This article was eye opening. I didn't even know that online video editing existed and to be able to edit, publish, and share it all online is very exciting!
Video editing, publishing and remixing online is now a reality.
Before I could even ponder or realize the amazing opportunities that these new video editing tools were going to unleash on us, I am already surrounded by a small set of great online video services that make the uploading, editing, remixing and sharing / re-publication of video clips just about pure fun.
Eyespot, Jumpcut and soon Motionbox (still inaccessible but already reviewed by the ever excellent TechCrunch), are the three most interesting examples of the new online video revolution taking place right in front my eyes. But they are not alone: The-N, VideoEgg, Grouper, VMix and many other ones, are all just about to introduce new features that will allow greater abilities to edit, remix, dub and post-produce any digital video footage(Check the audio interview with the David Dudas, Eyespot CTO further down in this article).
It wasn't long ago that I was discussing with pioneering digital filmmaker Kent Bye about his excellent idea of creating a distributed, collaborative video editing system, in which multiple individuals could actively participate in the putting together of a full-feature movie. While meant to be dedicated to video and film production professionals, Kent's idea was as much conceived to help grassroots, non-technical users, to get conceptually involved in experimenting and exploring the opportunities that shared and collaborative video editing offered them.
But now that I see these amazing new media video editing and publishing gems, I wonder whether the road to get more people onto the video publishing board is really going to look and feel like what Kent had originally in mind.
These new video editing and publishing services smash down any remaining barriers between passionate and talented videomakers of any age or creed and their ability to produce video edited material without needing to use any dedicated software and with the added advantage of having an easy to use online venue to share, publish, market and syndicate their video productions to the world.
This is really a video revolution in the making, and while I did predict it was just about to come, I am as excited and enthusiastic as I had just found a gold mine.
But what do these new video services exactly offer?
The key basic capabilities include the ability to easily upload videos, no matter what your original footage has been recorded on, and the power to edit, at different levels of complexity, the audio and video clips you have previously uploaded.
Beyond these is the ability to organize, tag and sort video material according to your needs and preferences. Theme albums, group- or project-related presentation areas, and the ability to "tag" videos or individual scenes within them, greatly expand the ease with which you can then find, list and discover the video content you are looking for.
Both Jumpcut and Eyespot excel at providing extremely intuitive and easy to use vide editing facilities, which provide full drag and drop functionality, preview and audio dubbing.
The cherry on the pie is for now represented by some additional advanced features like the ability to trim individual video clips, apply visual transitions and effects to the editing process, titling, and the option to add separately and mix in extra audio tracks.
Support for RSS is generally a given, allowing anyone to "subscribe" to all updates and new video clips appearing under a specific section, theme, author, tag combination or title.
All uploaded video clips are normally converted to Flash video, a highly efficient compressed video format, that is easy to distribute on the web as it can be easily embedded into standard web pages, blogs or news sites, without requiring the end user to download or install any dedicated software to view it. This is because viewing Flash-based video, requires only the Flash plug-in, which comes already pre-installed on most PCs sold today.
Those video publishing services still relying exclusively on traditional video formats such as Quicktime and Windows Media Video, may find it increasingly difficult to compete in terms of ease of use and portability with the offerings made by these new Flash-based video services. I am not suggesting to altogether replace the support for those video formats with Flash video, but to reserve those formats for premium or semi-professional uses which would greatly benefit from the extra quality those video formats offer.
The quality of Flash-based video can vary a great deal, and this fully depends on the setting and configuration that each one service builds into its offering. It would be nice in fact to see, some of this control to gradually move to the user, enabling (possibly at a small premium price) to select one or multiple out output quality levels to match the specific needs and requirements of each online publisher.
Price-wise there isn't much to say as all these services are still all free. Obviously all of them will need to find a best way to monetize their offerings, but I doubt that this will be unidirectionally focused on placing ads at the beginning or end of each video. There are certainly a lot more opportunities to monetize such services than injecting ads on them, and in fact I am particularly eager to see some innovation also in this direction.
If you have been considering the use of video as a way to augment or complement your online publishing strategy, there hasn't been a better time than this to start experimenting, without needing to invest serious money into this.
Today, for absolutely no cost, you can in fact upload, host and start distributing your self-edited video clips, news blips or fun movies in a matter of minutes.
This is why I strongly invite you to go and check out these fascinating new video editing and publishing services and to see for yourself how suddenly easy it has become for you and me to work and publish video online.
Here is a short video mix I have done with the many video clips I have collected for TheWeblogProject, and here is the type of result you can get (you need ADSL or better connectivity and you need to wait a bit before this can play smoothly as Eyespot seems to be a bit underpowered at this moment)
You are invited to try out your remixes with TheWeblogProject clips too. Just go to the Eyespot public group area reserved to this project and you can immediately access many of the video clips of this open-source documentary and start editing your own remixes.
