Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where to Edit Video Online for FREE!

Video editing without software or any hard drive space? Sounds impossible, but it's not. You could even do it with a simple netbook.

Yahoo's JumpCut is shutting down in June and YouTube killed their Remixer, so I checkout a few alternatives.

I used a Flip Ultra to shoot 23 clips of my drive to work. The video totaled six and a half minutes and around 170 mb's. Uploading to each site took a little over 45 minutes (that's 7 minutes upload for every 1 minute of video.) I think the long upload time has more to do with my cable connection than the sites' limits. From ok to awesome, here's what I found.

With a free motionbox account you're limited to uploading 750 mb's. Editing is limited as well. There are no transitions, no titles, and you can not add music, or adjust audio. It was easy enough. In the top box you put your videos in order and in the bottom time line area you trim them.

The first time I rendered the finished video, a loud audio chirp accompanied each cut, this went away after some time. The finish product can be emailed, embedded, or posted to FaceBook. If you want to download your video you'll need to upgrade to a $30 per year Premium account. Here's my finished video (with no music and only cuts it's pretty boring but the video quality is not bad.)

JayCut allows you to add music, transitions (I only got dissolves to work), effects, and still images to your video. It claims to have titles, but I couldn't get them to work to work. The editing is set up with a bin and an A-B time line. You drag your video from the bin to the time line and add transitions between the A and B (like the old Media100.) It also has a handy Snap that makes it easier to put your video together in the somewhat stick flash environment.

The words "patience is a virtue," appeared many times while uploading and editing. Your finished video can be emailed, embedded, shared, FaceBooked, or even downloaded. The music and dissolve go along way, but the video quality is lacking.

MixandMash.tv has the most versatile and powerful online video editing software I found. Videos are in a bin that can be filtered to only "my media" or everyone's shared video. So if you need a "Dramatic Chipmunk" in your mix, there is no need to upload it. Just grab it from the shared bin.

You can drag clips to the timeline or double click it, trim it, then post it in the time line.

There is a lot of control when navigating clips, down to single frame advance buttons. Audio levels can be set for each individual clips as well.

Adding dissolves is a bit tricky (for now.) You'll need to drag a clip to the "titles and overlays" section and fade it in. The "titles and overlays" section may be the best feature of this net app. Each video added gets it's own layer (a bit like Adobe After Effects.) This allows for complex layer effects, like multiple picture on picture and even chroma keying (green screen.) Other effects include alpha channels, blur, brightness, color key, drop shadow, edge detection, emboss, enhance, fade in, fade out, greyscale, HSV, invert, opacity, RGB, sharpen, and x-ray.

Video can be edited in normal 4:3 or widescreen 16:9. Another great feature is the "Auto Save" that backs up your work every few minutes just in case your computer crashes or you forget to pay your light bill.

Adding music and titles is a breeze. Text to speech is also offered, if you want a voice over but don't want to use yours.

There are so many features it can be a little overwhelming at first. If you do run into something you can't figure out, no problem, there are tutorial videos right in the project. Just click on the "help" tab.

I push thing to the limits with some crazy effects. I even got a time echo effect by time shifting a stack of videos and adjusting their opacity (under the overpass.) Finished videos can be shared, embedded, and downloaded.

MixandMash.tv is a very new site with less then fifty members, stumbling across this one has been a real treat.

There are three of your online editing options, I'm sure there are plenty more. So get out and make some fancy videos. But when you go to embed them, you may want to stick to posting here on Blogger. If you're not using a popular video site like YouTube or Vimeo, it's hard to get WordPress to work. That's the reason behind the detour. (Click here to go back to WordPress)