Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jump-starting Jumpcut

I am neither a techie nor a video-editor and this is a "best-effort" review of Jumpcut, a web-based video-editor.

My only experience with video-editing was stitching together video clips and inserting some texts for a farewell message to a cherished professor who was retiring. My classmate and I used a Toshiba video-editor that came with the installer CD of his laptop. I've been taking quite a few videos here and there with my digicams to supplement my blog entries. Youtube solved my video problems. Recently, though, I've been wanting use of more than one video in a blog entry. I am confronted with a situation where I upload in Youtube and embed in my blog two to three videos that make my entries "choppy" and cluttered. This is when I started mulling over acquiring a free basic video-editor that could solve my needs of stitching videos, putting a title, and throwing in some quirky effects.

After some patient web-trawling, I tripped on jumpcut. It turns out it is linked to (owned by?) Yahoo, in one way or another. It is a bit confusing to register because it asks you to link the jumpcut account to your Yahoo account, whatever that means. After registering the other day, I did the perfunctory account validation, and then slept afterwards because it was already getting late in the night. I tried exploring the Flash-based tools (I hope I described that right) yesterday afternoon. Uploading the videos could be a breeze, although not with mine because of my semi-slow internet connection. Then I played with the transition effects and cut down the length of some of the videos to 20 seconds. There is a "batch function" to cut all the uploaded videos to the same length and apply the same transition effects of a clip. It is also possible to upload music to accompany the video, and you can insert and import photos from facebook and flickr. Tabs under the editing panel gives access to the different applications in jumpstart, such as clips, audio, title, effects, actions, and add.

After publishing my video, of course I wanted to upload it to my blog. I looked for the "embed" html but couldn't find one. I clicked on the inconspicuous "post" button below the video and voila! various links came out, and other social media network icons lined up as well. I simply copied the "player" html and pasted it below. There is also a thumbnail which I don't know how to use, so I am putting it here: jumpcut movie:Jumpcut test video (schauzeit)

Before finally publishing, you can also choose an 'open-edit' function where jumspart users can edit your videos. It works like a wikipedia system for videos. Mine is in "open-editing" function, so feel free to edit and improve my video.

From a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest, I rate jumpcut in terms of:
User-friendliness: 3.75
Versatility: 3 (good enough for my very basic needs)
Availability/accessibility: 5 (all you need is internet access, a Yahoo account and Flash player, I think.)

With jumpcut fulfilling my beginner video-editing needs, I will be good to jumpcut. Should you ditch Youtube? I will just echo jumpstart's tagline: Be good to your videos.

Here are the 10 clips consolidated into one seamless video:

Jump-start a jumpcut account now.

For a story behind the video click here.

I celebrate today my first year in Freiburg/Germany/Europe!

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