There are basically two types of free video editing software packages - freeware/shareware and free/demo versions of commercial video editing programs. The advantage of the freeware/shareware is that you often can get video editing programs with unique and easy to use features while at the same time you are supporting the "little" guy who is developing and creating his or her own programs. On the down side, the freeware/shareware programs may be a bit buggy, be a little short when it comes to documentation and usually offer very little support.
Using a free/demo version of commercial video editing software offers the confidence that you are not downloading spyware or a program that will rip up your operating system. However, free or demo versions often have some key features missing, or the output video may be branded with the company' logo. In addition, it may only be good for a certain period or time and you later may be bombarded with repeated ads to upgrade and buy the real product.
Here are a few good choices in each category. A word of caution, we have not tried out and tested all of these programs. Before installing and running the program for the first time, it is good to do a web search to see what other users have to say.
JW Player video player - Since the launch of the first JW Player in 2005 (which a little company named YouTube used as their first player), individuals and companies have downloaded nearly five million copies.
So whether you're a webmaster looking for a killer online player that’s compatible with dozens of skins and plugins or a consumer seeking the best desktop player for your PC, check out JW Player. Its free
VideoSpin is free video editing software for Windows (XP, Vista, Windows 7) that allows you to create your own movie clips in minutes using your own videos and pictures. VideoSpin has some limitations. The application works only with digital files on your hard drive. You can't capture from or control a camcorder. You can't edit audio, except for levels.
VideoSpin provides a surprising number of video transitions and, although it has merely a handful of title templates, you can customize them to your heart's content. It has several cheesy sound effects, and you can import audio files for use as a soundtrack.
Windows Movie Maker is a free video creation and editing software that is included in Microsoft Windows Me, XP, and Vista. It contains features such as effects, transitions, titles/credits, audio track, timeline narration, and Auto Movie. New effects and transitions can be made and existing ones can be modified using XMLcode. Windows Movie Maker is also a basic audio track editing program. It can apply basic effects to audio tracks such as fade in or fade out. The audio tracks can then be exported in the form of a sound file instead of a video file.
The newest version is Windows Live Movie Maker is included with Windows Live Essentials, a free download from Microsoft. However Windows Live Movie Maker does not have the same features as Windows Movie Maker. Windows Movie Maker 2.6 for Vista is compatible with Windows 7 and recommended by video editors. However Windows Movie Maker 2.6 is a stripped down version and does not include video capture.
If you are using a Mac, then you first need to look at iMovie
Apple iMovie is another very easy to understand and use video editing program that will do everything you need to capture, edit and create wonderful looking videos that you can share with your friends and family.
Zwei-Stein Video Editor 3.01 - This is a fully functional, 256-track video editor and composition tool that will produce files in the latest Real Video and Real Audio formats. Input: *.avi, *.wav, *.mpg (no mp3), *.bmp, *.jpg Output: *.avi, *.rm, *.wav, *.bmp
It features an extensive effects selection and a unique, flat interface that lets the user easily set and change key frames for every effect and cropping rectangle.
Context-sensitive help, e-mail and ICQ support are available from within the program.
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 sequences.
Wax can create 2D & 3D special effects and can work in two modes - as a standalone application which would appeal for home users/beginners, and as a "plug-in" to video editors/NLEs which would be more useful for professional editors. Currently Wax can work as a plug-in with Sony Vegas, Pure Motion EditStudio and Adobe Premiere and work for integrating with various other NLEs is in progress.
The current version of WinMorph comes with Wax 1.01. If needed you can use both Wax 1.01 and 2.0 in the same PC, or just install Wax 2.0 and use WinMorph as a plugin from it.
Distributed as freeware for business or personal use. However if you want to redistribute Wax, you need to get permission from the author.
Use graphics acceleration available with your video card for creating mind-boggling effects in realtime or near-realtime.
Unlimited video and audio tracks with top-down compositing and many compositing modes (audio features are limited at this time).
2D and 3D Plugins and transitions for creating effects. Full featured 3D compositing with 3d objects, lighting, shadows, texture generators, etc. Plugins include the following.
RotoMate - rotoscope/paint over video with fully keyframmable shapes and masks
Shatter - create explosive effects
ModelLoader - load 3d models from .3DS, .MD2 and .MS3d files
Particle Generator - generate various natural particle effects like fire, smoke, rain etc
Text 3D - create extruded/beveled 3D text, and much more...
Plugin Adapter technology - can load and use VirtualDub filters, DirectX plugins, Freeframe plugins and Windows Movie Maker presets inside Wax or your NLE when using Wax as a plugin.