Here instead a test remix done with the Jumpcut facilities:
A downloadable .mp3 (12 mins) version of this interview while by clicking the play button on the embedded audio player here below you can start immediately listening to the interview (text transcript right below):
Transcript of Robin Good interview with David Dudas CEO of Eyespot.com
Robin Good: Good morning David! Here is Robin Good, live from Rome in Italy.
David Dudas: Robin, hi, how are you?
RG: Fine. Am I disturbing you at this time?
David Dudas: No, not at all.
RG: You sure?
David Dudas: Yes, it's a good time. I was waiting for your call.
RG: EyeSpot is a marvelous new service online, which is still being built day by day, so definitely better for what I can see, though I haven't met any major bugs or slowdowns or obstacles. The service allows you to upload your video clips and collect them and tag them both with typical tags of traditional folksonomies as well as to associate them to specific albums, which you can create to any number and associate video clips inside them. But, the great thing is that you can mix these clips together to create your own compilation, your own video montage, your own little documentary movie, mash up, whatever you want to call it, in a really simple way.
The service is completely free right now for you to try and I'm so excited that I couldn't stop myself from finding what David Dudas, the brain behind EyeSpot was and get him up in the morning at eight o'clock to tell him that I really like his service and I want to find out a few extra things.
David Dudas: Thanks Robin, that's nice. What can I tell you?
RG: I would like to know first of all what took you, what pushed you to start this thing, what was the motivator?
David Dudas: Well, the motivator was that I have a two and a half year old daughter now, so I spent about two years shooting video of her and I collected a shoebox full of video tapes, DV tapes and it finally got to the point where I knew I had to start editing them because no one had seen the video. My family lives far from me, my mother, my sisters. I really wanted to get the video editing done so I could start to share all this video that I shot. I started asking my friends who had kids, "How do you edit your video, what do you do?" The story was pretty much the same from everyone, everyone always said, "Oh, don't even bother, it's ridiculously hard. You'll spend weeks and weeks and you'll have nothing to show for it."
So, I actually tried it out, I tried a few desktop editing, video editing software packages and I found out that it was true, they were very, very difficult to use. I think those are great tools for people who are more like professional, for professional video editors they're great tools, but I realized for the rest of the world, just people like me, we just want something really easy and simple to use. So, that's when I started out building EyeSpot and the goal was to create something online, something very accessible that is simple enough to use that really anybody can use the first time they try.
RG: How much time did it take you to do that?
David Dudas: I actually started building it by myself while my partner, Jim Kaskade, was trying to raise money for the company, so we were [audio cuts out for a moment] I was building the product and he was talking to investors. We [audio cuts out for a moment] for about three months last year, then we raised a little bit of money and we were able to hire a few guys. We have a team of seven now and we've been working on it since about last September, so over three months. We just released our beta two weeks ago, so, six months or longer. That's where we are now.
RG: Great, great. My compliments. Do you have a specific goal for, say, getting out of beta or arriving to a specific feature set that is your official objective?
David Dudas: Well, we're real excited about a feature that we released last week. Up until last week we had online mixing, which you mentioned. You can upload your video clips and you can mix them together and make a new movie, you can mix in music, which is really nice in itself, but last week we also released editing. So, after you upload your video, you can actually edit it before you mix it, and by edit I mean you can take a few seconds off the beginning if, maybe, your video starts with black frame or you can take a few seconds off the end or you can carve out a piece in the middle. So, we're very excited about that.
We also rolled out what we call "one click publishing". I'm sure you're familiar with many, many, many video hosting sites out on the Internet there, many places where people are publishing video, like YouTube and Google and so forth as well as Blogger and LiveJournal. So, we built one click publishing, which makes it very easy for people to publish their video anywhere on the web after they do a mix with EyeSpot. So, we definitely have some more work to do there. We're not integrated with all the sites yet, but we see that happening in the near future.
RG: What do you mean by that exactly?
David Dudas: I mean that, take for example, if you go to Google Video and you watch a video on Google video, somebody uploaded that video, but before they uploaded it, they may have mixed it and edited it to get to their final cut. So, they might have used iMovie or MovieMaker or Pinnacle or Final Cut Pro, most often people have used some desktop editing software. We see EyeSpot as an online editing and mixing solution that enables people to very easily edit their video and mix their video. But, the next step, after someone uses EyeSpot, is we want to enable people to very easily publish their video anywhere on the web, not just on EyeSpot.
