Video editing is one of the most computing-intensive activities around, so you'll want the best laptop or desktop you can afford if you're serious about cutting your own movies. Most applications help speed up the editing process by creating a proxy file of lower resolution, so that normal editing and previewing aren't slowed down by the huge full-resolution files.
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.
Imo is a simple video calling and chatting app. It boasts compatibility for 2G, 3G, 4G, and LTE networks. That makes it good for those stuck on worse connections. It's also compatible with both iOS and Android. Otherwise, there isn't much to this one. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Aside from text chatting and video calling, this app doesn't have any bloat holding you back from a simple experience. It's free to download and use. The only thing you'll need to deal with is some advertising.
Once you have found packages in your price range, the most important consideration is ease of use. Obviously, if the user interface (UI) is difficult for you and your colleagues to navigate and use, then it's going to cause delays in meeting start times, which will frustrate everyone. For each review, I discuss the ease of signing up, creating a meeting, inviting participants, and setting up audio and video controls. I also look at the user experience (UX) from the meeting invitees' point of view, which can make or break a meeting.
If you want rich video editing functions like cropping, snipping and splicing, then Viddy isn't for you. But for adding interesting filters and soundtracks, Viddy can be a good option. With a slick interface, it enables you "beautify" your video in a just few clicks. When the editing is done, you can share your videos with a one-click function to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube.
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.
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.
Support for 4K video source content has become pretty standard in video editing software, but the support varies among the products. For example, some but not all of the applications can import Sony XAVC and XAVC-S formats, which are used by Sony's popular DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, camcorders, and professional video cameras. The same holds true for the H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. Most of the applications here now can import and export HEVC, though there are still a few holdouts.
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.
Additionally, video conferencing services tend to offer more than just face-to-face interactions. Best-in-class video conferencing services let users share their screens, remotely access one another's desktops, chat via text, exchange files, communicate via digital whiteboards, and even broadcast conferences to large groups of passive viewers. Some are part of business-geared voice over IP (VoIP) packages, which allows for dynamically changing voice calls to video calls and shared meetings at the touch of a button without establishing new connections.
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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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.
One caveat to all this is for business users, and that's because working with any video streaming service can be tricky over a corporate network. While basic setup is enough to get one session running, be sure to work with your IT staffers to test what happens when multiple streams are open. You're looking for artifacts or excessive buffering that disrupts the stream which can happen if the video stresses the bandwidth limits of your network or your Internet connection. Also, if you have remote users that connect to the Internet using a virtual private network (VPN), be aware that these services often also cause bandwidth problems that can affect video streaming performance.
Viber began life as a voice calling app. You used to be able to call people on the service along with regular phone calls. It has since evolved into a full-fledged messaging service. You can still make phone calls like you could before (for a fee). You can also text chat, video call, and more. It also features encryption on voice, text, and video calls between Viber users. There are a few extra fun features like hidden chats as well. It's a little bit heavier, similar to Facebook Messenger. However, it's otherwise not bad. The app isn't overly popular in the United States, but it's quite big Internationally. The in-app purchases are for things like stickers and other personalization items.