Do you want to edit out parts of videos, or cut-and-paste your favorite parts into one highlights reel? The cheapest, easiest way to do this is with WatchFast. WatchFast doesn’t require that you spend a lot of time editing large video files. Rather, it lets you make a list of scenes to play. You tell it which file the scene is in, the start time, end time, and how many times you want to repeat the scene. So it is very quick and easy to change things. Once you install WatchFast, go onto the “File” menu, then to “PlayList Setup”, and once that window opens, click the “Help” button for instructions.
The only drawback to using WatchFast is that you have to keep all of the video files available on your system. If you want to remove the files, and only keep your favorite scenes, you will need to use a video-editing program to make a new video file. For average people, the best program for this is the $30 QuickTime Pro from Apple, which works great on Windows as well as the Macintosh.
Download the QuickTime Player if you don’t already have it on your system, and then order QuickTime Pro. Apple will send you a serial number that converts the free Player into the Pro version. With this program you can cut and paste video as easily as you do text.
QuickTime Pro can open MPEG files, so it will handle quite a lot of what is found on Usenet. On Windows, AVI’s must be converted to MPEG’s before you can use them with QT Pro, so you will need to find an AVI-to-MPEG-Converter.
QuickTime Pro cannot directly edit MPEG files, so first you must open them with QuickTime Pro and use its “Export” command to save them as MPEG-4 files. Then you can cut-and-paste the new file. You can also export the files to QuickTime’s .mov format, but the files will be much larger.
QuickTime Pro can open several files at once, so it is very easy to make a new video, and then copy clips into it. QuickTime can draw video from other files in order to make editing very fast. So, instead of copying the data into your new video, it can insert a command that says, “now play video from file x, from point a to point b. Then open file y, and play video from point c to point d,” and so on. However, you need to keep your original video files for this to work. If you throw them away, or move them off your system, your new video will no longer work. So, if you want to cut clips out of videos and then toss them, make your new video “stand alone” when you save it with QuickTime Pro. Until you get the hang of it, save your original videos. Before deleting the originals, move them to the trash first, and then try to play your new video to make sure that it does not have any dependencies.
Over time, your highlights reel will grow large, and it will take longer and longer to edit and save it. A good approach is to make several smaller highlights reels and then use WatchFast to play them in sequence.