In Part One and Part Two we started our journey to discover the best video editing software of 2013. This third and final part will ultimately reveal the winner, but we still have a lot of ground to cover.

Snow White and Dwarves

A side note: The article is getting too long, and sometimes you’ll find conclusions without explanations. If that’s the case, please read the links I’ve given in Part One for detailed explanations.

Export workflow

Importing footage and editing with them is just one half the story. A good NLE must be able to export to your delivery format of choice, if that’s all you want to do. Here’s the list (click to enlarge):

Comparison of Export NLEs

*Edius has Grass Valley HQX and HQ, an intermediary codec, Lightworks has Lightworks Archival

Which NLEs export to the greatest number of deliverables? Here’s the count:

Codecs
Editshare Lightworks Pro 16
Adobe Premiere Pro 14
Sony Vegas Pro 14
Autodesk Smoke 12
Grass Valley Edius Pro 11
Apple Final Cut Pro X 11
Avid Media Composer 10

Does anybody want to explain how Lightworks Pro can export more codecs than anyone else and still cost only $60 a year? Of course, don’t go only by the numbers. Some codecs are limited by bit depth, resolution, etc. Just because two applications support DPX, for example, it doesn’t mean it’s the same kind of DPX. Also, don’t forget that this list doesn’t represent all the codecs or file formats supported, just the most common ones.

Which codecs are found on every software? Here’s the list:

  • H.264
  • Uncompressed HD, usually via Quicktime
  • TIFF image sequence
  • PNG image sequence

 
It’s no fluke that I said TIFF is the best archival format for video. The difference between TIFF and uncompressed HD is simple: the latter is restricted to HD and 10-bit color. TIFF is only limited by the project settings, which we talked about in Part Two. It is the best quality your NLE can give, and it is recognized ubiquitously.

As far as final deliverables are concerned, only H.264 finds universal flavor.

Round-tripping support

Not all projects end at the NLE. Some need to be taken further for VFX or grading. Some projects go out and then come back again, to be finished in the NLE. This is called round-tripping.

Here’s how our seven samurai fare for export:

NLE Export Formats

**Other applies to porting the project directly to other applications. Premiere Pro integrates well with the Creative Cloud suite, while Vegas Pro can export a Premiere Pro project file!

Number
Sony Vegas Pro 5
Adobe Premiere Pro 4
Editshare Lightworks Pro* 2
Autodesk Smoke 2
Grass Valley Edius Pro* 2
Apple Final Cut Pro X 1
Avid Media Composer 1

If you’re looking for an NLE that will support any third-party application, then look no further than Sony Vegas Pro. It supports every possible method of moving projects. The second best would be Adobe Premiere Pro, which would be best if you’re going to a CC-based app!

Adobe Premiere Pro, as of October, will integrate directly with:

  • After Effects
  • Photoshop
  • Prelude
  • Speedgrade
  • Audition

 
Curiously, the most widely supported format is AAF, and that’s saying a lot about the respect Avid has in the editing space. I’m not going to comment on why it is in the bottom, though.

Multi-cam support

Multi-cam editing is important to many workflows. This is a special case, and I’m not going to give it much weight-age. But here’s an overview:

Multi-cam editing?
Sony Vegas Pro Yes
Adobe Premiere Pro Yes
Editshare Lightworks Pro Yes
Grass Valley Edius Pro Yes
Apple Final Cut Pro X Yes
Avid Media Composer Yes
Autodesk Smoke No

Audio

Audio is important to NLEs, but only as a playback medium. I wouldn’t take any editor seriously who said he or she can also edit and mix audio just as well.

My reference to audio is restricted to the kind of codecs that can be imported and exported (click to enlarge):

NLE Audio OptionsTo complete things, here are the maximum specifications possible for audio:

Total codecs Bit depth Sampling (KHz) Channels
Sony Vegas Pro 9 32 192 32
Apple Final Cut Pro X 6 16 48 8
Adobe Premiere Pro 4 32 96 32
Editshare Lightworks Pro 4 24 48 16
Autodesk Smoke 4 32 48 16
Grass Valley Edius Pro 2 32 48 16
Avid Media Composer 2 24 48 24

All of them support WAV (which is as good as it gets for video editing). The rest of the specifications are decent enough, though I hope I’m wrong about FCP-X – it should at least support 24-bit audio.

