Other measures of performance include startup time and simple stability. Again, video editing is a taxing activity for any computer, involving many components. In the past, video editing programs took longer than most other apps to start up, and unexpected shutdowns were unfortunately common, even in top apps from top developers such as Adobe and Apple. The stability situation has greatly improved, but the complexity of the process, which increases as more powerful effects are added, means crashes will likely never be fully eliminated, and they often raise their ugly heads after a program update, as I found with the latest version of Pinnacle Studio.
Quik is from a newer generation of video editor apps. It's halfway decent if you need something simple. The way it works is you add up to 50 photos and video clips into the app. The app then analyzes them and spits out a short video from them. Quik contains about two dozen video styles and you can re-order and customize your video before you export it. It’s not nearly as powerful as something like Adobe Premiere Clip or PowerDirector, but not everyone needs something that intense. It's free to download with no in-app purchases.
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
Kik is a popular video chat app. It's actually a text chat app with video chat features. The app features single or group chats, support for most types of media sharing (GIFs, video, images, etc), and some extra stuff like stickers. Kik is a popular chat service for mobile gamers. For instance, I've used it for Clash of Clans in the past. It also doesn't rely on your phone number. You just need a standard user name to use much like Skype and unlike WhatsApp or Google Duo. It's colorful, so those who want something a little more serious may need to keep looking. Otherwise, Kik is a perfectly acceptable app for both video and text chats.
All-in-One Video Solution
Infuse three bridges the gap between iTunes and your other content. The user interface of the app is more eye-catching compared to other video players. Like all others, Infuse three supports almost all kind of video formats. You’ll not need to convert your favorite movie to a different format to watch it on your iPad. The app is free, but you can upgrade to pro version to get additional features.
I've been seeing a lot of attention paid to creating title effects in the applications over the past year. Apple Final Cut Pro X has added 3D title creation, which is pretty spiffy, letting you extrude 2D titles and rotate them on three axes. Corel VideoStudio in its latest version also adds 3D Titling, though not as powerful as Apple's. PowerDirector's Title Designer offers transparency, gradient color, border, blur level, and reflection in titles; Magix has impressive title templates, complete with animations. Premiere Elements offers a nifty title effect in which your video fills the text characters, and Corel recently followed suit in VideoStudio 2019. Look for an application that lets you edit titles in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode, so that you can type, format, and time it right over the video preview.
In the midrange, there's Adobe Premiere Elements, which is cross-platform between Macs and PCs, and offers a lot more features and lots of help with creating effects. Professionals and prosumers have powerful, though pricey options in Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro. Final Cut is a deceptively simple application that resembles iMovie in its interface and ease of use, but it offers massively deep capabilities, and many third-party apps integrate with it for even more power. It also makes excellent use of the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro, as shown in photo above. Premiere Pro uses a more traditional timeline and adds a large ecosystem of companion apps and plug-ins. It also excels in collaboration features.
Another program, VSDC Video Editor Pro, simply has too outdated an interface, making common tasks difficult. Longtime pro video editors will note the absence of Avid Media Composer, which is simply too unwieldy for PCMag's primarily consumer audience. There are a couple of more interesting applications—NCH VideoPad and AVS Video Editor among them—that we simply haven't tested yet.
Splice is a video editor from GoPro, the company behind some of the world’s best action cameras. You can import your photos and videos into the app, to edit them into a movie. The way the app works is simple: you just import the videos that you want to edit, and mark the important parts (Hilights, as the app calls them) of the video. You can then add music to the video, and then the app automatically clips the entire video according to the Hilights that you marked.
Though Mac users don't have the sheer number of software choices available for PCs, Apple fans interested in editing video are well served, by four products in particular. At the entry level, the surprisingly capable and enjoyable-to-use iMovie comes free with every Mac sold since at least 2011. iMovie only offers two video tracks, but does good job with chroma-keying, and its Trailers feature makes it easy to produce slick, Hollywood-style productions.
Another impressive effect that has made its way into consumer-level video editing software is motion tracking, which lets you attach an object or effect to something moving in your video. You might use it to put a blur over the face of someone you don't want to show up in your video. You specify the target face, and the app takes care of the rest, tracking the face and moving the effect to follow it. This used to be the sole province of special effects software such as Adobe After Effects. Corel VideoStudio was the first of the consumer products to include motion tracking, and it still leads the pack in the depth and usability of its motion-tracking tool, though several others now include the capability.
Other features I look at include the number of participants allowed on a call and the number of video feeds allowed simultaneously. The most generous is Adobe Connect, which is unlimited, but some offer as few as four participants at a time. Consider how important this is to your company. Most services let you record meetings, and a few let you edit the recording right within the software. These recorded meetings can then be used for your records or as webinars for anyone who missed the meeting or for new employees.
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