Mozilla launches Popcorn Maker, video editing crackling with web content

Content license holders will surely enjoy (taking down) your video remixes
Content license holders will surely enjoy (taking down) your video remixes

Mozilla has launched a new dynamic video editing tool for the web called Popcorn Maker.

Mozilla's Maker sets out to provide a browser-based video editing tool that takes advantage of web content to enhance videos.

"Until now, video on the web has been stuck inside a little black box," said Brett Gaylor, Mozilla director of popcorn.

"Popcorn Maker changes that, making video work like the rest of the web: hackable, linkable, remixable and connected to the world around it."

Work the pop

Popcorn Maker uses a drag-and-drop interface that allow users to enhance and post their videos with content such as article or Wikipedia links, Google Maps and even live feeds of Flickr keywords or Twitter hashtags.

For example, a newscaster-style video could be edited to include embedded source articles or real-time weather updates.

Users can also embed a real-time Google Map in a video, or reverse it so that a small video window is overlaid on a larger Google Map, which users can zoom and scroll in real-time while the video continues to play.

Web video evolved

Mozilla built Popcorn Maker entirely from web technologies, such as HTML, CSS and Javascript, making it compatible with all web browsers.

It's been available to developers for nearly a year through the Popcorn.js Javascript library, but now Mozilla has released the public version to enable any user to create Popcorn Maker videos.

Popcorn Maker can import any Youtube, Vimeo, Soundcloud or HTML5 video file, which can then be enhanced with web content events or limited editing such as looping, skipping, or pausing particular sections of the video.

A completed Popcorn Maker video can then be shared as a direct link or through embed code.

While embedding links to articles is nothing new to web video, the ability to embed a scrollable pop-up of the article itself is a unique twist that Popcorn Maker provides.

There's a lot of potential in Popcorn Maker, both as a valuable video enhancement tool and as a detrimental way to distract users by presenting too much content at once.

As the tool is still new, there are likely to be plenty of examples of both as web creators experiment with how, or even if, Popcorn Maker is the right fit for their video content.