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I am looking for suggestions for video editing programs like iMovie, which are dead simple to use. We just need basic editing and titling features for making videos of our kids slightly more watchable. Nothing too fancy. The major requirement is that it needs to be extremely easy to use even without prior editor experience.

We're running Windows XP on some machines and Vista the rest.

Free is preferred however ease-of use trumps price.

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closed as off topic by slhck, Ivo Flipse Jul 16 '12 at 14:46

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What version of windows? –  John T Aug 23 '09 at 20:24
    
@John T: XP and Vista –  Rob Allen Aug 23 '09 at 22:05
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6 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Windows Movie Maker

I'd have to say Windows Movie Maker definitely for simplicity. It has all of the basic editing features you've listed and comes included with Windows.

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Yes MicTech, but if he's using XP, Windows Live Movie Maker is not compatible. –  John T Aug 23 '09 at 20:46
    
But, be very careful with the file size. I have a friend at work who created about a 30 minute video with still images, videos, and music overlaid, but it eventually got to the point where it took 3-5 minutes to add or remove a frame. He had to break it up into several movies and edit it that way instead, then combine everything back together to make the movie. –  Michael Todd Aug 23 '09 at 21:00
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I know a 75 year old person who does not use a lot of software, but managed to crank out an excellent movie using windows movie maker. –  Leon Bambrick Aug 24 '09 at 2:06
    
Live movie maker is neat. –  nbolton Feb 17 '10 at 10:02
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Adobe Premiere Elements

Check out the trial of Adobe Premiere Elements 9.

The #1 selling consumer video-editing software* Incredible movies, effortlessly! Adobe® Premiere® Elements 9 software delivers powerful, automated movie-editing options; professional-quality effects; quick and easy sharing; and more. And now enjoy a complete solution for videos whether you use Windows® or Mac OS.

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Have you considered Movie Maker? The linked live edition is for Vista and above only, but you can also find versions for XP. They're generally free and simplified to the point of easy.

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There are two versions of movie maker, Windows Movie Maker which works on XP & Windows Live Movie Maker which works on Vista & Seven (I guess)

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MAGIX Movie Edit Pro

MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 17 HD offers everything you need to create impressive movies: compatibility with all standard camcorders, intuitive editing tools, detailed audio dubbing and much more.

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Pinnacle VideoSpin

Pinnacle VideoSpin, but after 15 days requires purchasing SpinPack for the following codecs:

  • AMR Audio
  • MPEG-1
  • MPEG-2
  • MPEG-3/DivX
  • Dolby Digital 2 Channel Audio
  • 3GP video
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