Recording Long Videos



Once you start using Swivl for extended periods of time there are many things to consider, like the created video files can get rather large.  There are many ways to deal with large video files, and we are working on adding more capabilities to make it easier to get the files off the iOS device and to your final destination.


When making long recordings (like lectures or classes) there are several things to consider:

  1. Power
  2. Storage
  3. Setup and preperation
  4. Moving files

We have some recommendations on each that will make it easier for you to use Swivl.


Swivl base will last 4-6 hours on fresh AA batteries.  Swivl marker will last 10-12 hours on fresh batteries.  The amount of time an iOS device last is highly variable and depends on the age of the device, video recording quality, etc.  Swivl does not draw any power from the iOS device when they are connected.

If you are recording 4-6-8 hour videos, we recommend that you use a Swivl AC Adapter for the base and fresh batteries for your marker.  Swivl AC adapter will not only charge Swivl, but will also keep up the power in your iOS device.

Setting up Swivl with AC Adapter requires you manage the AC cable and we have some additional directions here

Storage — Video File Sizes

First, you have to understand how big the video files can get depending on what iOS device you use, at what resolution, and which camera. This table is to help you understand it better:

iOS DeviceCameraResolution - Size ButtonSize: megabytes per minute of recording
iPod TouchRear Facing720p - Large~50MB
480p - Medium~28MB
320p - Small~15MB
Front Facing480p~28MB
iPhone 4Rear Facing720p - Large
480p - Medium~28MB
320p - Small~15MB
Front Facing480p~28MB
iPhone 4SRear Facing1080P - Large
480p - Medium~28MB
320p - Small~15MB
Front Facing480p~28MB
iPhone 5 / iPod Touch 5Rear Facing1080P - Large~100MB
480P - Medium~28MB
320P - Small~15MB
Front Facing720P~50MB


Storage — Good ideas for dealing with video on iOS devices

  • Make sure you have plenty of space on your device.  See table above to give you a sense of how much space you need.  Ideally make sure you have 2x the space
  • To find out how much available space you have on your iOS device, go to Settings->General->Usage

Setup and Preparations

  • If you are using Swivl AC Adapater, make sure you have plenty of AC cable free and it does not interfere with Swivl motion.  If you are not sure, please check this page - AC Adapater Setup
  • If possible, use front facing camera — this way the video will be smaller and you will be able to see yourself and the video recording status
  • Record 1-2 short videos practicing the recording.  Test how well the audio works — is the microphone too far? too close? Do you see where the video files are created (hint: check Swivl video library)
  • Do not record one 8 hour video.  Periodically stop and restart the recording.  Usually it takes 10-20 seconds if you have recorded an hour video to stop and restart it.  Doing this will create more manageable files.

Moving Video Files off iOS Device (Swivl App)

DO NOT MOVE LARGE VIDEOS TO YOUR PHOTO ROLL – iOS does not handle moving or copying large files very well — it takes a long time and sometimes fails.

Save in iTunes (preferred method)

  • Connecting your iPhone or iPod to your computer
  • Itunes should open allowing you to click on your device on the left (1)
  • Click on the App Tab at the top (2) and scroll all the way down until you see Swivl App
  • Click on Swivl App (3) and select the video(s) (4) then Click on Save To (5)


Uncommon ways to move large video files

Use iExplorer App

iExplorer is a free app for Mac and Windows, and allows you to connect to your iOS device and browse files and folders.

iExplorer is available here: iExplorer

Once connected, you can find the Swivl video library, under Apps->Swivl->Documents->Library->Videos.  All videos will be listed as separate files in the library.  You can copy the files to your computer.  Please note that copying can take a while for very large files.