YouTube’s Disappointing New Editing Tools

Late Friday evening YouTube rolled out its new on-site editing service, YouTube Remixer. Powered by Adobe Premiere Express, the software allows YouTubers to remix their existing videos adding new music, borders, clip art graphics, and transitions (though I’m very sad that the star wipe did not make the cut). YouTube Remixer is exactly the same as Photobucket’s Remixer (previous coverage here), except that Photobucket launched theirs back in February and it has far more features.

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While definitely not for the savvier of video uploaders, the Remixer might be useful for the increasing number of users uploading from their mobile phones. Adding credits to your camera-phone documentary on that cute puppy you saw in the park ensures that The Academy will know who to give the Oscar to.

Additionally, YouTube rolled out a beta version of its new video page layout, “Watch 3.0.” Mostly just a rearrangements of the old page elements, the beta prominently lists the current videomaker’s other videos and has a (very) slightly bigger video player. YouTube has also revamped its search results page, allowing you to view the results in either “list view” or “grid view.” On the uploading side of things, YouTube now includes a Google maplet allowing users to geotag their videos with new precision.

Choosing Adobe as a vendor is a blow to startups who have made online video editing their sole purpose. Last week one such company, Cuts, sold itself, admitting it did not see great opportunity in the crowded market.

Honestly, this is a massively underwhelming showing from YouTube. Since Google acquired YouTube, not much has happened to the technical capabilities of the site. Last week YouTube finally rolled out a beefier embed player but it still lacks many of the features that other video sites offer. While far and away the most popular video site, YouTube seems to be stagnating. All of these features have been available elsewhere for months.

Giving its users a watered-down, glitchier version of Photobucket’s four-month-old Remixer is downright insulting. I would have expected more from YouTube. Last month’s Wired Magazine was right: “Expired, Buying YouTube. Tired, Suing YouTube. Wired, Competing with YouTube.”

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