Online Movie Maker Review | Tech Radar

Think about video editing toolsand you will probably imagine a zapper software for your computer, or a video editing app for your phone or tablet.

But what if we told you that there’s no need to invest in expensive editing suites and state-of-the-art workstations (if you want them, we’ve selected the best video editing computers for editors and producers).

What if we told you that you can quickly edit movies right in your browser with online movie maker.

Screenshot of Online Movie Maker video editor in Firefox browser

(Image credit: future)


Set your favorite Navigator at Online Movie Maker and you will be blessed with a simple website, with a handful of options. Upload your files, choose stock images, select free music, change background color and insert text. This is a video editing as accessible as possible.

Using your own media is as easy as selecting the files you need from your drive. Although you have to wait a bit before they are uploaded to the service’s servers. You also have a warning that your media will stay there for about 24 hours (or maybe less), so you better work fast.

the photo bank are from Pixabay. Search for specific keywords, then click on the thumbnails of the photos you want to use. Those that are selected get an “added” overlay on them, clearly indicating which ones you have already chosen.

These are just photos. If you prefer to use images from an alternative service or download stock videosyou’ll have to go to their respective websites, grab them from there, and then upload them to “Online Movie Maker” just like you would any other media.

This process is also what you need to do when you click the “Free Music” button on the service: you get instructions on what URL to go to, how to download the music samples on your computer and how to re-upload it to your project. This is all a bit complicated and time-consuming.

Screenshot of download process in Online Movie Maker video editor

(Image credit: future)

In-browser video editing

If you’re used to more traditional video editors, you’ll think of your project timeline as something to build from left to right. Not so here. The whole interface has a top-down feel that can be confusing.

You have a column for music, one for background, another for main, and one for text. The last column on the right is labeled Preview, which gives you thumbnails of your project along its entire length.

Select a thumbnail and click the gear icon to manipulate that particular clip. This is where you access the cropping tools, change its opacity, rotation, change its volume and playback speed. You also have an “effect” button to add as many filters as you want to your chosen clip.

This is also where you can choose a transition to enter or exit your clip. You can select its duration, style and even movement.

It’s pretty simple, but there’s a problem: click the play button to see the results of your edits, and you might have to wait a long time. Very long, in fact. We tried it several times ourselves and couldn’t get past 0%.

So it’s pretty hard to see if the changes you make will benefit your end result.

Screenshot of stock photo options in Online Movie Maker video editor

(Image credit: future)

Global effects and transitions

Scroll under your media columns to find global controls for transitions, and video effects.

The process is exactly the same as for individual clips, except that these changes will affect all clips in a specific column.

column to column

You will find that you can move clips from one column to another, they are basically used as multiple video layers. The Background column is the one at the bottom of the stack, so if a clip is present in the Main column in the same time frame, you’ll see it in the final product as opposed to the one below it.

Although our issues persisted, we were unable to preview the changes we were making. So we chose to “make” the movie to see what it looked like.

Screenshot of video effects in Online Movie Maker video editor

(Image credit: future)

Export videos

The process takes a bit of time as your movie is rendered. But once done, you get a small video preview that you can play at will. At least, that’s the theory. For some reason, our video was only previewing a series of fixed thumbnails.

Wait long enough (in our case, over half an hour for a 1.5 hour video) and we might start seeing a preview of the finished work. It might be the same issue when trying to preview individual clips. But who has so much time to wait just to preview a clip?

We thought this might be a problem in our browser and opted to download the video instead (which you only have to do an hour before the link expires). Right-click on the link and choose “Download linked file”.

Fortunately, the downloaded movie worked as expected – full motion, with transitions and effects.

Problems editing videos in a browser

Could our problems be due to the browser we were using (Safari v.15.2)?

To verify, we tried all of the above with Firefox (v.99.0.1). Unfortunately, we encountered the same issues: unable to preview clips, edits, effects or transitions – both for individual clips or for the entire column/layer.

So we have to conclude that these issues would affect all users – at least during the time we tried the service. The uploaded file however showed all the editing decisions we made.

Screenshot of preview issues in Online Movie Maker video editor

(Image credit: future)

final verdict

The idea of ​​being able to edit directly from your web browser is nice, but there are way too many hurdles and issues to recommend this service for that purpose.

The concept of columns as opposed to layers is new, and it’s always good to see people challenging the established format – that’s how things can improve for the better, and there’s a good number of effects and transitions to select.

We also liked the ability to apply them to a single clip or an entire column. However, not being able to preview your media or your entire project is really a deal breaker. Even if the uploaded project looks fine, any edits you make will be mostly guesswork until then, and this is no way to edit a video, no matter how short.