Best Free Video Editing Program

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Introduction

Hello and welcome to the Best Free Video Editing Program review page! Whether you're a professional looking to save money, a student looking for a program to help with a school project or just a person who likes making videos and needs an editor, this page is for you.

I will also be here to answer as many of your questions as I can in the comments section and on our forum. So please, if you need some help picking the right program or if you are an experienced video editor and feel that a specific free editor should be reviewed, because it has worked so well for you, let me know and hopefully, together, we can help everyone find the Best Free Video Editing Program for them!

Disclaimer: All free video editing software recommended here are for Windows. Companies like NCH and others who distribute partially restricted free versions of their primary-for-profit product or other freeware will often attempt to add other programs during install of the software you actually want. Be careful to only approve the installation of the programs you want and recognize. If you are given the choice of standard or custom installation choosing custom will often give you the opportunity to see exactly what components the software is installing and choose which parts you do or do not want. I do my best to make sure nothing recommended on this page in the main section or the comments will afflict your computer with viruses or useless programs. Downloading free software on the internet can be risky though so ALWAYS pay attention to exactly what you are downloading and where you are downloading it from: it's for your own health!

Discussion

VirtualDub is an impressive open source package that is regularly updated by its author. Note that it mainly supports AVI files and can read (not write) MPEG-1 and BMP images but doesn't handle some video formats like DVD or MP4. And like all video software, it needs a pretty fast PC. In the world of video editing VirtualDub has always been there. It's a very reliable program that with the right amount of knowledge can accomplish just about any task. VirtualDub is licensed under the GNU General Public License , meaning you can use it for free. No risk involved, and the whole source code is available if you want it.

The package is however not complete without the additional filters. A comprehensive collection of third party filters is available from here.

Avidemux is a free, open source, video editor written in C++ by Mean, Gruntster and Fahr.  Note that it mainly supports AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. It will run on almost any operating system like Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, Mandriva, Windows, Mac OS, PC DSB, using minimal resources. Advanced users can customize the program. Newer distributions have a command line interface. Large selection of filters. It can be too complicated for beginners or even intermediate users who often have problems syncing sound and video in their projects as well as adding filters and adjusting the beginning and end of clips.

The official site doesn't support download exe. file directly and users can mainly download from Berlios.de,SourceForge.

OpenShot is a free, open-source video editor for Linux licensed under the GPL version 3.0. It mainly supports many video, audio, and image formats based on FFmpeg. There are several features differentiating it from others.

  • Unlimited tracks / layers, which expands the capability of editors' imagination
  • 3D Animated Titles, after using the open-source package of Blender
  • Key Frame animation,
  • Over 20 other video effects

There are 2 addons for downloading, AV Linux Live DVD and PPA. The former one is free custom shop modded and rodded 32bit PAE computer Operating System designed to turn a regular old (or fairly new) PC or Intel Mac into an Audio/Graphics/Video workstation appliance and the later one will only be used when users' OS is Ubuntu 9.10 and above. Like Avidemux, it's not a easy editing tool for those who are not familiar with encoding, FFmpeg stuff.

Kdenlive is a free and open-source video editor for GNU/Linux and FreeBSD, which supports DV, AVCHD and HDV editing. The best pro is to support multitrack and unlimited media files in timeline. Like FCP, it organizes videos and audios with layers and there are multiple addon sources to enrich video results by adding scripts, background textures, keyboard stickers and music.

Other Selections
This section will hold all products reviewed that did not end up on the main list, which will be listed one by one in the following days. This is because of my own experiences running the programs on my computer for my projects and the evaluation I made of its efficacy as well as how easily others were able to complete projects in a satisfactory and timely manner. This may not apply to how the program will run on your system for your projects so please, do not become upset if you see a program you like below. If one of these is your favorite for your projects I am happy for you and would honestly like to hear about it in my email or the comments section below.

