Monday, May 21, 2018

Sync My Lights: A Review - Part 1

You may have read my review of Ambee, a very necessary app for Phillips Hue lighting. You probably noticed I like to write. You probably also noticed I like to do reviews of things that I like...or don’t like for that matter.

Recently, I have declared Sync My Lights to be equally quintessential.

Sync My Lights is an app that allows the user to run a light show called a recipe whilst watching a movie, TV show, or any kind of video (including video that you create on your own). The light show essentially syncs with the video, and adds dramatic effect. And since it runs independently of the video you are showing, there's no concern about lag or issues with timing. It’s a simple app, with a complex function. Playing a recipe is easy to learn.

The light shows are produced by the users and new ones are added everyday. There is a learning curve that a user must overcome in making the various recipes. The more experienced users of course produce the best recipes, but user feedback helps overcome that learning curve. Artistic representation is also prevalent. Hence the need to write a Part I and a Part II to this review. 

So far I’ve mainly used Sync My Lights to watch movies. I’m not much for TV shows, and as of yet there are no full seasons of anything, so to me they are expository and experimental at this stage. The most recent update allows the user to filter their search based on movie, TV, music titles, etc. 

My favorites include:

  • Any of the available Marvel movies
  • Stardust
  • Star Wars:  The Last Jedi
  • Rogue One
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Part II of this review will discuss my own attempts at creating recipes for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Fifth Element, Hero, and others.

I’ve found that the best recipes are for movies that are visually striking; full of color and action. Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Action movies seem to have the greatest impact, are the most popular and provide the most “bang for your buck” as we say in the US.

Speaking of which, the app is free to try a selection of recipes. A membership is $1.99 US per year and you get a free year if one of your own is approved to be added to the library. This low price is overwhelmingly worth it for the value you get.

Initially, I held off on giving a rating for Sync My Lights because I really had only explored the play side and not the create side. I still don't have a lot of experience with the create side and I feel the learning curve is a bit steep, but not impossible. It just takes time and patience. So, I'm going to go ahead and give my recommendation along with a five star rating.

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