Quantcast Low cost video editing software recommendation? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
11-13-2017, 06:48 AM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Hi,

I need to edit DV AVIs and MTS files produced by Camcorders.

By editing, I mean mostly cutting, joining. I would like to output the video without compression if doing only cutting, joining.

My output format will be either H.264 for final viewing. I may occasionally encode to DVD and BlueRay to burn discs.

I do not want to invest in expensive softwares such as Premiere Pro. I was thinking of purchasing Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 14.

Is this a good choice?
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  #2  
11-13-2017, 07:16 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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I'd suggest that you invest just a little more for the Movie Studio Suite, which overcomes many output limitations of Movie Studio Platinum.

Aldo, remember that simple cut-and-join doesn't usually require re-encoding. Internet output of course requires progressive square-pixel output, which the Suite can handle OK, but it does involve re-encoding. Color correction, denoising, encoding for DVD, etc., also requires re-encoding. The internet, external media players and set top DVD/BluRay players don't support DV-AVI, which is PC-only playback.
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11-13-2017, 08:37 AM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Thanks for the reply. Then I will consider the "Movie Studio Suite" version though in my part of the world, it is double the price compared to "Movie Studio Platinum". Surprisingly, the lowest edition (Movie Studio) and the mid version (Movie Studio Platinum) are exactly the same cost. I am downloading the trial version of both Studio Platinum and Studio Suite to see how they are. But in general, in this range, do I have any other good alternatives other than Vegas Movie stuff (like Cyberlink, Pinnacle)??? Premiere Elements is way too much above my budget. And Sony Vegas, Premiere Pro CC are out of question. I am not a video professional who does this for a living. I just have home videos (shot on DV Camcorder, and AVCHD camcorders), movies captured from TV using a HD Capture Box to work with, that's all.

Yes, I am aware that anything more than cutting, joining, color correction, outputting to DVD/BlueRay formats do require re-encoding. I am also aware that DV-AVI can only be played on PC. It is just that I am not finding any good free software to effectively join, cut MTS, M2TS files that are produced by my camcorder. I am fed-up with the error messages, incompatibilities reported by the free softwares such as AviDemux, TsMuxer, multiAVCHD, Handbrake, VSO AVCHD Editor for combining short clips produced by my Sony and Panasonic camcorders. So I thought I would invest in a budget, paid-software to do these tasks "properly".
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11-13-2017, 09:06 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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No one here has recommended a Cyberlink editor. The usual consensus is to avoid it. Buggy stuff. A great many users seem happy with the former SONY product (now Corel). Premiere CC is overkill with features you'll never use and Elements has a convoluted interface. Some members here are pros, but most are not (like myself). Even though I'd enjoy making a living that way, I retired from that sort of thing and don't think I'd want the pressure again, LOL. I'm now a professional couch potato who now and then transfers and restores a VHS tape to keep the brain alive.

The free software does work, but for convenience and reliability there's a price. We've all been there. My HD stuff is processed with TMPGEnc Smart Renderer, TMPGEnc Authoring Works and Video Mastering Works, and VideoReDo. But that's not cheap. Movie Studio should be able to handle it without breaking the bank. If you shop around you can find the Corel prodcuct at substantial discount. Amazon over here usually sells at half price or so.
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11-13-2017, 09:24 AM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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So, you are suggesting Corel products are better than the Vegas Movie Studio variants? Please help me decide. If Corel is better, then which variant is better? I might also need NLE function.

I have just downloaded and installed a trial version of Vegas Movie Studio Platinum and during installation it gave error for some Special Effects component (Blue Fx I think).
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  #6  
11-13-2017, 10:05 AM
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Sony Vegas isn't from Corel. It's from Magix. Before Sony, it was Sonic Foundry.

I've never been anti-Vegas, but it's simply not my choice. I've been using Premiere (and Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, etc) since the 90s. In fact, several before the products were even part of Adobe! I don't really use a lot of the features either, but I'm just using CS4. I have no need for the new whizbang stuff these days either. Before the CC "rented" software, you could pick up all the CS versions really cheap. Sadly, CS3-CS6 can be pricey now on the used market, since nothing new exists.

