Videos are the media of choice for a whole generation, and video content isn't just for specialized professionals anymore. We're all making them and sharing parts of our lives in them. So this time I took the chance to test FlexClip, which is a free single timeline online video editor.
The sign-up process is simple enough: you sign in with Facebook, Google or create an account with an email and a password. Then you go straight to the dashboard in which you can create your first project.
Once you're in the project view, you can add clips (called storyboards inside the site) with videos, photos or backgrounds. You are presented with help cards that help you get familiar with the workspace and options all the way through, so you won't feel lost.
When adding videos, you can browse through stock video options and pick one you want, or you can add your own from your computer. Something to notice here is that you can only add one video at a time (no multi-select possible), which is a bummer.
After a while, the multi-clicking task of hitting the add-storyboard icon, selecting which type, then clicking on the "browse my file" and selecting a file from your computer gets really old.
Also, each video clip can only be 1 minute long, so if yours is longer, you'll have to trim it. If you want to use the whole length, you'll have to add it again as another storyboard, then trim another minute of it, with no way to keep marks where you trimmed the same video in the previous clip.
This is when I realized that the purpose of the site is to make really short, simple videos. If you want to make longer edits, you'll have to look somewhere else.
The problem gets worse if you want to make a slideshow for example, which I imagine many people would want to use a simple online app like this for. Having to select one pic at a time is not a good idea if the objective is to make a quick project.
When you add another storyboard (or piece of content), it adds it right after the one you have selected, so keep this in mind before you do it, or you'll end up having to reorder all your clips, which you can do by just dragging and dropping.
In the text department, you have a few dynamic text options that are simple, but effective. Then you can change the font, size, alignment and colors. But you can't add more than one text box to a clip. If you click on another option, your current one will get replaced. So you get one text box per storyboard (or clip).
Then you can add music, and here you have quite a few options that include some sound FX, which is nice… if it wasn't for the fact that you can only select one piece for the whole video and there is no multi-track, so if you want an effect on a part over the music, you can't have it… or even just effects one after the other. If you picked a track and then you click on "add music", it gets replaced with no warnings.
In the settings section you can add a watermark, position it on one of the four corners of the video, set its size and opacity. You can also set the aspect ratio of the video.
I understand that the focus of this app is to make very simple videos, but there are some things missing besides the ones I mentioned that make it very hard to settle for this one, because there are a plethora of apps like this out there that make a good (and better) job at this.
Besides the lack of multi-track features (at least for audio, since there are sound FX you can use) and layers for text, I'm referring to two features very familiar to most of us: There are no transitions available to use between "storyboards" (or clips), and there are no image or video adjustments available. This means no white balance, contrast, or saturation... any adjustment whatsoever, even very basic ones.
In conclusion, I find it hard to recommend this one, having so many options to chose from these days. Having said that, I have to note the "beta" added to their name, so I can imagine there might be more features and tweaks coming. Until then, I'd look somewhere else for my quick video making solutions. But since it's free, you might want to try it and judge for yourself.
Barbara Din is a visual artist, graphic designer, painter, interior designer, crafter, musician and writer living in Argentina. Learn more about Barbara and her work at the following links:
Barbara Din Patreon page