YouTube has today announced another killer tool for video creators that should ease all kinds of headaches. Users now have the ability to edit their videos, right from within YouTube, even though it’s already been published. The new system allows the videos to maintain the same exact video IDs they had before editing began.

Edit Existing YouTube Videos Without Losing Your Video ID & URL

Here’s a scenario that I’m sure is familiar to many of you: You’ve created a great video, uploaded it to YouTube, and published it… only to find a mistake you want to fix or an alteration you want to make. Prior to today, the only way you could do that was pull the original video down, edit it offline, and then re-upload.

The problems with that solution are obvious:

  • It takes more time than video creators would like to pull a video, re-edit it, re-upload, and re-publish… it’s kind of a pain in the neck, actually.
  • The video ID changes, meaning any previous links or embeds are now out of date, still linking to the old version’s video ID.

With the new editing system inside YouTube, both of those problems disappear. You can edit a video even if it’s already live, and the video ID remains the same. In addition, you can do the editing right from within YouTube.

Here’s a video they released showing off the new capabilities:

Using The New YouTube Video Editing System on Existing Videos

This is pretty huge news, I think, though it definitely has its limitations. Here’s how it works:

  • Click Edit Video on the video’s page or on your My Videos page
  • Edit the video – You can stabilize hand-held footage, rotate a video, boost the contrast, and change the colors. There’s even an “I’m feelin’ lucky” option for one-touch color correction. YouTube has also added some filter-type effects (developed with Picnik).
  • Click Save.
  • Wait for the video to finish processing, and you’re done.

Note that you can still revert back to the original in the event you don’t like the new edit. However, popular video clips with over 1,000 views can only be saved as new videos once edited (for more explanation on that, see their help page).

The new editing capabilities are being rolled out to all users today, though I’m not seeing them in my account currently. It doesn’t appear as though you can make cuts or swap scenes around using this editing system–that kind of thing is something you’ll still want to use your regular editing software for. But for correcting minor issues and improving the look of your video, this is an outright gift to video creators.