Posted by Sarah Maddox
Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker is pretty neat. You can grab a video and augment it with clickable text boxes. You can also add other interactive widgets, such as a live Twitter stream or a fully-functioning map from Google Maps. I’ve been playing with Popcorn Maker for a couple of weeks, and I thought other people may like to have a go. So I’ve put together a video for you to mess up… hrrm… review. It’s cunningly disguised as a tour of the Atlassian Confluence documentation. But actually, it’s a bit of fun. 😉
Jumping right in
Are you keen to try Popcorn Maker? Try making a remix of my Popcorn Maker movie, “Popping the Confluence docs“. I’d love it if you’d add a comment on this blog post with a link to your remix!
Making the video itself
I used Screencast-O-Matic to record the movie itself. It’s a great tool too. Just like Popcorn Maker, everything is online. You do need to install Java on your computer, and it’s handy to have a webcam for the audio part of the movie. Other than that, all you need is your connection to the Internet. You can use Screencast-O-Matic free of charge, if you’re happy to have a watermark at the bottom of your movie.
Once I’d made the movie, I uploaded it to YouTube and then used Popcorn Maker to annotate it and make it available for remixing.
Some thoughts on Popcorn Maker
It’s pretty cool to be able to grab a video from YouTube (or Vimeo, Soundcloud, or an HTML 5 video) and add bits to it online, all within your web browser. Nifty technology!
But I think the huge potential lies in the fact that anyone can remix the videos. Just grab a movie that someone else has created, and decorate it yourself.
This has very interesting possibilities for collaborative development of “how to” videos. Another use that springs to mind: The review of videos. Instead of writing separate notes, people can paste their comments directly onto the relevant spot in the video. And they don’t need specialised tools to do it.
The icons and styling in general could do with some tender loving care from an artist or designer.
The integration with Twitter, Flickr and Google Maps is awesome! It makes me wonder what other integrations would be useful. Perhaps a HipChat room. Or an RSS feed from WordPress?
I’d also love to see some way of finding and sharing remixes of a given video. Ha ha, searching for “Popcorn remixes” brings up a number of song remixes!
- A Mozilla blog post introducing the Popcorn Maker technology: Introducing Popcorn Maker
- The main Popcorn Maker site: https://popcorn.webmaker.org/
- A Popcorn Maker tutorial
- An article from PCWorld: New Mozilla tool lets anyone create and hack interactive videos
- An article from Co.Design: Popcorn Maker: A Dead-Simple Drag-and-Drop App For Remixing Web Videos
- A list of Popcorn Maker projects
- Screencast-O-Matic, an online tool for recording screencasts: http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/
- The video on YouTube, without the Popcorn Maker annotations: Confluence Documentation Tour
- “Popping the Confluence docs” – a Popcorn Maker movie for you to remix to your heart’s content. 🙂