Google has begun rolling out a YouTube update that adds basic editing options to the video sharing platform. Although it won't replace your full blown desktop suite, the in-browser solution has enough controls to enhance the visual quality of a video along with the ability to apply Instragram-like effects. Naturally, because it's not Final Cut Pro, less tech-savvy users should find it relatively easy to dive in and achieve the desired results.
Assuming the update is live in your area, you should be able to access the feature by clicking "Edit video" on your "My Videos" page or the video page itself. From there, you'll find three tabs: Quick Fixes, Effects and Audio. Quick Fixes contains controls such as the ability to trim or rotate a video as well as adjust its brightness level, contrast, color temperature and saturation. There's also an "I'm Feeling Lucky" option for one-click corrections.
The Quick Fix menu also houses a handy feature that can stabilize shaky videos, a common occurrence among amateur footage captured on mobile devices. The stabilization algorithm was created as part of an ongoing Google initiative to reach cinematic stabilization levels without overtaxing the company's servers. This effort has been public for some time and Google uploaded a demonstration and technical explanation earlier this year.
The "Effects" tab offers 14 filters developed in conjunction with Picnik (a Web-based image editing service Google acquired last March). The presets change the visual theme of your video with a single click, allowing you to create cartoon or vintage camera styles. The "Audio" tab offers a quick way to change the sound in your video with YouTube's licensed tracks -- though this has been available since last year in a different section.
This update seems separate from the company's initial Web-based editor, which was introduced to the "TestTube" last June and focuses more on stitching clips together. It too has the ability to change your video's audio. It's worth mentioning that simple tweaks such as adjusting your video's color temperature can be applied without saving them as new entries -- unless you have more than 1,000 views or your video contains third-party content.
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