To be reviewed:

LiVES

Cinelerra

Kino

Windows Movie Maker

Wax

FFMpeg

Blender

ZS4 Video Editor

Cinefx Jahshaka

Lightworks

Movica

 
 
Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 
Quick Selection Guide

Avidemux
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Powerful, easy to use and well documented tutorials.
As with any other video editing program, it can be confusing.
http://fixounet.free.fr/avidemux/
2.6.8
12.07MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Open source freeware
This product is portable.
Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, PC-BSD
VirtualDub
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Great piece of software for the power user who is really familiar with video editing.
Can be quite confusing for the average user.
http://www.virtualdub.org/
1.10.4
1.9 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows 98/ME/NT4/2000/XP/Vista/7, licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL)
OpenShot
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Powerful with many other add-ons like 3D animated titles
Should download some other add-ons like PPA if users' OS above Ubuntu 9.10
http://openshot.org/
1.1.3
12.3MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Fedora 11+, Ubuntu 8.04+
Kdenlive
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
High compatibility of input and output media formats Support multitrack and unlimited media files in timeline Multiple free open-source addons Have creative video effects like Cartoon,Charcoal and Flippo
Not suitable for greenhands Update slow No powerful video effects like PIP, faceoff
http://www.kdenlive.org
0.9.8
3.2M
32 and 64 bit versions available
Open source freeware
GNU/Linux distributions;FreeBSD;Mac OS X;NetBSD

 
Editor

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor Liza Brown, who is the SEO & Website Editor of Wondershare. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

 
Tags

edit video, free video editor, free video editing software, free, freeware

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Comments

by us0r on 29. June 2012 - 16:16  (95541)

Yes, VideoPad will accept your .MOV files and when you're finished with your editing you can export the video as an .AVI

Image quality of the completed video project on VideoPad will be largely determined by how you save the file. You can find an excellent lesson on what your save options are and how to use them here.
I personally have never had a image quality issue with VideoPad but obviously your results with any program can vary depending on what you're trying to accomplish with it and the computer you're running it on. If you have issues just let me know and we'll either straighten VideoPad out to give you better results or get you hooked up with another free video editing program that will work better for you.

by Levent (not verified) on 26. June 2012 - 11:46  (95402)

Videopad is not the best video editor, it's only very serious loss of image quality.

by us0r on 29. June 2012 - 16:06  (95540)

VideoPad is not a cure-all for video editing by any means, there are many other video editing programs that may work better for your projects on your computer. I give it merit though on the grounds that, out of all the free video editing programs I have used and have seen others use, VideoPad has stood out as a relatively easy to operate and feature rich program that just about anyone can install and start editing with right away. Ultimately, there will never be one freeware program that will work the best for everyone but I try to assist people with the programs that have worked well for me and I've seen work for others.

What program do you find works most successfully for you? If I haven't yet I would very much like to try it.

by KittyK (not verified) on 23. June 2012 - 23:40  (95288)

Can i just give you my damn video to fix? LOL...It is a video of me singing and playing my guitar. It sounds tinny. The pic is also off and ugh...and I got dressed up so nice! :-)
Hubby took a good, steady video on our digital cam..
I'm a duh at this editing stuff...can you do it
Pulease :-)

by us0r on 25. June 2012 - 17:22  (95363)

Haha my apologies but I am afraid I can't do your video editing for you. I can help you learn to do it yourself though. Go to the forum here and start a thread with your question. Then just drop me the link to the thread and I will give you as much advice as I can. There are many very knowledgeable people who frequent the forums that will also be able to chime in with useful information.

by Anon2332 (not verified) on 17. June 2012 - 21:20  (95024)

I need suggestions as to what to try for my situation. I want to add mp3 to a video. I noticed that the microsoft live movie maker has the ability to start the sound at a user's preference (as opposed to having to start sound at the beginning of the video). I need this option but want to save in a format other than the ones offered by movie maker. My other problem is that when I add mp3 to a flv or mp4 video I always to lose sound quality of the mp3. Is there a program available that allows:
1. adding sound to a timeline, not required to start the sound at the beginning of the video
2. keeps the mp3 sound quality

I'm just a beginner at video editing but assume I have to use a format like .flv or mp4 if I want mp3 sound for a video such as youtube? thanks for any suggestions.

by us0r on 19. June 2012 - 22:09  (95143)

Hmmmmm .flv and especially .mp4 should definitely be preserving your sound quality. For a movie editor I suggest VideoPad free version simply because it is one of the best free video editors and it has always kept the sound quality of mp3s that I used for videos. If you still have the same problem it might not be with the editor but with something else pertaining to possibly the mp3 files themselves, how they were made, or your computer. Let me know how it goes and we'll start working out what the problem might be.

