Highlight Hunter makes hunting down video highlights easier

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Highlight Hunter helps save some time in the editing chair by letting users bookmark highlights as they are recorded

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The advent of digital video and the ever-more capacious storage capabilities of video capturing mobile devices has made it much less likely that we’ll miss that killer shot when the opportunity arises. But it also means that digging up that great shot amongst the hours and hours of captured footage can be a real chore. Highlight Hunter helps save some time in the editing chair by letting users bookmark highlights as they are recorded, so the application can automatically hunt them down when the time comes to import them to a computer.

While automated video editors such as Magisto attempt to sort the wheat from the chaff by using specialized algorithms to pick out the best bits from raw footage, Highlight Hunter keeps the human element involved by letting you bookmark a highlight immediately after it occurs by covering the camera lens for a few moments. There’s no need to note the timecode or even stop recording – in fact, you’ll actually need to keep recording to capture the covering of the lens and make the bookmark.

When the time comes to transfer the footage to a computer, start up Highlight Hunter – it’s available for Mac and PC – and select the video or videos to be scanned. Users can select to scan a single video or a whole folder as well as specifying how much of the video leading up to the covering of the camera lens is desired - anywhere from five seconds to 10 minutes. Then hit “Start Scan” and the application will spit out the highlights as separate files into the specified directory.

We tried out Highlight Hunter on video captured from a dedicated video camera, an iPhone and a point and shoot camera with video capture capabilities. The application picked up all the highlights bookmarked on each device and spat out the resulting video highlight clips in quick fashion.

The only problem we ran into was when we tried to extract highlights from video that had already been imported into iMovie. This is because the video is converted to the Apple Intermediate Codec when imported into iMovie, which doesn’t play nice with Highlight Hunter. So if you’re looking to use Highlight Hunter in conjunction with iMovie, just ensure you get the highlights before importing them.

While Highlight Hunter probably won’t be useful to everyone, it’s not hard to see the benefits for sporting types that use actioncams to capture continuous footage for extended periods. Video producers who regularly find themselves searching through a business presentation or similar live event for the one or two moments worth salvaging will also likely find Highlight Hunter a nice little time saver.

Highlight Hunter should work with just about any digital video camera and has been tested on videos encoded in H.264, MPEG-4, or AVC HD. You can download a free version of the application that puts watermarks on the highlight videos to see if it works with your gear. An upgrade to the Premium version, which gets rid of the watermark and provides faster scanning speeds, retails for US$29.99.

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