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Old Apr 7, 2011, 7:20 AM   #1
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Default Video editing software

I have been using windows movie maker for a while, but I am now ready to step up. I downloaded a trial of cyberlink powerdirector 9, but I am finding it difficult to work with. Does anyone have a suggestion for an easy to use editor that will output in mp4, mkv or, better yet, avchd natively?
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 11:52 AM   #2
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Talked always about magix movie edit pro 17Plus, but its your prefrence. all , or I should say most my work are now magix. I love to dig deeper into the program to use but I find I do not have hours to do such a simpl thing others can do in a heartbeat.
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 12:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by set2374 View Post
I have been using windows movie maker for a while, but I am now ready to step up. I downloaded a trial of cyberlink powerdirector 9, but I am finding it difficult to work with. Does anyone have a suggestion for an easy to use editor that will output in mp4, mkv or, better yet, avchd natively?
This might be a case of the blind leading.......

I am a novice when it comes to video and I really have concentrated on Editors for .MOV files since that's what the Kodak Zi8 and Zx3 use.

However I have done a great deal of research into video editors (esp freeware).

VideoHelp.com is a great site they have on their Tools page -
Video Editors (H264/AVC/MP4)
Video Editors (MPG/DVD)

among those I found I liked (both are Freeware):
MPEG StreamClip
and
AviDemux

This is mainly because when doing cutting and/or trimming and saving back to the same .MOV file format (or in AviDemux to .mp4) they do it withOUT re-encoding - this is a huge advantage as re-encoding video files especially long ones can take a lot of time.
(note: .MOV is merely a container - internally it is the same MPEG-4)

MPEG StreamClip can be a bit awkward to set up if one wants to edit .MOV files (I don't know if this is a prerequisite/requirement for other file formats) - my comments over at VideoHelp.com -
" Like this a lot - simple and fast to use - especially when saving back to same format - which only takes seconds, compared to several minutes for other editors (even when the saving format is exactly the same as the original).

However it took a lot for me to get a working version -
note: I am using an older version 1.2b2
(when hovering the mouse pointer over the .exe file it shows ver 1.1.9.2 - but the banner and download file both show 1.2b2).

Neither of the current versions 1.2 or 1.2.1beta2 work properly for me - they both eat up 100% CPU, so are very slow.
But the earlier 1.2b2 (or is it 1.1.9.2?) works just fine.

Installation can be tricky and I don't quite understand how mine works at all.

It is supposed to be essential to install Quicktime Alternative 1.81 first - which I did - but when I tried to open any .MOV file the program fails.

So I installed QuickTime Lite 3.2.2 over that -
which required uninstalling of Quicktime Alternative 1.81
- and viola! MPEG StreamClip worked.

As someone previously said correctly - that one shouldn't criticize a program when the problem may be one's PC or set up -
but when setup and versions are as complicated as mine turned out to be - it is hard to say positive things about a program that one can't even install and get to work.

Even now I am not too sure why mine works at all -
BUT it does work well.
"

AviDemux - apparently doesn't really support .MOV - it certainly cannot save to .MOV - but it will open .MOV files but with warnings - I click NO to both warnings/suggestions and the video opens - after trimming, cutting etc - then I have to save to .mp4 - if I use copy on both video and audio the saving is really fast (in seconds) - the .mp4 plays fine - and even if I force rename the .mp4 file to .MOV it will still play fine on Windows Media Player (I do use K-Lite mega codec pack on my PC).
my comments over at VideoHelp.com:
" One of the few editors that can work with .MOV files.

Good and fast - for my .MOV files it always warns about using B-frames - so there is some problem playing the actual video (stuttering)- but I can go to time and (it automatically jumps to the nearest key or intra-frame) to trim edit .MOV files - the resultant edited videos are fine.

Saving is still a bit of a mystery for me - I just save to .MP4 - which is the same internal format as my original .MOV - as I understand just a different container - then the saving is very fast in seconds - which shows AviDemux doesn't have to re-encode the video to save.
"

On both editors it is very important to cut or trim at key-/intra-frames - otherwise the video and audio will be out of synchronization.

