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I'm looking for some Video Editing software that allows me to

  • Have more than one video track, so I can do Picture-in-Picture, cross-fades etc.
  • Read AVCHD and AVCHD Lite
  • Have good options for synchronizing video and audio
  • Have a few limited options to cut audio and take parts of audio, just so that background tracks can be made to fit
  • Export into at least one standard format, be it uncompressed so that I can do it later
  • Compatible with Lion

Usually, Final Cut Pro X would come into mind now, but it's $300. In the Windows world, there's stuff like Pinnacle Systems Studio, but I don't know what's available on a Mac and what doesn't totally "suck" ("Consumer" Products that are limited, naggy and otherwise just a cash grab)

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Just FYI, I bit the bullet and went with Final Cut Pro X in the end.

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It's hard to compete with Apple. The "consumer" iMovie actually gets you gets you most of the bang you asked for for less buck - but for real horsepower like PIP - the Pro is priced very competitively compared to its peers. –  bmike Apr 30 '12 at 14:12
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Check out Openshot — It's free and quite powerful; it's definitely one of the best. Another one you might look at trying is Mediaedit ($40), which isn't bad for the price. In my opinion FCPX is not much better than iMovie currently; Actually iMovie might be better.

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Thanks. FCPX may get a lot of (well deserved) negativity becuase it's a step down from FCP7, but iMovie is really not a good tool, barely better than Windows Movie Maker. The inability to have two video timelines kills it for me, and the buggy behavior when trying to insert JPGs also doesn't help :) –  Michael Stum Sep 16 '11 at 17:05
    
I agree with you on the limitations and was not really serious about iMovie. Check out those others I suggested and let me know if they are worthwhile or not. I'd like to get your take on them ~ Regards –  l'L'l Sep 16 '11 at 17:42
    
iMovie is definitely not a good choice. –  daviesgeek Sep 16 '11 at 19:15
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I would recommend getting FCE 4, if you can find it. I was able to get it for $50 from a friend. The one thing I haven't figured out is how to export nicely from FCE. I think I may have solved it by getting the $50 Compressor from Apple. I highly recommend the editing part fo FCE, but I'm not so sure about the exporting. I know there's a way; I just haven't figured it out.

EDIT: FCE 4 is just fine when you export using Export>Export to QT, then drop it into Compressor.

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I don't want to get software that's no longer supported (especially since people report major issues in Lion), but thanks for the recommendation, had considered hitting up ebay for it or FCP7 before I read about the issues. –  Michael Stum Sep 16 '11 at 20:30
    
@Michael FCE has issues in Lion? –  daviesgeek Sep 16 '11 at 21:40
    
According to this thread yes: discussions.apple.com/thread/3193630?start=0&tstart=0 - Since I don't have it I don't know if these are true and still active. –  Michael Stum Sep 16 '11 at 21:53
    
@Michael Thanks so much for that! Yet another reason not to upgrade. :-( –  daviesgeek Sep 16 '11 at 22:14
    
@MichaelStum According to the Roaring Apps compatibility table, Final Cut Express works. Check out FCE on the table here –  daviesgeek Oct 18 '11 at 16:40
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