Several of the products here (Adobe Premiere Elements is a notable exception) still support 3D video editing if that's your thing, though the this has been replaced by 360-degree VR footage like that shot by the Samsung Gear 360 as the current home-theater fad. As is often the case, our Editors' Choice, CyberLink PowerDirector was the first product in this group to offer support for this new kind of video media.
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Skype is one of the most popular video chat apps for any platform. It has native apps on most platforms, including PC, which makes it one of the best cross-platform options out there. The Android app certainly isn't perfect, but it can usually get the job done. You can do group video calls with up to 25 people. The app also features a free text chat, Microsoft and Facebook account integration, and you can even call regular cell phones for a nominal fee. The app still needs work, but it's definitely better than it was a year or two ago. The cross-platform support is top notch as well.
VideoShow Video Editor is one of the more popular video editing apps. It’s a simple video editor that lets you do the basic stuff like trim video, organize your clips, and add music. You’ll also find some additional features like the ability to add emoji and text to videos and a variety of video effects to make things a little more fun. It’s great for stuff like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, but it’s not powerful enough for bigger productions. You'll want to check out something else for that. The app is free to download and use with some additional stuff available as in-app purchases.
PowerDirector is one of the most comprehensive video editor apps on this list. It comes with a ton of features, including quick editing tools, various effects and other tools, and it even comes with things like a collage maker and slow motion support. The interface is relatively easy to work with and it utilizes the classic timeline editor method. It should be more familiar for those who video edit often. It’s free to download and use, but you’ll need to fork out some extra money to get all the features. This is a for real video editor, especially for larger screens like Chromebooks or tablets.
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Free video editing software often comes with legal and technical limitations, however. Some widely used codecs require licensing fees on the part of the software maker, meaning they can't offer free software that can handle these standard file formats. That said, the impressive open-source Shotcut does a lot of the same things that the paid applications in this roundup do, including things like chroma-keying and picture-in-picture. Shotcut is completely open-source and free, while another free option, Lightworks has paid options that remove a 720p output resolution limit. Note also that both Shotcut and Lightworks run on Linux as well as Windows and Mac.
In all of these reviews, I hosted and joined meetings to test the experience of both registered and non-registered users. I outline how easy is to join a meeting, including whether or not a participant needs to download software before joining an online meeting (which could cause a delay). In this case, it's important to communicate with employees about hardware compatibility and preferred browser. Other services simply require that attendees enter a code to access the meeting.
In recent years, web video conferencing has moved from a tech curiosity and gamer tool to a nearly ubiquitous component of most business telecommunications toolboxes. A key reason is an increase in the average Internet bandwidth most businesses enjoy, which has the effect of smoothing video conferencing sessions to nearly the same reliability and quality as voice calls where once buffering and sudden disconnects were the norm. Another reason is rising business travel costs, where establishing a quick video call between multiple participants can have the same benefits of flying those people to a central location to meet face to face. But another reason for its popularity is that the combination of video conferencing, online collaboration software, and smart meeting room hardware, like the Microsoft Surface Hub, can provide a data-optimized meeting environment you simply can't get any other way.
EIGHT high quality video apps
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PowerDirector is a fully featured android video editor that has an easy-to-use timeline interface, but it might take you some time to get used to the controls. However, once you become an expert with this app, you can create professional and effect rich videos within seconds. It has over 30 different effects and transition effects to choose from and add to your video.
One of the capabilities that has been making its way into consumer-level video editing software is more-detailed color grading. Color wheels, curves, and histograms give editors control over the intensity of every shade. Related to this is support for LUTs (lookup tables), also known as CLUTs (color lookup tables). This staple of pro-level software lets you quickly change the look of a video to give it a specific mood. For example, think of the dark blue look of thriller movies like The Revenant. You can download LUTs for free from several sites or use those included with some video software to give your video a specific look. One well-known LUT type is the kind that can make a daytime scene look like it was shot at night.
World-Class Video Apps
As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of t... See Full Bio
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We still live in the days of talkies, so you want to be able to edit the audio in your digital moves as well as the images. Most of the products included here offer canned background music, and many, such as Pinnacle Studio, can even tailor the soundtrack to the exact length of your movie. All of these programs can separate audio and video tracks, and most can clean up background noise and add environmental audio effects such as concert hall reverb. A couple of the products have an auto-ducking feature, which lowers background music during dialog—a definite pro-level plus.
Magisto is a great video editor app for those who don’t have a formal video editing experience. It combines video clips, photos, music, text, video effects, and video filters to help you make an excellent video without much effort. Just select one or more video clip and a song for the soundtrack and the app will automatically create a video within a few minutes.
Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular messaging apps on the planet. We know that a lot of people don't like the app. We agree that it still needs a lot of work. However, there are so many people that use Facebook that Facebook Messenger just makes sense. The video chat experience works relatively well. Since most of the people you know are on Facebook, it's easier to use this app than to convince everyone to join a new platform. Plus, the new ads rolling out aren't great. It's not perfect, but it's perhaps the most convenient of the video chat apps on this list. At least it's free.