VirtualDub Review

very good
key review info
application features
  • Fractional frame rates. Don't settle for 29 or 30 when you want 29.97
  • (9 more, see all...)

Need a home video editor? I present you VirtualDub, a freeware video processing tool just right for those who can't afford to buy a shareware high-end video editor.

It isn't a non-linear editing like Adobe Premiere or others, but you can still use it to merge videos, cut scenes, convert them or apply different effects, processes that are used by most of the VJ's. VirtualDub was made mostly for processing AVI files, but it can also read MPEG1 and handle BMP images. I can also say that you'll never have to worry about the program's requirements. It runs very well on an average computer.

The program itself is very easy to use. The user interface may seem a bit awkward at the beginning, but with a little practice you'll be able to understand it very well. All the operations you want to do on a video file you'll find in the menus, but to make it easier for you, VirtualDub also has keyboard shortcuts. It has a ton of features for video and audio for a freeware application. It can convert and compress video and audio, edit, capture, render, filter video files and many other options that I'll let you find out for yourself.

In the Edit menu you have the basic operations, cut, copy, paste, delete, that you can use on any amount of frames. Set "selection start" and "selection end" and you can do whatever you want with the selected frames. The Go menu will help you find your way to the frame of your choice. VirtualDub can convert AVI and MPEG1, most common file types used on personal computers. You can improve low quality video just by applying the Blur filter and the DIVX Pro codec. A surprise you'll have after converting a video with full processing mode is that the processed file will have a much bigger size. From a 51MB video, full processed, I got a 900MB one.
To convert a video just add your filters from the more than 30 available, select the frame rate, color depth and full processing mode, options you'll find in the Video menu. The audio options give you the chance to turn off sound or replace it with any WAV file you want. Here you can find over 15 filters for your videos sound. After you have selected your options select the output format you need in the File menu and VirtualDub will do its job.
The program also comes with capture features for VFD drivers for the AVI2 files created when capturing video with an external device, or with your TV tuner. It can also remove and replace audio tracks without touching the video, decompress and recompress audio and video, remove segments of a video clip and save the rest without recompressing, adjust frame rate and preview the results with live audio.

VirtualDub comes with a hex editor and other tools that help you dump an AVI file's structure down to a compact description file for remote analysis of compatibility problems, expand a sparse AVI description to a full AVI with placeholder audio and video data, a benchmark resampler and one that allows you to create a palletized AVI.

To make it easier for you, this open source non-profit project comes with a help file where you can find detailed information about every option of the program.

The Good

It's very easy to use, has a great amount of features for a 1.4MB software and it's free.

The Bad

It doesn't support QuickTime and MPEG2.

The Truth

This is the best freeware application for personal use. Even if doesn't support QuickTime and MPEG2, the file types supported by VirtualDub are the most frequently used by PC users. So, as long as you're not a professional video editing corporation, I recommend VirtualDub.

user interface 4
features 5
ease of use 4
pricing / value 5

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good

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