It is widely thought that the cost of video production can be a prohibitive factor for small businesses when it comes to including video in their content marketing strategy. With the demise of Windows Live Movie Maker early this year and the editing suite in YouTube now redundant, it may seem like there are no free or low-cost video production options for small business. I’m here to tell you that there are!
I had to dig around the interwebs after my own version of Windows Live Movie Maker failed miserably recently. I downloaded, signed up to, tried and tested several available applications. Finally settled on a free video editing software solution that I liked.
Any video software I was going to commit to using had to fill a hefty list of criteria such as:
- have a free version available for an unlimited time, even if it meant I’m not getting access to a bunch of features
- being downloadable and not web-based
- I don’t have to upload my video files to their server
- able to edit whatever length footage I had with no limits
- able to edit high-definition footage
- void of all external pop-up advertising
- simple enough interface
- able to import files from my phone
- able to export files in either MP4 or WMV format
- had a library of effects I can use
- had the option of adding titles and credits
- didn’t come with a bunch of other non-optional downloads that just take up space on my computer
- will not put their watermark on my video in their free version
- had the option to upgrade to more feature is I wanted to
- was easy enough for me to learn and become proficient in it in 2 days
These were my non-negotiables.
There were a few more things on my wishlist but they weren’t deal breakers, such as being able to edit audio levels and having several tracks to use. I could get around those with other tools if I needed to.
With this list in my hand, I set off on a several week long search to find The One. A free video editing software that I could recommend to my clients and use in-house.
I spent a considerable amount of time testing both software programs for usability, features, versatility and finished product quality. And I ended up keeping both!
While Videopad has a similar look and feel to Windows Live Movie Maker (WLMM) in some aspects, it has loads more features even in the free version.
I’m one of those people who takes a while to make a change on anything. Once I like something I will stick to it till the end of time or until it stops working. I squeeze every last bit of usability out of it. That is what I did with WLMM. I can certainly see the potential for that with Videopad. My 7-year-old laptop, that was about mid-range quality when I purchased it. It can cope with it comfortably on my Windows 10 version. While my processor is working extra hard, it is still managing to get the job done.
Videopad is available for PC as well as Mac.
Shotcut is way different in its use and look, as it’s an open source editing software and takes a while getting used to.
You will also need some basic video production lingo to find your way around but the tutorials that are available from the .org website are pretty good. What I found was that some of the features that I have on my version, which is the latest, according to the site didn’t match the ones in the tutorials and I had to scramble while watching the videos to find the features or the buttons. Not a major issue though.
Shotcut works on a variety of operating systems and the software will mimic the look of your own operating system to be more user-friendly and familiar.
If you’re looking for a video editing software to replace your Windows Live Movie Maker or YouTube editor, these are the ones I would definitely recommend.
You want to add video editing to your service offerings but don’t know where to start? Let’s chat.