Full featured project management with media bins/folders, element properties and comments for ease of use.
Transition and Plugin SDK available for developers to extend functionality by adding external plugins. WinMorph uses this Plugin SDK to extend Wax's functionality for warping and morphing.
File input/output through filters, Filter SDK available upon request for developers to extend file format support.
Input formats : AVI, WAV, all popular image formats. Output formats : AVI, MPEG, WAV, Flash, all popular image formats. (AVI and WAV formats support compressed audio too, using Audio Codecs installed in your PC).
YouTube Video Editor - new and enhanced - online video editor
NEW - YouTube video editor, which lets you combine and trim your videos right on YouTube.com, without installing any software. Now you can rotate your videos via the editor and add transitions, like cross-fades and wipes, between video clips. Just select the transitions tab in the media picker, drag the transition and drop it between any two videos in the storyboard.
Commercial Demo and Trial Versions for Video Editing
Adobe Premiere Elements - Free Demo Software
With Adobe Premiere Elements is aimed at making incredible movies is easier than ever. Enhance your stories with professional style. Share virtually anywhere. And easily manage and protect all your video clips and photos.
Adobe Premiere Elements is a video editing software application for linear video editing, published by Adobe Systems. It is a scaled-down version of the professional-level Adobe Premiere Pro, and is optionally bundled with Adobe Photoshop Elements. It is the number one selling consumer video editing software. Its main competitors are AVS Video Editor, Cyberlink PowerDirector, Pinnacle Studio, Sony Vegas Movie Studio, Sony Vegas, Corel VideoStudio, Final Cut Express and iMovie.
Unlike many of its competitors, Premiere Elements can handle unlimited video and audio tracks, with multiple keyframed effects applied to each clip, as well as Picture-in-picture and chromakey capabilities. It also supports many third-party plug-ins for additional features, including Premiere Pro plug-ins, After Effects plug-ins, and VST effects. It can create bars and tone and a countdown leader, just like Premiere Pro.
This program also features real-time video rendering which allows the user to instantly preview edits made to the timeline.
Premiere Elements is available for Windows XP and, beginning with version 3.0.2, for Windows Vista and Windows 7.
What's new in this version: thought bubbles and other graphics, text, and effects that automatically move with the subjects in your movie.
muvee Pixie makes it easy to edit and create videos for YouTube
muvee Pixie was created with the social media savvy, Netbook user in mind.
Users go through muvee’s simple three steps to create videos with an intuitive interface that focuses on sharing and ease-of-use. Users upload their photos and videos, select a style, and choose music from their iTunes collection or any other songs on their computer. muvee Pixie automatically mashes them up to create a video synced to the beat of the music.
Pinnacle Studio Ultimate version 14 Trial -
The ultimate software for making great HD movies at home. Harness the power of a professional editor with easy at-your-fingertips execution. Tell your story with clear high-definition video, stunning effects, polished transitions and animation, all backed with incredible Dolby Digital® 5.1 sound and technology from Avid® (behind the world’s most-watched movies). Then, get ready to go viral when you share your screen sensations with the world in widescreen format, the way they’re meant to be seen. Sharing options are now as limitless as your creativity: from Blu-ray and AVCHD to YouTube, iPod, Nintendo Wii, and everything in between. This trial software will run with full functionality for 15 days following installation. Download
You can get free trial versions of almost all Ulead software products including VideoStudio and MovieFactory. You can also get free demo versions of the web design, graphic editing and DVD creation and authoring packages.
Corel VideoStudio Pro X3 is a complete HD video-editing program with professionally designed templates, real-time, studio-quality effects, polished titles and smooth transitions. Super-charge your workflow with GPU acceleration and multi-core Intel® CPU support for faster editing and rendering. Quickly assemble video clips in new Express Edit mode or go deep with advanced video-editing tools. Then share your videos on YouTube, Facebook®, Vimeo®, DVD, AVCHD™ and Blu-ray discs™, iPod®, PSP® and more.
Complete HD workflow – import, edit, burn and share standard or HD video
GPU acceleration – edit and render twice as fast, especially with HD video
Professional content – get $500 US worth of studio-quality RevoStock templates
Express movie making – create movies in minutes, then fine-tune with advanced editing tools
Real-time effects – work fast with live previews of special effects like RotoSketch
Blu-ray authoring & burning – author with Hollywood-style DVD menus
Online sharing – send directly to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and mobile device
Corel VideoStudio Pro X3 now includes DVD Factory™ Pro and DVD MovieFactory™ 7 SE. Whether you want an easy tool for integrated DVD and Blu-ray authoring and burning, or an app with more advanced and robust authoring capabilities, the choice is yours
Check out this great free program - you can create a picture or short video of what you see on your computer screen and then share it via the web, email, Twitter, etc. Import it into a presentation or post it on your web page or blog. Its easy to use and free. There is a Pro version for about $15
ShareWare/Freeware Video Editing Products
Some of these are totally free, some ask for donations while others provide a "free" version to check out and then if you like it, charge you a little extra for the full unrestricted version
Blender is a free 3D graphics application that can be used for a wide range of creative applications including non-linear video editing, modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, water and smoke simulations, skinning, animating, rendering, particle and other simulations, , compositing, and creating interactive 3D applications, including video games, animated film, or visual effects.
