Stupeflix: Video Editing in Your Browser

There’s a wealth of video editing applications available but the majority (and the best) are confined to native desktop apps and generally come with a high price tag. Even when wanting to create the simplest of movies or slideshows, these apps also hog system resources, which isn’t friendly to other processes you want to run.

Stupeflix is a browser-based, simple video editing utility. It’s strapline is “video production made easy”, which it is… to an extent. Stupeflix has two main utilities: Stupeflix Studio (the aforementioned video production utility) and Stupeflix TV (which allows one to create a web TV channel showing Twitter updates and Flickr images). The latter, for me, sounds the most impressive but since Stupeflix Studio has a larger feature set that will be the focus of this review.

On-the-Fly Video Editing

The process of creating a video isn’t too complicated (unfortunately for the worse). Whether you choose to login or not, you’ll be asked to upload images. These can be uploaded from your computer or brought in from external services like Picasa, Flickr and Facebook. You can also bring in images from the web by pasting in the URLs.

This app is not for editing outside small clips as, unfortunately, video must be under 40mb to be uploaded.

Stupeflix have opted for an unusual layout

This uploading screen allows you to rearrange images and group them for use in the theme. This is the extent of being able to move around video or images within a video — you cannot do this inside the video. Also, as you can see, the upload screen is a horrible waste of screen real estate with Stupeflix opting for a small column down the page as apposed to the traditional horizontal “timeline” view.

You can also affix text to each group or an individual clip/image which will show up in some selected themes. An option to add a soundtrack is also available for the project as a whole or just an individual group. Strangely though, there’s no option to mute video clips, so you may have some conflicting tracks.

Themes

In a stark contrast to the disappointment of the user interface and feature set, Stupeflix redeems itself by offering some great video templates. My personal favourite is the Scrapbook theme which arranges your images on a desk-like background whilst panning around inside polaroid-style borders.

There's no wealth of themes, but those that are there are stunning!

The rendering times of these video previews are surprisingly fast with a simple image slideshow appearing within seconds. Even when exporting the video at the end, there’s a minimal wait.

There are some extra themes, although (annoyingly) you’re not able to switch themes after uploading all your images. For the Holidays there was (and still is) a nice winter themed template, complete with moving cartoon-ish background.As a Windows user, I was naturally impressed by the end results when you compare them to the free app that ships with Vista, Movie Maker.

Pricing

Stupeflix is a free utility that’s advertised as such in the Chrome Web Store. Now don’t let the mention of the Google browser sway you from using it; it’s an app available in all browsers (maybe not compatible with all), as I did my review of the app from Apple’s Safari 5 browser.

On a free plan options are very limited with lower resolution and time-limited end results. You can upgrade a video to high quality (at 640×360 with download) for an extra $3 or to high definition (1280×720 with download of 720p and high quality versions). They also remove the 1-minute time limit of free videos.

If you intend on working on multiple videos using this service, they offer a range of plans on a yearly (or monthly at higher levels) subscriptions. These allow for Personal, Commercial or Reseller (on various plans) usage, and unlimited high quality (plus unlimited HD videos from Personal HD).

Stupeflix adds it’s own branding to all videos but this can be removed if you’re willing to pay a fairly large $299/year subscription at Pro level.

Stupeflix TV

Overall, I wasn’t that impressed by the functionality of the Stupeflix Studio, away from simple image slideshows, but I do like the TV aspect. Stupeflix TV is a streaming service that produces realtime image slideshows with overlayed Twitter tweets.

The TV channel feature is actually pretty impressive!

This service is nice and produces a TV News-style video that’s live effect is pretty cool. You can set Twitter and Flickr queries to anything you want. You can utilize Twitter search operators to show tweets to, referencing or from a user, or containing a certain word (or words) or hashtag.

Everything is brought in live and brings everything in completely live from the various data sources. It also attributes the uploaders of the shown Flickr photos. You can see a demo of this channel functionality bellow pulling in tweets from the Web.AppStorm twitter account and displaying photos relevant to the search term “Envato”.

Final Thoughts

Stupeflix has a great idea going, along with some fun features. However, the app still needs further development and maturing before it can really be considered a powerful video editing web app. Its features definitely make it fun to use and capable of creating fun video media to share with others. If you’re interested in apps like this, definitely give this one a try.

If you’ve tried Stupeflix already, what did you think? If you plan on trying Stupeflix soon, let us know what you thought of it and how it worked for you.


Summary

Stupeflix Studio is great for on-the-fly image slideshows (but slightly less great for video) and the TV side of things is pretty cool!

7

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