How to Choose Video Editing Software

Uploaded by lancecarr on 10.05.2011

In this video I am going to cover some of the main points that you should keep in mind
when it comes to choosing the best video editing software for your needs. The consumer video
editing software market is fiercely competitive and although that benefits you the user as
far as pricing and features go, it also comes with a downside. That downside is the fact
that intense marketing and advertising tends to make choosing the right one to suit you
seem far more complicated that it really needs to be. This is especially true when it comes
to the features and functions on offer. Everything is presented as something you absolutely must
have. This is simply not true. Video editing software features fall into three main categories.
What you must have. What it is desirable to have. What is unimportant. It is the "unimportant"
category that marketers use most often to distract the consumer. Bright, colorful and
shiny stuff to get you all excited and reaching for that credit card! To help negotiate this
minefield check out the rest of this video and remember that this is an overview only.
Your specific needs may vary. The Video Editing Software Interface. Most consumer level video
editors carry a wide range of features and capabilities these days. Keeping the interface
simple and intuitive while at the same time allowing access to advanced settings and controls
is a pretty difficult task. Don't be alarmed when you open any video editing software for
the first time and the interface looks totally unfamiliar. They will all seem strange at
first because they have no "real world" equivalent that you are familiar with. It's easy for
a word processor to copy the real world by starting with a virtual blank sheet of paper
on the screen and a keyboard in front of you. This is not true in the case of a video editing
interface so regardless of your choice don't place too much importance on the interface
because they will all look unfamiliar. As you use the software not only will you become
more comfortable with the interface, you may even begin to see the logic that led to the
design in the first place. Input Video File Formats. This is a vital point to consider
when choosing video editing software even though most types of software offer compatibility
with a wide range of video file formats. However because this field is developing at such a
bewildering rate the range of video recording devices, video sources and video file types
seems to change weekly. So check to see that the video editing software you are looking
at can handle your exact video file format. Video Capture - Video Import. Again you need
to carefully check that your device or method of video file import is supported by the video
software in question. Video Editing. You would think that this category would be the one
you need to check most carefully. After all, you are trying to choose video editing software
right? The truth is that the competition in this market is so intense that no-one can
produce a video editor that is in any way deficient in editing video. I really could
go on and on here but honestly, market forces have you totally covered in this area. Video
Editing Tracks. This refers to the number of tracks that are available to you when you
are editing. Some offer infinite tracks which I guess would mean something if you had infinite
things to place on the screen all at once but let's get real. In addition to the main
video track you will need another two or three video tracks for overlays to do "picture-in-picture"
effects or insert mask effects.You probably need another two tracks, one for images and
one for... well actually I don't know what for but let's just throw it in anyway. You
need a title track for your titles. You may need a subtitling track separate from the
titles track. You need a music track. You need a voiceover track. That's a total of
ten tracks and believe me if you had a video project with something in every one of those
ten tracks, I can almost guarantee the result would be a totally unwatchable mess. All the
better video editing programs have more than enough tracks to play with so this is also
a low priority point. Video Transitions. The most common transition between shots in a
professional production is generally a straight cut from one scene to the next. In other words,
the most common transition is no transition. The purpose for creating a video is so that
people can watch it... and when I say "it" I mean the video... not a bunch of twisting,
spinning twirling and flipping images in between every shot. One of the main points upon which
any video editing software marketing department will try to dazzle you with cool looking stuff
will be the transitions. The video transitions you really need are: 1. No transition, just
a straight cut from one shot to the next. 2. A cross-fade or dissolve. Allowing the
shot to smoothly transition from one to the next. 3. Fade to black. This can be a soft
fade through black into the next scene. A fade to black to end the video or to mark
a major end point or a fade from black that opens a new scene. All the good software on
the market has more transitions than you will ever need so this point can be ignored completely.
Video Special Effects and Filters. This is the second point where the video software
makers will try to distract you with the colorful, shiny stuff! There are basic effects that
you will need and they all have them because everyone else has them, the rest will largely
remain unused. Audio Control. In the past this was not such an important feature due
mainly to the fact that all video editing software was pathetic as far as audio control
goes. Currently it is a different story as the market has matured and the old saying,
"the most important part of video is audio" holds true. This is one point when choosing
video editing software that deserves close attention. In fact it is an excellent point
you can use to differentiate between two products which are otherwise inseparable. Video File
Output - Video Distribution. With the introduction of online video hosting services such as YouTube
and the new breed of portable playback devices this area has widened remarkably over the
past two years. Previously it was a matter of choosing to go with DVD or a highly compressed
video file format for computer playback. Have a clear picture in your mind of all the possible
video file formats you may want to produce as well as all the possible media you may
want to export to. Video Editing Software Stability. There are two ways I look at the
stability of the software I am testing. The first is the actual operating stability of
the video editing software on my computer as opposed to what they say on the box. No
matter how good the product looks, no matter how perfectly the product fits in with what
you want from it, do not move until you have tested it on the actual computer where it
will be used. Video editing is a demanding and resource hungry activity and you will
have no idea what will happen with any video editor until you actually run it on your machine.
Always take advantage of the free trials and if the software maker doesn't offer a free
trial then move on to the next brand. The second point is that of the stability of the
company that makes it. Video editing software, video file formats, video recording devices
and video distribution methods are changing constantly and they are changing fast! When
you choose a video editor you need to be sure that you are connected to a software brand
that has been around for a while and will continue to be around for a long time in the
future. Those are some of the main points to keep in mind when you are choosing video
editing software. For more information and complete reviews of some of the best video
editing software go to: