File Under: HTML5, Multimedia

Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker Brings Video Remixing to the Masses

Popcorn Maker 1.0 makes video remixing a snap. Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey

Mozilla has released Popcorn Maker 1.0, the company’s mashup-creating, video-editing suite for the web. Popcorn Maker makes it easy to pull just about any content on the web into a video container you can then publish back to the web.

Despite the interactive nature of the web, video on the web remains little more than glorified television in your web browser — a passive experience in the midst of the otherwise interactive online world.

It doesn’t have to be that way. HTML5 makes video into just another HTML element — editable, hackable, remixable.

It’s HTML, after all. And that means it can interact with other HTML elements or use JavaScript to augment video in real time — annotating videos with information like location, details about the people and topics in the video, subtitles, Twitter feeds, current weather information, links and much more.

The problem is that there aren’t a lot of tools that make it easy to create interactive web videos, which is where Popcorn Maker comes in.

Popcorn Maker is a free online video editor for mashing up, remixing and adding outside content to web videos. Popcorn Maker’s drag-and-drop timeline interface makes it easy to pull all kinds of outside web content into your videos. For example, add photo overlays, maps, links, in-video pop-ups of Wikipedia entries, Twitter widgets with relevant hashtag searches and so on.

As you would expect from the makers of Firefox, Popcorn Maker is built entirely from web technologies — pure HTML, CSS and Javascript. But more than just being an impressive use of web standards, Popcorn Maker 1.0 is a genuinely easy-to-use video editor and that’s no small feat regardless of which tools you use to build it.

I’ve been playing around with Popcorn Maker for a few days now and it does indeed deliver on its promise to bring video editing to the people. To get started you just need to pull in a video you’d like to annotate or remix. Adding a source video is just a matter of pasting in a link to a YouTube, Vimeo or Soundcloud video. Alternately you can just add a link directly to your video file.

Once you’ve got your base video (or videos) in Popcorn Maker, adding elements to it is as simple as grabbing one of the “events” from the right hand side of the editor and dragging it onto either the video stage itself, or the timeline below. Once your event is in the timeline you can change the settings, resize it, move it around and otherwise tweak it to behave the way you’d like.

Once everything is working the way you want, just click the share link and Popcorn Maker will give you either a link (or an embed code) you can paste anywhere on the web.

To get started remixing videos, head on over to the Popcorn Maker site. If you want to see some examples, check out new Popcorn Maker projects on Webmaker.org. For more background on how Popcorn Maker works, check out the Mozilla Hacks blog post and watch the video below.