Video Editing Software?

Both SteelyKid’s kindergarten and the snow-day day-care program that the kids go to were closed today, which kind of threw a wrench in things. But it’s also kind of fun, as I got to spend some time playing outside with SteelyKid on her play set in the snow. The “featured image” above is a cell-phone snap from this, and I got three short video clips of her going down the slide.

Of course, it’s kind of stupid for these to be three separate YouTube clips, but when I went to stick them together using Windows Movie Maker (which is what I’ve used for this sort of thing in the past), it turns out that it doesn’t recognize the .mp4 files that my phone produces as media files that it can import. It won’t handle the .mov files produced by my camera, either.

While this seriously increases my long-standing desire to go to Silicon Valley and just start slapping software engineers for producing the idiotic gaggle of incompatible video formats that we’re stuck with, it also raises a serious problem, namely that one of the things I was hoping to work on in the next week or two is a short video on a science-y topic, which would potentially involve combining media clips. And since the only video editor I have is Windows Movie Maker, which is a worthless piece of crap that can’t handle the output of any of my media-recording devices, I apparently need a new video editing program.

(Yes, I could try to use something like avidemux to convert between video formats until I find something my idiot software can handle. I could also stab myself in the eye with a fondue fork, which prior experience with format conversion suggests would be considerably more enjoyable.)

So, wise and worldly readers, what should I be looking at, here? The constraints are that it has to run under Windows (I’m not switching to a Mac, no matter how much of a religious experience Apple users may find it to be, ditto Linux), should be simple before powerful (that is, I’ll accept a limited feature set if it’s easy to use, provided it can handle the files I have– what I want to do is basically like the Bohr-Einstein puppet show from a few years back), and shouldn’t be exorbitantly expensive. Free would be best, obviously, but I’m willing to pay a small amount of money for something that works.

Comments

  1. #1 Tim
    February 5, 2014

    I have used Blender to do some video editing. Not going to lie there is a bit of a learning curve (probably true of most editing software) but it has all the bells and whistles and is free!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blender_(software)

  2. #2 Constantin Gabor
    February 5, 2014

    Well, I’m somewhere between and amateur and a pro and I’ve been using a consumer editing software since 2010 when I first got my GoPro camera.

    I’m using Magix movie edit pro plus and it works with MP4, MOV, MKV, MTS, M2TS (AVCHD), etc.

    But any in the top 10 will do – Magix is ranked as no. 4. Have a look here and let me know if this helps:

    http://www.videoeditingsoftware.com/2012/09/what-is-best-video-editing-software.html

  3. #3 Peter Morgan
    February 5, 2014

    I’ve used the Freemake video converter (www.freemake.com) to convert between video formats (without ad or other free software problems that I know of). That will presumably allow you to use MovieMaker, but I’m going to look at the links above.

  4. #4 Phil Seymour
    Redding, CA
    February 6, 2014

    There are Apps for video editing on your phone that work pretty good, or you could use the online YouTube video editor for what you want to do. The other way you can do this, is to download the YouTube clips as FLV files, or whatever Windows uses.

    I enjoy reading your blog posts.

  5. #5 jimspice
    bayview, milwaukee, wi
    February 6, 2014

    VideoLAN, the makers of VLC Media player offer a basic editor for free as well. It’s called VLMC. http://www.videolan.org/vlmc/

    Download at: http://vlmc.minus.com/

  6. #6 Johan Stuyts
    February 6, 2014

    I have used Edit Studio from Mediachance. It is an affordable option: http://www.mediachance.com/video/index.html

    I still had to fiddle a lot to get the aspect ratios, colors, etc. correct, but this was mostly due to the quirks of video formats, display devices, etc. I was very pleased with the result: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AnBsbFn67E

  7. #7 bill smith
    February 6, 2014

    What version of Windows are you on?

  8. #8 Wilson
    February 6, 2014

    I won’t suggest this for your more serious science-y video, but I find a free converter called “Any Video Converter” to be very easy and effective for converting formats to and from phone-compatible, and it would at least work for your kid vids.

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