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Choosing the Right Tools

Functionality QuickTime Pro ScreenFlow iMovie Final Cut Pro MPEG Streamclip

Video Recording

Interfaces directly with a video recording device (camera) and allows you to record using the software.


Screen Recording

Also known as screencasting. Recording what happens on the computer screen natively, without a camera.


Cutting & Trimming

If you imagine your recording like a film strip, this functionality allows for you to take a pair of "scissors" and do things like trim off the beginning, end, or sections in the middle.

Beginnings and ends only.

Text & Titles

Adding graphical text overlays, such as title cards, credits, name titles, etc.


Transitions & Effects

Fancy graphical transitions between scenes. Special effects like color correction.


Green Screen Capability (chroma-key)

The ability to make the software choose a particular color (like green) and remove it from the video, allowing another layer underneath to show through. (Like a television weather report.)


Audio Editing

Allows you to edit and apply transitions or additional audio sources to an audio file.


Consider using Soundtrack.



Most video recorders today are capable of recording in high-definition (1080p). Some software will not go that high and downgrade the quality to 780p (dvd quality) or even 480p (standard definition).

480p, 720p 480p, 720p, 1080p 480p, 720p 480p, 720p, 1080p, 1080i 480p, 720p, 1080p

Output Formats

For more information, see "Understanding Video & Audio Formats."

.mov, .mp4 .mov, .m4v, .wmv .mov, .m4v, .avi, .mp4, .flc, .3gp, .dv .mov, .m4v, .avi, .mp4, .flc, .3gp, .dv, .ac3 Almost anything, including .wmv

Skill Level

Ease of use, or learning curve required.

Beginner Intermediate Intermediate Advanced, or Expert Intermediate

A Note About Output Formats

Traditionally, Apple Macs are known to support a format known as "QuickTime," whereas Windows PCs support the "Windows Media" format. While each operating system has gotten better with handling each format, sometimes special plug-ins are needed to export (output) to one format on another platform.

For example, on the lab iMacs, if you want to generate a Windows Media file, a third-party plug-in called Flip4Mac is required. This comes installed on the Editing Stations already, so you shouldn't encounter any problems. However, if you were to use another Mac in the future that doesn't seem to support Windows Media capability, that's why.

For more information, see the "Understanding Video & Audio Formats" section.

Converting Between Video Formats

The Editing Stations come with a number of applications that will convert a video from one format to another. For example, if you had a Windows Media file that you needed to convert into a QuickTime file, you could use a program like MPEG Streamclip or Handbrake (both of which are free programs available for download for use on your own computer, too).