Windows Movie Maker was once the world's most popular free video editing tool for Windows and users can make home movies by simple drag-and-drop. It contains features such as video effects, video transitions, adding titles/credits, audio track, timeline narration, and Auto Movie. Although Windows Movie Maker is built for Windows 7, and if you are looking for some free video editing software for Windows 8 or Windows 10, then you should skip Windows Movie Maker. However, Windows Movie Maker has been discontinued by Microsoft, you can still find installation packages on some third-party authoritative download sites:


This is great for setting your composition because it means you can take photos from up high or down low without having to look through the viewfinder. And if you’re a youtube or a blogger, having the ability to flip the screen completely around is great, because it means you can see yourself while you’re filming, which is what I’m doing right now. A little tip is that if you get one of those cheap $5 remotes off of amazon, you start and stop your recording without ever having to touch the camera.
However, simple editing can be done on the cheap if you’re willing to ditch powerful, high-end software such as Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Premiere, in favor of a more modest program. Let’s face it, you’re probably not going to be taking home the Palme d’Or with the film you cut on your laptop, but your home movies and YouTube uploads can take on a whole new shine with a few straightforward tools.
The MS website offers virtually no educational materials on their program. All it has in terms of user support is a help service you can contact by email and a forum. The Movavi site, on the other hand, provides a wide variety of useful content, including FAQs, manuals, and video guides with regular updates. If something is not working properly or there’s an error of any kind, you can contact the company’s live chat service to get help in real time.
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The Full Feature Editor contains simplified versions of nearly all the tools available in professional video editing software. For example, you have access to an audio mixer that lets you fine-tune your sound, the chroma key that allows you to create green-screen effects, and a surround-sound configurator that optimizes your video for home entertainment systems and even movie theaters. These tools and others allow you to make the same type of videos as Hollywood professionals. PowerDirector is a great program not only for creating great videos, but also for learning nonlinear editing in case you decide to upgrade to professional video editing programs.

You’ll find the familiar timeline/storyboard workflow, along with other basic tools such as titles and credits, effects and transitions, and a chroma-key (green screen). It also has some, but not all, of the advanced tools you need to make an outstanding video. You’ll get a video stabilizer to smooth out shaky footage, 4K compatibility for footage from the newest cameras, 3D editing, motion tracking and more. These are all great tools, and it’s a great bang for your buck. But there are some significant trade-offs. For example, there are no themes or templates. So, you’ll need to build every project from scratch – not very appealing to beginners. It also lacks an automatic video creator and slideshow creator, which are also great for novices. This program lacks multi-cam and 360-degree editing features that you would find on more expensive programs. If you want the newest, greatest effects and tools, this is not the program for you. In addition, the program’s interface is in bad need of a face-lift, and has been for years. It’s kind of hard to get around, and it will require working through a few projects before you can use it effectively.


Free video editing software often comes with legal and technical limitations, however. Some widely used codecs require licensing fees on the part of the software maker, meaning they can't offer free software that can handle these standard file formats. That said, the impressive open-source Shotcut does a lot of the same things that the paid applications in this roundup do, including things like chroma-keying and picture-in-picture. Shotcut is completely open-source and free, while another free option, Lightworks has paid options that remove a 720p output resolution limit. Note also that both Shotcut and Lightworks run on Linux as well as Windows and Mac.

Finally, we used each program to compress a 4K video file into a smaller resolution. We then examined the results looking for imperfections in the picture such as compression artifacts, motion blur, distortion, ghosting and more. PowerDirector’s results were simply outstanding. We could find almost no indication that the video had been compressed, even when viewed on an ultra-high-definition monitor.


Video editing is one of the most computing-intensive activities around, so you'll want the best laptop or desktop you can afford if you're serious about cutting your own movies. Most applications help speed up the editing process by creating a proxy file of lower resolution, so that normal editing and previewing aren't slowed down by the huge full-resolution files.
Not an expert? Don’t know how to edit videos, have a video studio, or have a bona fide video specialist to shoot and cut your features? That’s alright! The goal of today’s blog is to show you that with the right video editing software, you too can churn out sleek, professional video content—regardless of experience—and keep your content strategy ahead of the curve.
If I had to choose something I dislike about Windows Movie Maker, it would have to be the limit it has in output files. Unlike Avid Media Composer or Adobe Premiere, it seems as though Windows Movie Maker is more limited in the type of files you can export. Also, there isn't much more advanced filters and effects you can customize from. If you're looking to customize your own effects, then maybe Windows Movie Maker isn't right for your project.

