DESKTOP & WEB APPS – Composing with Video

For most video projects, you will need to be able to make basic edits to videos you download or create, including cropping and trimming selections, adding title cards and transitions, and exporting them in web-ready format (m4v, wmv, mov).

You should be able to do everything you need to do using a free or inexpensive video editing application, such as the ones that come with most computers or are free on the web. You can also do limited video editing on mobile devices, but that works best on an iPad or other tablet, rather than a phone.


You do NOT need to use expensive, advanced video editing apps like Adobe Premier or Final Cut Pro, unless of course you have access to them and are already familiar with how to use them.

Windows Users

Most Windows PCs come with Windows Live Movie Maker. If yours didn’t, you can download it from the Microsoft Windows Live site. Some PCs also come with third-party video editing apps, which are often more powerful than MovieMaker, so it’s worth exploring what came with your computer.

Mac Users

All Macs come with iMovie. Ideally you should be using iMovie ’09 or newer. If your version is older, you might consider upgrading your Mac’s operating system to 10.9, which comes with iMovie ’14. If your Mac can’t run 10.9, you might be able to get iMovie ’11 from the App Store (under the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your computer screen). You can also do some very limited video editing with QuickTime.

If you’ve never really explored iMovie’s advanced features, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what it can do, including green screen, layered audio and video, cutaways, picture in picture, storyboarding, and more. To learn more:

Find More Apps

Here are a few places to search for freeware and shareware apps for working with video:


These tools allow you to work with images and video in ways that are similar to what you can do with iMovie and MovieMaker, but a few of them have extra features that make use of the fact that they’re web based, like the ability to collaborate with others and to easily share via social media.


Web-based collaborative video editing and sharing.

From the web site: “WeVideo makes video creation accessible to everyone, using cloud-based technologies to make it easier, faster and more convenient. Because it’s cloud-based, we make social video editing possible, where people come together online to collaborate on a video project.

Publishing Options

Share link to video on site or export to hosting service (and download if desired)


Web-based video editing and sharing. Import images, video clips, and audio clips and arrange on a timeline. Interface is similar to Windows MovieMaker.

Publishing Options

Share link to video on site or export to hosting service (and download if desired)


Web-based video tool for making remixes and mashups.

From the web site: “Popcorn Maker helps you easily remix web video, audio and images into cool mashups that you can embed on other websites. Drag and drop content from the web, then add your own comments and links —all within your browser. Popcorn Maker videos are dynamic, full of links and unique with every view.”

Cool Feature

Gives you easy access to remixable content.

More Web Apps to Explore


Owners of iOS devices can get a streamlined version of iMovie, but it lacks the power of the full desktop version.