Desktop Video/MOV editing


My question is simple yet I can't seem to find the answer on the internet which is bizarre. All I want to do is find free software that will allow me to chop sections out of an .MOV file. I do not need this software to create custom DVDs from my video clips, I have a couple of programs for that already. I just need to be able to trim/cut out sections of the MOV file, then save it, then I can move onto my DVD project software.  It would be great if the software could also rotate the videos, such as the kind people made with cellphones that play sideways on the computer.
thanks a lot.

ANSWER: That should be very easy to do with most any video editing software. Trimming a piece of video is a basic operation so I'm not sure what issues you're running into. Rotating it might be trickier but it's still a pretty basic feature.

If you're using a PC, MovieMaker should be able to do this. It's free with every WIndows product. If you're on a Mac, use iMovie. Again, free. Both of these are no frills editors but should be able to do what you want.

The issue you may run into is codecs. Especially with Mov files, the video may be encoded with a particular codec. You just have to make sure you have the same codec on your 'puter. Finding out what the codec is can be kinda hard sometimes. I'd right click the file and then try properties. It should be there. Otherwise, play it in QuickTime Player and look around in there for the info.

Good luck.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi, thanks for the info.
The issue is that I have not found anything that will take the .MOV file and let me choose what parts to cut out, then save it.  I have found many that say they will do that, but then I find out it will do it only if you are using the program to put together a DVD project from your videos, adding them to the software's "storyboard", etc.   I dont want to use their program for the DVD I'm putting together. I only want a program to edit the video file.   As for the rotating, I have a different program that rotates (but doesnt edit), so that need is not essential right now.
The codecs will be fine, they wont be changing, I just want to remove sections of MOV videos. Even if it was an issue, I have a program called GSpot that will analyze a video and tell me what audio and video codecs it uses.

Hhhhmmm... I use paid programs for my editing so I can recommend a freebie except for MovieMaker right now. It should do what you're trying to do. If you already know the following info, just skip it. I just don't know what you know and don't know....

You should be able to create a project in MM and then import whatever footage you want to use. If you open each piece, there are trim markers that you can move to your in and out points before you drop it on the timeline. You can do multiple pieces on your timeline or just one piece at a time and save it for assembly later. Once you have what you want, you should be able to output/export it as a completed video file without having to send it to a DVD burner. I believe you have a choice of DVD, web, or local ('s been a while since I've been in MM). Just choose local and see what it does. If that doesn't do what you want, try the web option. Try to stay with MOV if you can. MP4 is good too. I'd dodge WIndows Media if I could.

If you're still having difficulties, try a Google search for free video editing software and see what comes up. Then do some checking of reviews for the software. I don't want to recommend one without trying it and like I said, I use paid stuff (Adobe Premiere and AfterEffects.) I haven't tried a freebie besides MM in a couple of years.

What you're asking for isn't difficult so I'm having a hard time figuring out what the issue might be.

I hope this is at least somewhat helpful.

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R. Ferguson


Some technical knowledge in connectivity, systems, cameras, image/video software. I am better at project development, scripting, organization, conceptualization. I know Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, AfterEffects, some Avid, and some others but am no real expert on them. I also have knowledge in multimedia.


Wel over 20yrs of various TV/video production experience. B.S. degree in TV Production from James Madison Univ. Taught TV production at a community college for 5 yrs.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications (Radio, TV, Film); James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA

Awards and Honors
Telly Awards, Communicator Awards, Ava Award, Virginia Community College Associatiopn awards, National Council for MArketing and Public Relations Awards, CAB Award, and others.

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