Whether you're looking to edit your home movies or want to put together something fun to post on YouTube, movie editing software is essential for a coherent finished product. Fancy software suites can cost a bundle, but if you just need something simple and easy to learn then try one of the following free video editing applications.
Five Free Movie Editing Downloads
Windows Movie Maker
Windows Movie Maker has come bundled with the Windows operation system for a long time. If you have a Windows-based computer then you probably already have it installed. You can also download it from Microsoft for free at Windows.Microsoft.com.
This application is simple to use, especially if you're familiar with other Windows products. Once you start the program and import your video clips or capture them from your video device, you can have your home movie edited within a few minutes, complete with titles and music. There are some basic transition elements included and you can even use Movie Maker in conjunction with Windows DVD Maker to create DVD copies of your video to pass out to friends and family.
AVI Trimmer is a freeware program allows you to edit AVI files. The reason you might focus just on AVI files is if you are planning on posting your video to YouTube. AVI Trimmer makes editing and posting your video to YouTube simple, and if you run into problems the site features excellent tutorials with lots of images to guide you. The interface is easy, with no clutter on your window when you run this program. You can't do titles or sound, but you can rip the sound from the AVI file if you need to.
Virtual Dub is a program licensed under the GPL (Gnu Public License). Virtual Dub can capture and process video files quite effectively. The program was created with speed in mind and it is very fast. It doesn't have the extensive features that fee-based programs like Adobe Premiere have, but if you are looking for something basic that runs quickly no matter what type of computer you have, Virtual Dub may be a good choice for you.
Wax is a decent video editing and composition program that can allow you to complete most projects completely within the application. The special effects portion of Wax works as a standalone program or as a plug-in with other editing programs like Vegas Video and Adobe Premiere. One nice feature that Wax has is its presets. The presets include transitions and lighting plug-ins that make using the features easy with just one click. Once you install Wax you may notice that its interface is similar to that of Premiere, so if you're already familiar with that software your learning curve will be short.
If you're looking for something even more basic than Windows Movie Maker, try Avidemux. This free editing download is also published under the GPL. Avidemux is built around simple cutting and encoding. If you need to correct your video color and sound, but are looking for something easy without the hassle of worrying about technical details, this is the perfect solution. It is available for Linux, Windows, Ubuntu, and Mac OS X. One important note on this program: it is developed by many people and has less support than most GPL programs, so it may be a bit buggy.
Video Editing for Free
There's no need to go out and buy expensive editing programs if you just want to do simple things with your video files. Try some of these free movie editing software downloads before shelling out the cash for a program that does a lot more than you will ever need it to.