For resizing and/or converting to different file formats I use
Quick Media Converter - it's free but with caveats
my comments over at VideoHelp:
" I still really like this program - it has managed to convert any video files I tried to any other format.

It will also extract the audio only from FLV or MOV (and I assume almost any video format) to MP3 or WAV in a single step and quickly.

However the installation is pretty insidious about installing Ask.com stuff.
............
Beware of the offer to install Ask.com stuff - the way it's done is very tricky - it makes more than one choice with Ask stuff and one has to VERY careful not to select any - otherwise Ask.com does get installed - Ask.com stuff is really insidious - and once installed Ask.com stuff is really hard to get rid of.

Another thing is that there are two Ask.com EXE files in the QMC program files folder, regardless of if one manages to avoid installing Ask.com stuff.

If these Ask.com EXE files are deleted (which I did several times) QMC will then say that it is a copy program running and refuse to continue - the only resort is to reinstall which puts those Ask.com EXEs back in the folder - took me a while to figure this out. I really dislike Ask.com stuff, and this is really an irritating, and pretty distasteful condition of use.

Otherwise I do really like QMC.
.....
It can correct/change aspect ratios.

In the Easy Mode sometimes the default video bit-rate can be a bit low - especially if one chooses to custom set a larger frame-size over the default small frame-size - I look at the original file info then set the same bit-rate for the same frame-size - this needs using the expert mode - watch out for the default frame-rate offered to save MOV at 25fps - set it to 29.97fps or whatever.....

Overall this is a very powerful and fast program - it has managed to convert any video file I have tried to any format. It also extracts audio to MP3 or WAV in a single step - the default MP3 bit rate seems to be 192k - but under Expert Mode one can set that to any other rate but must set the codec to libmp3lame.

Easy Mode is very easy -
Expert Mode seems less intuitive and mostly I have to do research to find out how to use it properly (there doesn't seem to be any documentation for the Expert Mode)
- but once I know how, it is very flexible and powerful.
"

Otherwise a lot of people like SUPER
but note VideoHelp grades it as Spyware.....

Lastly I know you didn't ask for this.....

But to convert almost any video file so it is burnable to regular video DVD to play on one's home DVD player - tehre is an exteremly good free program -
DVD Flick
again my comments/caveat -
" DVD Flick - simply a wonderful tool.
Easily converts any video file for burning to DVD.

However for some there is a problem with version 1.3.0.7 -
it will not recognize .FLV files
which unfortunately is the most common video file format on the web.
(note: for some - v 1.3.0.7 does seem to work with flv)

The immediate previous version 1.3.0.6 works just fine with flv files.

see this thread and recommendation on the DVD Flick forum:

http://www.dvdflick.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3787

Obviously depending on the source DVD Flick can produce stunningly good DVDs -
for example I believe DVD Flick understands and produces anamorphic DVD files.
note: regular DVD-Video (NTSC) full resolution is just 720x480 -
so for downloading higher resolution videos (like 1080p or 720p)
does not do any harm - but can be overkill -
for most 480P video is adequate.
"

Last edited by UnknownVT; Apr 7, 2011 at 12:30 PM.
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 3:04 PM   #4
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VT and Fishy, I really like Windows Live Movie Maker.. it's pretty intuitive and does what I need it to do. The only problem is that, while it can import lots of codecs, it was only output .wmv files--which requires encoding and, frankly, its not a great wrapper IMO. I want to be able to encode to mp4 (or keep it in avchd) so that I can watch my films on my ipad and they'll run on most other devices. The UI for windows is simple and straightforward storyboard style. It's really easy to work with. I have used Nero in the past (which I found to be horrible) and I have been struggling with PowerDirector. I am not looking to create multitrack work.. but I need to edit 8.5 hours of vacation footage down to about 2 hours and then encode it without crashing or blowing up my computer.
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 4:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by set2374 View Post
I need to edit 8.5 hours of vacation footage down to about 2 hours and then encode it without crashing or blowing up my computer.
OK if all you want to do is trim and cut stuff, then save back to the original file format - then I would suggest trying
AviDemux - it's free and pretty small

I downloaded the 720p version of fishycomics'
kodak play touch full review part three
the 720p version is a .mp4 file

I opened it in AviDemux which warned me about B-frames - but I just answered NO - the playback has stuttering audio - but I know about this and just ignore it.