Blender's features include advanced simulation tools such as rigid, realistic body, fluid, cloth and softbody dynamics, modifier-based modeling tools, powerful character animation tools, a node-based material and compositing system and Python for embedded scripting.
Released as free software under the GNU General Public License, Blender is available for a number of operating systems, including Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows
FMV--a complete video player and editor. Real-time editing with instant previews. FMV uses DirectX and can preview layered effects with keyframes in real-time. As you can see 'what you get' instantly, this makes FMV very easy to use whilst delivering a highly creative environment. Over 100 customisable SMPTE transitions and the ability to import Moviemaker custom XML transitions. Over 100 professional effects which can be layered and keyframed. Extensive feature list including bitmap extraction, copy and paste frames between your graphics program, output to Twitter, Facebook, Xbox360 and WMV-HD. FMV will also produce the HTML you need to embed your video into a webpage when your are done. No more pictorial representations of what the transition or effect might look like--FMV renders the preview in real-time so you see exactly what you will get on the clips you are editing. Mix clips of different formats, frames rates and sizes. FMV supports any format supported by DirectShow/DirectX.
In version 6.0, DirectX hardware assisted playback and editing; copy and paste frames to and from any 2d editor; autochunk feature.
Free to try (30-day trial, watermark on output); $30.31 to buy
Open Movie Editor is a free and open source video editing program, designed for basic movie making capabilities. It aims to be powerful enough for the amateur movie artist, yet easy to use. This is for those running Linux. The Open Movie Editor runs with a wide range of different File Formats, Frame Rates, Frame Sizes, Video Codecs and Video Containers. The Open Movie Editor includes a number of Tools and Filters to adjust Colors and make your videos look nicer. The Open Movie Editor also supports the Frei0r Video Filter Effect Collection, which includes a number of fun and interesting Visuals. The Open Movie Editor is only available for Linux and compatible Free and Open Source Operating Systems. It is provided only in the form of Source Code, as is the case for most Linux and FLOSS Software. The download is free, and there is no registration or money or anything involved
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. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and powerful scripting capabilities.
Avidemux is available for Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL license. The program was written from scratch by Mean, but code from other people and projects has been used as well. Patches, translations and even bug reports are always welcome.
This is from CNET - There are lots of options regarding video-editing software. If you have some money to burn, you have a lot of choices, such as Final Cut, Premiere, and others. But what if you have no money? We have some solutions for you, too. Get the scoop on free video-editing software in Peter Butler's post to the Daily Download blog. Best free video-editing apps.
Are you just starting out creating your own video movies? Here are some tips about video editing for novices and home video makers. How to cut on action, timeline versus storyboard and other basics to get you started....
For example, at the Adobe web site, you can download demo versions of their entire software package including the new Premiere Elements for family, hobbyist and prosumer moviemaking, as well as for the more professional Premiere Pro, Encore DVD and After Effects programs.
Muvee Auto Producer
If you are in a hurry or don’t want to learn anything about editing at all, then check out muvee AutoProducer. AutoProducer has been around for a few years and has consistently been the best of all the “automatic” video editing programs. It combines ease of use with lots of great features for quickly and easily transforming your raw DV footage into cool looking music videos. They offer a free trial version that works really well.
Other free programs and utilities.
There are hundreds of free video editing programs and utilities available for download. Here are just a few of the more highly rated and easily found.
3ivx (www.3ivx.com) is an MPEG-4 toolkit that supports MPEG-4 Video, MPEG-4 Audio and the MP4 file format. 3ivx D4 4.5 allows video and audio to be compressed to a fraction of its original size while maintaining high image quality. You can store over 2 hours of near DVD quality audio and video on a single CD-ROM or stream near DVD quality video over a cable modem or DSL modem. Its also great for squeezing video down for Internet sharing.
TSUNAMI MPEG Video Encoder XPress helps users produce high-quality compressed video files via an easy-to-use wizard-based interface and video/audio filters. A free 30-day trial version is available for download from the company's website at www.tmpg-inc.com.
