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Which video editing software to choose and how to do that

    Last Updated on 07.06.2023

    When choosing a video editing software, each user proceeds from their abilities and needs, from the set of tasks and requirements for the final product.

    Of course, it is not always possible to come to a compromise, and then specialists who have already made their decision or are well oriented on the subject come to the rescue. It remains only to find such specialists.

    There are many forums, groups, communities, and everywhere there are many recommendations.

    However, upon closer inspection, it usually turns out that the specialist recommends the software with which he works. One expert recommends one thing, another recommends another.

    Simply, each of them also started from their abilities and needs, and faced the same questions as you.

    And the answer found usually conditions the choice of a work tool for a long time, and changing it for another can be very difficult, especially when working with a product as complex as video.

    We have collected information that will allow you to quickly determine the direction of your searches and, most likely, make the right decision.

    Here the options.

    Note that in each category considered, vendors can offer software solutions of various kinds and levels, from a set of simple tools for performing typical operations to professional studio systems for multiple users.

    Links to posts about certain categories of software for creating and editing videos are located at the end of the text.

    Installable video editors for PC or Mac

    Completely free video editors

    A common initial search for users with no video experience. Most often they look for software for Windows, less often for MacOS, and even less often for Linux.

    This is what you need to keep in mind. Free software is, in principle, can vary greatly in quality.

    Generally developed and maintained by communities or individual enthusiasts. And among these editors there are also interesting and quite functional options.

    Free video editors vary widely in terms of technical capabilities and hardware requirements.

    Software in this group are primarily aimed at users with no experience in video production or those who rarely or irregularly participate in video creation and editing.

    Classic shareware and paid video editors

    They are installed on a computer in the usual way, from a distribution copy, and do not require an Internet connection for further work.

    Developers can be both communities (if considering an open source software) or commercial companies. In both cases, a license with some restrictions is provided free of charge.

    To get full or additional features, you need to purchase a paid license.

    For this category of video editors, this usually involves a one-time payment in exchange for a perpetual license. The possibility of subscription payments is something rare.

    This group of software is very interesting for beginners and advanced users, as well as for freelancers and videographers who work remotely.

    Cloud-based shareware and paid video editors

    They can be installed in whole or in part from a distribution copy, so that one computer can have a launchable application, which can have full or limited functionality without an Internet connection.

    In general terms, the use of cloud solutions allows developers to effectively solve the problem of control and updated versions.

    At the same time, they have the ability to track in real time the legality of the copies used and the validity of the licenses.

    In addition, the provider has a constant channel of direct communication with users and can promote new solutions and additions without using ads, directly in the application.

    Naturally, in this case, the main form of payment for licenses is subscription payments. In this case, a one-time payment for a perpetual license is very rare, but it does happen.

    For the user, this type of video editors, combined with cloud services, is convenient, because the subscription can or does provide:

    • additional functions that are not available during stand-alone operation,
    • cloud disk space to store projects and media data itself, including finished video files,
    • access to media libraries, stock services and various collections of video and background images, music and sound effects, animated screensavers, additional sources,
    • access to thematic collections of templates designed for various geometric video formats, a variety of themes and applications on different end platforms,
    • the ability to collaborate or use multiple devices of different types to work on projects stored in the cloud.

    Also, an app that is always connected to the cloud usually updates automatically. Therefore, you will always have an updated version of the video editor.

    A typical representative of this type of cloud solution is Adobe Creative Cloud, along with which many applications work.

    Essentially, Creative Cloud is both a part of the technology environment and an essential part of it, bringing all the software and services provided together into a cohesive whole.

    But the main role in video production remains the software installed on the user’s computer.

    This type of software solution is best suited to the needs of advanced users and video production professionals.

    Online video editors and services

    The advancement of high-speed Internet access, inexpensive disk storage, and high-performance server hardware has made it possible to create and edit videos on servers.

    This was the next stage of cloud technology and allowed application developers and service providers to take control of the process.

    This approach is known as SaaS (“Software as a Service”) and has been used for a long time in various business areas.

    Basically, such a model worked in areas that require a large amount of computing or the availability of software and hardware solutions that are not applicable in ordinary offices due to the high cost of purchase and maintenance.

    A powerful server, specialized software, a large amount of computational work, real-time data exchange are a typical portrait of such a service.

