Similar to Audio Editing, there are many options when it comes to selecting a Video Editing Software for converting, editing, touching-up or creating video projects; while at the same time, it is much more effective to find one program that works well for your needs and to stick with it. Choosing the right software from the beginning will certainly help our readers to save time, increase efficiency, productivity and overall happiness.
(How happy one feels after editing is *the most important* part.)
In today’s post, we will be covering five of our favorite Video Editing Software choices, for both Mac and PC, along with a somewhat new, online (cloud-based) encoding option. All six have been tested and recommended by our staff and have consistently provided outstanding results — time and time again.
Windows Movie Maker makes home movies amazingly fun. With Movie Maker, you can create, edit, and share your home movies right on your computer. Build your movie with a few simple drag-and-drops. Delete bad shots and include only the best scenes. Then share your movie via the Web, e-mail, or CD. Using third-party software you can even take movies you’ve made and turn them into DVDs. You can also save your movie back to the video tape in your camera to play back on a TV or on the camera itself.
Brass Tacks: Chances are, if you’ve purchased a Windows-based PC in the last 5-10 years, your computer already has Windows Movie Maker installed on it. If using Windows Vista or version 7, you will want to turn your attention to Windows Live Movie Maker. Regardless of which version you’re running, the fact remains true: Windows Movie Maker is a Free, (relatively) easy-to-use software, which allows its users to not only create video from scratch by using any combination of their webcam, royalty-free images, soundbites and movie clips, but will also allow for re-encoding to a wide selection of standard (non-hybrid) codecs, with WMV being the recommended (native) output format. Very helpful if you need to re-encode something from GoToMeeting or GoToWebinar to a standard format.
Maybe you want to throw together a few video clips. Maybe you have more time and want to fine-tune every edit. Or maybe you just want to flip through clips the way you flip through album covers in iTunes. iMovie lets you do it all — then share it all.
Know how to drag files to your desktop? Then you know how to edit a movie in iMovie. Drag your favorite clips into the project area and arrange them as you wish. Drag in titles and transitions. Drag in photos. Drag in a song from iTunes to create your soundtrack. That’s drag-and-drop moviemaking, and iMovie makes it fast and easy.
iMovie gives you more ways to add clips to your project: Now you can replace or insert clips using a single pop-up menu. Or edit just your audio. As you work, you can drag and drop markers to help you remember specific points in your project or to have your clips snap to the beats of a song.
Brass Tacks: If you’ve purchased a new Mac recently, you more than likely will have seen the iMovie icon in your Applications folder or in your OS X taskbar. If you don’t have the software, it can be purchased as part of the iLife pack from Apple. iMovie is not only highly intuitive for the beginning user, but proves itself to also be extremely versatile in allowing for a quick initial import, smooth and precise editing and a final product that offers a stark feeling of professionalism. If you’re on a Mac, this is the perfect place to get started working with video. When outputting (rendering) video, you also have many possibilities, as far as container or codec … we recommend either MPEG-2 or MOV for uploading to most sites (for AudioAcrobat use MPEG-2).
Brass Tacks: This lightweight, easy-to-use video converter does not need much of an explanation. For the money, it is one of the best (and least expensive) solutions for converting video between different file types, preparing audio for mobile devices, compressing or basic editing tasks (cropping, rotating, adding a watermark etc.). AudioAcrobat users will find that Movavi will not only allow them the freedom to quickly and easily prepare video files to be uploaded to their account, but will also assist with adjusting brightness/contrast or the splitting of larger files into several smaller ones. Oh, and they even offer a free trial … bonus!
All of the products in the Vegas software family make it easy to import and edit movies, images, and music so you can jump right in and start creating your next video or audio masterpiece. Whether you’re a beginner, an experienced filmmaker, or a professional broadcast producer, there is a Vegas solution to meet your needs.
Brass Tacks: There is a large influx in price when comparing the low/high ends of Sony’s Vegas line of Video Editing Software. However, even with the most basic product in this line (Vegas Movie Studio HD), users gain access to a plethora of features; such as, but not limited to red eye reduction, simultaneous local and external video monitoring, over 300 video effects, over 200 transitions and Chroma Key (Green Screen effect). Vegas boldly goes beyond the basic, every-day needs for video editing and puts the user in the hot seat of today’s cutting room floor. There is a reason that Vegas is the industry standard for performing video editing/production on the PC.
As the next major release of the leading video post-production suite, the new Final Cut Studio offers powerful new features, dramatically improved performance, and tighter integration. Its six applications give video editors all the tools they need to edit, animate, mix, grade, and deliver — at a price that’s more affordable than ever.
Brass Tacks: If you have the money to drop, the desire to learn and the time to devote … there is no need for any other video editing/production software. This right here is the entire kit and caboodle. The whole enchilada. The big shebang. Video production is truly realized on the Mac platform. Build a super-fast iMac or Mac Pro (8GB of RAM min., i7 Quad-Core processor(s)), install Final Cut and get ready to take the world by storm. They’ll never have even seen you coming.
Movavi Online is a free online web service that lets you download videos from video-sharing sites and save them to your iPhone, iPod, cellphone, and popular video formats: complete list. With Movavi Online, you can also convert videos already on your computer. There’s no charge for the service, and you don’t need to download any software. Best of all – we don’t cover your screen with annoying ads!
Brass Tacks: Here’s the entire process in a nutshell — Feed Movavi Online one or more files from your computer’s hard drive or via direct URL, select an output format and click “Convert”. If you want to join multiple files into one, click the “Merge all videos into one large movie” box. The Free version places your file in queue for transcoding (ours had a wait time of 5 hours) and gives you the option to be notified by email once completed. This is perfect if you need something converted, you aren’t on a tight schedule and you want to be able to walk away after just a couple of clicks, knowing that there’s another server out there in the ether of the internet that will soon be transcoding your file while you’re out enjoying the weather. Isn’t that what computers and the internet were meant for … making our lives easier? Looks like Movavi has got our best interests in mind. In short: truly precedent-setting.
Why one would need to choose another video editing software besides the fabulous five + one listed above is beyond us, but if anyone can think of a reason, please share your insight by commenting below. We and our readers will certainly appreciate any information that is yours to share.
Coming up next … Recording Video using the Video Web Recorder!