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Before the advent of versatile video editing software and fast computers, video editing was more of the linear type. In the early days videos were edited manually where a razor blade is used to splice video tape to remove unwanted parts. Then came the flying erase head which allowed new footage to be recorded over existing footage on a tape, without having to manually splice it.
It was not long before the home user was getting to enjoy the flying erase head feature in VCRs. Still, the main method of video editing for the home user was putting the master tape in our one VCR and inserting a blank tape which is supposed to carry the edited version of the tape. This was more to remove footage that was not really required.
If you had some cash to spare, you could acquire edit controllers and titling machines which cost thousands of dollars depending on the sophistication you wanted in the editing.
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Computer Video Editing
It was not long before computer-based options were available. Editing systems like Avid Media Composer and Commodore Amiga 2000, though simplifying the video editing process, were simply beyond the reach of most home users owing to budget constraints.
All this changed with the introduction of digital video cameras and affordable, faster computers. But then digital video cameras were more expensive than their analog counterparts. Analog video cameras, though cheaper, needed pricey video capture cards to transfer video footage to the computer for editing. The other deterrent was the need to purchase video editing software which was expensive.
With a digital video camera, video is digitized internally in the camcorder. So, you only needed a Firewire card in your computer for transfer of video footage. This was relatively cheaper than an analog video capture card.
But then with a digital video camera you needed a fast computer with ample hard disk space because an hour of digital video footage required 13GB of hard disk space. You had to build a top-end computer if you wanted to be editing video on your PC. Computer hardware was expensive too, especially processors and RAM.
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Video Editing Software
There were limited options available for video editing software. Generally, video editing programs were expensive. The better ones required extra computing power and came with steep learning curves.
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Computer Video Editing Today
Today most entry-level computers could handle video editing without a hitch as most come with fast processors and ample RAM especially of your dealing with standard definition video.
Of course there will be special hardware requirements if you’re into high-definition video. But then it would only be a matter of time before entry-level computers would be able to cope with the demands of high-definition video as processors become faster and RAM and storage space become cheaper.
Someone who’s making a foray into video editing today is spoilt for choice. For as low as $50 one could land a video editing program which has all the Hollywood-like bells and whistles which some years back would have cost thousands. What’s more, for that amount, programs are even ready to take on high-definition video editing.
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Future of Video Editing
Only some years back the preferred medium of distributing and sharing video was through optical discs like DVD or CD. With faster Internet speeds, online video sharing has become the norm. Also viewing and sharing video through mobile devices is gaining popularity.
Today, you could edit your video online or via your mobile device without having to rely on traditional video editing programs.
Examples of sites that allow you to edit video online are Cuts, Eyespot, Jumpcut, Motionbox and One True Media. Then there’s Movie Masher which allows you to trim, composite, add effects, transitions and titles to your video online. All you have to do in most instances is get yourself registered and you’re ready to go.
Mobile devices like iPhone have the ability to edit video and upload to video file sharing sites like YouTube.
Muvee Technologies, well-known for developing Muvee AutoProducer, has come with an application called Movie Director for certain Nokia mobile phone models. The application has the ability to edit video clips and add visual effects and titles within minutes.
In the years to come, such alternatives to traditional video editing is only going to become popular and with popularity improvement and refinement in video editing technology is set to follow.