After many years of reign as one of the best free video editors, Windows Movie Maker was discontinued by Microsoft. Not only that, but the Redmond company has avoided making references to a possible new version for Windows 10.
Windows Movie Maker may no longer be among us, but there are excellent alternatives available that are even more powerful, just as easy to use and completely free. We give you a few in this article.
At first sight, Shotcut may not look very much like Windows Movie Maker, but if you click on the playlist and timeline buttons then your appearance is much more familiar.
To work with any file, simply open it to add it to your playlist. Then you can drag them to the timeline to group them, as you would do in Movie Maker. When you have it all, with the filter button you can add effects and transitions.
Regarding the latter, you can add as many effects as you want. Color filters like Movie Maker are also included here, as well as advanced options such as the possibility of working with chroma key to embed effects in green backgrounds. You can even insert watermarks in your videos.
Shotcut is a totally opensource tool, as well as being totally free for all its features. If you miss Windows Movie Maker, Shotcut can be a good substitute.
Avidemux, totally multiplatform
Avidemux may be the right solution for you if you used Windows Movie Maker to make simple video montages. It does not have a very attractive interface, nor options to share on social networks, but if you explore its menus you will realize that it has many possibilities.
There are default profiles for different output devices, it also incorporates video and audio filters, transitions, subtitles and many fully customizable coding options. Now, everything that glitters and has some drawbacks is not gold.
The main one is that you can not combine videos of different heights or widths. This may not be very important if you are making a short film with footage recorded with the same camera, but it can be a problem if you have media that comes from different sources.
The only way to solve it is to resize each clip separately, export it and make a new project. It is not a serious problem, but it is cumbersome. Luckily the developers are aware and are trying to fix it for future updates. It is available for Windows, macOS and Linux.
Lightworks, free professional edition for personal use
Windows Movie Maker might be your first contact with the video editing, that you liked and that over time you would be small. Microsoft’s is a simple and simple program, and if its simplicity is limiting then we recommend you try LightWorks.
This program is free for personal use, and the professional version (which has more options for exporting a video) is used in Hollywood film studios. Its interface is very different from that of other editors that we have seen and will see in this article.
This is mainly due to the fact that it uses floating windows and terminology from the days when the videotape was the only recording medium available. If you are very used to Windows Movie Maker, you may need to make use of the reference guide that the developers have created.
As a video editing program Lightworks is practically impeccable. Now, it means a huge step forward with respect to Windows Movie Maker.
VideoPad Video Editor, the most similar to Movie Maker
Of all the programs we are quoting in this article it is possible that VideoPad Video Editor is the one that most resembles Windows Movie Maker. Having it working costs practically nothing: import your videos, audio files and images and drag them to the timeline to edit a video with them. That easy.
Now, this remarkable resemblance has its drawbacks . For example, some of the effects that it incorporates and its interface do not have an appearance very consistent with the design lines of today. However, some functions such as stereoscopic 3D conversion or the possibility of sharing directly on social networks are more current.
And as an extra VideoPad Video Editor also allows you to export videos in 4K, a feature that for now can only be found in professional tools that are not made for all pockets. This program, by the way, is also free for personal and domestic use.
VSDC Free Video Editor, for lovers of experimentation
VSDC Free Video Editor does not look as much like Windows Movie Maker as our previous example, but if you do not mind trying something new it can be a great tool. It allows you to import everything you need to create your videos, in addition to adding annotations, cursors, notes, effects and lists.
This program has many features to experience, something that could overwhelm the user. However, it has assistants who will guide you through the more swampy terrain. These aids are always appreciated, especially if you do not have much experience with these tools.
It is important to note that, although it is free for personal use, it will not allow you to import your project if premium features such as hardware acceleration (activated by default) have been used to create it. Luckily, you can prevent this from being a problem by clicking on the Options menu and then on Acceleration Options. There, disable the option “Use hardware acceleration to encode video”.
VSDC receives frequent updates with the arrival of new features, and is an excellent alternative to Windows Movie Maker if you do not mind getting creative and experimenting.