VirtualDub is good at cutting, but a dog at merging and re-arranging.

I've not had time to try it yet, but I want to look at both OpenShot and DaVinci Resolve. OpenShot is an editor, and DaVinci for color correction. As much as I like Adobe, it's a resource hog, and bogs down a system -- even an i7-6700 with 16gb RAM! I've never been a fan of cranking up a huge NLE for a simple edit task, but really had no choice. I also use a lot of Linux Mint these days, and that's where I want to try OpenShot. But it also has Windows and Mac ports.

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11-13-2017, 10:05 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Oops, that's right it's Magix, not Corel. Thanks for correcting. Having a Senior Mental Moment here.

As for Adobe, I'm an AfterEffects CS2 32-bit holdout. Newer versions and the bigger guys don't do a thing for me. I'm also a holdout for Avisynth and VirtualDub to clean up DV originals, which always seem to need some work.
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11-13-2017, 06:31 PM
BarryTheCrab BarryTheCrab is offline
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I am a daily user of Cyberlink Directorsuite, but the actual NLE is PowerDirector. Reasonably priced, as complex or simple as you need it to be, excellent user-forum, lots of online tutorials. Plugins include New Blue, Prodad, Pixelan, and Boris has finally climbed aboard. Find a coupon with a sale, good bang for the buck (in my opinion).
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  #9  
11-13-2017, 10:40 PM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Thank you all for your replies.

I didn't realize Vegas is no longer with Sony. All along I was thinking "Vegas" is "Sony Vegas". Just now I checked Magix site and it says "In May, 2016, MAGIX acquired the multiple award-winning VEGAS Pro and VEGAS Movie Studio product lines, along with other video and audio products.". I believe Magix bought it from Sony???

Anyway, only Magix Vegas variants and Corel VideoStudio variants are within my budget. Even Cyberlink PowerDirector is above the budget.

So, which one I can go for?

My needs are...(all for home, hobby purpose, not business)

1. Editing DV (like cutting, joining, basic transitions, Basic effects, may be light color correction)
2. Cutting, Joining camcorder MTS, M2TS files (AVCHD), files captured by HD Capture box from Satellite tuner
3. Editing the above HD files (basic transitions, basic effects)
4. Encoding to DVD, BlueRay
5. Authoring DVD, BlueRay
6. Encoding to H.264 files to watch on Computer, on Smart HDTV, Media Player such as WDTV Live
7. Encoding for Youtube (in future)
8. Support for editing/encoding H.265 (optional, in future)
9. Editing 4K videos (optional, in future)

Thanks for your help.
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  #10  
11-14-2017, 05:48 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Corel VideoStudio Ultimate X10.5 (that's VideoStudio, not Vegas Movie Studio), includes 4K and some h265 support. Better have enough RAM and CPU for either of the latter. But you'll have to make up your mind between the two. Compare features at their websites.

"Basic effects"? "color correction"? "transitions"? Any modification to an image requires re-encoding. These go beyond simple cut-and-join.
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  #11  
11-14-2017, 09:54 PM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Ok thank you. I will try and compare both in detail and take a decision.

Yes, I am aware that effects, color correction, transitions need re-encoding.

Thank you.
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  #12  
11-15-2017, 03:16 AM
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OpenShot is out. It's spyware. It wants to connect to the internet every time you launch it, and will fail/crash if firewalled. Screw that. I found that a workaround was to launch it, then firewall it, but I'm not trusting it to not crash mid-project. It mostly did low-level stuff, exporting to DVD-spec MPEG and H.264 for Yotube/streaming.

Kdenlive won't even launch on Windows.

So much for the popular free open-source editors.

