Here are some of the features to look for in consumer-friendly video-editing programs:
Analog and digital capturing
The best software will capture video from both analog and digital sources via video-capturing boards. Look for FireWire support, too.
Splicing and rearranging
Video-editing software makes it easy to cut out portions of video footage, rearrange the pieces, then use them to create new video sequences.
Image and sound enhancement
Adjust brightness, contrast and color. Apply filters such as sepia and selenium. Capture CD-quality sound from digital camcorders.
Here's the wedding footage. There's the reception footage. Merge the two with a professional-looking transition such as dissolve or page-peel.
Want to really impress 'em at the family reunion? Use special effects such as swirl, ripple, tile and others. Enhance a video segment or animate a still image.
Some programs let you create "streaming" video, the kind that's available on Web sites and viewable by any Net-surfer with the correct "player."
Import and export a variety of video formats such as QuickTime and AVI. Your software should support still-image formats such as TIFF, BMP and JPEG.
For more on making your home videos memorable, see the April 2000 issue of Family Tree Magazine