    Only that the data that circulated in said service was mainly text and did not require broadband communication channels.

    With the advent of these channels at affordable prices and the simultaneous development of portable digital video capture devices that have become part of mobile phones in a matter of years, the supply and demand for a full range of video production services video were doomed to be even.

    Today, the number of online video service offers is very large.

    Of course, all of them, with rare exceptions, are paid by subscription. Subscription options usually start with free versions, which for one reason or another are not suitable for real work or severely restrict the user.

    The capabilities provided by such video editing services are now approaching those of simple installable video editors.

    And the composition, quantity and quality of services that can be provided for a fee can far exceed anything that classic cloud services offer. For example, specialized video hosting services.

    The most prominent example of such a service is YouTube. But the capabilities provided by YouTube, including the video editor, are extremely versatile.

    But the most striking example of an online video service is no longer the most typical today.

    Fully online systems are more interesting for their diversity and focus on different applications, topics and types of business.

    We can put it this way: installed video editors provide the most opportunities to work with the video stream itself, but online editors are for adapting the video stream to the needs of consumers and businesses.

    Because consumer and business demands are changing much faster than film laws, the online video segment is also very dynamic.

    If you are a marketer, designer, teacher, seller, supplier, real estate agent, blogger, then this segment of video creation and editing software is probably what you need.

    It is here that you will find access to huge media collections, a large number of ready-to-use templates, design solutions, visual and semantic formats, which are so long, difficult and expensive to do in classic video editors, that they are ultimately focus on cinematic image quality.

    Here, what you have been looking for is done simply and quickly.

    Within minutes, you’ll create a video banner, promotional video, training video, video presentation, holiday video card, or slideshow using your materials.

    But there is no need to stop there. Many systems will offer you additional services that will simplify business problem solving and save you time, from video hosting to automated video production on a schedule.

    Of course, there are also versatile online video editors. Like commercial systems, they work with collections of typical templates and are designed for a user who is far from video production as such.

    A definite advantage of video editors provided by online services is a combination of ease of use and a variety of capabilities and minimal hardware requirements.

    You just have to have a simple laptop and you can make amazing videos.

    Mobile applications to create and edit videos

    Modern mobile phones are comparable to desktop computers in terms of computing power, RAM, and non-volatile memory.

    They have built-in photo and video cameras that provide an image of such quality that even professional DSLR owners could not dream of recently.

    Among the set of applications that are in each smartphone “out of the box” there is everything to take photos and videos, edit a video and add sound to it.

    All that remains is to install social networking applications and you can publish your masterpieces. And if you are busy with active business promotion or e-commerce, a promotional video can be your masterpiece.

    The only difference between a mobile phone and a computer, which determines the specific features of mobile video editors and the restrictions on their functionality, is the size of the screen and the way you interact with the device.

    There is no way to create the same interface for a mobile as rich as for a computer: very little space.

    Using a tablet can improve the situation a bit, but a tablet is almost a laptop, it is bulky and not as comfortable as a mobile phone.

    This is the largest group of video applications.

    The main type of platforms for publishing videos created on mobile phones are social networks.

    Each modern social network supports its own video formats, and each network’s mobile app contains a built-in video editor.

    The early years of the mobile app market were characterized by the dominance of free apps that could display ads.

    This type of monetization is still popular in the mobile gaming segment, but in apps focused on content production and editing, banner ads have long been considered bad form.

    However, over the years, mobile phone users have grown accustomed to developers releasing their apps for free and bringing the experience of the past into the present.

    As a result, the feedback feeds for many apps are littered with low ratings and negative reviews, simply because users are frustrated that additional features have to be paid for.

    Another characteristic of mobile video editors is that they naturally require a powerful processor and a large amount of memory.

    Many users do not properly control the memory consumption of their mobile phones and therefore video editing applications simply start freezing or crashing. And users write angry comments and give low ratings.

    Therefore, the official evaluations of the application are not completely objective.

    When preparing posts for the site, we carefully studied the materials of publishers, the applications themselves and the composition of reviews about them. We hope that our efforts are not in vain and that you receive sufficiently balanced information from our reviews.

    Links to reviews

    Which video editing software to choose and how to do that
    Which video editing software to choose and how to do that