What if you could watch years of your life in a compilation of 1-second clips? 

1 Second Everyday ($0.99, iOS) allows you to easily create and compile a new kind of project: A rapid-fire video diary that logs each day of your life, one second at a time. 

The app helps you to associate each day of your life with a 1-second “memory,” then it compiles and plays back those memories chronologically in quick bursts. The end result can be pretty powerful: A long stretch of your life flashing before your eyes in brief blinks.

You need to shoot and select your own daily footage, but 1 Second Everyday (1SE) takes care of editing, organizing and compiling your clips. The app has presets that allow you to organize and compile a month’s or year’s worth of one-second videos at the touch of a button, but you can also enter custom start dates and end dates for your own projects. 

You can tap on dates that display as orange to select from photos or videos captured on those dates.

When you launch the app, it scans your Camera Roll for existing video clips and images, then displays them on a calendar interface to show you which days you’ve got covered. This makes it possible to use videos and images shot on days before the app was installed on your device. When you’ve shot a video or a photo on a particular day, the date displays in orange; tapping on that calendar entry lets you select (or re-select) an entry for that date. 

1SE has its own very basic recording interface, but you probably won’t use it much. The fact that you can shoot clips from within 1SE or import them from your Camera Roll adds to the app’s flexibility: You can shoot and apply effects with other programs if you want to. 

You also don’t have to limit your source footage to one second while you’re shooting it, either. The app has its own mini-scrubber/editor that lets you cut your clip down, so you can select a second’s worth of footage from a longer video. You simply select an entry point for your clip with the scrubber, and the editor chops it down to a second from there. The source video remains at full length in your Camera Roll.

Because the idea behind the app is dependent on daily footage, remembering to shoot something each day is much of the challenge. To help the cause, 1SE includes the option of setting daily reminders for you to capture footage as part of its feature set. Just in case you were thinking about cheating by importing videos or photos from another day, forget about it. The app uses the date tags from images in the Camera Roll to limit your daily options and keep you honest.

There may be times where you’d like to create separate but simultaneous projects on a single device--creating one 1SE project for a baby and one for their parent, for example. The app supports that scenario, letting you create more than one “Timeline” for a specific time period. You just tap the folder icon in the top right corner of the app and tap the “+” button to create concurrent projects.

This is an app that ultimately rewards patience when it comes to compiling your video. A week’s worth of one-second clips isn’t going to be too interesting or impactful, so it’s best to wait at least a month before processing your “Reel,” as 1SE calls it. Once you do, you have the option of saving the .MOV file to your Camera Roll, uploading it to YouTube, or sharing it via Facebook. The finished product is a date-stamped, second-at-a-time documentary of your own life, which is certainly worth a dollar. 

The brainchild of developer Cesar Kuriyama, 1 Second Everyday began as a Kickstarter project. His example video offers a look at what the app can do:

A version of 1SE is being developed for Android, but at the moment, the app is only available for iOS. I haven’t found anything exactly like it for other mobile platforms, but there are some similar apps out there. (If you’re an Android user and know of something similar, let me know in the comments section below.) 

One free alternative is Days, another iOS-only app that’s more photo-centric: Instead of videos, you keep a diary of images and simple animated GIFs, and you can associate several photos with each day. Unlike 1SE, however, you’re limited to recording from within the Days app itself, and you can’t import images from your Camera Roll.

For Windows Phone 8 users, the free Video Diary app provides custom reminders and integration with Dropbox and Skydrive for saving and logging your clips. Stitching together the videos and imposing your own time limits is up to you, however.