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Question
dear sir good day

I m asking about the following

1- how can I merge several videos with each other ?

2- how can I change background of a video I had recorded ?

3- how can I put musical background upon video also my voice upon video ?

4- how can I cut a piece of a video from original video for instance ( if I have a video with 5 minutes and I want just 2 minutes from this video - cut a time frame from a video ) , hope you understand what I mean ?

5- does you tube has all the option mentioned above ?

6- how can I recorded a piece of video from you tube video the same as question number 4 but on you tube ?

7- last thing , how can I add musical or voice background to an audio record for instance ( I m perform my poems voiced and want to add background or had a music played and want to narrate on background ?

8- does the following players (real player - km player - divx - media player - jetaudio - winamp ) can do what I mentioned questions above ?

9- recommend me a freeware programs please ?

thanks and best regards

Answer
Hi Ao

This is a very broad and non-specific question -- I will try and answer as clearly as possible, with the numbers as per your question.

1) By "Merge" I presume you mean to join them so they play in sequence. This is basic Non-Linear Editing (NLE) -- joining video clips together so that they play as one. For more info on this look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-linear_editing_system

So to do this you will need video editing software. There are a few options for this, which I'll outline later.

2) To change the background is difficult. If you shot the subject on a plain blue or green background, you could use something called "chroma key" in a proper editing system.

3) Adding sound is also the function of video editing software. So you would have:

|VIDEO TRACK --------------------------------->
|ORIGINAL AUDIO TRACK ------------------------>
|MUSIC TRACK --------------------------------->
|VOICE TRACK --------------------------------->

Most good NLE software would allow you to mix these audio tracks in a very basic manner, changing volume of each track as you need it.

4) This again would be achieved using NLE software.

5) YouTube as far as I know does not allow much more than simply adding an audio track. It is very limited.

6) I don't believe Youtube has this option.

7) This is similar to question 3.

8) These are video players, not NLEs, so no, they cannot do editing.

9) If you have a reasonably powerful computer running Windows or Linux, I recommend the free version of Lightworks (www.lwks.com). If some of your clips don't play on Lightworks, try using MPEG Streamclip (www.squared5.com/) to convert them to a format (codec) that can - this will also change framerate if you need to, as Lightworks operates best with all clips having the same framerate (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frame_rate).

You can also try the free software from Windows called Movie Maker: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-za/windows-live/movie-maker -- this is a much more basic editor, but it may be able to do everything you want to do.

Alternatively look at the list at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_editing_software. Debugmode Wax looks interesting, but I haven't had time to try it out.

The best machine for editing is a Mac - even an older Mac will have iMovie, which can do all you need to do.

Hope this helps, and good luck.

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Jonathan H Pienaar

Expertise

Professional Final Cut Pro HD editor, with some experience in DVD Studio Pro, Motion and Shake. Currently working mainly for South Africa's version of "60 Minutes" - "Carte Blanche". I have not yet made the transition to FCP X -- I'm waiting for the dust to settle on that, so in the meantime a good resource is Larry Jordan (www.larryjordan.biz). Please don't post questions about hooking up PVRs, DVDs and hi-fis - there must be an Expert in the Home Entertainment section who can help you better than I can.

Experience

20 years as a professional editor: worked in feature films, commercials, music videos and actuality.

Education/Credentials
High school, 2 years of university degree.

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