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Windows 7: Can you recommend a good general purpose app to edit video files?


24 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 
Can you recommend a good general purpose app to edit video files?

I recently obtained a number of large video files. They have several different file types (file extensions). Among those types are:

.AVI .MKV .MPG .MPE .MP4 .WMV

There are other types as well.

I'd very much like to perform some simple editing on these files. The most common editing operation is to extract or "split" a large file into several smaller component files. In other words, each of thse large files contain several small files - all strung together.

For example, there may be 4 or 5 video clips in each file. Instead of creating one file for each "clip", the person who created these files just concatenated them all together in one file.

So, I'd like to "split" each of these clips out of the single file and create a number of separate files - one for each clip.

In addition, I would very much like to be able to convert files of one type to another type.

I don't know a lot about the attributes of the various file types. I've read about them in Wikipedia and so I know a lttle about the reasons these file types were created and what the various differences are among them.

The main reason that I'd like to convert most of these files to a single file type is that I consider it kind of sloppy to leave these files in there original file types.

I have used the app Irfanview in the past to perform similar conversions on "still" files such as .JPEG or .GIF files.

But, let me ask the following questions:

1) How easy or difficult is it to convert video files from one type to another?

2) Should I expect to find one app that can do both editing and conversions? Or should I expect to get several different apps - some to convert files and some to edit files?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

&quot = quotation marks that keep getting trashed below .... "avidemux" is pretty good - and free - for both converting and some editing (I pull out commercials and credits). It's got crop, resize, de-noise, and other effects. The 64 bit version runs the same speed as the 32 bit (both reasonably fast). "Freemake" is another to check out.
Quote:
1) How easy or difficult is it to convert video files from one type to another?
Quite easy. Use the menus on the side to pick the output format
Quote:
2) Should I expect to find one app that can do both editing and conversions? Or should I expect to get several different apps - some to convert files and some to edit files?
Good question. Avidemux doesn't like broken files (incomplete download, etc) that VLC can repair and play - so sometimes I use VLC to fix & convert the file into something avidemux can read, but VLC isn't great for resizing/cropping/etc. Normally avidemux can do everything, tho, read lots of formats and write lots of formats, editing, color correction, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Quote:
Avidemux doesn't like broken files (incomplete download, etc) that VLC can repair and play - so sometimes I use VLC to fix & convert the file into something avidemux can read, but VLC isn't great for resizing/cropping/etc. Normally avidemux can do everything, tho, read lots of formats and write lots of formats, editing, color correction, etc.

Can you please tell me VLC's primary function?

Is it primarily used to view files? Or, is it used to edit and/or convert video files?

I seem to recall seeing it used in a few different contexts. I downloaded and installed it on my machine and so far, I've use it only to view some video files.

For some reason, it seems to have taken over the "default" spot on my maching for all video files.

That is, almost anytime I open a video file, that file will begin to play under VLC's constrol.

I'd love to be able to reverse that. Can you advise me how to do that?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Apr 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alishibaz View Post
But, let me ask the following questions:

1) How easy or difficult is it to convert video files from one type to another?

2) Should I expect to find one app that can do both editing and conversions? Or should I expect to get several different apps - some to convert files and some to edit files?
Machete Lite (free) is an excellent basic and very fast editor that does NOT re-encode your videos and thus they will not suffer the degradation in quality you might notice if re-encoded.

It works ONLY on WMV and AVI files and is not a converter.

The paid version of Machete will handle many more file formats and also does not re-encode, but I have never used it.

Freemake Video Converter is a pretty good all-purpose converter.

Prism Video converter is also decent.

VirtualDub and Avidemux are more complex editors, but they aren't simple to use and may not work on your chosen file formats.

I'd check out the paid version of Machete--it probably has a trial download that you can use for a while to see if it is OK for you.

If all you want to do is simple edits rather than more complex stuff, I'd probably avoid VirtualDub and Avidemux. They have a learning curve.

I'd think in terms of 2 tools: one to edit and another to convert.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

VLC's main purpose is to play videos, from files or internet. It also does MP3s, playlists, etc. It's file conversion is "streaming" an input file to an output (formatted, video) file; it's rather awkward and I only use it on "broken" files to fix them for avidemux. (A better way would be some software that "fixes" the file however VLC does it before playing...?)

I completely disagree with ignatzatsonic about avidemux: it's quite easy to use, it can edit without recompressing (output format=copy, the default), and also extract audio non-destructively (hence "demux").

The editing is quite easy: just select left and right extents ("A" and "B" symbols) and (scroll with slider or by frame or by key-frame) then cut/copy or hit delete key; you can also append files (they have to be the same size in pixels). There's one global/complete "undo" available.

I can do all conversion functions I need to do with the three simple menus on the left side.

The top menu Video selects: output compression format; compression/quality (if not "copy"); effects (resize, color, etc - you don't need for just editing or converting).

