YouTube Adds Video Editing in the Cloud

Up until now, if YouTube (s GOOG) users wanted to combine multiple clips into a single video, they had to use offline editing tools. But YouTube today rolled out cloud-based video editing tools, giving users a whole new way to remix their existing video assets online.

As detailed in the Google operating system blog, the new YouTube editor allows users to trim video, mix and match clips — even add music. And while the new offering won’t replace more robust video editing software — like Apple’s (s AAPL) Final Cut Pro — it will enable users to combine their videos in new and interesting ways.

In many ways, the YouTube video editor is similar to offline editing software. To combine videos, YouTube members can drag thumbnails from their existing assets into the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen. Once there, they can edit and trim those videos by selecting the scissors icon. Once the video has been edited, users can preview the result before saving, which creates a new entry in their library. They can then add title, description, tags and any other metadata associated with the new clip. In addition to being able to trim and combine clips, YouTube users can also add music to those clips from the AudioSwap library. However, YouTube warns that it could run ads against videos if they use those audio files.

YouTube isn’t the first video sharing site to add editing to its offerings — video editing on the fly is one of the key features of Motionbox, for instance. In fact, it’s not even the first time that YouTube has attempted to make cloud-based video editing available to its users: As the Google operating system blog points out, in 2007 the video site had launched the Flash-based YouTube mixer, which was based on Adobe Premier Express. However, it was discontinued after it was found to be too buggy. For more on cloud computing, join the GigaOM Network for its annual Structure conference June 23 & 24 in San Francisco.

Cloud photo courtesy of (CC-BY-SA) Flickr user Vittis from Lithuania.

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