Desktop Video/video edits

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QUESTION: Hi,
Your instructions about not asking questions about the desktop or windows machines are a little unclear. I dont have a problem with the machine itself so thats not what my question is, I just cant find a certain video software, so here goes:
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: Dave,

The problem here is the word "Free." Video editing isn't word processing, and while there are buckets of free word processors out there, there's not much for video.

I know of two tools - I don't know if either are any good, will work for your situation, etc.

I will tell you what won't likely work (but you should try first) is Windows Movie Maker.

After that, I might try openshot - http://www.openshot.org/

And last Lightworks - http://www.lightworks.com

That'll get you started.

But what you're not asking is this:

You want to take a MOV file - but that's like saying it's an Image file. Is it JPG? PNG? GIF? TIFF? PSD? Each of them handles and stores different information, and many of the image file formats throw out information (that the eye can't see well, but aren't conducive to editing.)

Video containers (MOV, FLV, MP4, M4V, MKV) are just that - buckets.  The video itself is fairly compressed (often with cellphones, the compression type, is h.264.

The problem is going to be - when you edit the video, it's going to need to be output - into something you can pass on to the next tool, it's going to take a quality hit. That's what the non-free software may buy you (notice, I said may ).  

But at least I got you on your first step.

By the way, I'm assuming you're on windows. Many DVD tools can trim the video there (although very few rotate.)

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

QUESTION: Hey Jeff, thanks for the info.
These are .MOV files made with snapshot cameras that are capable of video, and my daughter takes videos with her phone, also in MOV containers.
I just want software that lets me choose what parts to cut out, then save it, still as an .mov. 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. For instance, I've used a program called "File Splitter" for years to cut videos in half, remove sections, etc, but it does not support MOV.
I already have a program for putting together DVDs made from your videos, and I like the program, it just doesnt have any editing (cutting) capabilities.
As for the rotating, I have a different program that rotates sideways videos (but doesnt edit), so that need is not essential right now.
I will try those programs you suggested.
Does this clear things up any?
Thanks again.

Answer
Dave,

It doesn't clear anything up nor make it more muddy. It's exactly what I inferred from your original email.

You see, QuickTime h.264 movies do not have all the data on every frame, but rather, every 15-30 frames (with only the changes from the last full frame in between.) This is how we get HD so compressed that it can fit on phones.

And because of this? We can't use 'file splitters' to solve your problem, but are required to use video editing software- which will have to re-encode your footage.

I'd also suggest... YouTube. If you upload your video to YouTube, you can trim the edges, reassemble and then download the footage back to your system if you like.

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Jeff Greenberg

Expertise

I can answer questions about Final Cut, Avid, DV cameras + editing, Hi-def, production, filmmaking, DVD creation and special effects. Please do not ask me questions about your desktop, NOR your windows machine, nor ANYTHING to do with copyright infringement.

Experience

I'm a film editor and certified trainer for about ten different applications.

Publications
videography

Education/Credentials
BA, Penn State university in film.

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