Mozilla Popcorn Highlights the Power of Open Source HTML5 Beyond Firefox

Mozilla PopcornFrom the ‘Remix’ Files:

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the mission of Mozilla is about more than just the browser. Mozilla is about enabling the open web in all of its glory and it is taking the latest step with an innovative HTML5 web tech called Popcorn Maker.

While Popcorn Maker is a Mozilla tech, for a laugh, I decided to run it in the latest version of Chrome. Guess what? It works.

The reason why it works? It’s all HTML5 standards based meaning anyone that properly implements standards should be good to go.

Popcorn maker is basically a simple video markup tool that lets user drag ‘events’ that is a popup a link an image, a link to Wikipedia etc on top of the video. The video needs to be sourced from a web resource (that is it’s not a large local 1080p video), but it’s still neat. NO this is not a replace for Adobe Premiere, or even the open source OpenShot or Kdenlive, at least it’s not today.

That said, all kinds of neat capabilities, like the ability to loop a video, pause inline, or insert a googlemap. You can compose multiple layers (as in any multi-track video or audio editor today) but it lacks full audio capabilities now such that users can overlay new audio.

From my point of view, there are also some obvious copyright questions too. Just because a video is accessible over the web doesn’t mean that it can legally be changed (or popped with Popcorn) and then shared with others (does it?). Yeaah I know it’s all good fun and trust me I’m not a lawyer (today), but the reality of the modern world is that not all content is ready to be popped.

Popcorn Maker really is marginally more powerful than the inline video editing that YouTube has provided for some time – but there is a big catch here – this isn’t just for YouTube. Popcorn (copyright concerns aside) is for anyone that has access to the web and an HTML5 enabled browser.

I would assume that given HTML local storage capabilities that if someone really wanted too, a more robust full non-linear video editing tool could emerge sooner rather than later. The browser isn’t just for viewing web pages anymore.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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