Useful free media production software

As I get ready for part two of some video production training, focussing on video editing I have been exploring a few free editing tools. I’m really keen that whatever software participants receive training on is available for them to use after they leave the session which normally means using free or bundled software.

The main tool that we use is still MovieMaker, which despite its limitations, I think still offer the more reliable, widely available  and easy to use option for video editing around. The big drawback with this is the hurdles you have to jump through to overlay one video clip on top of another though the free online FileLab’s editor seems to offer a way to plug this gap by supporting overlay video. There are two big drawbacks with this tool though;

  1. You cannot save your edit projects – I would recommend you do the majority of editing in MovieMaker and then use FileLabs to add overlay video only
  2. There are concerns about the way that they use your data. You are asked to log in with a google, Facebook or Yahoo account though it is unclear what elevel of access they get to your data, whether it is viewed or stored and if so what they do with it. Beware!

Anyway, here’s some of the top tools we use here for video, audio, screencapture and creating graphics and other assets.

Name Cost Description Uses
MovieMaker Free (bundled with windows) Basic video editing Video, audio
Screencast-o-matic Free Online screencast application – record on screen activity with optional narration and webcam Video, audio, screencast
File Lab video editor Free Online video editor, allows overlay videos. Projects cannot be saved. Be wary of data privacy. Video (inc overlay)
Audacity     Free Feature rich audio editor Audio
Wideo Free / paid Create simple animated graphics Video, animations
WinFF Free Simple media conversion tool Video, audio
GIMP Free Feature rich image editing. Slightly confusing interface for new users Image
Sumopaint Free Online image editor, based on interface and operations of popular commercial editors Image

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