Still not tried DaVinci Resolve 14, but my understanding is that it's mostly for color correction, not really standard editor. And I have a feeling that the free version is severely crippled, likely on output availability. That's the usual way to cripple the software: limited output quality options (DVD, Youtube). We shall see.

I'm thinking that a standard paid editor is in your future. Vegas Movie Studio from Magix is probably your best bet. And I'd get the Platinum version, since it's the same cost as the basic version ($49) right now.

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  #13  
11-15-2017, 04:04 AM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I'm thinking that a standard paid editor is in your future. Vegas Movie Studio from Magix is probably your best bet. And I'd get the Platinum version, since it's the same cost as the basic version ($49) right now.
Thanks. I will go for Vegas Movie Studio Platinum. The trial version reported some error/missing files while installing (something to do with the third-party special effects called BlueFX). There are some fixes available in online forums for that.

And thanks for the update on OpenShot and Kdenlive.

-- merged --

I am currently using Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 14 in trial mode. I noticed it will re-encode every video footage except DV even if it involves simple cuts, joints. The Help file clearly mentions this.

Also, my input footage is 1080p 50fps (PAL) (camcorder MTS files), but there is no option to output the joined clips in 1080p. It only has options for 1080i, so it is converting the output footage to interlaced.

I am disappointed.
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11-16-2017, 02:32 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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That would make sense, since 1080p/50 isn't BluRay compatible and many playback devices will choke on it. However, it doesn't appear to be a smart-rendering app, at least not for 1080p. Another glitch you might find is that like most budget software it doesn't interlace very well for valid BluRay or DVD (even Premiere Pro has problems with that, as do most NLE's). I find the lack of smart rendering to be a surprise myself. This makes me wonder of Corel has since downgraded its product line as well.
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  #15  
11-16-2017, 03:46 PM
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I'm still learning, but looking at the All-In-Wonder got me deep into trying to understand "sweet spots" in time, when specific hardware and software were at their best.. and are now much more reasonable priced on the afterlife market.. like Amazon or eBay. The Newest and latest are not always the best, especially when your not sure what you need.

I just purchased a Full Retail copy of Apple Final Cut Pro Studio 3

It (only) runs on an Apple Mac, but includes a suite of tools:

1. Final Cut pro "for non-destructive, non-linear editing"
2. Motion "for creating dynamic - Beginning and End Titles"
3. Compressor "for encoding and transcoding"
4. Cinema Tools "for telecine and inverse telecine frame rate adjustments"
5. DVD Studio "for creating DVD and BlueRay menus and burning"
6. Soundtrack Pro "for creating and mixing music and audio.. sound tracks"
7. Color "for color correcting DV or telecine frame rate adjusted video"

It costs well over $1000 new in 2009, but generally less than $200 today

Pros seem to recommend it for most of the work, and "finish off" the end product with a modern standalone encoder if the older suite couldn't output exactly what you wanted in terms of modern codecs.

That said

I also have Sony Vegas Movie Platinum 11 and it looks very similar, but all in one, instead of seperate programs like Final Cut Pro.

I have experience with Adobe Premiere Elements and Premiere.. and second they are "convoluted" and hard to learn.. Adobe products in general take a lot of long term committment to learn.. or they just sit on the shelf and never get used. A subscription rather than outright selling you the product was brilliant (for the company shareholders "sarcasm").

Like the "Age of the -- ATI All In One" hardware -- has passed from the age of -- VHS -- to the age of Internet video.

So too has the video editing software

There was a time when working with VHS (broadcast video & film) was the main source and mastering DVD & BluRays was the target -- that time has long passed and modern video editing software (does not) serve that purpose well.

Today Magix Movie Platinum 14 targets the Internet, not DVD and the codecs target Internet video, Final Cut Pro X no longer has a seperate DVD menu editor, does not have a Color corrector, does not have Cinema Tools, does not have a Soundtrack editor.. Final Cut Pro 10 is a ghost of what it once was. And I suggest so are Vegas 14 and Adobe Premiere CC

Working with VHS and broadcast video, even DV video you have to think back to the era when they were captured and those version of editing tools.. the expensive, the best from that era are much more affordable now.. and overlooked for the newest, latest and greatest.. new is not necessarily "better".. unless you absolutely know you want the latest compression and transcoding codecs.. and modern computers.. if compatible (Final Cut Pro 7 will not run on "this years Apple OSX" you have to run it on an older version of OSX).

