VideoPad Video Editor is an impressive free options for those that want an easy to use and light on processing resources option. The fact this works on iPad and even edits 360-degree video helped get this a place on our best video editing software list.
Using a classic timeline, this is easy to use in both the Home and Master editions. While home offers just two video tracks, Master expands this and also allows for plug-ins.
VideoPad Video Editor is available for both Mac and Windows computers and features support for a wide range of video imports and exports.
Videopad: Ease of use
When you first open the VideoPad application you may be a little surprised. It has an interface reminiscent of Microsoft Office apps, and if you’re running on a 4K screen it looks pixelated and low-res.
The familiarity of the interface can work in VideoPad’s favor. It’s unintimidating, even friendly, and unlike some applications it clearly labels its tools and features. There’s the ability to capture your own screen, or from a webcam, which combined make the creation of software tutorial videos simple.
With support for HEVC and 360-degree video, VideoPad should appeal to those making movies with iPhones as well as extreme sports fanatics and VR trailblazers. With its relatively low system requirements (at least for the current version) of just a 1.5GHz CPU and 4GB of RAM, VideoPad uses minimal resources on modern systems and should be perfect for running on laptops and Windows tablets in the field. You definitely don't need one of the best home computers to run it, and that's a big plus.
Proper audio editing unfortunately isn’t a part of Videopad. While you have the ability to fade, mix and adjust the volume of a video clip’s audio, if you want to go further you’ll need an external mixer or editor, such as MixPad and WavePad made by the same developer. There’s PhotoPad for still images too, although we removed that from our guide to photo editing software.
Note that the free version of the app cannot export video as an MP4 file - the most popular video format on the web. It’s a built-in limitation designed to push you toward an upgrade, but annoying all the same. It doesn’t insist on putting a watermark on your footage when it exports it, however, which is a mark in its favor.
As it has low system requirements, VideoPad runs quickly on modern hardware. There are also features within the app to help speed up your workflow, such as the way it can sort your video footage and still images into bins, making sure you don’t try to use a still on the timeline when you meant to drag in a video clip. The timeline accepts both, enabling Ken Burns-type effects where the camera pans across a still.
There’s also voice recognition for subtitles, which while not 100 percent accurate does a decent job as long as your audio is clear. A little tweaking afterwards may be necessary, but it’s faster than typing them all out by hand.
Thanks to the simplicity of its interface you can pick it up as you go along, and once you’ve got used to editing in VideoPad you can become extremely fluent, opening and closing windows and knowing precisely where everything is.
This could work against you in future if you graduate to a different application, as they’re all very different, but using VideoPad to learn the basics will get you started in editing quickly.
What you get with VideoPad is an app that will import just about any format that you care to mention, and which will run on just about any computer. It’s got a decent level of functionality too, with the ability to place logos on your video, add backgrounds to greenscreened footage, effects, transitions, and animation.
There’s no multicam support, and even the audio editor is in a separate app, so if those matter to you you might want to look elsewhere at things like Adobe Premiere Elements.
If, however, you need a video editing app that treads lightly in terms of its hardware requirements (including an iPad version), can deal with many different video formats including 360-degree and H265, and which is simple enough to use on location shoots, then VideoPad starts to look like a better choice.
Pay for the Master’s edition, and you get a lifetime license that covers future updates, which is in itself a valuable thing these days. It’s priced similarly to other editing apps in the same category, and while it’s hard to compete against apps such as Shotcut and DaVinci Resolve that give their services away for free, the wealth of tutorials available for VideoPad, along with its clear interface and the ease with which the app can be learned, count for a lot in today’s marketplace.
Should you buy VideoPad?
VideoPad’s free version may be slightly limited, but works as an effective free trial to see if you like it enough to consider upgrading to one of the paid-for versions. Liking an app, and being able to quickly parse its interface, go a long way toward converting a free customer to a paying one, and VideoPad makes a strong claim for your money with its ease of use and light hardware requirements.
While its interface feels dated, this is still one of the better video editing apps. Although for semi-pros and pros, something like Adobe Premiere Elements might be more suitable.