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We have been reviewing video editing software since Top Ten Reviews launched in 2003. We have watched these programs grow from simple timeline editing to include tools that were only dreamed about for programs at the consumer level. Every year, our expert reviewers gather all the best software and use each program to create dozens of videos. The reviewers who evaluate video editing software all have a background in media production, particularly video. They have used the programs they review in a professional environment and in their personal lives. Their reviews and evaluations are informed not only by the hard data they collected but by years of personal experience using these types of applications.
This editing software offers three main ways to create your video projects. You can use the Full Feature Editor, which is the familiar timeline, or storyboard, layout used by industry professionals since time immemorial. But in case you're not ready to jump into that quite yet, there's also a simplified editor that automatically creates a video for you in just minutes. Additionally, you can use the Express Project module that allows you to fill in preprogrammed templates with your own content, which teaches you how to use the Full Feature Editor to its fullest potential.
In the midrange, there's Adobe Premiere Elements, which is cross-platform between Macs and PCs, and offers a lot more features and lots of help with creating effects. Professionals and prosumers have powerful, though pricey options in Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro. Final Cut is a deceptively simple application that resembles iMovie in its interface and ease of use, but it offers massively deep capabilities, and many third-party apps integrate with it for even more power. It also makes excellent use of the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro, as shown in photo above. Premiere Pro uses a more traditional timeline and adds a large ecosystem of companion apps and plug-ins. It also excels in collaboration features.
It’s the stripped-down version of Adobe Premiere, an industry-standard editing program used to create movies, TV shows, music videos, commercials and online video content from major brands. Although the workflow is much different than Premiere, Elements give you a taste of the tools used by professionals in a user-friendly way. It has three modules to make videos: Quick, which is great for making short videos quickly. Guided, which teaches you the ins and outs of the program, and Expert, which removes all the training wheels and lets you delve deep into your creative ventures. All projects made with Elements can be exported for transfer into the professional Premiere application.
The basic video editing operations such as trimming, splitting are available from the last menu—Edit—and they also snap into view if you double click a clip in your timeline. The Trim tool simply adds start and end handles to the preview window's scrubber line, but you can do the same thing from the main timeline by tapping "Set start point" or "Set end point."
For the most advanced, least fiscally prudent of beginners, there’s Apple Final Cut Pro X. $299.99 might be a little steep for a product you may well have a difficult time understanding; but for those among you who enjoy a challenge, and who aspire to some level of professionalism in video editing, why not go for it? Apple has made the transition from iMovie to Final Cut Pro more painless than ever—so if you’re the kind of guy or gal who enjoys him/herself an Apple product, and has worked with iMovie to the point of mastery, it might be time to splurge on Final Cut Pro. The power is still daunting; the interface, significantly less so.
I don't like that it's hard to customize the title the way you want it, especially if you want to add multiple lines of texts. I have to use photoshop to make my title page instead, but it would be so much faster if I could make it in the program. I also don't like that there isn't music already loaded in, you have to go online to find your own music. I would like a small list of pre-loaded songs.
Windows Movie Maker is free video editing software available on virtually every PC. Developed by Microsoft as part of the standard program suite, it was included in Windows XP and, more recently, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Even though it is not supported for Windows 10, you can still download Windows Movie Maker and install it on this newest operating system, as well. But should you really do that? You can try a powerful alternative like Movavi Video Editor Plus that gives you access to a wider range of tools and is also available to Mac users.
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.