If you capture and edit uncompressed, and delay or can tolerate H.264 instead of perhaps H.265 until you know you want a "print" to a DVD or BluRay you can get some really nice tools for less money, learn alot and save money until you know you need a really good print service from a new tool suite.. or perhaps find a service provider that will take your finished work and encode or transcode and burn it for you. -- But these old tool sets generally can at the very least burn DVDs if your still sharing optical media with friends and family rather than uploading to YouTube or Vimeo.

If Kinkos had an Internet portal where you could upload your project Master so instead of a picture book, you could "print" a DVD or Bluray.. I think it would be very popular for these smaller older media type projects.

But today.. more often than not.. people "print" -- "to the cloud" and upload to YouTube and let them transcode it into multiple formats for user consumption.. then the viewer gets to choose what resolution to view it in.

Things change.

On Windows I think Sony Vegas 11 is probably best

On Apple OSX I think Final Cut Pro 7 on Snow Leopard 10.6.8 is probably best

Reading this Forum, Ulead seems to have made a wonderful suite of tools somewhat like Final Cut Studio 3 and I fully intend to explore that option soon.

Adobe products are for a person deeply experinced and involved in a special relationship with Adobe products (all of them)

Da Vinci Resolve hasn't a large following, and its licensing model looks a bit challenging to understand

Avid Media Composer is the Great Great Grandfather of them all.. and still around.. but not very new user friendly.. its in the Adobe category.

Pinnacle had a following (has?) but its not a very deep tool.

CyberLink is more like a holding company of a lot of products and bits and pieces turn up in other products all over history.. I don't know if you could actually pick "a" product "clearly" since they are all over the map.

Opensource Kdenlive does run on Windows.. with an unusual GUI that looks very Apple-Mac Like based on bits of the Gnome desktop library.. but there is not a lot of documentation. Free usually costs lots of time.

Life is an education, in the art of Listening.

Last edited by jwillis84; 11-16-2017 at 04:21 PM.
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11-16-2017, 05:10 PM
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I've done some thinking on the models or workflows versus "quickie" edit tools approach

Windows
1. Movie Maker - train track editor (storybook approach) "not very precise"
2. Adobe Premiere/Sony Vegas - non-linear editor (frame based approach) "very precise"

Apple Mac/OSX
1. iMovie - train track editor (storybook approach) "not very precise"
2. Final Cut Pro - non-linear editor (frame based approach) "very precise"

Multi-track vs single track (sound tracks)
Multi-track vs single track (video tracks)

Historically the non-linear approach evolved from the "linear" approach

Linear evolved from the Live Radio Show to Live TV Show method of "queing up" or "lining up" materials on multiple sources so it was "Ready to play" at an instance, using prisms or mirrors they would "video switch" the input from source to master viewer channel

the "switcher" was a person who was the orchestra leader for the production.. he was the "producer" who "previewed" content ready to show it to the audience.. all of the production materials had to be lined up "linearly" and be ready when it was "time for them to be shown" to the audience.. hence "linear editing"

Film production would do this too.. but advanced the technology with cut and pasting "clips" so all media was first converted into "clips" and then "sequenced" into a "master" film for the viewer.. previews by the producer were "conducted" with the Moviola "Previewer"

TV production advanced the production first with video to film and converted video into "clips" queued up on multiple projectors, later replaced with multiple video tape players, then laser disc players, then computer files

But the idea was always to "derive" a common clips format, and line them up precisely and linearly for playback or recording a "Master" viewer experience.. the "Master" was then "doubled" or (dubbed).. as in the letter "W" "dub, dub" in the 1920's dubbing was to double the number of copies from the Master or to "duplicate it"

