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mp4 video editing

(20 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by whs
  • Latest reply from whs
  • Topic Viewed 70184 times

whs
whs
Posts: 17584

I am looking for a simple, easy to use mp4 video editing program that runs under Vista. Nothing fancy, just basic things like cut and paste. I have a lot of little snips and a hard time putting them together to a longer film. I am an mp4 newbie and would appreciate your suggestions - no need for fancy functions.

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

Now, who was it that said they did video editing work? Was it jack? Anyway, whoever it is will no doubt chime in.

whs, You didn't mention how much you would be willing to spend. Since you are talking about basic function, I would guess you would want to spend as little as possible, and freeware would be nice. The only software that I know of that is cheap, easy, and probably does all you want is QuickTime Pro from Apple for $30.

Microsoft prefers their own WMV format to MPEG-4. Apple was quick to embrace MPEG-4, so this would be a lot easier if you had a system running Mac OS. While it's trivial to playback MPEG-4 video under Windows, there aren't a lot of MPEG-4 editors. Apple uses MPEG-4 video in Quicktime, iTunes, iPods, etc.

Windows comes with Windows Movie Maker, a basic editor for WMV video. Mac OS comes with iLife which includes iMovie for (basic?) editing of QT files, which are now mostly MPEG-4.

Posted 6 years ago
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jack7h3r1pp3r
jack7h3r1pp3r
Posts: 2815

what you could do is use winavi to convert the mp4's to an .avi format then you can just use movie maker. or another good editing software is pinnacle studio not sure on the price though and if you really wanted something nice you can try adobe premiere but thats a bit spendy though

and yes i am a video editor that is what i am going to school for and is my job

Posted 6 years ago
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Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

@whs. doesn't Cynthia do this sort of stuff?

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

@Lighthouse, sort of. She makes shows from pictures and adds music. That's a little different. She starts with jpeg pictures. I have mp4 movies - or better said, movie snips.

Posted 6 years ago
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jack7h3r1pp3r
jack7h3r1pp3r
Posts: 2815

@whs i forgot to ask do you want to use something other than movie maker or are you fine with that.

and i think your best bet is to find a file converter and convert the mp4's into wmv or avi. avi's are usually better and can be used with more systems.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

jack, as I found out, you can make movie maker accept mp4's (I have installed the mp4 Codec). I am still at the very beginning of my experiments. The camera (Sony) came with a program (Picture Motion Browser) too, but the documentation is very poor. So I guess I have 2 options to play around with.

@Everybody, thanks for your help and hints and tips.

Posted 6 years ago
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jack7h3r1pp3r
jack7h3r1pp3r
Posts: 2815

if it was me i would use movie maker very simple program and very easy to use. and what kind of camcorder do you have because you could just use movie maker and transfer the video from there instead of using the software that it came with

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

whs, something to keep in mind when editing MPEG-4 video. This is a lossy compression scheme used for distribution. It's similar to jpegs. If you are editing a jpeg, you decompress it, make changes, and save it out as jpeg again. The problem is that when you re-compress with a lossy scheme, your image or video loses quality (generation loss). Depending on the quality of the original, a few generations might be unnoticeable. Or, they might be devastating.

To reduce the loss of quality, some video editing software uses "smart rendering", which only does conversion in the area where the edits are made. So, if you make a cut, only a few frames before and after the cut are converted but the rest of the video is left untouched. I wish I could tell you which editors do smart rendering on MPEG-4 video, but I don't know.

Posted 6 years ago
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jack7h3r1pp3r
jack7h3r1pp3r
Posts: 2815

pinnacle studio and premiere do i know that

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

So do I understand that it would be better to convert mp4 to some other format first to avoid the bit loss? With pictures I always use PNG or Tiff where possible rather than jpeg for the same reason.

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

whs, yes you understand the analogy perfectly. If you convert images to a lossless format, such as uncompressed PNG, there will be no generation loss thereafter no matter how much editing you do. And you can always use the "master" copy to generate a smaller, compressed JPEG for distribution purposes. For audio files, people use FLAC for the same reason.

For video, however, lossless files are BIG! You just wouldn't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big they are. (apologies to Douglas Adams). So, while there are lossless video codecs, they are not used by or affordable to the general public.

The best advice I have is keep your originals, use an editor with smart rendering if you can. Avoid generation loss, by re-compressing as little as possible. Also, save your video projects which a good program will keep as a kind of "list of edits". Then if you want to make changes, you go back to the original video, load the project list of edits, and add any new edits you want. Then you get the best quality with the least generation loss.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Well, thanks again for all the good advice. I now figured out how to make a longer movie from my many snips that I took in a nearby animal park.
1. I edit the snip with the Sony Picture Motion Browser - essentially throwing out the boring parts or the sequences with shaky quality. This is real easy with the Sony program and should not really impact quality as I am just picking the parts that I want to retain.
2. I import my edited snips into the Windows Movie Maker. Here I used a little trick. I got an additional mp4 Codec and import my snips using the "All Files" option - works well.
3. I align my snips on the Storyboard and "publish" the storyboard to my Video folder. As result I have a contiguous film in .wmv.

Now I have to work on the finer points like "transitions" and how to make the "All Files" option default - since I only have mp4's. But even without, it is just a couple of extra clicks.

Posted 6 years ago
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jack7h3r1pp3r
jack7h3r1pp3r
Posts: 2815

well good thing you figured this out. and with a bit of practice you will soon be like a pro

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

jack, maybe you are a little optimistic. I would call it "beginners luck". Like with everything, it's an uphill battle.

Posted 6 years ago
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jack7h3r1pp3r
jack7h3r1pp3r
Posts: 2815

but ya seem to learn pretty quick though you will get the hang of it fast

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Jack, let me ask you a question: When I edit (trim) my video snips - I just want to retain the good parts an disregard the crummy sequences - I have to save each time after I defined a piece to retain between the "In" and "Out" points. Then I go on and select another piece with IN and OUT and have to save that again. This way I end up with a lot of even smaller snips. Is that the normal way to do it? Those itti bitty snips I then put together with the windows movie maker story board. Very time consuming.
With my old non-digital video I just stopped the tape to which I copied and kept the input tape running until there was another sequence that I wanted to retain when I restarted the output tape again. Was easier.
Any advice on how to streamline the process?

Posted 6 years ago
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jack7h3r1pp3r
jack7h3r1pp3r
Posts: 2815

you can actually do this on the story board in movie maker just switch it to time line view then you can just drag both ends of the clip so the clip is shorter.

and yes you do end up with a lot of small clips.

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

whs, the way I like to do it is set the mark in point at the beginning of the crummy section, set the mark out at the end of the crummy section, then use a "cut" operation. Repeat for all the other crummy parts and when you're done, you have one long video of only the good parts.

Posted 6 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Thanks guys.
ScottW, so just make a negative selection, interesting. I'll try that.

Posted 6 years ago
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