Other systems from the same developer

The ‘before’ and ‘after’ hardware and software chain of an NLE is important because it is usually designed to supplement it. Here’s a list of software and hardware choices provided by a vendor to support its NLE (click to enlarge):

NLE Software Hardware List

Adobe Premiere Pro delivers more software options, but no hardware options. Avid makes up for software with robust hardware options. This chart is excellent at highlighting the priorities of each manufacturer. Here are some notes:

  • Apple is the only vendor selling computers, and its focus is on the individual. The word ‘Shake’ instead of ‘Motion’ would have been much cooler.
  • Premiere Pro is platform agnostic, and tries to make its software run on everything. Sony Vegas Pro follows this paradigm.
  • Avid, Edius and Lightworks are heavily broadcast-centric, and supplies the technology to pull off the toughest broadcast and collaborative workflows.
  • Smoke is a single-computer finishing system, and is unique.

 

(SW)OT analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Here’s a good overview on how to conduct a simple SWOT analysis.

Mine follows, but be warned: The analysis is conducted based on all the factors I’ve considered in this article, and my hands on experience with each and every one of them over the past few months. You must be able to form your own conclusions, that is the point of presenting all this data to you. If you haven’t read everything in all the three parts of this article, do not make assumptions and draw conclusions based on this analysis. Also, I’ve been preaching the Strengths and Weaknesses all this time, so I’m going to combine everything into just ‘Okay’ and ‘Not So Okay’.

How does this help? I want to know where each software is going. It’s the kind of analysis you would do if you’re planning on setting up a small (or large) post facility. You’d want to know how likely your choice of NLE will stick around five years from now. The costs of setting up hardware, workflows and training editors is not negligible, you know. It’s also the kind of analysis you should be doing if you’re planning on learning an NLE to set up a career in editing. Choosing the wrong NLE today will have serious repercussions tomorrow.

Use this only as a guide, and don’t take it literally, because it’s just my subjective opinion on things:

Okay Not So Okay
Sony Vegas Pro Business oriented and is likely to align its services to any market demand. Has the money, the contacts, the marketing and the media leverage to swing any way. Bureaucratic, slow to move and change, is too ‘bottom-line’ focused to take a leadership position. Notice how Sony comes up with great products, but usually only after someone else has tested the market with something similar first?
Apple Final Cut Pro X Fan base, the new Mac Pro and iMac, metadata and XML redesign, can build on this revised platform to whatever is required in the future. The dominance of Windows, the dominance of Android, proclivity to shake things up (like abandoning FCP 7 and Shake users) without consideration to customer loyalty.
Adobe Premiere Pro Business oriented and is likely to align its services to any market demand. Has the money, the contacts, the marketing and the media leverage to swing any way. In addition to all this, they have priceless data on how and what the world is moving towards. Pricing model has many questions unanswered, company is too big and has too many applications in all spheres of design and art, has the proclivity to introduce and then abandan half of their projects (OnLocation, CinemaDNG, Soundbooth, etc).
Editshare Lightworks Pro To ‘free’ software by providing services around it. They recognize that video editing applications have very few “new tricks” to show. Great user base and pedigree. Support for three operating systems. Hardware. They need more marketing, their focus is on the broadcast market but they are giving away their software – won’t those who pay for hardware pay a few dollars more for software? Make up your minds and swing!
Autodesk Smoke A finishing application with great tools and capabilities. Autodesk’s kitty of 3D applications is unparalleled. No audio app in their kitty. Being Mac-centric was, in my opinion, backward thinking. Too expensive for just an NLE.
Grass Valley Edius Pro Strong hardware and software support and strategy, has the potential to usurp Avid’s position in the market. Narrow focus on just the broadcast market, no supporting applications for color, audio, VFX, etc. High price for what is on offer. Why are there four versions of Edius?
Avid Media Composer The brand name, and the number of editors who have been trained in the ‘Avid’ way. Hardware, marketing and contacts. Massive knowhow – who knows broadcast and Hollywood better than Avid? Price reduction shows they are under severe pressure, they need to redesign their app from scratch. Are they financially stable enough to accomplish this?

