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7/27/2009
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Best Video Editing Apps For Bloggers

We look at Adobe Premiere Elements, DeskShare Auto Movie Creator, Cyberlink PowerDirector, Corel VideoStudio, and other video editing software for vloggers.




Adobe Visual Communicator is aimed at professional producers.
(click for image gallery)

Premiere Elements has a nifty automatic scene-splitting function for captured content -- the program attempts to detect where one scene ends and another begins by analyzing frames -- but most people capturing directly from webcams will probably not need it.

In a similar vein is a beat-detection function for music sync (possibly useful for live performances), and Elements comes with the QuickTracks system for adding canned music to clips of any length. Likewise, the "InstantMovie" function can automatically cobble together captured clips using a given style/theme template, although people just doing static talking-heads capture won't need this.

Unfortunately, many of the built-in webcams I had weren't detected by Premiere Elements; I had to swap in an external camera to get capture working. Use the 30-day trial version to see if your camera behaves, although be warned that the trial version watermarks your video. Finally, only two online sharing options are available: YouTube upload (albeit in YouTube's native .FLV format), and manual FTP upload.


Adobe Visual Communicator 3
Adobe Systems Incorporated
www.adobe.com/products/visualcommunicator/
$399 / $149 upgrade

Adobe Visual Communicator is as full-blown a solution to video blogging as any I've seen here. Its biggest disadvantage is its list price -- $399! -- but almost no other program has the features I've seen here. It isn't a full-blown video-editing solution, but rather a way to integrate existing video and audio into a live-captured performance.

The program lets you create a TelePrompTer-style script, scroll it on screen at a given pace, and capture video live from a camera at the same time. The director (i.e., you) can also add existing video or audio clips to the script as cutaways or dissolves, and the end result can be packaged up and delivered in a number of different formats, including live video streams. You can use wizards to create videos in a number of basic canned styles (with other theme options available separately), or create the whole look of the video from scratch.

The program's broken into four basic functions: rehearse, record, review, and publish. Rehearse lets you perform a dry run of the script with a live camera feed and test out different effects including chroma-key/green-screen functions if you have the capacity for them. Record lets you run through the whole script automatically -- push one button and you get a countdown timer, and the rest is done automatically; all you have to do is talk. The publish options are appropriately varied, including direct output to YouTube's .FLV format.

I suspect some of the really professional features, like multi-camera input, are what drive the price up -- especially since this app isn't limited to just working with Web video. It's a software version of the sort of thing that companies like Grass Valley provide as a full hardware package, so it sports that much bigger a cost. The 30-day trial version should give you a good idea of what the program is best suited for.

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