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My adventure of posting app trailers to iTunes Connect

10-06-2014, 03:59 PM
#1
My adventure of posting app trailers to iTunes Connect

Hey guys, I wanted to share with fellow iOS programmers my adventure of posting trailers of our game on iTunes connect.

With the recent release of iOS 8 publishers now have the opportunity to provide a video preview of their app, along with the usual screenshots. Very good news, we already have a nice trailer of our game, hosted on youtube I will just submit it to iTunes Connect.

First pitfall : you can only post videos if you are submitting a new version of your app. We had no planned update, and I though I'd be a bad idea to annoy our users with an empty update, just to have trailers in the store.
A few days later we received a bug report from one of our users : we had a critical bug with our game on iOS 8. OK let's go for an update and take the opportunity to post our video.

Second pitfall, you see immediately on ITC when creating a new version : To upload your app video preview, you must use Safari and OS X v10.10 or later ! Come on Apple, we are in 2014 with HTML5 and modern browsers! Why on earth do I have to install a non-released beta version operating system on my mac for the sole purpose of uploading a video?! I can't see a valid reason, even technical, so let's spoof our user-agent and pretend we are on OS X 10.10 (we are actually on 10.9.5).

Third pitfall: your video must be between 15 and 30 seconds and you must provide a different video for all of the different screen resolutions iDevices support. Our youtube trailer is one minute long, so let's download a video editing program to cut off some parts, and use an other piece of software to export it to all the required resolutions. So far so good, I managed to upload videos in 1920x1080, 1900x1200 and 1200x900. But I can't managed to make it with the 1334x750 for iPhone 6. This seems like a non standard H264 resolution and the program I used just export it as 1336x750... Let's try an other program then. I finally ended up using ffmpeg on the command line, and this time the resolution I see when playing in VLC is right. Unfortunately not for ITC : every time I drag my video I still get the same error message: The app video preview dimensions should be: 1334x750, 750x1334.

I was about to give up having my video on iPhone 6 when I tried a last more thing. I was curious to see what ITC thinks the resolution of my video was, so I launched the developer console, found the scripts that run ITC are made with Angular JS and not minified. I opened a few scripts, quickly found were the video resolution is extracted, set a breakpoint and drag my video one more time. I didn't get why but the width variable holds 1333 instead of 1334. No problem, I used safari debugger to modify the variable on the fly, resumed the script, and voila, the upload occurred and there seems to have no server side checks: I eventually have all my videos on the iTunes store now.

Thank you Apple for making this process so simple!
10-06-2014, 04:53 PM
#2
Haha, you sound a lot like me when I first started working on these app videos. It took quite a while to get this working well. I had to upgrade my OS to the developer version of OSX Yosemite. But I'm glad I did. I LOVE the new video capture built in to Quicktime. It's awesome and amazing you can capture at 60fps. I used to only be able to capture at 30fps using my capture card. The downside is that Apple requires the final clips to be in 30fps so you lose some of the quality, but still, it will be great for other promo videos!

Like you, at first I also used command line tools to change video resolutions, in conjunction with iMovie. But then I noticed a 30-day trial version of Final Cut Pro X is available through Apple. So I downloaded it and problem solved. I could record and export to all proper resolutions with ease. Considering how easy it was to do this though I'll just buy Final Cut Pro X when my trial runs out. I'm sure this was probably another way for Apple to make more money from the devs, but I guess I can see the value in it as it truly is a great program and much nicer than iMovie. If you can swing the $300 do it, or at least download the trial and decide for yourself.
10-06-2014, 05:56 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stingman View Post
Haha, you sound a lot like me when I first started working on these app videos. It took quite a while to get this working well. I had to upgrade my OS to the developer version of OSX Yosemite. But I'm glad I did. I LOVE the new video capture built in to Quicktime. It's awesome and amazing you can capture at 60fps. I used to only be able to capture at 30fps using my capture card. The downside is that Apple requires the final clips to be in 30fps so you lose some of the quality, but still, it will be great for other promo videos!

Like you, at first I also used command line tools to change video resolutions, in conjunction with iMovie. But then I noticed a 30-day trial version of Final Cut Pro X is available through Apple. So I downloaded it and problem solved. I could record and export to all proper resolutions with ease. Considering how easy it was to do this though I'll just buy Final Cut Pro X when my trial runs out. I'm sure this was probably another way for Apple to make more money from the devs, but I guess I can see the value in it as it truly is a great program and much nicer than iMovie. If you can swing the $300 do it, or at least download the trial and decide for yourself.
+1 for FCP, makes it a real joy to edit and export. 30 day free Trial.
11-21-2014, 12:06 PM
#4
Joined: Dec 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 20
Hey guys, we are about make our first App Preview videos as well

My question is, do we have to use an iPhone device to record our videos or could we use an Android device then use Video Editing Programs to adjust it to the required resolutions?
11-22-2014, 05:00 PM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by s0ckman View Post
My question is, do we have to use an iPhone device to record our videos or could we use an Android device then use Video Editing Programs to adjust it to the required resolutions?
We recorded our trailer on a PC version of the game!
Yeah I don't think it makes any difference, just make sure you have the required resolutions.
11-22-2014, 10:49 PM
#6
Joined: Nov 2014
Location: China / Canadian
Posts: 605
Send a message via Skype™ to 1stSPIN
Thank you for posting FCP info.