Looking forward, I like the chances of FCP-X, Premiere Pro and Vegas Pro. I can’t say the same about everyone else. However, to be fair to everyone, I won’t give this aspect much importance in this shootout. After all, it’s about the best video editing software as of 2013, not 2045.

The best video editing software in the world

The following results are obtained by considering every single factor I’ve outlined in these three parts, with more priority given to workflow-based stuff, and less to things like pedigree, etc. I am not going to reveal the mathematics behind my analysis, but I’ll say this: When I started putting everything together, I told myself I’d accept the first result I got, and wouldn’t try to manipulate the results based on any prejudices. Here are some notes on how I went about it:

  • More important codecs like Prores, TIFF, H.264, etc., got priority over ones not widely used.
  • The total number of codecs for video and audio got low priority, simply because that doesn’t mean you’ll use them.
  • Other than workflow, the other top priorities were price, GPU support, project settings, and updates.
  • Support, specifications, operating systems and availability came next.
  • Subjective parameters like pedigree, future outlook, uninstallation, etc., got the least priority.

 
Let the chips fall where they may. If you’ve selected different parameters, you’ll arrive at different results. Here’s mine:

7 Autodesk Smoke

I was really surprised by this. I was actually hoping it’d do better, because it is such a class act. However, it is tough to recommend Autodesk Smoke solely as a video editing software to anyone. If you’re wondering, I didn’t give priority to its ‘uninstallation gimmick’. I’m not that cruel.

6 Avid Media Composer

This was expected. Avid feels old, was slow to use, and has features from the dawn of 1080p. Even with AMA it really can’t compete if it continues to live in the past. The performance it gave in this evaluation was so sub par that I cannot seriously recommend it to anyone. As a silver lining on the horizon, you can pay more for Symphony, which will improve the experience quite a bit.

In fact, I strongly suggest that anyone thinking of purchasing Avid Media Composer buy it with Symphony.

5 Grass Valley Edius Pro

Grass Valley Edius Pro came close to Final Cut Pro X, but lost on price. In many ways, Edius Pro is what Avid should have been. The good news is that there is an Elite version that adds even more capability at a greater cost.

Edius is really pushing hard at the broadcast space. I’m pretty certain we are not seeing changes happen quickly because the space itself is a deadbeat. I think (not that Grass Valley cares what I think) Grass Valley should focus on cloud streaming more. This way, they’ll be in a great position to take advantage of the future of broadcast.

4 Apple Final Cut Pro X

FCP-X is brilliant, and it is adding new features every three months for free. If Edius is great for the broadcast space, FCP-X is great for the personal editor or small post house. There’s hardly anything it can’t do. Apple is positioning FCP-X quite well, I just hope it doesn’t give it up.

In fact, out of all the NLEs on this list, this is the only NLE likely to move move up by December, 2013. If the new Mac Pro is everything I think it is, by next year FCP-X will be in the top three.

3 Editshare Lightworks Pro

The surprise package. Who’d a thunk? Lightworks Pro is only $60 a year (works out to be $5 per month), and if you’re looking to get into the broadcast space this is the second NLE I recommend. Editshare has the hardware to back you up, and imagine the cost savings of having a Linux post house.

Lightworks Pro has great pedigree, and it has been overshadowed by poor marketing. The glacial pace at which they have ‘yet to bring’ the Mac version out, and keep their promise of making the software open source, is telling. You guys have a great product. Don’t you know that?

2 Sony Vegas Pro

Ultimately, money talks. Sony has been quietly piling on the features in Vegas Pro. It is no longer a small player (actually it hasn’t been for 5 years now, since version 8). It is a powerful NLE capable of every cinema and broadcast workflow, backed by a company who is master of both the cinema and the broadcast space:

  • Sony makes cinema cameras.
  • Sony makes broadcast cameras.
  • Sony makes consumer cameras.
  • Sony makes cinema projectors.
  • Sony makes televisions, tablets and smartphones.
  • Sony makes pro and consumer audio systems.
  • Sony writes firmware and software for all of the above.

 
If Sony Vegas Pro is second, it is only because Sony doesn’t have a lot of hardware or software to support Vegas Pro specifically. That, and the fact that it doesn’t run on Macs or Linux.