RG: In fact, I think EyeSpot really did an excellent 360-degree killer service in this direction. I was just so excited when they got out their one click publishing and their editing abilities, I think, really makes it super. Not only, they've got a number of other things, they've got, for example, the possibility for you to add a soundtrack to your existing audio tracks of your videos, so that you can mix a number videos while adding also an extra audio track. For now, there isn't a specific volume control for that, which I have seen, but I'm sure it will be coming in the future.
David Dudas: That's right. We have a lot of features developed that we have not released yet, there's that one that you mentioned, we also have transitions, so when you create a mix, you may want to fade in or fade out between scenes. We have special effects, like black and white. I should mention that we have delivery to mobile phones, we actually already have released that, so after you create a mix in EyeSpot, you can type in your friend's phone number and we'll send your video to your friend's mobile phone.
RG: Would that work anywhere around the world?
David Dudas: No, actually that works right now only with North American numbers.
David Dudas: But, we will be, this year, expanding that and getting better coverage with worldwide numbers.
RG: Good. What about RSS support?
David Dudas: RSS is coming next week; we're rolling that out. There are some things that we do not have, like RSS is kind of a no brainer, some people ask "Why haven't you guys done that yet? It's pretty easy." and it's true, it's pretty easy, so we're rolling that out soon. The other reason we didn't have it yet is because we focused our energy on the very difficult things to do.
RG: Good. Do you already have an in-site search feature to search across tags and content of those videos?
David Dudas: That's coming soon too; I think we'll have that in about two weeks. So, if you've uploaded video, I think you mentioned that you can tag everything, so we're storing all the tags for all the video. Also, you may have noticed Robin, when you upload a video file, you're given the option of saying that the video is public or private. So, everything that people upload that they mark as public is going to be available in our search engine, like I said, that should be available in about two weeks. Our vision there is that EyeSpot is a remix community, our users are contributing video to the community, so that when you use EyeSpot, you're not going to be only mixing your own video that you've uploaded, but you can also go to the search engine and you can find video clips that other users
have uploaded and made available for mixing.
RG: Absolutely. Great, that's super. What about your business model?
David Dudas: Well, we're still working that out, but we have a number of options. One of the thoughts is a subscription plan, so we'll have a pro package available. If you're familiar with, for example, Flickr, Flickr has a free level of service, but you can also upgrade and get extra features. So, that's one thing, we have a few other things that I can't really discuss, but we do have a couple of creative ways to modify the service.
RG: Good, okay. If they are innovative and are not just the traditional advertising interruptions, I'm all for your secrecy.
David Dudas: I would like to add I don't see advertising. We built EyeSpot as users first. We built it because we really wanted to have this service and we want it to be something that we would all use as users and none of us really care much for advertising, so I think you can count on EyeSpot being advertising free.
RG: Great, and let me recommend again to everyone listening or reading through to go to www.eyespot.com - E Y E S P O T - and register yourself in a matter of seconds. If you have some clips, in many of the supported formats from QuickTime to Windows Media to 3GP and more, just upload them and start digging the groove of video remixing because this guy really got it!
David Dudas: Thanks Robin, that's nice of you to say that. I really enjoyed talking to you.
RG: I appreciated your time and I look forward to hear from you about the new features when they come up.
David Dudas: Well, keep watching our forum, that's where we announce features and also if anybody has anything they would like to see us build, just post a question on the forum. We monitor it everyday to get creative ideas from the community.
RG: Great! From Robin Good, live here in Rome, Italy, this is all for today with David Dudas, CEO of EyeSpot. Where were you, David, throughout this call?
David Dudas: I'm in San Diego.
David Dudas: California, that's right.
RG: All right, have a fantastic day!
This article was eye opening. I didn't even know that online video editing existed and to be able to edit, publish, and share it all online is very exciting!
The best online video editor and movie mash-ups tool is available at: http://www.MIXandMASH.tvremix
- Action Clips
- Audio track markers
- Color Keying
- Color Correction
- Trim and Split
- Video on Video
- Multiple text, image and audio layers
Great article. You may want to check out EditorOne or Gorillaspot.
I have tried several different online-editing sites and must say that Jaycut's mixer was the best one.
These are great! But I find the editing capabilities in Eyespot limiting as I can upload an entire clip (from a digital stills camera) but cannot dictate where I can edit within that clip. I can't trim the last few seconds off my clip.
I like the rotate feature - which I also needed to do.. but this rotate feature isn't available in JUMPCUT (which has far more effects etc.).
Is there anyway of transferring what I've done on EYESHOT to JUMPCUT?
Otherwise this is all very exciting.
I figured Web 2.0 video editing would fall into place sooner or later, but I had no idea it would happen so quickly!