The granddaddy of video editing, Adobe Premiere Pro is the cross-platform, uber-popular timeline based video editor that’s long set the standard for video editing software. Capable of tackling nearly any type of video format, Adobe’s software is ready to produce video for any type of professional production, including film, television and the Web. Premiere Pro offers enough horsepower to handle 360-degree virtual reality video to 8K footage all in native format. It can even import and export footage from competitive software such as Final Cut Pro.
We combined a text opener with five clips linked by a cross-fade-type transition into a 2.5-minute video shot at 60 frames per second, and rendered the projects to the MPEG-4 format at 720p. We timed rendering at both 60 fps and 30 fps. We adjusted settings to take advantage of hardware acceleration for all tests whenever possible, setting them in either the preferences or the rendering controls for the best speeds. Apple’s iMovie, the lone Mac-only app, is not included in the timed comparisons.
With ScreenFlow you can record any part of your screen or the entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, iOS device, microphone or multi-channel audio device, and your computer’s audio. The easy-to-use editing interface lets you creatively edit your video. When you are done, use the built-in sharing to publish your video directly to YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, Facebook, Google Drive, Dropbox or to Telestream Cloud for transcoding. Or export an animated .GIF, ProRes file or .MP4 directly to your desktop.
That’s assuming you’re just exporting files. You may want to burn a DVD or Blu-ray disc, or upload your videos directly to YouTube or Facebook. Each of these comes with its own set of necessary features that some apps have and others don’t. For disc burning, you need not only support for the right formats, but DVD menu authoring tools so viewers can navigate what you’re presenting. On the social side, it’s much easier if the application syncs up directly with your account online and allows you to enter metadata like a description, tags, and privacy settings.

Even though Windows Movie Maker has a wide variety of special effects, some of them look a little tacky when implemented. Especially if you use a lot of them within a short span of one video. Also, a great feature of Windows Movie Maker is that you can add subtitles to your video. The problem is that this can become a little tedious when you have to manually put them in.


We also spoke with Richard Dutcher, an independent filmmaker and director of eight feature films including “Brigham City,” “Falling," "God's Army” and “Evil Angel.” He told us that the time you spend learning a new program is at a premium. “I like things that are intuitive and with the fastest learning curve. The less time spent becoming familiar and proficient the better. The sooner I can get to work and putting the film together - that’s the most important thing to me.”


I've been seeing a lot of attention paid to creating title effects in the applications over the past year. Apple Final Cut Pro X has added 3D title creation, which is pretty spiffy, letting you extrude 2D titles and rotate them on three axes. Corel VideoStudio in its latest version also adds 3D Titling, though not as powerful as Apple's. PowerDirector's Title Designer offers transparency, gradient color, border, blur level, and reflection in titles; Magix has impressive title templates, complete with animations. Premiere Elements offers a nifty title effect in which your video fills the text characters. Look for an application that lets you edit titles in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode, so that you can type, format, and time it right over the video preview.
Avidemux is the Instagram of video editing software — quick, dirty, and impressively capable. The software is designed for quick trimming, filtering, encoding, and a slew of other basic features. The cross-platform software also remains open-source — with a resourceful wiki page to boot — and tasks can be automated using assorted projects, job queues, and custom scripting capabilities that push it beyond barebones functionality.

The MS website offers virtually no educational materials on their program. All it has in terms of user support is a help service you can contact by email and a forum. The Movavi site, on the other hand, provides a wide variety of useful content, including FAQs, manuals, and video guides with regular updates. If something is not working properly or there’s an error of any kind, you can contact the company’s live chat service to get help in real time.
I decided to upgrade (pay) when the free version only allowed 5 min videos max. So I paid for a gold class and now I am told I can only make 10 min videos - WTF! You would assume once you pay you can make much longer videos! That cost me $42 AUD. I also notice that once the video is "completed" some of the processed video is black and only has sound. Windows Movie Maker (which was actually FREE) never did this, and its controls were much easier to use. The controls are also very hard to use.

Finally, we used each program to compress a 4K video file into a smaller resolution. We then examined the results looking for imperfections in the picture such as compression artifacts, motion blur, distortion, ghosting and more. PowerDirector’s results were simply outstanding. We could find almost no indication that the video had been compressed, even when viewed on an ultra-high-definition monitor.


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Particularly intensive is the process of rendering your finished product into a standard video file that will by playable on the target device of choice, be that an HDTV, a laptop, or a smartphone. Most of the software can take advantage of your computer's graphics processor to speed this up. Be sure to check the performance section in each review linked here to see how speedy or slow the application is. In rendering speed testing, CyberLink and Pinnacle have been my perennial champs. /injects>

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