CheckSum | Avidemux free video editor will happily cut, resize, or convert almost any video without costing a penny
CheckSum – quick reviews of gizmos, software, and doohickeys
With conventional hard drives and super-fast NVMe SSDs becoming cheaper by the day, it is now easier than ever to store a large collection of videos on one's laptop or PC. A couple of movies, a few music videos, a bunch of personal video recordings, some gaming event streams. Who knows what else.
Every once in a while, a necessity occurs to edit one of those videos or perhaps convert it to a different format for watching on a different device. There are lots of apps that allow the user to do things like that, with many of them claiming to be the best; most are trialware meaning they put a watermark on a video processed with such a program, or reduce maximum resolution or length of a video while saving it.
Today, we'll explore an option that deserves some honest praise while not costing a penny to use. Its name is Avidemux and it is available for most operating systems; we have extensively used the latest Windows builds on a machine running Windows 10 and we are ready to share our findings.
The first thing the user is expected to do after launching Avidemux is open a video file. The Windows app had no issue opening an MJPEG-encoded video shot with a Lumix camera as well as an AVC-encoded video saved from YouTube, for reference.
Once the video is loaded, several options become active; these allow cutting a video by moving "start" and "end" sliders, editing it (including resizing, cropping, changing the FPS rate, tuning colors/contrast and so on) as well as saving it in a variety of video/audio codecs. Proprietary audio codecs, such as the 8-channel, 1536-kbit DTS-X, and proprietary video codecs, such as Microsoft's WMV, are not supported; however, the list of options that are supported is rather extensive and includes both lossy and lossless codecs.
Taking just 160 MB on the SSD of our test system, the app is relatively lightweight. It works great on monitors resolving at 1280 by 720 pixels, or higher. While Avidemux lacks the ability to add fancy effects that users of modern iPhones probably expect to have in any app claiming to be a video editor, this is a powerful tool nonetheless that we hope will come in handy one day to everyone reading this.