News: Welcome to Edit on a Dime

Welcome to Edit on a Dime
Video Introduction to Edit on a Dime

Hey there, Interwebs and welcome to Edit on a Dime, your community for reviews, tutorials and news in the world of free and low cost creative tools. The purpose of this World is to make your video, audio and images look professional without costing you professional money.

I'm really excited to partner with WonderHowTo to create this World, as we're in such an exciting time right now—we've got access to a multitude of inexpensive and free creative tools that we could only have been dreamed up a short time ago!

My goal for this World is create a space where we can discover and learn together how best to harness these new tools. Whether you're making video, images and sound as hobby, exploring a new field or you're a pro looking for alternatives, Edit on a Dime will help you keep your budget down.

In addition to reporting on breaking news as it happens, I've also set up a regular schedule so we'll have interesting content throughout the week:

  • Mondays: Inspirations, projects and contests—Every Monday we'll start off with something to inspire you for your creative week. As the Edit on a Dime community grows, I also envision throwing in projects and perhaps a contest or two!
  • Tuesdays: Tutorials—We're going to feature a couple of tutorials a week to help you out. This first Tuesday, I'll be looking at several of the tools YouTube provides to help finesse your videos and get them in better shape.
  • Wednesdays: Reviews—No technology website is complete without reviews, of course, and this week I'll be looking at a new cloud-based video editor called wevideo. Can a server-side editor do all the heavy lifting so you won't need a powerful PC or expensive piece of software like Final Cut Pro? We'll find out.
  • Thursdays: Tutorials—Another tutorial, this time looking at the iPhone video editing app Splice. I've always preferred its user-interface to iMovie, and this Thursday I'll tell you why.
  • Fridays: Weekly Wrap Up—A roundup of the week's news in the world of low-cost and free creative software.

I hope we can make Edit on a Dime as social as possible, so I'd be remiss if I didn't hook up this site to all the other media out there. You can always follow our conversation and the latest EOAD news via the usual suspects listed below:

Ok, that's if for now folks. I'm looking forward to learning and helping each other make some great work with tools that won't bankrupt us. Don't forget to check back regularly for breaking news!

Video Details: With every video I make for EOAD, I'll list the tools I used and my thoughts on the process. Here's today's:

  • Video: iSight Camera, Macbook Air 11", Resolution 640x426, 14.29fps, H.264
  • Audio: Logitech Headset, (model no longer available), AAC, 44.1kHz
  • Software: Apple Photobooth, Final Cut Pro X, Photoshop

The Experience: Hold on, I hear you say, "You used Final Cut Pro and Photoshop to make that video? Isn't that contradictory to what you're trying to do with 'Edit'?" Yep, I intentionally started with more expensive software so I'll be able to compare and contrast with the low cost tools as we move forward. With every video, I'll mix and match a variety of tools to see what works and what doesn't. That way we'll discover what gives us the best value for the money.

I learned a variety of interesting things with this first video. First of all, for god knows what reason, Apple's iSight camera in the MacBook Air records at 640x426. Who does that? Well, Apple does.  

The result being that even their own software, (Final Cut Pro X), has an issue with it as you'll see with the black bars at the top and bottom of the video. In addition, my version of Final Cut (10.0), couldn't deal with the AAC audio. It was fine during the edit, but when the video was exported the audio had a horrible clicking/popping problem. Updating to 10.0.1 solved the problem, but it points out that even modern tools like the MacBook Air seem old fashioned or kinda out of it compared to the new generation of hardware and software. I'm pretty sure if I shot and edited the introductory video on my iPhone, the experience would be far less painful.  

Other minor niggles: the audio peaks/pops a bit with the Logitech headset, (which I believe is a discontinued model—I can't find one that looks like it on the Logitech site). This peaking/popping issue is why I've positioned the mic not over my mouth, but just slightly below my nose—a good tip for anybody using these types of headsets, even if it didn't completely eliminate the problem in this case.

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Thanks Xurxo - we're in a really exciting time now - with computers that are both powerful and portable and the wide base of folks in the world who know how to program we're starting to see some REALLY interesting bits of software

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