1 Adobe Premiere Pro

Was there any doubt? I’d already told you I was using Premiere Pro (in fact, I’ve been using it since 2002), and this is the reason why: Throw anything at it, it can do it easily. If there’s something it can’t do, it has powerful friends and legends like After Effects, Speedgrade and Photoshop to make up for its shortcomings. And the integration is so near perfect, that you really wouldn’t notice moving from one app to the other.

To solidly put the nail in the coffin, the entire suite of apps is available to you for only $50 a month. If you buy the Creative Cloud for teams membership, you also get cloud storage and powerful collaboration tools that are the very future of post production.

You’ll hear many sound bites about the pricing model of Creative Cloud. What you won’t read much about is the massive statement of intent that Adobe has made by moving its entire business to the cloud. They are backing up their talk by walking the walk.

Therefore, no matter who you are, newcomer, seasoned professional or Oscar-winner, I have no hesitation in recommending Adobe Premiere Pro as your primary choice of video editing software. For this reason, I give it the title of the best video editing software as of 2013. Unless there are some updates that shake up the world of editing, I don’t really see anyone displacing this order in the near future.

 screaming psycho

Which NLE should you choose?

You really want me telling you what to choose? I take no responsibility, but here’s some advice:

  • If you’re an absolute newbie and want to learn an editing application – go for Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • If you’re looking to improve your future workflow with a better suite of tools – go for Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • If you’re looking to set up a small production facility – go for Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.
  • If you’re looking to set up editing for live streaming – go for Adobe Creative Cloud. FCP-X is great, but Adobe will do both HLS and Flash, and maybe even DASH.
  • If you’re looking to set up a large production facility – give your editors iMacs and let them use FCP-X+Premiere Pro and Mac Pros with Adobe Creative Cloud. This way, if you have a future ‘problem’ with Creative Cloud, you will not suffer financially. Did you notice how FCP-X and Premiere Pro complement each other?

 

Which codec should you use?

Want to know? Here goes:

  • No matter what you acquire on, your first priority should be to edit native.
  • If editing native is too hard on your resources, convert to Prores HQ or better and edit.
  • If you have VFX work and just want an offline proxy codec, choose Prores proxy.
  • For mastering work for the long term, use TIFF image sequences and WAV for audio.
  • For mastering work for the short term (just to please clients or whatever), store it in Prores and save space.
  • For streaming, VOD and everything else choose H.264.

 
I’m spent. That’s that.

Remember, today is a great man’s birthday. He stood for peace. No matter which software you use or end up using, always be at peace.

 

26 replies on “The Best Video Editing Software 2013 (Part Three): The End”

  1. There is one huge factor that was not mentioned about Vegas, which I believe separates it from the entire pack… No render-time when previewing ANYTHING. There is also no need to index any temporary footage. .VEG files are tiny and that is the only bit of information saved from any project.

  2. Thanks for such a great review. I have been using Vegas for a while and was recently thinking about going for Premiere. This particular review was a great help. Thanks again.

  3. scotyount Sicofante Sareesh Sudhakaran OK, let’s end this gracefully: I can’t see how a 30 tracks non-linear Lightworks or Premiere non-linear edit has any resemblance to linear video tape, but you’re entitled to your opinion. You got it all wrong with regards to Liquid. What they abandoned was the paradigm, which is not new (as usual, Apple will have you to believe it’s their great invention, but it simply isn’t).
    Use whatever floats your boat, that’s fine by me, but don’t pretend you have discovered heaven on earth and the rest of the industry is just blind. You can’t reduce people’s preferences to their ignorance or old habits just because they’re different from yours. Sure, you deeply believe the Liquid/FCPX paradigm is so superior that we’ll be laughing at the tracks paradim a few years from now. I’m only saying thats a belief; your technically solid, knowledgeable believe.  Just admit there are very serious, very open minded, very knowledgeable editors who disagree with you on equally strong technical grounds.None of the paradigms are mutually exclusive. They can coexist. They had already before FCPX. They will in the future. No need to have such strong feelings at all.

