Many people nowadays have aspirations of one day making a proper YouTube or Vimeo channel, but not everyone has the money to shell out possibly thousands of dollars in the equipment and software necessary to make professional video. Perhaps you have the equipment already, but you’re not willing to spend another few months saving up for the software and want to hop right into the process. Perhaps the most obvious choice is to look for freeware editors. However, free video editors aren’t so common and most of the ones you’ll find are very incompetent or incomplete. Let’s see a few that come close to what the big commercial ones offer!
1. The Obvious First Choice: Windows Live Movie Maker
People scoff at Movie Maker because of its inflexibility in previous versions. But you’re in for a treat if you get the latest version. In the last few years, Microsoft’s been putting on its game face and repainting its Movie Maker application to become something better than a glorified video version of MSPaint. You’d be surprised what you find in the Windows Live version (WLMM). Let’s have a look at the interface:
The small lettered boxes you see under each category appear after pressing the “Alt” key. It lets you see what hotkeys you can use to access different menus without having to click through the interface. There are enough visual effects, transitions, and tools there to let you make professional-looking YouTube videos. It’s not anything close to Adobe Premiere Pro, but it’s the obvious choice for someone who just wants to make a quick video without going overboard with complexity.
Get the latest version of WLMM here.
2. Not Doing Much? Use VirtualDub
If you’re looking for a program that doesn’t use a whole lot of memory (like WLMM does), and you’re not looking to make a montage or edit videos significantly, you can use VirtualDub for video processing. This powerful little program lets you merge videos, burn subtitles onto them, compress them, and save them into different formats. It’s one of the best tools for video compatibility if you’re just looking to convert a video for compatibility on a portable playback device. Most devices currently play AVIs and MPEG4s, but it’s not uncommon to find a few that can only play FLVs and other special (and weird) formats. The compression features might come in handy also when space is restricted.
You can get this program here.
3. Let’s Get Serious With Lightworks
Lightworks is the video editor from heaven. Not only is it free, but it also gives you the functionality of all the big commercial monsters. You can edit multiple tracks of audio, video, and make changes to aspects found within each. You’ll find it hard to miss any features from Premiere here. The interfaces even look similar:
This application includes everything you’d ever need to make a truly professional YouTube video. Although Lightworks is freeware, it also offers some special features in its professional version. You can check it all out here.
Use Anything Else?
If you’ve got something to add here, please comment below so we can all hear about awesome free apps you use to edit videos.