This list of free video editing software tools makes it easy and cheap for anyone to edit and produce video to the highest quality that is ready for business or personal use.
Video has become almost a default in today’s blogs and websites. Without them a site can look almost naked. The fact is that NLE’s (non linear editors) need not cost the earth. In fact you can get some excellent video editing tools for free and I’ve put together a list of some of them here for you. This is by no means a complete list but having said that it is fairly comprehensive and as always if you think I should include another program or service let me know.
If you want to spend your cash on ‘industry standard’ applications like Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas, feel free. There are pros and cons against this thought process and the biggest pro I can think of is the sheer number of people using them makes getting help and manuals easier.
Having said that … things are changing and all of the sites and programmes listed below have very active support and development teams as well as thriving user communities. Lets just put it like this…
It could be that the big names will soon start to lose market share, I mean, why would you want to spend £300 – £600 ($500 – $1100) on a branded product when you can find free video editing programs that do virtually the same thing.
Lets look at the free video editing software available …
I’ve tried to break this list down into two different areas. Online video editing and mixing and video editing and mixing software that you download and run on your PC.
The list covers applications for Windows, Linux and Macs so there is something for everyone. The descriptions are a little sparse for two reasons. 1. each programme deserves a whole page and 2. you need to check most of them out to see for yourself which one suits your needs best.
Online Video Editing
Editing and mixing your videos online is a relatively new concept and while all of these services are free now I can imagine that at some point in time some of the companies will start to charge for this premium service. For now though all of these are worth looking at.
I’m listing them in no particular order – just to keep it interesting.
http://eyespot.com/ Lets you upload, add, trim and edit your clips as well as add transitions.
http://www.jumpcut.com – upload video clips, photos and audio right from your computer, digital camera or email. Mix, edit publish and share. One of the easiest ways to create new and exciting videos.
http://www.motionbox.com/ – Combine the best parts of your videos and cut out the boring parts. No complicated software required. Premium Members have unlimited storage.
http://www.flektor.com – Make customized slide shows, polls, text, or direct and edit your own movie with hundreds of effects and next generation glitter graphics all online. You can record or even broadcast yourself live on a webcam.
http://www.vmix.com/ – VMIX is not so much an online video editing suite but mor an online community for people who like to make, discover and share digital content. Videos, Photos, Music – all in one place. VMIX is not just a video sharing website – it’s a new way of getting your work out. I’ve listed it here because you can create a custom player and take your fully- branded video player off-site. It’s also listed because of the “Human-Filtering” element that ensures better quality video and promotion.
http://www.cuts.com as they say on the site – “we don’t make movies, we make fun of them”. This site is lots of fun (you’ll see when you try it out) but there are times when I’ve had problems accessing the site and slow loading of pages etc. It’s probably due to it’s growing popularity but still a royal PITA and I’m sure it’ll get sorted soon.
http://www.muveemix.com The flash intro screen and music intro is something I’ve just about learnt to deal with (it’s my age). I’m not a big fan of forced anything online but the application is very easy to use and fun to play with. Upload your videos, mix in your music, play with the various styles and then share the results.
http://www.bubbleply.com – not a true video editing tool but you can add speech bubble overlays and get some interesting effects.
Site Deployable Video Editing
This next tool for me falls into a category all of it’s own. While it is an online video clip editor it’s also a tool you can use on your own website to give your users the functionality. Just watch your bandwidth and processor usage.
http://www.moviemasher.com/ – Enables media sequencing, trimming, transitioning and true multitrack mixing of audio and effects.
Editing features include multi-item selection, copy/paste and undo/redo history. Can be deployed on any site for free under the MPL 1.1 license to enable advanced video editing features for end users. Like other open source development projects, it benefits from ongoing community feedback and code contributions.
Downloadable Video Editing Software
http://www.jahshaka.org – open source, hardware accelerate editing and effects system for Windows, OsX and Linux.
http://www.zs4.net – ZS4 Video Editor is free to download and use video editing and compositing software which aims to provide media experts with a facility to combine a variety of media types (currently photos, videos and audio files) into one (or more) output file(s).
http://www.debugmode.com/wax/ freeware – Wax is a high performance and flexible video compositing and special effects software. The idea for Wax is to be very general purpose and flexible in video compositing and effects, so that you can compose your dream video sequence with ease every time.
http://www.virtualdub.org/ – No flashy logo but VirtualDub is a video capture/processing utility for 32-bit Windows platforms (95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP), licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It lacks the editing power of a general-purpose editor such as Adobe Premiere, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video.
http://www.kdenlive.org/ – Kdenlive is an open source non linear video editor (NLE) for the KDE environment running on Linux. It is based on the MLT video framework which relies on the FFMPEG project.
http://avidemux.sourceforge.net/ – Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. – Available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS, X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license.
http://www.kinodv.org/ – Easy and reliable DV editing for the Linux desktop with export to many usable formats. Check the requirements to make sure it will run on your system.
http://lives.sourceforge.net/ – LiVES is a Free, Open Source video editor *and* a VJ tool. LiVES mixes realtime video performance and non-linear editing in one application. It will let you start editing and making video right away, without having to worry about formats, frame sizes, or framerates. It is a very flexible tool which can be used by both VJ’s and video editors. LiVES is released under version 3 of the GNU Public License, the GPL.
http://www.heroinewarrior.com/cinelerra.php3 – A movie studio in a Linux Box. Cinelerra does primarily 3 main things: capturing, compositing, and editing audio and video with sample level accuracy. The project was started in 1997 and has two main forks of development, OpenGL and H.264. The development has progressed significantly and some of the audio and video effects are well worth trying. It handles 64bit computing but read the specs.
So there you have it a fairly comprehensive list of free online video editing applications and non linear editing tools for your computer. It has to be said that most of the downloadable tools are for Linux based systems but there are some useful tools for Windows users.
If I’ve missed out anything you think should be here feel free to comment or drop me a line, I’ll be happy to update this list and try to keep it current. Likewise please let others know your experiences with any of the software mentioned and subscribe to my feed.
I’m also not going to complain if you feel like Digging or Stumbling or generally Sharing this post. 🙂