YouTube is looking for casual video editors to try out its Web-based video editing tool, a departure from video editing applications users install on their computers, such as Apple Final Cut Pro.
Available in YouTube's TestTube experimental Web page, the YouTube Video Editor lets users splice together several videos into one larger video, trim the beginning and end, and add soundtracks from the YouTube AudioSwap library.
People can then publish videos to YouTube with a single click without waiting for the usual long upload.
What is the utility of this? YouTube software engineer Rushabh Doshi and product manager Joshua Siegel noted:
"Say you've uploaded a wedding ceremony -- beautiful event, but do you really need to see all the guests shuffle in? The video editor lets you easily remove unwanted footage so you can capture just the moment when they say "I do."
YouTube "power user" rewboss provides an amusing demo of how the YouTube Video Editor works in this video here. Users who access the editor will see their recent videos in the left panel.
Users will then click to add it to the timeline. Once there, users can hover over the video to see a "scissor" edit icon.
Once users click the scissors they may lop off the beginning or the end of their videos, or tack on other videos and similarly trim them to make a longer video.
Users can preview the video, title the video, then click the publish button to upload it to YouTube. By comparison, those who have edited videos in their Flip video software will appreciate how easy this tool is.
Some industry watchers note how this is a departure for YouTube because it is allowing users to create content, rather than just share it.
But it's really just an example of a service trying to evolve in the face competition from other sites. YouTube has the content and user base; now it just needs to make it more actionable to keep users there.
Others believe this will set the stage for video editing on Android phones to rival the new iPhone 4. That sounds like a smart bet.
YouTube wants users to test this tool and submit comments and suggestions for feedback or new features they would like to see in the Editor here.