Comparing Budget Video Editing Software (Pinnacle, Adobe, Ulead, Microsoft)

Trying to figure out the best software with which to edit your videos? Here's a handy list of some of the best products out there, in my rank order. All hyperlinks take you to PCMag's thorough review of the tools. PCMag.com sums up video editing software here. And here's a PCMag buyer's guide if want to read more about the paths you can take.

Ever since I got my Mac, I've been using iLife to edit my videos. But before I "switched," I was using a few different PC Based Video applications (mostly Pinnacle and Microsoft Movie Maker). iLife's iMovie works pretty well for me, and is well integrated with the other applications like GarageBand, iTunes, iPhoto and the CD Burning tools. But iMovie's transitions and titles are extremely limited. I have a pet peeve for cheesy transitions (nothing screams amateur like a canned transition- the movie equivalent of clip art). And the title options are so limited, I usually create my own in Adobe Photoshop and import them to iLife as JPEGs.

I'm curious what Revver users are finding the best. Please comment.

So here are my picks for good video editing:

Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0
This is the one I'd pick if I hadn't moved to iLife (partially because it got PCMag's "editor's choice" award. What I love about Adobe is that they're generous to basic users in their low-priced versions. For example, Adobe's basic photo editing software gives many of the features of advanced versions at an accessible price.

Pinnacle Studio Plus 10
This would be the second-best pick after Adobe Premiere. Pinnacle is focused on digital editing, so you can't ignore it as an option. I've used Pinnacle before because it was bundled with some hardware I needed (analog-to-video converter) to get my arcane non-digital video camera footage into my computer.

Microsoft Windows Movie Maker 2.0
If you're brand spanking new to video editing, start with this one. It's free, and it's extremely simple. You might outgrow it quickly, but it will serve basic editing needs.

Ulead VideoStudio 9
Ulead comes bundled with other analog-to-video converters. Pretty decent tool I hear from others, but I haven't used it.

Now here are the fancier ones…

Adobe Production Studio
If your Paypal account is overflowing with Revver payments (or your day job is lucrative) you can afford this one. But it's out of the reach of most of us amateurs.

Adobe Creative Suite 2 Premium Edition
I'm not sure why this one would be worth the price. Fancy features, but Premier is good enough for most of us.

Again- please post your thoughts (what you use and what you like/don't).

Converting computer screen video images (AVI) to Mac (Quicktime/MOV)

I recently spent about 4 hours figuring something simple out, and I want to save others the trouble. Suppose you want to basically videotape your screen activity so you can demonstrate software or a websearch and post it on online as a video. You could shoot the screen with your videocamera, but you'd prefer to have clean video output that you can edit and upload.

I wanted to convert my computer screen activity (every movement that appears on my laptop screen– even my mouse moving and my keys typing) into a movie file that I could edit in iLife (Mac). After a bit of Googling, I found a freeware/shareware application called "Replay Screencast" by Applian Technologies. Unfortunately, the free trial limits you to 1 minute, and I needed about 2. So I reluctantly paid $30 to buy the program… knowing I'd probably never use it again.

It worked like a charm- easy to use and the output was perfect. BUT its output was restricted to a stupid WMV file. My Arrogant Mac looked at the WMV file like one might view a drunk crack whore at a hospice bingo game. Fortunately, Mac offers Flip4Mac, a free tool that converts video files. Of course I learned that the free version of Flip4Mac was for viewing only — not converting. So I shelled out another $30 to get the Flip4FrigginMac pro version. The result of $60 and 4 hours? My wmv files was a white screen with no sound!

Next, I find a freeware app called VideoZilla that converts WMV to AVI. But that turns the little MMV video into a monsterous 4 GB file that I can't seem to get off my IBM laptop despite ample room on my two Maxtor hard drives. So I converted the AVI to a MPEG on VideoZilla and imported it to iLife. It looked like a UHF signal during an electric storm.

So I'm now out 4 hours and $60 with nothing to show for it. I do another Google and find the Xilisoft Video Converter, and try transfering my Replay AVI to a Quicktime MOV file. It worked.


Lessons learned:

Read Specs: Read output specificationss carefully on these. Video file types are like highschool cliques.
Research Options: To downlaod free applications or purchase advanced ones, check out: All-Streaming-Media.com.
SnagIt? I wish I had purhased a SnagIt version instead of Replay, since Replay's output is limited to WMV. SnagIt for image grabbing is one of the best applications I have (for grabbing web impages and quickly cropping them and dropping them to a website, word, Powerpoint, etc.). I'm pretty sure SnagIt has a version that does what Replay does. But I'm not throwing good money after bad.

Grouper vs. Online Video Sites


This is a really funny spoofon the competition for online video sites. Grouper is interesting, but I'm surprised they still haven't fixed their embedded video player so that it doesn't default load. If I insert, for example, this video as HTML on Blogger, then the video plays when you arrive on the blog… whether you like it or not.

Video Sites on Sacred Cow’ Dung’s Web 2.0 List

Courtesy of Sacred Cow Dung, here's the list of "Web 2.0" video sites.

Adultswim – Episode previews, games, community. http://www.adultswim.com/
Ajaxilicious – Share your movies thru RSS. http://movies.ajaxilicious.be/
Blinkx – Personalized epg. http://searchus.blinkx.com
Broadbandsports – Upload & share sports videos. http://www.broadbandsports.com/
Clipshack – Upload & send video. http://www.clipshack.com/
Dailymotion – Upload & share videos. http://www.dailymotion.com/
Evoketv – Localized epg (ajax). http://www.evoketv.com/
Getdemocracy – Watch or make tv. http://www.getdemocracy.com/
Mefeedia – Videoblog search. http://www.mefeedia.com/
Mightyv – Web based tv search & epg (UK). http://www.mightyv.com/
Openvlog – Upload & record video. http://www.openvlog.com/
Pooxi – Upload & (revenue) share video. http://www.pooxi.com/
Theunseenvideo – Video & weather mash-up animation. http://www.theunseenvideo.com/
Truveo – Ranked video search. http://www.truveo.com/
Turnhere – Upload & share video (local). http://www.turnhere.com/
Veoh – Upload & share videos. http://www.veoh.com/
Videobomb – Submit & vote for video links. http://videobomb.com/
Videoegg – Capture, edit & publish video. http://www.videoegg.com/
Vimeo – Upload & share video. http://www.vimeo.com/
Vsocial – Upload, rank & share video. http://www.vsocial.com/
Woomu – Submit, vote for & rank videos. http://www.woomu.com/
Yashi – Upload & share video. http://www.yashi.com/
Youtube – Upload & share video. http://www.youtube.com/
Zippyvideos – Upload & share video. http://www.zippyvideos.com/

Welcome to “Will Video for Food”

Welcome to “WillWorkForVideo.” This blog is a spinoff from Revverberation, the unofficial blog for Revver.com (a site that provides video creators with 50% of the ad revenue generated by their clips). Revver is launching a much more evolved platform for Revver fans (and I plan to be an active participant). In addition, I wanted a more site-neutral blog to discuss the myriad of ways that amateur videographers can make money on their short, viral videos. For those of you new, I post short videos on Revver as Nalts, and operate the widly amateur website CubeBreak.com, which provides funny and weird videos for bored cube workers (my stuff and other fun videos that people submit or that I discover on Revver).