ABC VideoRoll is full-featured, multi-layer video editing application for Windows computers and works with most video, sound and image formats such as QuickTime, AVI, RealMedia, AIFF, JPG, BMP, TGA, GIF, etc. It also features sophisticated video effects and transitions, video capture, Internet streaming. Installation includes an interactive help file and tutorial. You will have to do web search to find it from various shareware and freeware sites on the web.
Another free video editor is Zwei-Stein. It has been around for a while and is now up to version 3.01. It is a non-linear, non-destructive video compositing and editing system that offers many advanced features. With Zwei-Stein you can edit up to 256 video, audio and still image clips, each with up to 64 effects chained serially. Cropping, panning and custom effects are easy with automatic key frames. Built for Windows, there is a beta Linux version floating around as well.
No More Excuses
You have lost one more reason for putting off editing those videotapes you have sitting on your shelf. You can start editing for free. It doesn’t matter whether you use a shareware or free program, a trial or demo program, or the free MovieMaker or iMovie programs, it is time that you dust off those old videocassettes, stick them into your DV camcorder, connect it up to your computer, and start editing. Just think – you’ll be clearing up some space and maybe you can even re-cycle those old tape cartridges.
More free video editing programs
AVIedit is a great tool to work with .AVI files. AVIedit allows you to join and split avi files, extract frames and do whatever you want... You can capture video by number of ways, including one-frame-per-minute (web camera) option, workaround annoying 2 Gb file size limit, send your videos to printer, heavy compress it and post to your webpage. You can change frame rate, duration, frame size, color depth of your videos and other properties, even without recompression and without loss of video quality. AVIedit allows you to convert avi clips to bmp and bmp to avi, animated GIFs etc.Regardless of small executable size, this avi editor offers you unlimited power of digital video processing. Some high-tech tricks included into AVIedit allows you to perform with ease and fun the many interesting things, like video warping, color restore, noise reduction and so on.
Adobe Premiere DEMO - Edit footage and add special effects with the industry standard of video editing software.
AVID Free DV is a free, DV-only version of its award-winning video editing software. Planned for both Macintosh OS X and Windows XP platforms, that enables anyone to step into the Avid product family and to learn the industry-standard interface and toolset used by more professionals than any other video editing solution. more
AIST MediaLabMovieXone is afree downloadable video editing tool for editing, animation, audio and titling. All this is available as a free download.
DDClipPro is a professional, non-linear, non-destructive, multitrack, real-time audio and video editor for Windows. It allows you to process and mix up to 32 high-quality audio tracks (24 bit/96 kHz is available) with real-time audio effects (including any DirectX plug-ins) on PC with any Windows-compatible sound card. DDClip Pro is especially effective for scoring video clips, creating audio commercials, synchronizing voice with music and mixing audio tracks with use of real-time audio effects on audio clips, tracks and entire mix of project. DDClip Pro is very useful for recording, processing and mixing music on PC.
EO Video is an advanced media player, converter and joiner. It supports all major video, audio and bitmap formats. EO Video user interface was designed for easy and intuitive use. With EO Video you can convert and compress video, audio and bitmaps to any AVI and MPEG formats and combine fully matched AVI and MPEG clips. You can create a playlist of many different video, audio and bitmap formats. All major formats are supported: - AVI (divx, indeo, mp4,...) - MPEG - Apple QuickTime - Real Media G2 - WindowsMedia - JPEG, GIF, TIF, - MP3....
InterVideo Offers Free Multimedia Software Suite for Download - For a limited time, InterVideo is offering a free download of MediaOne SE at www.intervideo.com. InterVideo MediaOne SE is the ideal solution for anyone who wants a powerful media suite in one package. This broad digital media suite allows users to perform several multimedia tasks including photo management, editing/authoring home videos to CD, creating music CDs and burning compilations and slideshows to CD for playback on a PC or on a consumer player as a VCD. more
muvee AutoProducer - an amazing program that automatically combines your video footage with selected music tracks to create edited videos in a variety of styles, complete with effects, transitions, slo-mo; etc. It really works. Free downloadable TRIAL version has muvee logo across final screen. more
www.screenblast.com - Sponsored by Sony Entertainment and Sony Consumer Products, this is a great site geared towards the neophyte video producer. You can use pre-made clips from various Sony TV shows to create your own productions. You can also download semi-professional programs like Screenblast Acid, a loop based audio editing tool; Screenblast Image Editor for editing and transforming still and digital images; VideoFactory for editing and creating video productions; and SoundForge, a powerful digital sound processing and editing tool. You can also download a bunch of video clips and sound effects to use in your own productions. Finally, this site enables you to upload and host your final video productions. Sony provides up to 50 MB of storage space for your masterpiece.
