The latest Flash photo/video/sound editing tools that we mentioned last week are now enabled at Photobucket for premium users, and will go live for all users in March. Geoff Baum at Adobe confirmed that these tools are not yet available anywhere on the web except for Photobucket.
The new tool allows PhotoBucket users to mash up photos, video and stock music files into a single slide show/video and then display those mashups on any website. The screen shots below help describe some of what they are doing, but the key changes that make the tools better than what Motionbox, JumpCut (acquired by Yahoo), and Cuts are offering on the video side and Slide and RockYou on the photo side are just how fast and easy it is to make one of these. I stopped by the Photobucket offices earlier this week for a run through, and we created a photo and video mashup and added music in a matter of moments. An example:
Users are restricted from uploading their own audio files (copyright concerns drove this), but Photobucket says they may add a record button to allow a narrative of the photo/video stream in the future. For now, a selection of licensed stock music is available. Users can also add transition effects, text bubbles, frames and other effects to the mashup.
Since these tools were created by Adobe they’ll be available to Photobucket’s competitors as well, and I expect similar products to be launched by those competitors in the near future. By being first, though, Photobucket gets a head start over these other companies. How significant that advantage is, is yet to be seen.
Photobucket is based in Colorado and Silicon Valley, and has 60 employees. They’ve raised $15 million over two rounds of financing.