapes recycled).
At that point, users can view and edit their videos directly on the Pixorial platform. Kind of like Apple’s iMovie, Pixorial targets adults with “no video editing experience whatsoever,” says Espiñeira, meaning you can expect to learn how to trim and splice clips and add music in no time at all. Of course, that means more advanced editing tools won’t really be offered.
Users can then share their videos, edited or not, with friends and family via email, website embed, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. For the less technologically-inclined relatives (think: grandparents), Pixorial lets users order DVDs of their movie to be shipped.
Duly noting the influence of Facebook’s constantly growing social network, approaching 600 million members any day now, Pixorial also has an app on the platform that lets users do a lot of the uploading, editing and sharing straight from Facebook’s site.
Pricing for Pixorial is currently seated on three tiers. The free version, which is mostly a tester version for users who want to try out the service, lets you upload, store and edit up to 20 minutes of video. The Plus plan, which costs $10 per year, adds full-screen capability and lets you upload up to an hour of video. (Since one hour doesn’t feel like that much more than 20 minutes to me, I told Espiñeira that the Plus plan just seemed like a more expensive tester account, to which he chuckled and said they were still experimenting with the price tiers.)
For people who will use their accounts to the utmost extent, the Pro Plans are the best. For either $5 per month or $50 per year (a $10 bargain versus the monthly plan), Pro users can upload, store, edit and share an unlimited amount of video.
Founded in 2007, Pixorial has to date been privately funded, though Espiñeira tells me he is having discussions with VCs. A new funding round (around the $7 million mark, he says) would help the 14-person startup hire more hands to keep developing updates and upgrades for the service (like an iPad app, which Espiñeira aims to launch in 2011).
Below is a sneak peak of the upcoming Android app, which is still in the final stages of development. The final product (and the iPhone version) probably won't look too different.
For more information about Pixorial, check out the video below, in which Silicon Valley lover and tech blogger Robert Scoble sits down with Espiñeira and the Pixorial service: