Easy mini DV editing software ideas?
March 5, 2007 6:21 PM   Subscribe

What is the easiest way for a total neophyte to edit mini-DV video and burn it onto a DVD?

I have a mini DV camcorder, a PC and an iBook. I want to take some video files and make myself a DVD resume for applying for teaching jobs out of state. Obviously, I don't want the finished product to look too cheesy, nor do I want to devote every waking hour to learning how to edit...I wanna put in a few titles, cut out the bad parts, simple transitions, etc. My total budget? $250? Around there. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated!
posted by tristanshout to Technology (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Just use Windows Moviemaker. It's already installed in XP and does all the stuff you want to do.
posted by jayder at 6:27 PM on March 5, 2007

Ditto for iMovie & iDVD on a Mac.
posted by todbot at 6:30 PM on March 5, 2007

Does your iBook have a superdrive onboard? If so, iMovie and iDVD will do what you need. I edit in FCP semi-professionally so I can't really say much as to the iMovie learning curve for a neophyte, but it seems fairly user-friendly. Google around for iMovie tutorials, they'll get you started. iDVD is likewise dead simple.

If you don't have a DVD drive in your iBook, there are plenty of firewire devices handy. About two years ago, I bought a reconditioned Lacie D2 double-layer DVD firewire burner, direct from LaCie, for, I think, about $110. You might find one even cheaper these days, particularly if you're willing to avoid the LaCie pedigree.
posted by Alterscape at 7:00 PM on March 5, 2007

iMovie and iDVD. The iApps are generally developed for people who don't ever look at manuals.
posted by filmgeek at 7:42 PM on March 5, 2007

If you go with Windows MovieMaker, hit "save" a lot. It seems to hang when adding subtitles, and has some bugginess with soundtracks - but it is included with XP, fairly easy to use, and I've used it to put together several decent-looking short DVD clips for use in classroom presentations or to show to friends and family.

Given how easy everyone seems to feel iMovie is, I'd say try that first, unless the PC is the only system you have with a DVD burner.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:28 PM on March 5, 2007

If you're keen to go the PC route, Adobe Premiere Elements makes it really easy and it's $79 at Amazon ($129 bundled with Photoshop Elements). I've been really happy with it. Having used the professional version professionally in the past, I find this to be very user-friendly and stable.
posted by ChuckLeChuck at 4:22 AM on March 6, 2007

If I recall correctly, Windows Movie Maker cannot burn movies to a DVD without the use of third party software.

The iMovie & iDVD route will probably be a lot easier. If you don't have a superdrive in the iBook, it's easier to move the project to another Mac that does.
posted by drstein at 11:21 AM on March 6, 2007

no, no. windows movie maker does too burn dvds without any add-ons. at least the version i have does. not that this is pertinent for someone working on a mac. (for the record, i use a ... fell-off-the-back-of-the-truck copy of adobe premiere pro, but often find myself using windows movie maker for little jobs like importing from DV or burning to DVD and whatnot).

also! if you don't have one, you should invest in a DV-to-Firewire cable. burning DVDs takes forever, and if you want to play things back on a TV without committing a half hour to exporting to DVDR, dumping your edited video back to the DV tape is pretty convenient.
posted by wreckingball at 11:48 AM on March 6, 2007

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