  4. scotyount Sicofante Sareesh Sudhakaran OK, let’s end this gracefully: I can’t see how a 30 tracks non-linear Lightworks or Premiere non-linear edit has any resemblance to linear video tape, but you’re entitled to your opinion. You got it all wrong with regards to Liquid. What they abandoned was the paradigm, which is not new (as usual, Apple will have you to believe it’s their great invention, but it simply isn’t).
    Use whatever floats your boat, that’s fine by me, but don’t pretend you have discovered heaven on earth and the rest of the industry is just blind. You can’t reduce people’s preferences to their ignorance or old habits just because they’re different from yours. Sure, you deeply believe the LIquid/FCPX paradigm is so superior that we’ll be laughing at the tracks paradim a few years from now. I’m only saying thats a belief; your technically solid, knowledgeable believe.  Just admit there are very serious, very open minded, very knowledgeable editors who disagree with you on equally strong technical grounds.None of the paradigms are mutually exclusive. They can coexist. They had already before FCPX. They will in the future. No need to have such strong feelings at all.

  5. scotyount Sicofante I’ve used the magnetic timeline for a month, and I must say I found it extremely frustrating to use. However, I also understood its significance.
    What I’ve gathered is that it’s just a different ‘musical instrument’. Some people ‘get’ it, while others don’t. 
    For those who use the magnetic timeline and ‘get’ it, there’s nothing better. There are others, like me, that simply don’t find it intuitive. That doesn’t mean it’s good or bad. That’s one of the big reasons I didn’t write about each NLE’s editing capabilities, because that’s really a pointless exercise. I know this because I’ve used all of them.

  6. Sicofante scotyount Sareesh Sudhakaran I am not stating any prediction as a fact.  Hence the “silly forum” comment.  I know FCPX wasn’t born last week.  But unlike you, I know it intimately.  We can agree on that I am certain.  I am arguing from a point of view whereby I know it inside and out.  You aren’t.  Really?  It does have some connection to Pinnacle, but Avid is going broke and sold that as well as M-Audio to keep themselves from going into the red.  The road has not been abandoned because FCPX is taking that road.  All I am saying is that NLEs in general have been using tracks and timecode because that is what tape did, because that is what film did.  I digress.  Timecode or sprocket holes?  Same Difference.  FCPX is a new think on how to do things.  Apple is not a stupid company and while I could tell you a hundred things I am upset at them about the reality is that they have created an NLE that will be the blueprint for editing in the future.  Get the program.  Learn it and edit on deadline with it and then tell me it is not the future.

  7. scotyount Sicofante Sareesh Sudhakaran Again: your particular point of view doesn’t discredit my colleagues’ and many others around the world. I’ve been in 3D animation for some 25 years, editors have always been just next door. You love the magnetic timeline. They hate it. You don’t have a cristall ball telling the future, that’s all I’m saying.
    This is anything but a silly forum, BTW. There are other many professional forums with different opinions. I tend to give little value to opinions stating predictions as facts. FCPX wasn’t born last week. There’s a reason no one else has used its paradigm, which I’ve found -while you were replying- is not “new”, but an heir to former editors like Avid’s (nee Pinnacle) Liquid. In other words, this road has been explored already and abandoned, although it had its fans back then as FCPX has its fans and detractors today.

  8. Sicofante scotyount Sareesh Sudhakaran Let me add that I live in Boston where Avid is made and even the people who work there are like, “we have to get with it or we are dead”.  I have used FCP Legacy, FCPX, Edious, Aurora Edit, Premier, and Avid if that helps my credibility.

  9. Sicofante scotyount Sareesh Sudhakaran I don’t know for certain.  But what I do know is that most of the people who have dissed fcpx haven’t used it.  They diss it based on what they read on silly forums like this.  The magnetic timeline is only mysterious to the people who post things about it whom have not used it, again proving my point.  I am not a fan boi and I don’t subscribe to “new and shiny” in any scenario.  I have been editing news, features and commercials for 28 years going back to CMX (you might want to look that up) and U-Matic tape.  I only like the software because it works.  Period.

  10. scotyount Sicofante Sareesh Sudhakaran I’m curious. How do you know my colleagues didn’t use FCPX before abhorring it?
    I’ll check that mysterious “magnetic timeline” you’re talking about, but don’t think something new and shiny is here to stay just because you love it.

