If you’re looking for some great video editing software that also happens to be free, look no further. Before you start, however, I have a word of warning. The disappointing thing about free video editors is that there aren’t really any equivalents of Photoscape or Audacity. There is definitely awesome video editing software out there, but unfortunately you’ll have to pay for it. If you are going to edit on a regular basis, think about buying a program – check out the trial versions of Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas or Movavi Video Suite. Who knows, you might be impressed enough to decide it’s worth the cost.
If you’re sticking to free programs for the moment, however, read on. This is my list of the best editing software around, easiest first.
Total beginner? Start simple with Microsoft Live Movie Maker. Some of the apps out there are really complicated but this Vista-only version of Windows Movie Maker will start you off gently. Now, before you go rolling your eyes, actually take a look at this app. Simple, definitely, but also very effective and for basic video/image mash-ups, it’s a great option. It’s incredibly easy to use and if this is your fist time creating videos, you’d be mad to ignore it.
Got a little bit of experience? Try VideoPad Video Editor. Whereas Microsoft Live Movie Maker is the best bet for total beginners, those of you with some experience, or maybe users who are technically able, but new to video editing, should give Videopad a try. It’s got a good selection of export options, great help and makes the perfect first app.
Need an app for slightly more complex tasks? Avidemux is the one. This open source tools is perfect for tasks like cutting and encoding and it supports plenty of formats. Best of all, it has lots of information available on its wiki and forum, so even if you do run into problems or want to ask for help from more experienced users, you’ll have no problem finding people to help.
Are you a user who knows what you want? VirtualDub, or sister application VirtualDubMod, are perfect. Even the developers admit that it’s not the snazziest app on the block, but for fast linear clean-ups of video that will be sent to other programs for editing, you can’t beat it. It’s not the ideal application to make a nice video of family celebrations, but if efficiency and speed are of importance, it’s fantastic.
Like to keep up with the latest software? Videolan Movie Creator is the newest of the new. VLC video player has legions of fans, but the developers have recently brought out a video editor that looks really promising. We say ‘looks’ because it’s so early a version it’s not even a beta release – it’s pre-alpha – but when we reviewed it, we were sure it was destined for great things. Check it out!