PS3 Video Editor: First Impressions

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When I’m not busy hosting podcasts, writing articles for this site, or generally being a menace to society, I’m a video editor.

It’s not just a hobby, it’s how I make my living.

Knowing this, I was a natural fit to write this article. Go figure.

In Sony’s PS3 3.40 update, they’ve added a video editor, and while it has already been described as a ‘basic’ tool, I decided to take it for a spin and see how it stacks up against serious editors like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, or Vegas.

It doesn’t.

It’s not entirely bad, but it leaves me wondering who this tool was designed for. Don’t expect to be cutting the next Citizen Kane on your console, and if you’re not that ambitious, just getting your home movies onto the system to edit is a hurdle.

Contrary to what you might think, the PS3 Video Editor (and Uploader, to be accurate) does NOT let you grab video clips from games. Certainly, if the game ALREADY supports video export, like PixelJunk Eden or Bayonetta, those clips can be saved from the game, then altered with the Editor.

Also, the Editor will NOT work with video that was sitting on your PS3 hard drive BEFORE you updated to firmware 3.40. However, I found if you remove the existing video from your PS3, then copying it back to the hard drive, it works. The Editor warns you about this limitation, and I find it a little bizarre. Not sure why this is the case, and my inquiries haven’t been answered (yet).

You can use the tool to do basic A-B cuts within a clip and to create basic transitions between two clips.

Sorry Homer, no Star Wipe in this software.

You can also add music that resides on your hard drive, but your options are limited. When adding music, you don’t have much flexibility on what section of music you use, or loop points, or… well… you get the idea. Sound and music were an afterthought in the Editor.

Another glaring oversight is the ability to import or edit native DV format video.

Sure, most consumers are moving to HDV format (generally a form of MPEG), but there are still a lot of miniDV cameras out there. Mom and Pop with a three year old camera are out of luck… unless they capture the footage on their computer, convert it to a usable format, then transfer it to their PS3.

But if they can do that, they probably don’t need the PS3 to do the heavy lifting, do they?

It also doesn’t support .mov format video, so if you are using one of the small SD Card or Memory Stick cameras (like the Kodak Zi8) that saves files natively in QuickTime format, it’s not going to work without recompressing the video on a computer.

Again, if you can do that, you probably already have a ‘basic’ editor on your computer that has more features AND doesn’t need to convert the video to a different format.

Essentially, MPEG is your best route, and if the PS3 doesn’t play a format you’re considering, it’s not going to edit it either.

You can add basic titling, with a small selection of fonts and colors, and you can move/scale that text to your heart’s content. You can also upload your finished product directly to YouTube or Facebook.

I guess that’s something.

There’s also the ability to speed up and slow down clips on the fly. That’s pretty cool.

But it’s not enough.

While I appreciate a new feature, a free tool, and something interesting to play with, the Video Editor and Uploader isn’t powerful enough to interest the ‘hard core’ AV crowd, and just getting to a point where you can edit footage is likely beyond the abilities of the average consumer.

Who was this built for again?

I’ll be cutting some video with the tool, posting some examples, and perhaps writing some tutorials… but I’m really baffled as to why anyone WOULD use this software.

If you have an idea, send me an email: matt@bagofmadbastards.com

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1 Comment

  1. Can we delete the Video editor?? ITS TOOK UP 6GB ON MY POOR 40GB PS3! FK!


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