One of the biggest criticisms of a Chromebook is the lack of good programs for content creation. Any time you read an article on the internet about using a Chromebook, inevitably someone in the comments will mention Photoshop or Adobe Premiere as the reason they can't use one, and they might be right. If you absolutely need Photoshop or Premiere and all the features they come with, you can't expect to do it on a Chromebook without a lot of fuss.
But most people don't need Photoshop or Premiere, even if they are using those programs on a Windows or macOS computer. And when you look at the alternatives that have the features a basic user needs, Chromebooks are starting to look better every day. We've mentioned that Polarr is an awesome photo editor for your Chromebook that can do more than most people will ever need, and now we've got five easy ways to edit your videos.
None of them are as feature-rich as Premiere, but every one of them stacks up against iMovie or even Final Cut ProX quite nicely. Have a look!
You need to have access to Google Play to install PowerDirector.
PowerDirector is a feature-packed video editor app for Android that happens to scale nicely and work great on your Chromebook.
It has a familiar timeline interface and can import, edit and export video in 720p, Full HD 1080p, and 4K, including footage direct from your GoPro camera. Because it was built for Android, it's also very touch-friendly but you can use a keyboard and trackpad without any issues. But the biggest strength of PowerDirector are all the special effects, many of which are free.
Adding effects like slow-motion, transitions, or video styles is easy and intuitive, and you can even go a step further with photo or voice overlays using the simple and effective interface. Of course, cutting, trimming, and splitting your clips is also dead simple.
The one thing we don't love is the length of time it takes to export a 1080p or 4K video. Because there is no hardware acceleration it takes a while. But you can always leave your Chromebook plugged in and go do something else while it's exporting.
Kinemaster offers much of the same power-user features as PowerDirector does, but adds one other really cool thing — theme support.
You can edit your videos by hand using effects, transitions, and overlays, or you can use a wizard and ley Kinemaster build a video for you using the visual style, artwork, font selection and music tracks you chose or let the wizard choose for you. the results can be pretty awesome!
Kinemaster is a subscription service but has a free trial mode. You can use the subscription plan through Google Play to get the full version.
Not every Chromebook has access to Google Play, but there are several great online editors available. WeVideo is one of them.
WeVideo is a full-featured editor but is still simple enough for anyone to use right away because of its intuitive interface. Upload your video from your Chromebook or online hosting services like Instagram or Facebook, or even file storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive and you use another computers processing power to do all the work.
WeVideo is a subscription service and free users will have a watermark on their exported video. The company offers various plans for personal and business use.
Part of WeVideo's charm is the template media library that lets you use royalty free sounds effects and music in a pre-packaged set of transitions and effects. Free users have a great selection to choose from and paid users get even more, as well as other extras like advanced text templates for titles and credits.
For people who don't want to spend a lot of time or just aren't great at editing, you can let the program do the work for you, and if you want to do it all by hand you'll appreciate all the goodies available right in the web app.
Magisto is another web app to edit videos with a focus on simplicity.
They promise to create a great video from your uploaded footage in "3 Easy Steps" using your choice of templates, themes, and music. there are plenty of styles to choose from for free users, and if you choose to upgrade to the paid service there are many more.
Once you've gone through the creation wizard you can go back and change anything you selected, and once you're sure you just click one button and check back in a few minutes to find your created video in your account.
If you're looking for complete control, Magisto isn't for you. But if what you're after is a service that can make a great video from your media Magisto is one of the best out there!
OpenShot Video Editor extension
The OpenShot Video Editor extension is both the best and worst pick on our list.
OpenShot is an incredible and feature-packed free open-source video editor that many Linux users know and love, but the OpenShot Online extension from OffieDocs is really cumbersome. Especially when it comes to importing a video clip or two.
One past that you'll find that OpenShot is a powerful tool with a feature set that rivals Adobe Premiere. Unlimited tracks and clips (including text, images, watermarks, and audio) and support for just about any file format you can imagine are here along with professional-level tools like keyframe animation editing and a complete set of timescale effects. Anything you would want to do while working on a video project can be done in OpenShot.
On a Chromebook, though, you might hate the uploading tools for the Online version.
How to do you edit video on your Chromebook?
Let us know in the comments below!
Thank you, thank you, for saying if a free version will export with watermark.
It drives me crazy when I do a lot of work on a video, or picture, then export it only to find it's watermarked.
It's not the watermark per se that drives me crazy, I understand that people need to drive to their pay model. It's the fact that I don't know it's going to be watermark that pisses me off.
thought Chromebook cannot edit videos or photos...ha ha...rolleyes! These all seem like awesome programs! I think my mind is made up to transition to chrome.
Also tools like animatron and wave, the prior I've been using for 5 years. But depending on your video needs, wave could be on the list too.
yep Most ANYTHING you can do on a MacBook you can do on a Chromebook. Those are the FACTS!
I've been using both KineMaster and Powerdirect on the Pixelbook and notice that the apps don't recognize i5 processor and wont let you edit 4K content... to add to that, when exporting to YouTube from the apps them self the video quality seems to take a hit and does not look good during playback on YouTube.. any way to mitigate these issues?
Powerdirector appeared to be a promising option a while back. But lately I find that the drag and drop interface is broken on Chrome OS. Long pressing a clip no longer produces the yellow outline, indicating a clip can be dragged to a new location. I have since started using Shotcut on a crouton Linux installation. Shotcut is a just a little more cumbersome to use, but presents nowhere near the learning curve of something like Kdenlive (and Shotcut is far more stable running in a chroot). Just want to put in a good word for Shotcut.
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