Before we start reviewing some of the top MP4 editors in the market, it is important to understand what the MP4 format is and isn’t.
MP4 is – the accepted abbreviation of MPEG 4 Part 14, an Apple Quick Movie type format that supports streaming over the Internet. MP4 isn’t – a format or container for only video files. It can be the extension of a variety of multi-media content, including audio and still photos.
So a tool can lay claim to the title of being an MP4 editor only when it can craft a seamless output of video, audio, captions and images.
Top 5 Best MP4 Editors Out There
Option #1: Movavi MP4 Editor (Highly Recommended)
Movavi is hands down the most popular MP4 editing tool in the market! Why? Because of its modern, intuitive interface and its ability to handle large files without lagging or crashing.
Movavi is compatible with both the Windows operating system and all sorts of Mac based devices. And another testament to its flexibility is the fact that users can export content in over 30 formats spanning the ubiquitous MP3 and MP4 and even including the more elusive Xbox 360.
In short – no matter what device you use to shoot the footage, Movavi is capable of polishing, trimming and enhancing your videos.
Other advantages of Movavi include:
- The ability to select multiple clips in one go from the hard disk of the computer on which it is installed.
- On the fly screen and video captures which facilitate training modules and webinars.
- The drag and drop application of filters, transitions and text captions. Plus, the ability to remove effects and start from scratch when needed, in just a few clicks.
- The “direct to YouTube” export which can save hours for amateur video creators.
Option #2: iMovie for Apple
iMovie has been around for a while and since it’s baked into Apple products, those who swear by the brand can easily sync their editing efforts across platforms – laptop, iPads and even the iPhone.
All Apple products tend to lead with simplicity and the iMovie interface isn’t cluttered either. However, the pairing of icons and menu options is not as intuitive as with other MP4 editing tools.
If you’re looking to arrange video content with simple overlays and background music, iMovie can get the job done with aplomb. In a bow to Apple’s social savvy, the output can be directly exported to YouTube, Facebook and a number of other channels.
But iMovie has a notorious reputation for crashing. Also, the following “nuisances”:
- It’s not comfortable operating with rarer content formats. The footage in your camcorder or your Android phone may not import or the exported video may not be particularly flattering.
- Many users face issues with the YouTube upload option.
- The filters and transitions are basic – even for beginners and do not enhance the viewing pleasure.
Option #3: Windows Movie Maker
The Windows Movie Maker is a legend in the world of home videos. But sadly, it has been discontinued and is now available for download as part of the Essentials suite. The days of finding the Movie Maker bundled with the OS are finally over.
Maybe it is a nod to the fact that freemium tools offering more sophisticated editing capabilities are easily available.
However, there are still novices who feel comfortable tinkering around the familiar Windows interface.
A few key features and capabilities of the Windows Movie Maker are:
- The ability to export content to YouTube. This is slightly better than what iMovie achieves.
- PowerPoint-like ease of animation, filter and transition application. Captions can also be added in a few clicks.
- A panel of robust video editing tools that can trim or crop videos and accelerate reel speed.
If you can ignore the rather shabby interface and the painfully slow pace of processing the actual edits, the Movie Maker still suffices for simple tweaks.
Option #4: LightWorks
Want the finesse of Hollywood editing technicians without emptying your wallet? LightWorks is the option for you.
Masterpieces like Hugo and the Wolf of Wall Street met the competent tools offered by LightWorks and emerged Oscar worthy. But there is always a price to pay for its level of sophistication and it comes in the form of a steep learning curve.
This is not a suite to be trifled with and you must possess both device processing capacity as well as patience to truly make the most of LightWorks.
- The colour correction is professional quality.
- GPU acceleration makes real time application of filters and effects a breeze
- The interface can be overwhelming. There are too many buttons and floating windows (which are supposed to “customize” your workflow) without adequate tool tips.
- The auto-save functionality is a life-saver.
Option #5: Wondershare Filmora
Filmora is closest to Movavi in terms of layout and features. It is an easy to learn solution that’s geared to serve the needs of novices. But there are certain notable differences:
- Filmora has multiple timelines for the different types of content you add to your movies. The video clips line up in one row, the audio clips go below them, the text captions are shown separately and so on. This can seem like overkill to beginners who are not used to switching timelines.
- The free trial version of Filmora exports content with glaringly conspicuous banners. Your editing efforts are mostly in vain unless you pay to upgrade.
So, what is your favourite MP4 movie editor? Let us know in the comments!