  11. Sicofante scotyount Sareesh Sudhakaran The funniest thing about those people is that none of them (those people who are all opposed to FCPX) HAVE NEVER USED IT.  Get used to it.  All NLEs will operate the same way because we are done with tracks.  Just no need.  The magnetic timeline alone saves so much time.  The people like me who learned every kernel of the thing will be far ahead of those who are desperately clinging to the past.  There used to blacksmiths on every corner.  Kodak and Polaroid essentially invented digital photography.  All are out of business because they couldn’t see the future.  It was a botched intro I and everyone else agrees.  And it didn’t have the features we needed in the beginning.  But neither did FCP in the beginning.  People found ways to work around it because it had so much promise.  FCPX is full of promise.  The rest are not.

  12. scotyount Sareesh Sudhakaran I can’t say anything about FCPX since I’m not a Mac user, but my colleagues in post production are all up in arms against it because it took away so much from them compared to the late FCP. I don’t know a single one who has got used to the new FCPX and is looking for a replacement for FCP, which won’t be FCPX…

  13. Since it’s not explicitly mentioned anywhere (save someone in the comments), let me point out that Lightworks has a fully free version, which simply lacks some codecs (I think you actually just pay for the codec licensing when using the Pro version). I understand Editshare’s forté is broadcasting, but I’m a bit puzzled by you insisting on a supposed Lightworks focus on broadcast, when it’s well known for being a cinema editors favorite. I’d say it’s easily the best candidate for low budget studios, students and, specifically, story tellers (this last one has nothing to do with price, obviously). When it finally becomes open source (fingers crossed) it should support all free-to-use formats in existence natively (open source commonly gets you that), which is a plus.

    I have added a comment to your article on the best archival format. It’s inaccurate regarding PNG in at least three points. Also, although FLAC is not “ubiquitous”, it’s just a fully open source (meaning you’ll be able to open it forever) lossless compressed WAV file. Until disk or tape become free of charge, lossless compressed will always be better than uncompressed.

  14. Sareesh Sudhakaran scotyount I guess what I am referencing is that you put FCP-X far down the list when it is the only one of the NLEs featured that is pushing us in a new, and very advanced direction in terms of editing power.  Not keen on XMP either.  The skimming alone not to mention all the advanced metadata available in X just makes it great to work with.  The plug-ins seem limitless and I really like that.  I also love the “organic” bouncy feel, which everybody seems to love on their iPhone or Android.  Ain’t no bounce in Avid or Premier!!  So, what I was disagreeing with is Premier being the top choice, but I should be a bit nicer since everyone seems to have an opinion.  Great site btw….lots of very good stuff, especially on compression and codecs!  Cheers.

  15. scotyount Thanks for the reply! But Scot, I did say FCP-X has been redesigned from the ground up keeping in mind the digital future, so I’m not sure why we’re disagreeing!

    Adobe’s answer has been XMP, because they have a lot of software that they want to interconnect in their grand scheme of things. I’m not very happy with it, having played with it with Prelude to Premiere Pro. Sidecars are baggage!

    Lightworks has also been cleaned up. Smoke, a little bit.
    I totally agree with you that the FCP-X model is the future, but of all the developers, Adobe, Apple and Sony are the only ones with enough money to make right if they screw up.

  16. I have to say I totally disagree.  I have been editing TV news and features and commercials since 1985.  I have and use Premier, CS6, Grass Valley Aurora Edit, Final cut going back to 4 and Avid.  Nothing beats the speed and ease of use of this much maligned critter FCPX.  Nothing.  You say in your article that none of the other NLEs reviewed have changed much about the way they work for years.  And that, is exactly what is wrong.  NLEs have tracks because tape had tracks.  Tape had tracks because film had tracks.  We don’t any longer need tracks.  We don’t.  I have been using FCPX since it came out and the best part is that it is a total rethink.  The problem is we as editors don’t want to throw away all that we know about editing and start over.  It is kind of like being a great snow skier.  You never want to learn to snowboard, because days on the mountain are too precious to spend all day falling down and looking like a fool.  I could go into all the reasons that the other NLEs will be forced to mimic the direction Apple is heading in, but I won’t.  The real editor isn’t worried about the software or knowing how to “push all the buttons” on a given NLE.  I can teach you to push all 88 keys on the piano, but that doesn’t music will come out.  It won’t.  So in closing this rant, I will say I don’t care what your saxophone looks like, just what comes out of it, and that means we as editors must remain committed to the craft or dare I say art, of editing.

