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Thread: Software recommendation for a complete beginner

  1. #1

    Default Software recommendation for a complete beginner

    Hi all,

    As a complete beginner to video editing, never having even attempted it before, I'd like to seek out your advice for my first software package.

    Key elements for me are:

    Affordability - I'm dipping my toe in the water for the first time so don't want to spend much, say 100 max.

    Ease of use - Bear in mind I'm a complete novice who's not even familiar with the terms, the software must be intuitive and 'idiot-proof'.

    Xvid compatibility - Must allow me to work with captured Xvid files, manipulate them and convert to DVD.

    Initially, all I'll be doing is capturing video from TV as Xvid files, cutting, joining and outputting to DVD (for my own use only obviously). For instance, I might want to record football matches and make a compilation of the goals from those games etc.

    Like most people I guess, I only want to do basic things to start but I'm sure as my interest grows I'll want to do a little more

    A friend has suggested that Ulead 11 might be a good starting point but I'd be grateful for any advice you can offer.

    Expect a barrage of idiot techy questions once I get started
    Last edited by Crock; 12-17-2007 at 04:27 PM. Reason: error in post

  2. #2


    Difficult one as we all say the one we use is the is easiest one use, i would download the free trials and see what suits you best.

    here are some budget ones from Sony
    Sony Creative Software - The Studio Product Family
    Last edited by Z Cheema; 12-17-2007 at 09:47 PM.

  3. #3


    Thanks Z Cheema, I'll take a look at the Sony software.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    I wouldn't get too hung up on DivX files until you find a video editor that can work with them. Did someone recommend them to you?

  5. #5


    Hi Nikosony,

    Thanks for the reply.
    Apologies, I think I had a brain meltdown when I posted the first post, It should say Xvid files not Div X

    The reason I want to work with Xvid files is that I've just bought a recordable media drive for my PC that will record directly from a TV. The hardware stores these as Xvid files.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    N. florida


    First, ULead makes a $99 Video Studio program that meets your criteria:
    1.Reasonable Price
    2. Easy to learn user interface
    3. Feature rich for the "pro"-sumer.

    I had never done digital PC editing in my life and suddenly had to learn in order to edit six camera coverage (miniDV) with separate digital soundtrack of a band reunion dance/concert (mine) with no budget for professional post production.

    I used a free version of ULead Video Studio and, IMHO, created a good and well received 2 dvd disc program and I had to teach myself this process. Said all that to show ULead program a good buy for the price with ease of use and reasonable capacity for video and audio editing.

    Your need to work with different types of compressed files is a separate issue. You may have to transcode your stored video files to a different file type for editing and then render your edited program to whatever you choose for internet streaming. If the editing program doesn't support your native video file type then you will have to transcode to one that is supported.

    I have found a good and free transcoding utility called MediaCoder - even recommended on the Digital Goddess Kim Kommando's site. I have needed to edit video in obscure and strange file types and MediaCoder has helped me a lot. For example, I just used it to transcode a 500meg downloaded video (old movie) in unusual avi format to mpeg2 in one step so I could create a standard dvd - it went from 500meg to 3.8Gig of MPEG2.

    Whatever editing program you choose check out MediaCoder as a help with editing and rendering your downloaded files.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    Brain meltdown... I know the feeling...

  8. #8


    Thanks for the advice Imjay.....

    I'll check out the Ulead software along with the Sony one. It's all well and good having free trials but as a complete novice, the chances are that you will stick with the first one that you spend time figuring out how to use

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    N. florida


    I thought I posted answer to your software reply but I don't see it so in brief.

    The ULead software I found and learned to use so well was not a trial but a free special but complete edition that came bundled with a dvd drive I purchased.

    It worked fine for lots of basic stuff but that stuff can be impressive to someone who doesn't need professional performance like being able to open 99 video and/or audio tracks in a single session.

    I was able to create basic track and insert and edit together six camera versions of a rock concert of my reunited band and most all in perfect sync with the separately recorded and mixed stereo audio soundtrack.

    I was able to add pretty credible transitions and some effects with good graphics and scrolling titles and ending credits.

    This was ULead Video Studio version 6 SE. Since then I have used versions 9 and 10plus and they are very easy to use yet very feature rich for the consumer or, IMO, the pro-sumer arena.

    I've tried Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas and WOWY they have all the features, capabillities and DIFFICULTY OF USER INTERFACE of professional stuff.

    It's like trying to use ProTools for mixing and editing audio - great program but very hard to master and the expense - many $$$$$ and the difficulty just not necessary for home grown post production - again - just my opinion based on my own hands on experience.

    Editing takes a bit of time but usually always well worth the time invested.
    GoodLuck and GoodFun

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