Pinnacle – VideoSpin 1.1 review

free video editing suite
Photo of Pinnacle – VideoSpin 1.1
£free (£9.99 for codecs)

Not so long ago, a decent video camera cost the best part of a grand. Now you can pick one up for a fraction of that price, and moreover even cheap normal cameras and some mobile phones have video facilities. The art of film truly has been brought to the masses, and should you wish to do a spot of editing on some of that footage, there’s an equally budget-friendly way to do it. And that’s with VideoSpin, Pinnacle’s free editing suite.

There are a couple of catches, which we may as well get out of the way now. Firstly, there’s an advert window built into the program that displays teasers, mostly promoting Pinnacle’s other software. Moreover, VideoSpin comes with an advanced codec pack that’s only functional for a fifteen day trial.

After this period you can continue to use the program, but it won’t be possible to work with some major video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and DivX) unless you pay £9.99 to re-enable the advanced codecs. Of course, you’re still getting a lot for free, and at any rate we think the program is worth a tenner as it’s neatly designed.

VideoSpin’s interface is split into two parts; editing and production. The editing side of the suite is where most of the work happens, and it’s highly intuitive to use. There’s an album window, and the user drags and drops video clips, transitions and titles from here directly into the timeline below. Video can be imported from your hard disk, or any mass storage device such as an external drive or a digital camera’s flash memory card.

Once the clip (or clips) are in the timeline, it’s a simple matter to cut and splice them (a zoom function is provided for accurate snipping). There are over seventy different types of transitions, from fading in and out to elaborate spirals and funky pixellating wipes. As for introductory titles (or credits), VideoSpin sports twelve templates, each of which can be edited to change the written text, font size and colours.

If you wish to add a sound track, an MP3 file can be dragged and dropped into the timeline, plus there are stock sound effects built into the program. Once done with the editing, click the production tab and your project can be saved out in a number of formats, or the video can be uploaded directly to YouTube; a smart touch.

VideoSpin is by no means feature rich; there’s no processing to apply to your movie, for example. Just the basics are covered, but it really is a doddle to create something that looks reasonably professional in a matter of minutes.

Company: Pinnacle

Contact: 01753 655999

VideoSpin has a limited feature set, but the basics are all here and it's very user friendly. On the face of it the program's free as well, although you will have to pay to work with the most popular codecs.