Pros: Simple, intuitive, feature packed
Cons: price, tougher to use alone
Swing Profile is designed to be an all-in-one solution for the avid golfer to record, review, and compare their golf swing right at your finger tips. Swing Profile also attempts to do most of the heavy lifting for you in advace by utilizing their 5A’s methodology;
- Auto Capture – recognizing and recording swing motion only
- Auto Trim – keeping only the raw swing motion by trimming away redundant footages
- Auto Sequence – creating Golf Digest-style swing sequence
- Auto Line – drawing swing plane
- Auto Sync – synchronizing two different swings regardless of tempo difference
By using the 5A’s, the end user does not have to go through the steps of transferring, trimming, and loading video from the camera into another program, thus allowing for quicker feedback and more productive practice sessions.
The interface of Swing Profile is really simple and intuitive. There are only 3 screen types to understand. 1. Main app screen 2. Record 3. Library/Play back. The action buttons are clear and easy to understand. If you ever have doubt on what a button’s action is, a quick tap on the help icon brings up a screen overlay explaining each action.
Recording is simple. On the capture screen, you tap “Capture”, and the app is ready to record. Swing profile provides a transparent view of a golfer in the setup position with 2 lines, one below the feet and one above the head. This overlay is intended to provide the user with reference for placing yourself within the screen. Placing your iPad at a distance away which allows you to have your body between the two lines gives the best possible view to capture the entire swing. This overlay is not visible in playback.
Recording is one area where Swing Profile sets themselves apart from other swing recording apps. Swing Profile will only record your swing motion, automatically trimming out the “fat” which would be recorded using a traditional camera. Meaning, setting up another ball, rehearsing a feeling/position, or talking to friend will not be captured and you can leave the app running. Also, each swing is recorded separately from others. Allowing you to sift through many swings quickly and only keep the ones you want. Other swings can be deleted without worry of losing your entire session.
Swing Profile has also given thought to using the app alone. When recording, visual recognition for ready to record is given by placing a green box around the screen. Obviously, you can not be in two places at once. Swing profile has also provided audio recognition; one “beep” for ready, and two “beeps” for finished. Therefore, once you have your iPad setup, hit capture, listen for the single beep, and swing away.
Lastly, Swing Profile allows you to build a pro swing library by recording a swing from Youtube or your TV. Unfortunately, I was busy enough with viewing myself, I did not put this option to the test.
While recording is simple, it doesn’t seem to leave much room for error. During my usage I found that slight movements of the iPad would cause an “Excessive Movement” warning and the app would not record. This was a fairly large problem for me when using the app alone, and at an uncovered range, because you can not see the screen, leaving you waiting for the ready “beep”. Unlike the iPhone, there are not many price conscious/cheap mounting solutions for the iPad which will hold it in place solidly and easily. I had to rely on my Apple cover rolled back to prop up my iPad. As you can imagine, this is not ideal, and a slight breeze would cause the iPad to rock slightly preventing recording.
The second issued I had was the height required to place yourself between the two reference lines. Optimum height is around chest high. To get this height at the range I had to fashion a mounting solution using a trash can and range buckets. This gave me a good height, but it was not a solid solution. I was more worried about my ipad falling, than making productive swings. This also limited my ability to get face on video. I was not able to get the iPad high or far enough back in the neighboring stall to get a wide view.
Simplicity is found throughout Swing Profile, reviewing continues that trend. After recording your swing, Swing Profile has many options you can use while reviewing; Add notes, View a single swing or dual swing (up to 4 swings together), Compare to pro swing, etc.
During video playback, Swing Profile allows you to view video at one of 3 speeds; full speed, ½ speed, and ⅓ speed. You can also go into finer detail and view video frame by frame. In using the frame by frame mode, it must be remembered that the recording is not high speed or high resolution. This is quickly apparent by how far the club will move between frames and is often a blur. Despite this weakness, frame by frame was the feature I used most.
Similarly to other recording apps, Swing Profile has a complement of drawing features for drawing reference lines. When you first open a file, initial shaft plane lines are drawn for you automatically.
A couple features unique to swing profile is the film strip output and synchronized swings. Film strip output tries to capture the main positional checkpoints through the swing. The downside is related to not being high speed video. Often times the titled position was not captured correctly due the lack of speed in the video. When viewing two swings side by side, Swing Profile will attempt to sync the two swings for easy direct comparison. While not perfect, I found the synchronization to be very close.
Swing Profile will also let you quickly share or transfer your videos via email, facebook, and twitter. Videos are emailed in mp4 format for easy viewing in your computer’s media player, Quicktime for me. When emailing your video, Swing profile will give you the option to include slow motion playback as well. Both full speed and slow motion are sent in a single video file, with the accompanying film strip output as a jpeg.
Overall, I would give Swing Profile (iPad) a B grade. The lack of solid mounting solution, not high speed, and price ($60), which I didn’t cover, are my main detractors. Swing Profile’s biggest separator, for me, would be the auto trim feature of captured video, but that alone doesn’t warrant the price tag. I see the iPad version being most popular with professionals giving lessons, where mounting is of no concern and the large screen of the iPad is handy for immediate playback. As a self user, I would trend towards using the iPhone version for easy mounting and quick transfer to a computer using the email function.