I trimmed the video - by cutting a small part off the beginning then cutting a small part at the end.

Then I deliberately cut out a few seconds from somewhere in the middle.

Finally I saved using Copy for both video and audio and to mp4 format - the save took about 15 secs for the 720p video of about 5 minutes duration (~113Mb size) - so that means there was no re-encoding.

I don't use AviDemux to preview any video I want to edit - I use Windows Media Player to preview it - note down the times at which I want to trim/cut the video and in AviDemux I work from the end to the beginning - that way the times I noted down will not change from the beginning.

At each marker I make sure to go to next or previous Intra-Frame then do the cutting after marking the Marker A [ and Marker B ].

The video I saved with top and tail trim and section cut out in the middle looked and sounded fine no sync problems and as I said took only 15 secs to save the file back to .mp4 using "copy".

FWIW - this is the MediaInfo of that video:
---------------------------------------------
General
Complete name : C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\My Documents\My Videos\Zi8\FishyVideoTrimmedMid.mp4
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Base Media
Codec ID : isom
File size : 111 MiB
Duration : 4mn 58s
Overall bit rate : 3 135 Kbps
Movie name : FishyVideoTrimmedMid.mp4
Writing application : Lavf52.88.0

Video
ID : 1
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : [email protected]
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 1 frame
Format settings, GOP : M=1, N=60
Codec ID : avc1
Codec ID/Info : Advanced Video Coding
Duration : 4mn 58s
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 2 999 Kbps
Width : 1 280 pixels
Height : 720 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 30.000 fps
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.108
Stream size : 107 MiB (96%)

Audio
ID : 2
Format : AAC
Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec
Format profile : LC
Codec ID : 40
Duration : 4mn 58s
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 128 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
Compression mode : Lossy
Stream size : 4.55 MiB (4%)
---------------------------------------------------------

EDIT to ADD

I also opened a FLV file downloaded from YouTube
Kodak PlaySport Zx3 - Dynam Hawk Sky RC Airplane - Plain Twp Ohio Soccer

I only used the 480p version but it was 107Mb file - top & tailed it, and cut some seconds out of the mid section - then did a SAVE by copy on both Video and Audio but to .MP4 - the resultant video plays fine on WMP no sync problems and the mid-section cut was seamless - the save took 15 secs I also have the MediaInfo file if you want to see it - but the video plays fine on my PC and WMP.

AviDemux is a free program -
try it -
don't have to marry it .....

Last edited by UnknownVT; Apr 7, 2011 at 4:22 PM.
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 4:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips VT. I am going to try out some of your suggestions and see if they will work for me. I might also try to download a few more free trials of those paid apps to see if there are any that are more user friendly for my purposes.
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 5:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by set2374 View Post
Thanks for the tips VT. I am going to try out some of your suggestions and see if they will work for me. I might also try to download a few more free trials of those paid apps to see if there are any that are more user friendly for my purposes.
Sure, no problem....

You should note that for both my experiments first with fishy's mp4 file, then later (edited to add) flv files -
I literally was editing and then saving and timing the save -
while I was composing (or editing) the post -
that's how easy, quick and painless it was -

... and my PC is not modern nor fast - AMD Sempron 3100+ processor at 1.8Ghz, 1Gb PC3200 RAM - which is barely passable for HD videos.
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 7:35 PM   #8
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i use avs video editor and love it
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 11:16 PM   #9
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I'd switch to my Mac.....
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Old Apr 8, 2011, 4:12 AM   #10
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that is what I wantto do start using FCP will need to upgrade Os
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