Non-linear started out "destructive" as in cutting clips from raw film footage, or video tape footage and splicing it together to create a "Master" then "dubbing" masters to double or duplicate the available copies.. sometimes with other language sound tracks

Non-linear arrived on the PC using files as clips, destructively to save space taken up by the new Master, but as hard drives got bigger and cheaper, transitioned to non-destructive using timecodes to locate specific frames in clip files and copied exactly as needed when creating a "New Master" a "Working Master" was just a bunch of Edit Decision Cut Lists stored as clips name and timecodes until an actual "Print Master" was needed.. so doubling of the storage was kept to a minimum.

Loosey, goosey.. train track storyboarding.. came along as a consumer quick edit for creating simple or one track video one track audio projects which were immediately saved as a new file. Some feel much more intuitive and less learning is needed to start editing and be productive.

Publish to cloud came along and withdrew the need for local codecs and transcoding, YouTube and other service providers could do that in the cloud on their CPUs and memory making editing on mobile phones much more practical, and then on lower power tablet and netbook PCs.

Old School PCs with local codecs and frame accurate non-linear editing engines.. are the SteamPunk engines of old.. and becoming the TRex of the editing world.. some people still remember doing it.. but each year many dinosaurs go the way.. of well.. the dinosaur.

The real dividing line today is Multi-track vs Single track needs.

Frame accuracy need isn't what it once was.. good enough often suffices.

Storyboarding usually has only one video track and clips are laid out "linearly" from a set of "non-linear" clips from a clips library or filesystem directory browser. Audio is often one track and might include a blended music background track with very little editing.. maybe some level control. This is a typical consumer workflow.

Frame accurate non-linear editing often involves multiple video tracks and "compositing" or blending and fades and transitions between sources, sometimes playing simultaneously in a complicated dance according to the understood rules of the cinematic or tv craft. Audio can also be just as complicated with mood music, special foley audio effects and audible queues as well as music tracks. This is the typical professional workflow.

To get from one to the other requires the tools, equipment and experience or even "desire" to produce one product versus another.

Strictly speaking

"Linear" is a scripted story brought together from elements scheduled to appear one after the other.

"Non-linear" is a non-scripted story from unscripted elements that were not scheduled but recorded.. then brought together after the fact to create a narrative.

So in a way "Linear" production is fictional, "Non-linear" is non-fictional

Or "entertainment" versus "news reporting"

the bigger historical picture though I think is that Linear elements used to have to be queued up and staged to play their clips from begining to end, because you couldn't resort them in any order you wanted

non-linear clips can be chopped up into smaller clips themselves and re-sequenced in a non-linear way.. turtles all the way down.. this flexibility while powerful is somewhat difficult for some people to wield due to its potential complexity, too much choice can lead to indecision.. too much choice isn't necessarily a good thing and can slow the production down.. hence its "not" known for encouraging "quick editing"

Life is an education, in the art of Listening.

Last edited by jwillis84; 11-16-2017 at 05:45 PM.
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11-16-2017, 07:32 PM
sirbyron sirbyron is offline
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Thanks jwillis84 for your posts! Very interesting read indeed.
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11-16-2017, 08:20 PM
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sirbyron, your welcome

I would also say that the

1. train track (storyboard) method is the new (linear) or (one track mind) method
2. frame accurate method is the new (non-linear) or (multi track mind) method

People who go on vacation, and want to throw a header and tailer, or Beginning Title and End Title around a single long clip, with perhaps a little music.. would do well to start with Windows (Movie Maker) or Apple Mac/OSX (iMovie) and learn for themselves how much effort they feel like putting into producing a "video" for Snapchat or their Friends.

Older versions of Movie Maker and iMovie (did) feature a "print" or "burn to DVD" feature.. I'm not sure they do anymore.

