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Review: Contour's ShuttleXpress is a must-have $60 gadget for audio & video editors [Video]
While I've been a photographer since I was 14, when my bedroom became a darkroom with a bed in the corner, I'm a complete beginner where video is concerned. The closest I've ever got to video production was putting together a few exceedingly basic cycling videos in iMovie to share with friends.
However, since we live in an age when tech writers are increasingly expected to be video producers, and I love to learn new skills, I've set myself a new goal for 2017. At some point in the year, I want to be able to produce professional-looking review videos that wouldn't look out of place when viewed alongside the output of my extremely skilled colleagues. I've upgraded to Final Cut Pro, and I'll be taking you guys along for the ride – beginning with the demo video for this review.
It's already clear to me just how much I have to learn, so anything which makes my goal a little easier has to be worth a look. And that's exactly what Contour's ShuttleXpress aims to do …
The hardware is compatible with just about every app you could name, including Garage Band and Logic Pro on the audio side, and iMovie and Final Cut Pro for video – plus just about every Adobe app in existence. Cleverly, the device detects which app is in use and automatically changes its functionality to match.
If you look at a professional editing suite, one of the things you'll immediately notice is that nobody is moving back and forth in video using anything as crude as a trackpad, mouse or cursor keys. What they use instead are wheels which allow smooth back-and-forth movement within a video, at speeds ranging from the blindingly quick to frame-by-frame.
An example of this type of equipment – used in both audio and video production – can be seen below.