by Anon2332 (not verified) on 23. June 2012 - 19:01  (95281)

Thanks for the response and info. I tried to install videopad but apparently something is messed up on my computer as I'm not able to install any of several different programs right now. I guess the main thing I need now is the ability to start an mp3 at a specific point in time after a video has already started. Looks like Windows Movie Maker can do that but the output file types are not what I'm looking for.

by us0r on 25. June 2012 - 17:05  (95361)

I'm happy to help! If you can make Windows Movie Maker work than just finish in there. Then take the finished video file and find a free online file converter to convert it to the file format you want. If you have any problems making this happen let me know. I hope this helps and you can get your computer to install new programs again soon.

by mrinmoyjk on 6. June 2012 - 5:50  (94473)

What is wrong with Avidemux?
Last time I checked it was the top choice.

by Fritz Pinguin (not verified) on 5. July 2012 - 17:30  (95773)

Avidemux kills the sound. Whenever I tried to edit a video, the result was exported without a reasonable soundtrack.

by MidnightCowboy on 6. June 2012 - 7:33  (94477)

The editor will be covering this shortly. Please be patient. :)

by K.S.Shree (not verified) on 29. May 2012 - 15:44  (94147)

I like your's software it is uae full to me.
Thanking you.

by us0r on 29. May 2012 - 21:30  (94154)

You are very welcome! I am glad you find them useful :)

by Tayyab6024 (not verified) on 18. May 2012 - 15:59  (93681)

i lke your,s software and i love you web site

by us0r on 18. May 2012 - 16:37  (93683)

Thank you very much! We appreciate you visiting us :D

by FletchNZ (not verified) on 17. May 2012 - 10:58  (93595)

I've been looking all over, trying to find out about Video Pad, if there is a FREE version etc. I finally found out that by downloading and installing it, you then make as if to uninstall - eg, go to Add/Remove Programs list, choose Video Pad, and click Uninstall. A window will come up asking if you want to downgrade to the Free Basic Version. You check that radio button and say OK. Now when you start it again, the splash screen will inform you that you now have the free version. What is the difference? I haven't really used it enough to know, but I understand it has fewer transitions etc.

by Derek J. (not verified) on 23. May 2012 - 11:24  (93882)

Video Pad free will only save your video to the following: AVI, WMV, asf & DVD.
Except for these limitations it's a very good editor and has functioned with any video format I've used.

by threepointcube (not verified) on 29. May 2012 - 0:27  (94121)

how are you able to save as AVI output when the only option I have is VPJ?

by us0r on 29. May 2012 - 21:27  (94153)

Check out this video, it goes through all the options for saving your movie on VideoPad. If you're still finding that you cannot save to anything but .VPJ than there may have been a problem when the program files were downloaded or installed.

by Tore Aabø (not verified) on 17. May 2012 - 9:58  (93592)

Ok, I have tested all the 3 recommended video editing tools and I'm very frustrated. First of all:
VideoPad Video Editor is trying to convert all my avi videos before I can do anything. The quality of the conversion is horrible and I have tried all settings I could find. So I cant use it.

VirtualDub seem ok but I cant find any feature that can crop the sides of my videos. I need to remove something on both sides that is private. I also downloaded the filters but I have no idea how to install them. This software dont let me change the resolution either so I have to use another program to reduce the size of the videos.

Pinnacle VideoSpin I have tried to download but nothing happens. The page dont start the download for some reason.

Anyway I'm a noob when it come to video editing, so all this can be my own fault. I have spent like 3-4 hours now downloading different software and testing but Im still stuck. Need help...help

This is what I try to do:
Im making ingame videos with fraps. This videos is gigantic and the sides of the movies include chat boxes with private tells.

So this is what I need:
1. Easy editing tool so I can cut away parts of the videos I dont want.
2. Some way to reduce the size of the videos, I guess that is related to reducing the resolution.
3. Possibility to hide/remove/cut/blur text boxes that is private on the sides of my movies
4. Make a start-page/intro-page/intro-text on the movies with my name and my guild name

by us0r on 17. May 2012 - 19:45  (93619)

Okay, hopefully I can address everything on your list with VideoPad. Though VirtualDub and Pinnacle VideoSpin can be useful in their own right I have done similar videos to the one you are describing on VP with ease. I'm not suggesting that VP is a free video editing cure-all, I just use it the most because I can solve the majority of my video editing issues on it. This does not mean it will work the best for YOU on YOUR system but I'd certainly like to give it a chance before I suggest something else that might have less of the features you might want or be more difficult to use for a beginner.