Ulead VideoStudio TRIAL VERSION - Edit and add special effects to your videos with the latest version of this tool.
EditStudio v3.0.16 - Edit your digital video movies and apply effects using a standard Windows interface.
VideoMach is a powerful audio/video builder and converter tha tyou can use to create video clips from still images, enhance recorded material or convert video, audio and image files between popular media formats such as mpeg, avi, divx, flc, jpeg, png, tif, gif, bmp and more. It can reads and write standard Linux and UN*X image formats (xpm, pnm, sgi, ras and more; supports most popular audio formats (mp3, mp2, ogg, wav, ac3; Imports the output of high-speed imagers and time-lapse cameras (bayer, cine). VideoMach can convert image sequences to video files; join video and audio clips to a single file; rotate, resize and crop videos to the desired size; extract images and audio from a media clip; and change video and audio codec, data rate, resolution, aspect ratio and quality of a media clip. You can also speed up or slow down video, or a part of it, add industry-standard video filters and functions like Brightness, Contrast, Gamma Correction, Deinterlace, Mirror, Motion Blur, Fade In/Out, White Balance, Sharpen, Emboss and many more
Additional capabilities include:
World's fastest image sequence detection, more than 50,000 images per second
Professional-quality MPEG, AVI and Bayer readers, video is decoded at highest quality unlike in most media players
Fastest software MPEG encoder, more then 120 frames per second
Can read or write very large MPEG files, up to million terabytes
Creates industry standard VideoCD MPEGs by NTSC and PAL / SECAM video specs
Connects to both Video For Windows (VFW) and DirectShow (DS) interfaces ensuring support for vaste number of AVI codecs / subformats
Easy to navigate but powerful AVI output video / audio codecs selection dialog
Integrated media player
Works on Windows 95 / 98 / ME / 2000 / XP as well as all modern Linux distributions with Wine installed
Fast, compact and reliable installer with built-in anti-virus check
Zwei-Stein - this free downloadable video editing program has been around around for a long while and can be found on most freeware and shareware sites. Check www.tucows.com or go to the web site at http://www.zs4.net. Zwei-Stein is a freeware non-linear, non-destructive video compositing and editing system which offers many advanced features unavailable elsewhere. With Zwei-Stein you can edit up to 256 video, audio and still image clips, each with up to 64 effects chained serially. Cropping, panning and custom effects are easy with automatic key frames.
Movavi Online, http://online.movavi.com, is a web-based service that enables users to download and convert video from one format to another - for sharing, podcasting, cellphones, iPods, and more - for free. Where the first version of Movavi Online gave users the ability to upload video stored on a PC, the service upgrade now also enables users to download video from YouTube, Google, MySpace, MetaCafe and other video-sharing sites. Also, users are now able to download and watch Flash videos, convert video from the Internet to AVI, MP4, MPG, 3GP and other formats for use with iPod, iPhone, PSP, cellphone and other devices, and merge several videos into one large movie. more
Vidiac Live is the first true live streaming service offered for free. Based on Microsoft's Windows Media 9 Technology, Vidiac is able to provide vastly improved picture resolution, quality and frame rate over typical webcam software. more
Real Video Helix Producer- Helix Producer converts live and/or existing audio and video files into RealMedia files, ready for delivery on the Internet or corporate intranet. FREE. For an extra $200, you can get Helix Producer Plus that provides enhanced quality, flexibility and productivity capabilities.
Check out Unreal media server - a non-commercial media delivery system for Windows platforms, similar in performance to MMS, supports all file types. TechTV channel had a program about it at November 13 2003. Both media files (VOD) and live media streams are supported. No need to re-encode your existing media files! We stream AVI, MPEG (MPEG-1), WMV, MP3, QuickTime, and any other format supported by Microsoft DirectX. Live media sources include: digital cameras, microphones, analog video sources (analog camera, TV-DVD-VHS) connected to Video card or to FrameGrabber card that supports DirectShow interface. Live video content is compressed with MPEG- 4 codec in real time; MP3 or GSM formats are used for live audio compression.
Check out Flash AV Player. The Flash AV Player is a very cool, skinable Flash application for both Mac and Windows that can stream folders of MP3, SWF files & JPEG files by loading all necessary playlist information from an XML file. It is made to broadcast any media content : from an MP3 file to a QuickTtime movie. This is a great way to package your videos for the web. Click on the AV Players to see the various samples. The Concorde and Read My Lips videos are great.