Looking for tips for editing video on a MacBook Air

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by JUCJ85, May 22, 2016.

  1. JUCJ85 macrumors 6502


    Mar 29, 2011
    Hi, I have a 2014 MacBook Air with a 256GB SSD, plus I have a 1TB External Hard Drive, I run a website, and want to capture video, and then cut it up into like 5-10 minute clips, what kind of software, and hardware would be the best?

  2. divergirl macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2012
    I can't speak for hardware, but if you're looking for free, some options are iMovie, Lightworks and DaVinci Resolve. If you want a full-fledged professional editor, FCP X is a one time cost of I think $300? A lot of issues that people had with that have been rectified so it might be worth giving a shot.

    I myself use the Adobe suite, including Premiere Pro, because I also need Photoshop and their audio program, Audition. I like creative cloud because all of their apps talk to each other very well, but you're looking at a cost of $50 a month, versus FCP X which is a one-time cost of $300.

    But if free is a must, I've heard good things about the free version of Lightworks. Resolve was first and foremost a color grading application but has recently added a full fledged editor to within the program. It is a lot more complicated to use but also very powerful when it comes to working with color.
  3. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010
    It is really going to depend on what type of videos you are looking to create. It's difficult to make suggestions without knowing what your requirements are for a finished product. Can you tell us a few more specifics? When you say capture video, are you looking to capture new content or do you need to ingest some sort of existing media into your computer? If you are capturing original content, you will need some sort of camera. A camera could be anything from your smartphone to the FaceTime camera on your Mac on up through a consumer or professional video camera. The specifics of what you need to capture is really the only thing that can inform what your best choice is for a camera.

    On the software side, if you just need to make some quick and simple edits and add some basic titles, iMovie will probably be a good option for you. I think a lot of people get off put by the fact that it is a freebie application, but it is very capable and effecient. If your Air only has 4GB of RAM, it may be the best choice as higher end editing a apps are going to be more optimized for systems with 8GB+ of RAM. In fact, there are film/video professionals that will do basic assemblies and cuts in iMovie because it is fast, easy and can run easily on a more portable system like an Air or MacBook before moving to Final Cut Pro X for the heavier lifting and effects.

    If you need more than what iMovie offers, Divergirl did a very good job outlining some options above. I'm partial to Final Cut X as I find it is especially well suited for short length projects like the 5-10 min you mentioned. Again though, the best choice will be informed by what you want to accomplish. It's like asking someone to recommend you a car without sharing any of your driving habits. I don't want to say get a SUV when what you actually need is a Compact Hatchback or a Full Sized Truck.
  4. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    I recommend starting with iMovie. Like others have said here, it's more capable than people expect, and you can't beat the price. As you get into this you see more of what you may need from a hardware/software perspective. There are lots of good software tools - some for free, some one-time license, and some subscription.
  5. JUCJ85 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 29, 2011
    Thanks, I'm going to try iMovie. It's for my website, I want to create short 5-10 minute videos of 1 player in college, and then upload to youtube, another website does it, DraftBreakdown.com, but I'd like to try it myself.

    Any tips when editing videos in iMovie?

    Oh and it would be off of my DirecTV HD DVR.
  6. ColdCase, May 27, 2016
    Last edited: May 27, 2016

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    How are you planing to grab video off the DirecTV box (digital HDMI or composite)?

    As mention above, that takes more hardware to ingest the video into the MacBook Air. HDMI has anti-piracy features that shuts off the video unless you have a compatible TV connected. There are ways to work around the HDMI anti-piracy features, if you are interested, but its more hardware, maybe $250 worth.

    Otherwise for composite, since your Mac does not have analog video inputs, you need some kind of analog video to USB capture box. These are relatively inexpensive but then you are recording SD video.

    Reposting copyrighted material to YouTube may violate YouTube terms. In case you don't know, its not illegal, most places, to copy and store video for your own personal or backup use. But distributing copyrighted material is a no-no.
  7. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    Not for DirecTV, but cTivo is a application that helps get things from a Tivo box and convert to formats such as mp4. You want to do more research as to how this may work, technically and legally, on a DirecTV set up.
  8. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    If you just want to cut the clips up without anything further, ie, adding titles, transitions, music etc, then you can use QuickTime.

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7 May 22, 2016