Google adds new dimension to YouTube

YouTube has added an automatic convert-to-3D tool for uploaded flicks. In a less gimmicky move it’s also vastly increased the number of users who can upload clips without a time limit.

The 3D tool is an addition to an existing suite of editing tools, which can be accessed by clicking on “Edit Video.” They include options to add a soundtrack from a library, clip out the start or end of a clip, correct color inbalances, or switch to sepia or black and white.

Rather confusingly the 3D option isn’t in this menu. Instead you have to open the clip itself, then click on “Edit Info” (not “Edit Video”), and then 3D video. You also need to make sure to click on “save changes” after checking the 3D box.

The original clip is left untouched, but a new one will be created with what is at least an attempt to produce a 3D effect. Viewers will be able to instantly switch the playback to fit one of a range of 3D display systems, from interleaved monitor to old-school red and cyan glasses.

Unlike a previous tool on the site, this works for any clip and doesn’t require the user to provide dual feeds. I’ve not yet discovered exactly how long the conversion takes, but it certainly isn’t quick.

A tool that’s likely to be more useful to many viewers is that clips longer than the standard 15-minute limit can now be uploaded to anyone who verifies their account by providing a valid telephone number. However, those of you thinking this is your opportunity to upload full-length TV shows in a single clip should be aware the feature is only available to users who haven’t been flagged for copyright infringement.

The site has also added a resumable uploads feature, meaning you don’t need to start again if your connection cuts out midway through.

Finally, the site has added access to a couple of extra external editing tools, Vlix and Magisto. It’s the usual collection of on-screen text effects and animations, but with six different external packages now available, we stand a greater chance of avoiding the sheer tedium of yet another Windows MovieMaker intro.