The beginner's guide to free online apps

Perhaps one of the most interesting developments online is that you can now edit video. The increased speeds of internet bandwidth in most homes – up to 8Mbps for most domestic users, which will soon go up to 50Mbps when BT rolls out its new services later this year – are great for handling the sort of upload and download capacities that videos will take up.

In reality, most online video editing tools are not currently geared towards taking high-quality footage from your dedicated camcorder. Rather, it is intended for use with QVGA (320 x 240 pixels) or even, at best, VGA (640 x 480 pixels) video that some of the higher-end camera phones and even smartphones can now deliver. With video sizes of less than 10MB, you can upload video in a matter of moments.

There are a number of online video editing sites, with MotionBox being one of the slicker offerings around, as it not only offers the basic editing options, but also allows you to create DVDs and share the results with family members. The default package provides 750MB of online storage space to upload and store your videos, which is enough for camera-phone users.


Obviously, if you need more storage space then you can always buy access to a Premium account, which offers unlimited storage space. What's more, if you do own a high-end camcorder you can upload video, but we'd make sure your broadband account allows hefty upload allowances if you intend to do this on a regular basis.

Then there is JayCut, which is a UK-based service that offers a similar array of tools, but is currently in Beta form, so may well change before it's finally finished. The interface is a little simpler than that found on MotionBox, but it promises to deliver an unlimited amount of storage, so it is well worth considering if you intend to be a regular user.

Sadly, another Beta video site, JumpCut, which was owned by Yahoo! has stopped the service. The site is allowing users to download their already uploaded videos, but it will no longer be allowing access to new content.

We mention this largely as a cautionary tale, as storing your content online relies on the service provider to stay in business. The internet is an ever-evolving beast and what may have been a key service six months ago may no longer be worth supporting, so it pays to have regular localised backups of all your online data, so you don't run the risk of accidentally losing it for ever.