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Editing video in your browser? Try eyespot - the AJAX video editor

Each week at ajaxLaunch, we're announcing a new ajax program designed to shatter what people think is possible. In the last two weeks I announced ajaxWrite and ajaxSketch. These programs were significant because they load in seconds via a web browser, but look and operate like traditional applications. Amazing technology, but hardly fun. Today, I'm announcing something amazing and fun - video editing. Yes, video editing ajax style - in a web browser like you have never seen before.

The product idea came from David Dudas, one of the many MP3.com alumni now venturing out and starting their own companies. He told me about his vision to offer a video editing suite using only a web browser. Video editing has historically required expensive desktop software, a powerful PC and lots of time. Offering a web-based solution is an ambitious if not foolhardy proposition. Just the kind of idea I like!

I immediately wrote a check for $50,000 and became an angel investor in the newly formed company eyespot. I gave him the same advice I give every entrepreneur: Run fast! He's been checking in with me every couple months and making terrific progress. Today I'm happy to help him announce the first publicly available version of their online video editing and sharing service eyespot, which is like nothing you've seen.

Here's how it works. First, you need to get your videos into the online account eyespot provides. One handy method is to shoot video with your cell phone and send it as an MMS message to your eyespot account, e.g. michael@eyespot.com or whatever your username may be. The video usually shows up in your account in less than 30 seconds. You can also email audio tracks you want to use as background music.

For videos already on your PC, eyespot supports uploads in most popular formats (.wmv, .avi, .mov, .divx, etc.) up to 25MB in size. Eyespot uses ajax on the upload page to give real-time upload status. This is a nice touch since most video hosting sites give you no feedback during upload, which leaves you wondering if they are even working.

The Media Manager displays all your personal media - uploaded video and photos in your clip gallery, music or narration in your audio gallery, and final mixes. Even if you have hundreds of clips, you can quickly scan through your pages because ajax generates the "next" page before you ask for it. This is an example of how ajax makes video editing practical.


The real magic happens in the Mixer, where you can edit your videos, add soundtracks and more in a point and click manner. First you drag and drop video clips or photos onto a timeline. Then you drag an mp3 file into the timeline as a soundtrack. Click the "create this mix" link, wait a few seconds, and the mix is done. The same functionality can literally take anywhere from 15 minutes to many hours with desktop video editing software. Remember, there's no software to purchase or install - this all happens inside a web page.

Not every video clip is going to be perfect, so eyespot provides some editing features such as the Trimmer. If you upload a clip that is too long or starts with a black frame because you started filming with the lens cap on, you can click "trim" and launch the Trimmer and carve the clip up in seconds to just the pertinent part.

Once you've created your video masterpiece, you can send video to any cell phone or post it to the net on your own vlog (video blog) at eyespot. Every video has a "send" link next to it. Click it, type in someone's mobile phone number, and eyespot automatically resizes and compresses the file according to the destination handset and then delivers the video.

Another innovative aspect of eyespot is video remixing. See a video you like on eyespot? Add it to your account with one click, mix it with your own videos, and publish it back to the eyespot community. This is going to take off!

Eyespot is off to a stunning start on their bold vision to provide an ajax video editing platform and will eventually challenge products like Apple's iMovie, Microsoft's MovieMaker, and Adobe Premiere for all smaller video editing needs. At the same time, they are proving that just about anything is possible using ajax. Watch the video of the Mixer and sign up for you own free account to see for yourself.


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