Thursday, June 15, 2006

Online Video Editing prompting people to switch to still camera video snippets

I found the following article very interesting. I knew that online video editing would soon follow online still image editing and online "photostory" editing but I was intrigued to note the observation that people are tending to switch from camcorders to still cameras capable of recording short video snippets. If you've ever paid close attention to professionally produced video or viewed it frame by frame you will note that it is usually a collage of short video segments switching scenes frequently. People seem to be catching onto this technique and like the more interesting results created by combining short snippets.

New York Times: "While sites like YouTube and Veoh have lately become popular for allowing users to share their self-produced videos, Jumpcut (www.jumpcut.com) is part of a new class of sites that also offer simple tools for stringing together video clips and then adding soundtracks, titles, transitions and unusual visual effects.

All of the sites, which include Jumpcut, Eyespot, Grouper and VideoEgg, have been introduced within the last year. This summer, they will be joined by another site, Motionbox, based in New York.

Their shared objective, the founders of the sites say, is to reduce the complexity of video editing and to reduce the cost to zero.

'We wanted to make video editing over the Internet faster than desktop editing,' said Jim Kaskade, co-founder and chief executive of Eyespot, based in San Diego. 'We think it will broaden the base of people who are creative, but may not have thought they were, by creating this tool kit for them. Editing video is eventually going to be as simple as sending e-mail.'"

All of the sites, except Grouper, require that video clips be uploaded to their servers before they can be manipulated. That can take a long time, and there are limits to the size of the files that can be sent. (For Jumpcut, the limit is 50 megabytes per clip.)

Users of Grouper (www.grouper.com) must first download a free piece of Windows-only software that works in tandem with the Web site. It permits users to trim and rearrange clips on their computer and upload only the finished product, in compressed form.

The sites make possible new kinds of collaborative editing. A group of parents attending a school play can upload all their video, and then edit a single version of the play that makes use of the best shots.


Many of the earliest users of the online editing services report two changes in the way they capture and assemble video. First, they tend not to use their camcorders as much, because the tendency with a camcorder is to record long, meandering stretches of birthday parties and parades, which are time-consuming to import to a computer and edit. Instead, they record more impressionistic scenes of a few seconds or a few minutes, using a digital still camera or a cellphone.

Second, even if they have experience using more powerful, PC-based editing software, they find themselves using the online services more often when they are working with the shorter snippets — and trying to assemble them quickly for a grandparent in a distant city."

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