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A Program for the Future
Are you a video editing newbie looking for a suitable program that is easy to learn, use and doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket?
AVS Video Editor may just fit your requirements.
It makes a good first impression with a Web 2.0 soft grey tone interface that will be easy on the eye when you’re working on long projects.
For a budget video editing program – $59 at the time of writing - it comes with features that rival more costly applications.
Take for instance its HD support in version 4 of the program. It can handle the major HD formats – AVCHD, MPEG-2 HD and WMV HD, among others. Chances are you may not be editing in HD, but it indicates that this program is built for the future.
So, what can AVS Video Editor do for you?
Like any other video editor of its class, it can split clips, add transitions, titles and effects - all pretty basic stuff.
You can also work in the storyboard or timeline mode and easily switch between them with a single mouse click. There are some limitations though.
You can split a clip in timeline mode but can’t move it. You have to switch to the storyboard mode to do so. Still, you can’t use your mouse to drag your clips. You would have to use the Move Right and Move Left buttons provided above the clips. This is not such an inconvenience - you’ll get used to it over time.
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Impressive Output Options
What you’ll be impressed with, however, is the output options available after editing, Under Save Movie mode you have options for File, Disc, Device and Web.
In the File Mode you have four file formats – AVI, MPEG, WMV and MOV. Each format comes with its own presets which would be a great help for the newbie who has trouble with output settings.
What I’m really impressed with is the AVI output options. Apart from HD video and MPEG4 output, there are options for Google Video, YouTube and MySpace output. This is certainly a boon for those who have trouble figuring out the best settings for uploading their clips to these video file sharing sites.
The MPEG output options are also impressive. HD is supported and you can output DVD, SVCD and VCD in PAL or NTSC.
The Disc output option supports DVD PAL/NTSC from HQ to LP. The Divx/Xvid option supports HD and H264.
The Device output options will spring a surprise on owners of mobile devices. Support is available for Apple iPod, Sony PS3/PSP, Microsoft Zune/Xbox, Video for Pocket PC, 3GP, Apple iPhone and even Apple TV.
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Watermark and Other Issues
If you’re using a non-activated version, there will be a warning to the effect that there’ll be a watermark in the middle of your clip if you output video. Would you like to continue?
You can continue if you plan to buy the program in the near future. After purchase you can re-export your project and the watermark will be automatically removed. So, you can work on long projects safe in the knowledge that you will not lose any portion of your hard work.
Recommended system requirements: Intel / AMD 2500 MHz or higher with minimum 1GB RAM.
My AMD Athlon 2 GHZ PC with 1GB RAM (4 years old) found it a little a heavy at the beginning. However, the moment I closed other programs running in the background, things got smoother.
You’ll also need a screen resolution larger than 800 x 600. Otherwise the interface spills over your screen and makes it difficult for you to work with your video projects.
The help file does not come embedded with the program. The 31.5MB help file has to be downloaded from the developer’s website.
AVS makes up for this inconvenience by providing extensive tutorials complete with screenshots for important video tasks at its support page.
Despite a few minor irritants, AVS Video Editor is an ideal program for the beginner looking for long-term use. The trial version comes with no limitations except for the watermark when you output your video. It gives you enough time to get a feel of the program before clicking the `Buy’ button.