March 25, 2009

Cisco & Flip: video editing on the cloud

Cisco recently bought the San Francisco company that produces the Flip camera for $590 million.. Ok. But Lost Remote notes Flip’s surprising share of camcorder market -- 20 percent!

At Capria.TV, Frank Capria was quick to see Where Cisco wants to take video, perhaps because he works for Avid, which own Pinnacle and its line of consumer video products. He pointed out that Flip has easy editing and sharing software to match it's easy-to-use hardware:

"As GigaOm noted, it can eliminate the computer. Shoot, push to the cloud, and edit on the cloud. No Macs. No PCs. What Polaroid did for photography 50-some years ago, Cisco can do for videography. It can make it instant, inexpensive, and fun.

Cameras preloaded with editing software will be a minor disruption to business as usual. Editing on the cloud is where this is all going, and the industry will be turned on its head."

Perhaps, but online video editors like Adobe Remix and others faded since the excitement of a few years ago.

In any case, the Flip Video camcorder records or "captures" video in MPEG-4 advanced simple profile format, saved as an AVI file. Flip includes the 3IVX codec to work with the AVI files in QuickTime. The Flip Video program uses a starter version of muvee AutoProducer for its automatic stylizing "movie mixing," and this feature so far is not on the Mac.

Of course, Cisco/Flip will have competition from smart phones and still cameras that do video. GigaOm and TechCrunch have background; here's GigaOm's take on on Cisco's buy:

"If Cisco can integrate or transfer the dead-simple Flip software and camcorder into its Scientific Atlanta boxes, and tie the Flip camcorder to its Linksys router, it can offer PC-free telepresence to consumers. This combines Cisco’s hope of wresting control of the digital home from the PC and putting it in the network with its love of video conferencing.

Telepresence, even more than the 2 million Flip cameras out there shooting short videos, would drive the amount of video content on networks sky high. Cisco estimates that a good HD telepresence experience requires speeds of 24 Mbps and requires quality of service guarantees — both of which Cisco equipment could help ensure. Cisco has already indicated its plans to add $20 billion to its bottom line with a focus on video, and it has launched products around the what it calls the “medianet,” to deliver video from the content provider to the consumer. Driving content in the other direction — from the user back up to a content provider — also makes sense, and the Flip cameras offer Cisco control of the consumer video-producing endpoint."

Update: Part of the cloud is metadata, which should help with editing and search results, as noted by Contentinople in Gotuit Enables Video Mashups With Metadata.

Update 2: In case you wonder what online video editors like Adobe Remix were still around, Lonnie discusses a few in Where to Edit Video Online for FREE.

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