Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Free Video Editing Tools

I used iMovie to edit some video clips for work last year and really like it. It's every intuitive, easy to use, yet still powerful. But I'm a Windows person, by choice and by circumstances, and no longer have easy access to a Mac machine.

Windows' answer to iMovie is Windows Movie Maker. The XP version is simple but too simple, lacking many features of iMovie and the ability to edit MP4 video which is the format of my beloved Flip video camera. I have to use a free tool called Simple Video Converter to convert MP4 files to AVI files before loading the files into Windows Movie Maker to edit. Most of its visual options have a 1990s look.

But I'm very happy to discover last month that the Windows 7 version of Windows Movie Maker is a huge improvement and can edit MP4 files directly. Its visual options have a more modern look. It offers more choices of transitions and effects than the XP version. But it's still not as intuitive or powerful as iMovie. I especially miss the cut-away feature of iMovie.

Below are three video clips I edited using iMovie and two versions of Windows Movie Maker:
  • iMovie

  • Windows 7 version of Windows Movie Maker

  • Windows XP version of Windows Movie Maker

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