The middle menu Audio is like the above, but for the audio (and simpler).

The bottom menu Format selects the "container" (AVI, MPEG, FLV, etc).

There's some output/comversion presets under the horizontal (top, normal) menu for various formats/products which I never use. Labelled "Auto" on the top menu.

With output=copy, you can edit out commercials etc., and save the file in about the same time it take to copy the file with explorer.

If you're resizing or doing effects [Edit: or converting to a new format!] and can't just copy (namely, you have to recompress), there's a bunch of compression options; you can ignore about 90% of them: try "Constant quantizer": 4= good picture; 6,7,8=HQ VHS tape or better; 31=viewable with amazingly small files. (with width about 600pixels). It's sometimes flakey with .mp4 input files - crashes or audio out of sync by 600ms.

Also: if you have a bunch of files that you can play OK, it might not be a good idea to convert them just so they're in the same format because each conversion loses some quality (and/or grows the file).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I use TMPGEnc. (full version).

Converts almost anything to almost anything else, and has an edit/split/join function.

AVC (Any Video Converter) is a good choice for a 'freebie', and is VERY easy to use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 
Thank you

Flemur13013, ignatzatsonic and Katanyavich,

Thank you all for your info and advice. It is very detailed and valuable to me.

You have given me enough to keep me busy for a while here.

I appreciate the effort you made to put together those posts.

You did a very fine job.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 
Beware EasiestSoft Video Converter - IMO It plays a Dirty Trick

I had marked this thread "Solved" but then I changed it back because I want to tell you all about one app that, IMO, plays a dirty trick wrt getting your money. It is named "EasiestSoft Video Converter". IMO, it

I'm sure it isn't the only app that does this. But I would like to post this info here so that other people won't waste their time like I did. I got very angry with this thing because I had to spend an hour of my time before I could find out the true nature of its approach to getting our money.

EasiestSoft Video Converter was at the top of the list when I Googled for an app to edit AVI files. Unfortunately, I can't remember the exact search terms I used and I can't make it repeat that behavior. I say that it's "unfortunate" because I would like to try to figure out why it was at the top of my Google search list.

It called itself a "free download" and I wrongfully assumed that there would be a free version and a paid version and that the paid version would have more features than the free version.

But that is not the way it works.

The reason I became so angry was that they didn't reveal the true nature of their approach until I had spent about an hour learning how to use their app and editing my file and then finally pressing the "START" button to convert my file.

Only then did they reveal that there was a paid version and the free version only enabled you to produce files that were less than one minute long.

In other words, their free version does not allow you to do anything useful. It just allows you to see how their product works and then they expect you to send them money for their paid version. I only wish it was legal for me to send them a lump of coal in the mail.

I understand they have the right to make money any way they like. But this approach really angered me because I feel that I wasted an hour with it before they revealed its true nature.

There are many reasons why I believe this approach is terrible. But I think the best response I can make is to just post this information here and warn other people. I think the fair thing is just to notify people as to their true approach before they have to spend a (relatively) long period of time working with this app.

I have downloaded Avidemux and will use that instead and I thank those people who recommended Avidemux to me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

AVIdemux appears to be an excellent free app.

The bad news is that there does not seem to be hardly any documentation for it within the app itself. Or maybe I just don't know how to find it.

The good news though is that I did a Google search on "avidemux help" and found a wealth of documentation.

To begin, there is:

Avidemux.org - the main site for avidemux.

When you go there, you are asked to choose among a few other sites. The two most notable are:

start [Avidemux DokuWiki] - documentation site
Avidemux Forum - Index - new user forum

A user forum is always a good sign.

In addition to the above sites, I found many others. Some of the most promising are:


How to get started with avidemux, edit and convert any video format
How to get started with avidemux, edit and convert any video format

Video tools/software and downloads - VideoHelp.com - A video guide with help on Avidemux

Help using Avidemux 2.5.4 - [SOLVED] Help using Avidemux 2.5.4 please.

This one appears to be especially excellent:

How to Edit Video With Avidemux: Step-by-Step Instructions
How to Edit Video With Avidemux

For anyone looking for a good free editor/converter for video files (espeically .AVI files), I hope this info will save you some time.

If you don't like any of these sites, just Google for the following items:

"avidemux help"

Good Luck!


P.S. Yikes! I listed both the URL address for the web sites as well as the English description I found in the Google list. But for some reason, the URL address got translated to the English description. So it appears like the English description appears twice.

But that is not a problem. Just click on the link and you will be taken to the site.

Alternatively, you can always just Google for "avidemux help" and get your own list.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #10

unitedstate
 
 

in fact, there are some free software can help you edit these video, but free one always can not compatible with all the formats. such as imovie, windows movie maker, etc .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can you recommend a good general purpose app to edit video files?




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