How to Choose an Editing Platform for Video Marketing - dummies

How to Choose an Editing Platform for Video Marketing

By Kevin Daum, Bettina Hein, Matt Scott, Andreas Goeldi

The first item to choose in selecting an editing system for you video marketing project is the hardware. Most people use the computer they already have, but if you happen to be in the market for a new system anyway, it’s worth the time to consider your video editing needs.

Though Windows-based PCs still dominate the market, Apple’s Mac computers have become more popular over the past few years. Because the Mac is particularly popular with the creative crowd, many people believe that an Apple computer is best for video editing as well. Though there’s some truth to it, the difference isn’t as big as it used to be.

Does the type of computer matter?

The good news is that you can edit videos on virtually any modern PC or Mac. Your choice doesn’t matter much; you can find some of the best editing programs in either computer family.

Macs tend to be a bit easier to use and crash less often. The selection of video tools and related software, such as programs for sound and image editing, is excellent. Though most Mac-based programs are more robust and reliable than their PC counterparts, the differences aren’t huge.

The Mac’s biggest advantage for marketers is that it comes preinstalled with iMovie, a strong, entry-level editing application. iMovie’s combination of ease of use and power is still unmatched in the PC world. If you have a Mac or are considering buying one, this excellent program helps you get started with video editing.

One strength of the PC world is its huge selection of different system configurations and editing applications. If you have specific needs, you’re more likely to find the perfect solution in the PC world. On the other hand, more complexity is involved in making a PC-based editing system work perfectly simply because many different components come from different vendors.

In contrast, Apple sells a complete solution that works out of the box but offers fewer specialized options.

How much horsepower do you need?

Video editing is one of the most demanding types of applications you can run on a PC or Mac. Editing programs need a lot of Central Processing Unit (CPU) power and storage space.

How much horsepower you need depends on the sophistication of the tasks you have in mind. You can do some basic editing even on older laptops. But most people nowadays want to edit high-definition (HD) video, apply visual effects to their videos, and even work with multiple audio channels.

If you want to do this kind of work on an older PC, you need a lot of patience — you may spend hours staring at your screen, waiting for your PC to finally render your clips with the latest effects you’ve just applied.

To edit videos efficiently, work with a modern computer — a system that’s less than 2 years old. A good editing system should also have a number of other features:

  • A modern dual-core or quad-core CPU: More speed is always better.

  • At least 4 gigabytes of RAM: More is better, and it saves time.

  • A hard drive with 500GB of space or more: Video files are typically large, and your disk fills up quickly. Alternatively, buy an external drive with a USB 2.0 or FireWire connection.

  • A hard drive that has, ideally, a rotation speed of 7200 revolutions per minute (rpm) or faster: A slower disk still works, but you need a bit more patience.

Though you no longer need a super-tricked-out, high-end system for video editing, having a faster computer saves time.