Google’s move towards hosted (online) applications has recently borne unexpected fruit. In the last three months, the Internet has sprouted four Web 2.0 applications that allow users to upload, edit, mix, and add effects, transitions, and music to their own video or to any FLV-based video they can link to on the Web.
Most of the apps share the same basic functionality: a variety of compatible upload formats, basic transitions, audio additions. However, each differs slightly in its interface and publish options.
Kaltura wins serious karma points for being open source, and its partnership with Wikimedia means a bright future for the application. The user interface is powerful, flexible, and wel designed. Kaltura’s major selling point is collaboration—all of these apps make it possible to remix and re-edit with friends, but Kaltura has made “interactive” video the primary purpose.
Yahoo’s Jumpcut might have the most full-featured interface of all these apps, though it seems to have gotten possibly the least press. It wins the contest for most transitions and effects, plus an excellent audio-mixing feature.
Adobe’s online version of Premiere Elements, packaged as Remix at Photobucket.com, has the advantage of a familiar interface. Though it may not be the most powerful of the bunch, it does have an excellent range of features.
Eyespot’s video mixing tool definitely has the fewest features out of this group. It’s preview function is by far the slowest. But it has one distinct advantage: you can download its output directly to your computer. All the others will only publish to online services in .flv format.
Which raises an interesting question. All of these applications are great if you want to share your home videos, but unless we can eventually move across media with the output, then any serious work is difficult. Sure, there are plenty of FLV converters available as freeware, but with applications that can publish your work for the whole world to see, preventing downloads seems like a pointless obstruction.