Apple experimented with a stripped down version of Final Cut called "ironically" [Final Cut Express] which was less expensive and less full featured than the Final Cut Pro, then did away with that and re-targeted Final Cut Pro 10 to replace Final Cut Express.. the official story goes they re-factored Final Cut Pro 7.. or rethought it.. but it really appears they Uplifted Final Cut Express to replace it and got rid of the Professional features.

As YouTube and Vimeo and LiveStream and others begin direct "Publish" recordings to the cloud and edit "there" these local editors on Windows and Apple are starting to fade away. They are starting to ignore them and update them less often, though making sure if they are still offered they can export direct to these cloud services.

I think unless you get really into "multiple" input video sources, whether from a single camera over time that generates multiple timeline clips you want to sequence, or you have multiple cameras "recording" the same scene and plan to switch the view around from time to time.. multi-track editing, or frame accurate non-linear editing is probably "Overkill"

For the average inexperienced person you will always have to learn how to handle a one track linear storyboard first, and then decide you need more control later.. products always age and get cheaper over time.. so spending a lot of money upfront on features you don't know how to use or need (yet) is a loosing proposition. And you don't even know for sure what your missing until you feel the need for what you know your missing.

Entry level after all is cheap, Movie Maker and iMovie are "free" and included with the operating system, although sometimes you do have to go out and download or update them.

You won't be "saving yourself" from (bad) learning by spending time learning how to use them.. the method is essentially the same and an evolved step from simple playback to simple sequencing and cut and splicing. Updating to a multi-track frame accurate non-linear editor later is a lot of money and for it to sit on the shelf unused is a terrible thing to waste.

Going to that next step is also less of a leap once you have one track audio/video editing under your belt. A full suite can be intimidating and overwhelming up front.. and making a choice blind based on other peoples suggestions might not suite your tastes in the long run.. you could end up having a bad experience and spending a lot of money first on one then another and eventually come back to the first and decide that it was your inexperience that was the problem, not the actual product.. by then its older, has been updated and re-released and sort of unfamilar to you again.. its a bad experience that could perpetuate... leading you back to the simpler editors (which cost no money in the first place).

One thing is for sure, the codecs will keep changing, and the features will keep refining.. meaning the product will keep evolving.. until there is a need to spend the money based on needing that latest codec, or latest built-in profile or uploader for the latest web service.. why spend extra money?

Trialware is its own trap, as is demoware.. the license always expires before you get your skills up to speed and coax you into making a decision prematurely.. in theory its an innocent offer.. but we all learn at different speeds. It would make just as much sense for the previous generation of a product be released freely without inhibitions and to pay full price for the newer version of the product based on the new features and value proposition alone.. because competitors will offer all the older features at the same or lessor price.. offering an older version would be the loss leader to introduce you.. but we don't live in that world.. so I choose to avoid them mostly.

Screen capture is its own tool suite.

Windows Expression Encoder on the PC and QuickTime Pro on the Apple Mac/OSX are generally the best for those types of video capture.

They tend to wrap them in pseudo editors and "finisher" products as well.. but I find them "introductory" and while capable of making final products.. usually lacking. The free Expression Encoder and QuickTime Pro are simply "there" and usually more than sufficient.

Some people really like to spend money on desktop capture for Camtasia on the PC or ScreenFlow on the Apple Mac/OSX they are okay, I've used them but have the same problems.. they are advanced tools, which if you don't need their features kind of sit around not being used.

Life is an education, in the art of Listening.

Last edited by jwillis84; 11-16-2017 at 08:40 PM.
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  #19  
12-04-2017, 07:32 AM
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Windows Movie Maker is useless good-for-nothing software, and should even make your list of possible workflows. No more than photographer should consider Paint a possible useful software.

iMovie is passable at best.

I've been using multi-track NLEs since at least 1999 (Premiere v5). I remember what a massive upgrade v6 was, whole new world (including MPEG plugins from both Ligos and Panasonic).

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Need help with editing video: which software ? gatch72 Edit Video, Audio 1 11-16-2008 01:32 PM

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