Trimming, longer recordings, preview images – a quick Clipchamp API update

Posted July 21, 2016
Written by Tobi Raub
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A lot has happened since we wrote our previous brief update about the features and options available in our JavaScript webcam recorder API – our engineering team has been pretty busy over the last couple of months!

In addition to launching a new product and working on a redesign of clipchamp.com (coming soon), the team also spent quite a bit of time adding and extending a number of features for our API.

Getting some great feedback from our customers helped us decide what to tackle and how to make our solution even more useful for a broad range of use cases.

See here for a full list of video API plans and features. For now, here are the most important new options we introduced over the last few months:


If you want to offer your users the ability to select a portion of a video that gets uploaded to you while omitting the rest of the video, you can enable this option now through the encoding.trim, encoding trim.from, encoding.trim.to  API parameters.

Lowering FPS

If your users are uploading videos at a higher frame rate than you’d like – for instance because higher fps videos take too long to process – you can use the  encoding.fps parameter to set a maximum fps allowed for your users’ input videos.

Directly Passing Video Files to the API

If you’d like to have videos sent from your users’ devices without manual intervention by the user, this is the option to make use of. The direct.files  parameter is part of the input options of the Clipchamp API.

Preview Image

In order to be able to display a thumbnail or preview image per video in a collection of videos uploaded by your website visitors or users, you can use the onPreviewAvailable  parameter, which is called with the preview image when one is available.

Longer Webcam Recordings

Usually, the maximum webcam recording duration set by the Clipchamp API is 300 seconds (5 minutes). Using the (experimental) overlong-recording  parameter, you can allow webcam/mobile camera recordings without any timely limitation of the recording duration.

You can still limit it at a value higher than 300 seconds by setting a numeric value (number of seconds) in the camera.limit parameter. Please note that longer video recording is only supported in Chrome, Opera and Firefox at this stage.

Meta Data of Input Videos

In some circumstances it can be useful to receive all available meta data of a user generated video that is uploaded to you. For instance there is a known issue where in some versions of Firefox, videos recorded on mobile phones in landscape mode don’t get played back correctly after getting uploaded to you due to Firefox not honouring the video meta data rotation information during playback.

Our new onMetadataAvailable  parameter allows you to selectively handle this rotation issue: it gets invoked with the full input video metadata, which includes rotation information for videos recorded with mobile devices in “landscape” orientation. You can use this information to selectively rotate the tag using CSS on affected version of Firefox and other browsers that display this behaviour.

About the Clipchamp API

Our API is unlike any other webcam recorder or video uploader available today. Its unique advantage is that it compresses and converts all video files client-side before they get sent to your Cloud storage. There is no detour through our servers either, files get sent from your users’ devices directly to you – protecting privacy and giving you full control over what happens with them.

This also ensures that you’re getting all your users’ videos at smaller file sizes in 1 standard format (MP4, WebM) straight from their devices – desktop or mobile – without any need for the files to get transcoded server-side. Videos you receive are ready to be used for streaming as we make sure that the MOOV atom is at the beginning of all files your users send to you.

Try the API free for 14 days and join our growing list of customers in education, online casting, sports management, recruiting, software development, web design, and many other industries.

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