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  • Many Smule users like to share their best performances through social media. But on Instagram, a regular post is limited to one minutes and stories can’t even be more than 15 seconds long. To post full Smule performances you would need to use Instagram’s IGTV. But there is a catch: IGTV videos are always in a 9:16 (portrait mode) aspect ratio. When you add your square Smule videos, they are being scaled up and cropped, which makes the use of IGTV for native Smule videos almost impossible.

    The videos are blurry and the only half of the faces of the singers in a duet are visible. So we need to prepare our videos first before uploading them to IGTV. And here are several options to do this. 
    Online Conversion service
    Especially when using a desktop computer, you can conveniently convert your Smule video online in a browser window. After you downloaded your Smule video performance through our download service, head over to Kapwing’s Resize Video feature and upload your video: 
    Kapwing Resize Video 
    (Pro tip: You don’t even have to download the video first. You can also just copy the target URL from our download button and use this URL with the Kapwing’s service.)
    On the next page, click the buttons Story (Snap/Insta) or IGTV and No Crop. That’s it! You are good to go and you can click the “Create” button to generate your video. Optionally, you can also change the background color, move and scale the video and even trim it. 

    You can then download your video. As a guest user, there will be a watermark in the video, but you can create an account to remove it. In both cases, the service is completely free! The only downside is that the upload and creation of the video takes some time. 
    If you want to create IGTV videos more often or directly on your mobile device, a dedicated app might be a better solution. 
    Mobile apps to convert to IGTV’s aspect ratio
    A commercial app for iOS
    Not surprisingly, app makers understood the need to convert videos for IGTV. A sophisticated (but not cheap option) for mobile Apple device is this:
    Video Resizer for IGTV Editor
    Just pick the Smule video from device and make sure the 9:16 aspect ratio is selected. There are tons of additional options to style your videos, like adding backgrounds and custom animated titles. Having these options has its price. The app requires a monthly subscription fee.   

    A free app for Android
    Our suggestion for Android users is this app:
    Crop and Trim Video
    The app is free but shows ads. On the first screen (left picture) choose No Crop and pick the video from your device. Then choose the 9:16 ratio (middle picture). Finally, you can customize your video by choosing what will be displayed above and below your video (right picture). By default, it will be a blurred version of the Smule video, which looks quite nice. But you can also add decorative elements and custom pictures. Once you confirm the selection, your IGTV video will be generated and you can download it to your device. 

    Using video editing software
    In addition to the mentioned apps and services dedicated to resizing a video, you can of course also use any video editor, especially the ones made to create content for mobile devices. A recommendable free and platform-independent app is Adobe Rush. It’s available for PC, Mac, iOS and Android and you can even sync your projects among the different platforms. Getting used to full working with video editors will take some time though. 

    Which apps and service are you using to prepare your Smule video for social media sharing? Do you have other recommendations? Feel free to post them in the comments. 
    Smule just launched a new feature in the iOS app. When you start a new solo or collab, you have a new option to chose “clip” instead of “full song”. This will allow to only record a part of the song, usually the first chorus.

    Clips can vary in length but are usually around 30 seconds to one minute. The music will automatically fade in and out. Smule Clips are an easy and fast way to record on Smule and then share the result on social media without having to get the entire song perfectly right. 
    Here is an example of a clip recording:

    What do you think about this feature? 
    Smule just launched a new feature on the app called “gifts” and with that a new payment options called “coins”. As Smule puts it, “Gifts are the newest, most expressive way to show your appreciation for the performances you love”. 

    Gifts are essentially animated little stickers you can send to someone if you like their performance and you can also add a personal message along with most gifts. The feature is more personal and more prominent than the previous options of liking and commenting songs. While like and comments are public and can be left by anyone, gifts are a paid and personal option. While performances show the number of received gifts, the gift itself, the people giving them and their messages are only visible for the singers receiving the gifts. For this a new tab on the Activity section of the app was added. 

    To send most gifts you need to buy coins in advance. Coins are essentially a virtual currency that only exists within the Smule service. The gift prices vary greatly, so one can spend a few cents per gift or well over US$ 40 for the most expensive one. Smule makes it clear in their terms of service that the coins are not a real currency. The purchase of coins is not refundable, the value of the coins may change at any time and the coin service might be changed or stopped. But the coin service is probably here to stay and could easily be extended to other features like paid video/audio filters.  
    Currently Smule hasn’t officially announce the gift service or updated their help and FAQ sections with more details. We will extend this article when more information emerges. 
    Feel free to comment below to tell us how you like the new feature. 
    While going live on Smule you can now apply real-time video effects, which change your appearance in ways you might know from apps like Snapchat. 
    In Smule the feature is called Live Looks and it can be accessed in LiveJams through the filters button in the bottom left corner. At the moment 16 different effects can be used. A few are shown below. 

    In addition, Smule also improved the appearance of LiveJams in the app. Instead of just showing a single profile image, both current participants are shown along with a still from the live performance. 

    Smule singers have been creating groups since the app exists, but there was never any direct support for it in the app. People had to use hashtags to connect their accounts or songs to a group or set up additional Smule accounts, which was difficult to handle, since account switching is also not a feature currently. 
    But handling groups just go a lot easier, since there is now a dedicated feature for it in the app. It is available in the iOS version and on the website. In the Explore tab of Smule on iOS you can browse through new groups. If you hit the plus button there, you can create your own groups. 

    Groups can contain up to 1000 members and each Smule user can create up to 3 groups.  The creator of the group is the “owner” and each group can only have one owner, who has administrator privileges. 

    Groups are always public, but you can decide if people can request to join (with or without automatic approval) or whether the group will be invite-only. Once Smule users are part of a group, this will also be shown on their profile and the groups can be accessed from there. The group page shows the members and “posts”. These posts can currently only be songs, both published collabs and open calls. All members of the group can post. 
    Sing.Salon Insights is a tool which generates statistics for your account or other singer’s Smule accounts. Feel free to try it out here: https://sing.salon/insights/ 
    Just add a Smule user name and click the button to generate the statistics. 

    At the moment the tool will:
    Show the user’s most viewed/loved/commented FAVs and play them directly in the browser show pie charts for the type of songs created (audio/video, solo/duet/group) show the partner artists someone joins show who’s join someone likes to FAV show who someone likes to join
    It’s a convenient way to find great collabs and good singers without having to scroll through hundreds of songs. Just let this tool show you popular songs and people someone likes to sing with.
    Now you create collabs with other Smule singers in real time. As usual the feature is first rolled out to iOS users, but it will come to Android as well. And watching and commenting is open to everyone through the website. 

    So how does it work?
    To start a LiveJam, you can either use the banner link in the iOS app or the links in your feed tab or profile tab. You can apply video filters as with OCs and you can either talk or start a song at any time by clicking the Mic button. You can invite people to join the LiveJam or people seeing your LiveJam can request to join. If the LiveJam is public, everyone is free to watch the live performance and to comment or react. 

    Have a look at some LiveJams taking place right now here:
    Feel free to tell us in the forums what you think about it: