Earlier this week Adobe and Photobucket announced a partnership to bring some Adobe Premier-like editing and remixing capabilities to Photobucket users. The new tool lets users take video clips and images, and remix, caption and enhance them to create new movies which can then be shared with the world at large.
Currently the new Flash-based remixing app is limited to a beta trial for Photobucket pro members, but the service should be available to all Photobucket users sometime next month.
I took Photobucket for a spin this morning and found that while the new tools are easy to use, the offerings are pretty limited even for a web-based app.
Ars Technica mentions in their review that the tool didn’t work in any Mac browsers, but I had no problems using it in Firefox, save needing to update to latest Flash Player.
You’ll find the new remixing tools on your main login page under the heading “Create Remix.” Provided you have Flash Player 9.0.28, clicking the “Create Remix.” button will load a page asking your to upload new video and image files.
Once you’ve got your media uploaded, you can click through to the actual editing tool, which employs a drag and drop interface that uses a simple timeline paradigm. A library on the right side of the screen displays all your media elements as well as those provided by Photobucket. Drag your pictures or videos onto the timeline and then you can add captions, borders, transitions and music.
There didn’t seem to be a way to create your own border, though I suppose you could just upload your own images with the appropriate transparency, which is a good thing because most of the frames Photobucket provides are fugly — hearts anyone? Corrugated metal?
And that’s about it. There’s no way to resize any of the media elements, though you can trim and split video into multiple chunks.
There’s an undo button, but it only applies to the last action. And as with any Flash application, the back button is a no-no. I managed to destroy my initial attempt at a mix because I instinctively hit the back button to undo an action.
The oddest thing about the remixer is the inability to upload and add your own music. No doubt there’s some copyright concerns lurking behind that decision, but regardless of the reason most users are going to find the lack of music options discouraging. The trial account I was using loaded about 30 tunes by artists I’d never heard of, hardly inspiring.
Once you’ve got your remix in working order you can preview and then save your mix as a Flash SWF file on the Photobucket servers. Then it’s time to spam it out to hapless victims via email and links. Photobucket’s standard sharing tools are available — import your address book from a web based mail service like GMail, or just enter addresses separated by commas. The published video page also provides embed links for a number of popular sites like Facebook and MySpace as well as forum code.
I’ll admit I was a little let down by Photobucket’s new video remixer considering the amount of hype Adobe has put behind the project, touting it as a true web-based Premier Elements tool. While the average user will probably like the simplicity and ease of use, more adventurous users will probably want to stick with a desktop app like iMovie or Premier Elements.