When you are considering all of the many digital editing software systems out there, you have to know where and what to look for before you find yourself wasting a lot of valuable time. It’s more than just price and quality. You have to decide what is most important to you. Some video editing software is more complicated than others. Essentially, the more you pay, the more you get.
- Computer Requirements. All computer editing of video is going to require a fairly new computer or a computer that has been beefed up for video editing. Some computers that are out there are not made to do video editing but can be beefed up to do so if you wish. Take your computer to your local computer shop if you need more information.
- Video Capture. Good software programs will be able to “capture” and digitize a number of analog video signals including VHS and miniDV. Some computers may already have some kind of video capture built in that will already be able to do a VHS transfer to DVD and other digital formats. Again, check with your computer manufacturer or local shop if you are not sure.
- Editing. Video editing software needs to first and foremost, allow you to edit video so that you can remove unnecessary scenes that take away from the main images – or message – of your home movie. In addition to this simplest of editing requirements, there are also a few others that can enhance your audience’s enjoyment of your home movies. Don’t try to get too fancy, or you will just be going too far.
- Audio. Being able to edit audio tracks s well as picture is vital. You will most likely want to be able to include music, voice-over, or the ability to move audio separate from video from scene to scene with your home movies.
- Transitions. It is also very important to have a library of transitions such as dissolves and fade-ins and fade-outs that you can use to connect separate scenes without it looking unprofessional or confusing.
- FX. Color correction and camera stabilization would be the most useful types of effects. There are others as well, but, again, don’t get too fancy, or it could just be a waste of time.
- Export Formats. For the preservation of your old home movies, it is recommended that your video be exported as uncompressed MPEG-4 or AVI formats. Other common digital file formats are MPEG-1, MPEG-2, WMV, MOV, and FLV (Flash video used for You Tube, etc.)
- Burn To DVD. Finally, most people like to burn their digital files to a disc format such as DVD or Blu-Ray. Good video editing software will allow for DVD or Blu-Ray authoring and disc creation as well or come with a separate software to do that part of the process.
Hopefully, all of this information will be helpful to you as you proceed to do a VHS to DVD of your entire home movie library.