Google’s announcement last week of its beta YouTube video editor inspired me to take another look at how easy it can be to create a video ENTIRELY online, using a web browser instead of client-side software like iMovie or Windows Live MovieMaker. I last gave this a stab in July 2008 using the now defunct website “JumpCut.” The result of my hour of work this evening is the following 3 minute, 18 second video entitled, “Meet the Tesla Electric Car.” I published this both to YouTube as well as to JayCut, which is the free website I used to create the movie. I’m pleased to say in the past two years, online video editing has come a LONG way!

I wrote the following script to accompany the 42 photos and 1 video of Tesla cars I took with my iPhone on June 11, 2010, when I visited the Tesla showroom in Menlo Park, California.

Like many car lovers, I have a dream of one day owning an electric car. Earlier this month, on June 11, 2010, on a trip to Palo Alto, California, I had an opportunity to visit the most advanced electric car store in the world. Tesla Motors’ main office and showroom is in Menlo Park, California, right beside Palo Alto, and I took the photos in this video at their showroom.

Before I share a little of what I learned about the Tesla electric car, I probably should tell you the base price of the vehicle, so you won’t get your hopes and expectations up TOO high– at least for now. The base price of a new Tesla is currently $109,000. That is just the starting price. Additional customizations and features are added on from there. If you’re not already a millionaire, it’s doubtful you’ll be in the SERIOUS market for this car anytime soon.

Unlike some electric cars on the market today, like those from Miles Electric which are converted gasoline cars fitted after-market to run on electricity, Tesla cars were designed from the ground up as electric cars. The Tesla design was based on a Lotus car, and the published technical specifications on the website state the base model will go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds. Because there is not a clutch, there is no need to do any shifting to achieve this level of acceleration and performance. You only have to push down on the accelerator.

This silver Tesla was an original prototype, and was used in the original Ironman movie in the garage of Tony Stark. Since I had just seen Ironman 2 a week before I saw this prototype vehicle in person, I thought this was a pretty cool fact.

The Tesla truly is the future of automotive design and powerplants, today in 2010. Just as an iPad is an expensive digital communications platform only owned by a fraction of the planet’s population, the same thing can be said (in even more limited quantities) about the Tesla. I hope, however, the core technologies and fuctionalities represented by both the iPad and the Tesla will go mainstream in the years ahead.

Why should we continue to burn fossil fuels to power our cars and our homes in the 21st century? The answer is: We shouldn’t! A very powerful petroleum lobby continues to exert influence over global geo-politics, and maintain its lucrative income streams which have existed for over almost a century now. I hope the days of the global petroleum industry are limited. While the Tesla car is extremely expensive today, it certainly gives me hope that we’re headed to a greener, more ecologically friendly future which does not have to compromise design or performance when it comes to cars.

I encourage you to check out the website for Tesla Motors on If you’re like me, you won’t be shopping for one of these cars anytime soon, but it’s still great to dream about them – and to dream BIG. Bring on the future! I’m ready to step into my electric car and leave my petroleum-using ways in the past.

I used my free iPadio account and iPhone iPadio application to record this script, and quickly convert it to a downloadable mp3 format. After downloading that mp3 file, I was ready to log into my free account on and create my movie.

Since I prefaced this post by mentioning Google’s YouTube video editor, you are probably wondering why I chose to use JayCut instead of the YouTube editor. This decision was easy: Google’s YouTube editor currently provides minimal editing options for videos, and most importantly does NOT allow video creators to upload still images which can be included in videos. Since I needed to include still images as well as video clips, my decision to use JayCut was a no-brainer.

After logging into JayCut and choosing to create a movie, I clicked the UPLOAD MEDIA button in the upper right corner. I was able to directly upload all my photos, my video clip, and my mp3 audio narration clip which I downloaded from iPadio.

Editing a movie online with

I’m not sure what the individual user quota for media is on JumpCut, but I’d like to find out.

With JayCut after seeing the provided two minute tutorial, I was able to:

  1. Insert my video clip into the timeline
  2. Trim my video clip to remove extra frames at the start which didn’t show the Tesla car
  3. Add my mp3 audio clip as background narration
  4. Add my still clips in the desired order, so they synchronized with my narration
  5. Preview my video in its combined / remixed form
  6. Add textual titles at the front and end of the video
  7. Export my video directly to YouTube, as well as saving it for sharing on JayCut (as well as possible future editing)

Publishing from JayCut to YouTube

Overall, I am THRILLED by the power and simplicity of JayCut! Our Storychasers team has been discussing a “phase two” workshop that would follow the initial 2.5 day digital storytelling workshop experience we provide via Celebrate Oklahoma Voices and Celebrate Kansas Voices currently, but I’ve wanted to hold off until a viable, web-based video editing solution became available. I thought it would take Google to bring this solution to us, but at this point I have to vote wholeheartedly for JayCut as a powerful, flexible and user-friendly online video editor. Of course Google’s YouTube Editor is just in its initial beta and I’m sure it will become more fully featured, but at this point I’d say JayCut defines “the bar of excellence” for online video editing. Maybe Google can surpass it in the months ahead, but they’ve got their work cut out for them!

While I still love using iMovie on my Mac (and hopefully someday on an iPhone 4) I am an outspoken advocate for web-based / cloud-based software solutions like JayCut. As long as you have Flash installed in your web browser (something Apple seems unlikely to do anytime soon on iOS devices) you can edit with JayCut. This is true if you’re running any variant of the Macintosh operating system, Windows operating system, or Linux operating system. From a workshop perspective, it would be GREAT to show Storychaser “phase 2” participants how to edit in JayCut NO MATTER WHAT operating system they happening to be running today.

I used Google Chrome running on my MacBook Pro this evening to edit and publish my movie on JayCut. I can’t say this for sure, but I’m betting it would have worked fine in FireFox or Safari too.

Have you had experiences editing videos online with JayCut yet? If not, give it a try! I’ll definitely add it to my list of “Storychaser essential tools!”

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8 Responses to Jaycut, not YouTube, has the best online, free video editor today

  1. John Graney says:

    Great idea about using JayCut in front of the class to show how to make a video. I have my students make videos as group projects, but I have been turning them loose in a lab and giving them a set of links to use on a webpage for resources. This is a much better idea of how to model the activity before letting the students loose to create. Thank you.

  2. John Lacey says:

    I haven’t used it myself, but all reports suggested YouTube video editor was very clunky indeed. I haven’t heard of JayCut… look forward to checking it out. (Though realistically I don’t have much need for ‘online’ video editing. I’ll probably just stick to Sony Vegas.)

  3. John Strearns says:

    Jaycut is a great online editing tool, but if you want to collaborate with others (use their footage, remix each others’ content) you need to look elsewhere. I recently stumbled across Stroome, which seems to be in early stage beta and just won an award from the Knight Foundation. It’s an interesting, evolving solution that might be worth taking a look at to see where they go.

  4. Well, I certainly know a ton more about electric cars now. That was a great story. I love the fact that you took the same story and used different tools to create your product. But more important, I really enjoyed your story. I want one, but like you not in my price range for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  5. […] Moving at the Speed of Creativity has been doing reviews of online video editing software.  The first two compared were Jaycut and YouTube. And today Stroome and […]

  6. Wes, have you seen Audio editor? Another neat tool to add to your toolkit. They have other stuff but I’m enamored by their Garageband style Audio editor. They are also coming out with Aviary for Education.

    Too bad they can’t buy out Jaycut and add them to the suite.


  7. See also the preview of the new online video editor from Creaza:


  8. […] In addition, Wesley also has a similar tutorial on using JayCut. […]

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