Video editing used to be a bit of an elite club, with people devoted to one of the big two names in the business- namely Final Cut or Avid. This is what professionals tend to use, with amateurs opting for lower spec programs such as iMovie or Windows Live MovieMaker. These are OK for basic edits, but a gap exists between the casual editor and the high end editor that needs to be filled. Users of programs like Windows Live MovieMaker often get frustrated fairly quickly at the limitations imposed upon them, but don’t want to battle with leaning a whole new system- or forking out for one either. WeVideo might just be the program to bridge this gap- and its freemium model means you can trial before you buy, so you can decide if you really want to commit to it.
Showcased at the CES 2012 Startup Debut event, it was a startup that thoroughly impressed, both with its slick interface, its ease of use and the way the creators really seem to have thought through their target market.
The innovative aspect about WeVideo is that it’s an online browser editor that you open within a browser (Chrome, Firefox etc) and upload your files to it. Registration is a simple one strep process and then you’re free to go. Uploading is simple- you simply add media files through the upload tab and then you’re free to play around with effects, audio and images, dragging and dropping media into a simple timeline.
The WeVideo mantra is that of collective video editing, and enabling users of all abilities to work within the program.
‘WeVideo was formed in 2011 with the vision of bringing everyone’s stories to life with video. That means taking down the barriers traditionally associated with video editing—namely the cost, complexity, and the need for major computing resources, they say.
WeVideo offers four plans to users, starting with a freemium model, which is where most people will start. This offers users 1 GB online storage with 360p resolution and 15 exports per month. You can’t download any of your projects but you can place them (with a watermark) on sites such as Vimeo and YouTube. It also gives you access to 390 licensed music tracks and you have 5 invites per project.
Invites are part of the joy of WeVideo as anyone you ‘invite’ can not only view your project but can edit it with their own additions, so it’s really possible to engage with talented people from all over the world for your video.
The next package retails for $6.99 pcm, then $39.99 pcm and then a commercial package for $79.99 pcm. Each offers a different amount of storage (from 10GB to 100GB), removes watermarks, allows for downloads and for HD quality (varies on package) and more invites to collaborate. It seems inevitable that if you’re a fan of the free version you’ll migrate to the $6.99 480p resolution package, though the $39.99 option with 720p is tempting too.
The service is still in a fledgling state with a limited number of video effects offered, but we’re assured they are working on more all the time. ‘You get exactly the same effects whether you’re a paying or a free customer’, they said. ‘This way you know exactly what you’re getting into’. At the moment you have six 3D transition options (3D cube, 3D flip, 3D tile etc) and 10 patterns, as well as 4 fade options and 4 wipe options.
They also offer some cool video in video offerings where you can play around with multiple screens at the same time, layering with audio and effects seamlessly. Layering will be something people who are migrating from programs such as iMovie will be really glad to see, and the fact you can use it on a browser should mean you don’t have to suffer slow computer speeds whilst processing videos.
The downsides? Well, uploading videos the first time around can take a while for them to process, and newbie’s to editing in this style will need to learn about timelines and layering audio, so there will be a transition process involved.
Overall, this looks like a very promising service and I hope to hear more from WeVideo and their future offerings. Watch this space for a full review in 2012.