Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Video Editing Software here.
Honestech Video Editor is the most plain of all the plain-Jane video editor applications on our side-by-side comparison chart. It will get the job done, but it’s light on all the tools and features you'll find in the best moviemaker applications in our review.
This video editor has two modes, easy and advanced. This is becoming commonplace in the best video editing software. However, Honestech’s easy mode is of limited usefulness. That’s because it's nothing more than three drag-and-drop boxes for “Intro Title,” “Edited Clip” and “Ending Credits.” Granted, it’s really easy to make a short film using this method, but the middle part that tells you to “Drag and Drop Edited Clip Here” begs the question “where does it get edited?” In order to use easy mode you must already have a fully edited clip ready to go. Easy mode offers no tools that do any actual editing.
The answer to the above question is “advanced mode,” which is something of a misnomer because there’s nothing advanced about Honestech. Advanced mode allows you to switch between storyboard and timeline views. This is nice because it enables you to make broad-stroke edits with the storyboard and fine-tune them in the timeline. However, the timeline itself leaves much to be desired. For example, you only get two video tracks, two audio tracks and a title track. This is enough to get simple jobs done, like your kid’s birthday party, soccer game or other home video event. But if you’re looking to create something more complex, Honestech just isn’t the application for you.
Importing footage is done the old-fashioned way, by selecting every individual clip from your hard drive. There isn’t much device compatibility to speak of so you’ll have to import all your elements onto your computer before you get started. The software does allow you to record live footage through your webcam, microphone or camcorder.
Audio is another big stumbling block for Honestech. You can import audio files for your project or record it live. If you need to edit or enhance your audio files, do it before you bring it into Honestech Video Editor. That’s because outside of trimming your audio and placing it on the timeline, this application has no resources for audio mixing and editing.
Sharing your finished video is simple enough with Honestech Video Editor. The application gives you a couple of options: create a file or a DVD. If you create a file, you’re limited to five file formats (MPEG1, MPEG2, DV-AVI, AVI and WMV), and you can select from “normal,” “good” and “best quality.” There’s no option to customize the video size, frame rate or data bitrate, as these options are baked into the automatic settings when you select what file type you want.
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The DVD authoring tool found in Honestech Video Editor is arguably its best feature. It allows you to create menus, chapter selections, special features and more. It’s not the most advanced burning feature we’ve seen, but it gets the job done, and anyone who has gotten to that point with the software should be able to use it with no problems.
If this version of Honestech Video Editor had been released in 1998 it would have been a marvel of multimedia technology, allowing people to create videos from the comfort of their homes. In the second decade of the 21st century it’s dated, unsophisticated and not a very good value when compared to the applications you can buy at the same price point or cheaper.