First off: If you unable to add .avi files and edit them in VP than we'll need to attack that problem first and separately from the others. I have been able to easily add and edit .avi's on my free version of VP so the issue maybe be with an error in download or install.

The remaining problems can be solved forthwith:

1. Easy editing tool so I can cut away parts of the videos I dont want.

- VideoPad has a easy clipping tool. Just select the clip which should make it appear in the left viewing window, then move the sliders on the timeline in that frame to adjust the size of the clip. You can also drag the sides of the clip on the main timeline to adjust them.

2. Some way to reduce the size of the videos, I guess that is related to reducing the resolution.

- You can choose output resolution when you're saving and exporting your video on VP. This video will show you the ins and outs of saving to different formats, resolutions, and specific settings for viewing in the U.S. or the U.K.

3. Possibility to hide/remove/cut/blur text boxes that is private on the sides of my movies.

- You can use the Chroma Key to overlay an image or video over your project by adding the media to the overlay track section of the main timeline and then selecting it. After that you can select Chroma Key and adjust the medias position, opacity ect..

4. Make a start-page/intro-page/intro-text on the movies with my name and my guild name.

- This can also be accomplished in VP with an overlay track placed over a blank clip. There is a button specifically for creating blank clips on the top tool bar. Overlay tracks can be added by clicking the little (usually green) plus sign to the lower left of the main timeline between the Video Track and Audio Track side bars.

If you have any trouble making these things happen let me know and I will do my best to get ya sorted out ^_^

by Anonymouse (not verified) on 11. May 2012 - 9:13  (93349)

VideoPad Video Editor is NOT unrestricted freeware.

From their website:

http://www.nchsoftware.com/videopad/index.html

Get it Free. A free video editor version is available for non-commercial use only. If you will be using it at home you can download the free version here.

Please update your article to reflect this.

Thank you.

by us0r on 11. May 2012 - 16:54  (93369)

Thank you for alerting me to my mistake. I had not noticed that I failed to set the proper restriction. The information has been adjusted accordingly ^_^

by secretlife (not verified) on 10. May 2012 - 3:50  (93285)

hi mr. editor.

i encountered a problem with VideoPad. i edited a home made video using the program and tried to play it on my dvd player but it won't play it. but when i tried to play the unedited video, the dvd player was able to play it. there might be a problem with how the program saves the file.

by us0r on 10. May 2012 - 16:25  (93317)

Hello secretlife,

VideoPad offers a relatively large selection of options for saving your file and I find with VP that if you don't pick just the right one the saved movie file can have issues with upload or playback. When you clicked the Save Movie button and set the output for file type and quality what did you choose?

P.S. - Other VP users have had problems with burning to DVDs. There are some excellent solutions here to different problems which you may or may not share. Here you will find a good tutorial for saving VideoPad projects in the best format. Though the video is about saving the file for an upload to youtube it will walk you through the save options and hopefully, if by chance you were just saving it improperly, you can fix your problem by changing the settings you save with.

Good luck! Let me know if any of this helps or if there is more I can do to help.

by Dragyrn (not verified) on 9. May 2012 - 22:20  (93274)

I'm not sure if this was a problem with the program, but only minutes after I installed VideoPad my computer shut down on me.

And from what I did see of the program, it didn't do what I set out for it to do.

by us0r on 10. May 2012 - 16:03  (93315)

It might be that you inadvertently invoked a restart function to complete the install but that's about the only thing that could shut it down associated with VideoPad. What kind of project are you working on? Maybe I can suggest another program that will work better.

by RGS (not verified) on 5. May 2012 - 6:29  (93059)

Does anyone know a video editor that can slow down videos? Like if I have a video shot at 60fps, slow it down so that it plays at 25fps? Thanks in advance!

by us0r on 7. May 2012 - 18:58  (93183)

I would suggest giving VideoPad a try. It comes with a very easy to use effect to slow down or speed up video.

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