Print-on-demand publisher Blurb has launched a free app for Apple's iPhone that allows users to compile photos, videos and audio to create visual stories. The launch marks the company's first foray into non-printed media collections and away from its exiting print-on-demand business. The company has announced its fourth annual international Photography Book Now competition with a chance to win a US $25,000 cash prize. Category winners will receive $5000 from Adobe amongst other goodies. Entries need to be submitted before July 14, 2011.

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Press Release:

Blurb launches mobile media story app

New mobile platform enables anyone to quickly compose and share media stories directly from their iPhone.

London, 29th April 2011 – Blurb, the global creative publishing platform today announced its new mobile publishing application, Blurb Mobile.  Designed to enable easy and fast story creation using rich media content, including photos, videos and audio, the stories can be shared via the author’s existing social networking channels (including Facebook and Twitter), by email, or via their own Blurb channel.

Produced by individuals with a passion for capturing life’s moments, Blurb Mobile stories are engaging, inclusive, fun and instantly sharable. The Blurb Mobile iPhone app enables easy media editing, including rotating, cropping, scaling, and drag and drop sequencing, plus geotagging, which can link the story to a location on a map.  Once the media has been composed, the author can add text and voice captions to each of their images to create a complete and highly personalised narrative. Additional personalisation includes the ability to choose from seven unique visual themes.

By introducing an easy to use, yet powerful interface, a Blurb Mobile story can range from sharing a personal moment with friends and family, to a real-time report from a front-line photojournalist covering breaking news.

“Blurb is known for two things: helping people to tell their stories visually and then enabling them to share their work directly with their audience,” said Eileen Gittins, CEO and Founder,  “To date, the medium of choice has been the printed book; but that’s all changing. With the release of Blurb Mobile, people will now be able to capture life’s great moments – large and small, in wonderfully rich story form and then share their stories on the fly, using any media on their phone including voice, video text and image. All in under 90 seconds.”

Putting media into motion means customers can quickly create, share and view personal stories that use photos, video and audio. Designed to encourage contextual experimentation on the part of the author and discovery by the audience, Blurb Mobile is about entertainment and personal storytelling that can be instantly shared with friends, family, or a broader audience.

“People are hardwired to tell stories.  It’s how we make sense of the world.  But where other photo apps treat images as individual frames, the new Blurb Mobile app enables people to sequence their pictures and video, and then add voice overs and text to form beautiful little stories that can be instantly shared with anyone, anytime,” added Gittins. “And this is just the beginning. We recognize that these stories are inherently social, so you will see our platform evolve to support social elements such as commenting, following, re-sharing and more.”

Currently available on the iPhone, Blurb Mobile is free to download and each customer receives a story channel on to share their stories. In addition, Blurb Mobile Plus provides an in-app upgrade path for customers seeking additional photo, video and audio capability. All stories can be made public or private.