  17. varekb You can buy Premiere Pro for $20 as a single app, without anything else.
    I don’t know about what you mean by hobby, but I’d say $20 (even $50) is a small amount to pay for a hobby if someone’s really serious about it. It seems your issue is with the pricing model from Adobe, that’s understandable.
    Don’t you subscribe to anything? – Newspapers, magazines, gym membership, internet connections, mobile phone, electricity, rent, etc.? So, let’s not assume a subscription model for software is any different, especially when it’s from a company like Adobe who’s always delivered. I’ve been using them since 2002. If I had had any doubt regarding their ability to deliver, I wouldn’t have opted for CC for teams (it costs me $80/mo).
    If you don’t need the features that CC offers, and you don’t like the subscription model, then choose what you like. FCP-X is really good. I’m planning on buying a copy myself as a backup to CC, and it also does some cool things CC can’t. That’s why I’ve recommended it at the end as well.

  18. jlenting Thank you!  I’ve seen reference to that package before and will certainly check it out.  The point of my initial question though was not about the merits of the software, but the merits of recommending the Adobe suite for a newbie looking to learn.
    I don’t mind saving up to buy editing software.  I’m still in that process and will now likely go with FCPx and Motion.  It’s cheaper and, relating to my main point, I only have to buy it once.  I know it won’t do as much as a subscription to CS but, after 7 months I will have spent the same amount and still have to keep paying. (Sareesh Sudhakaran I can’t get the $20 rate as I’m not a student).
    All I’m doing is trying to (respectfully) challenge recommending subscription software for newbies.  That’s it.
    Have a great day,

  19. varekb @varekb If you are a hobbyist editor like me, who has some other full-time job and only edits from time to time. And if you don’t have the cash to invest in something expensive. Then I would overwhelmingly recommend EditShare LightWorks.
    2 important reasons:
    1) There is a free (legal) version available (http://www.lwks.com)
    2) Once you get into it, editing is fast, intuitive and simple
    I use a free version of Lightworks (which I use). The PRO version costs $60/year. The only difference being that there are some CODECS that are not available in the FREE version.
    But apart from that, the software interface is identical on both FREE and PRO versions.
    since I am not a professional editor in any case, and hence I don’t work for paying clients with many heterogenous codec needs, I don’t miss the full CODEC support.

  20. varekbIf editing is just a hobby and you’re not going to earn from it, then any software will be too expensive, even FCP-X. Premiere Pro CC is only $20 per month.

    There are many ‘absolute newbies’ serious enough about editing to invest $20-50 a month on it. Only you know what’s good for you, and it looks like you’ve already decided that purchasing a licensed version is better for your needs.
    Good luck with your hobby.

  21. Sareesh Sudhakaran en el botón OutPut tienes las opciones FilmEscribe y EDL. Con FilmEscribe puedes hacer XML y otro montón de archivos. Y el botón de la EDL puedes hacer EDL de hasta 24 canales de audio.

  22. As one of the aforementioned “absolute newbies” I will defer to your judgment on the technical merits of any particular editing package.  However, for this absolute newbie, $50/month isn’t realistic.  Even with an initial higher price, purchasing a license outright is a better option for a hobbyist who isn’t editing every day (or even every month) and who isn’t making an income from using this software.  Once I own that license I can work on projects as my schedule permits without worrying about whether I’ve thrown money away this month not having had the time to continue to learn the craft.
    The rest of your conclusions make sense to me as they sound as if they’re directed at professionals or semi-professionals.  People who at least aspire to make an income from this endeavour and may be able to justify (and even write off) an ongoing expense in order to use the software they require.  I’m not disputing its merits as the best editing package.  I respect your call on that.  I just question its practicality for your first use-case of the “absolute newbie”.
    Maybe I’m not your target audience?  What am I missing here?
    Thanks much,

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