when/why should someone upgrade from WMP (video edits) Windows movie player...

one of the 14 year old student make basic videos (with features available from WMM) for 2.5 years and is comfortable..

how would you qualify that an upgrade is needed or recommended to someone who is growing in video editing skills? (taking several small stills, then putting effects, captions, sound effects and all the basics in WMP) from the native windows tool to a paid version... (this is for recreational family videos, at this point)

is there  a level of video editing at which WMP would not be competent for aspiring users?
someone at school seems to suggest that mac-final cut pro is the next level to attain.. but we want to think in level of Windows OS only ATM

would you recommend any of the below or how could you explain how they relate to WMP

(some search results that came as alternatives to WMP)
http://filmora.wondershare.com/video-editor/
http://www.iskysoft.com/video-editor-windows.html
do you trust tools like these.. seems to have some reviews, but not able to confirm if they are genuine...
http://www.cyberlink.com/products/director-suite (seems to be on sale)

what will be the next level of learning curve & competency to be attained in photo/video editing, beyond WMP?

thanks.
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25112Asked:
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MereteCommented:
Hi 25112
Start off small and grow with the expertise, Video Editors can get expensive they can also suck you in with cool looking stuff and then you buy it only to discover to get those extra cool things requires you pay more.
But I'm on windows and not helping you :)
Windows MovieMaker is a very good tool and always good to use for different video editing.
Has quite a lot of features and tricks one can learn for the armature.

In comparison to some paid editing tools it can't really compare with quality and things one can achieve.
If a professional video is not required then WMM is very good and stands up really well you get extra features with windows 7 DVD maker. But it is limited if you really want to do special things with audio or video segments.
Adobe Premier for Mac  and Final Cut Pro are excellent and should really fire up his imagination
Cyberlink PowerDirector alternatives for Mac
http://alternativeto.net/software/cyberlink-powerdirector/?platform=mac
The Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac Users
http://filmora.wondershare.com/video-editor/free-video-editing-software-mac.html 
Have a look through Youtube for demo videos on any of the tools that interest you.
Many young people do amazing things with Premier and some of the others.
For windows
I use Cyberlink Power Director Ultra x 64 and the effects/transitions and things that are achievable is limitless and mind blowing also you can get access to the Cyber link members Director Zone where 1000's of effects are uploaded and shared by other Cyberlink users.
We can download them and use them.
It's affordable and also includes 3D
http://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdirector-ultra/features_en_AU.html?affid=2581_1123_240_paidsearch-au_0_1&mkwid=s&pcrid=78180104237&pkw=cyberlink%20powerdirector&pmt=e&pdv=c&gclid=Cj0KEQjw98mvBRD-_ciSovKhq7gBEiQAEvsBZ6XV-hjsmMhq_r0askuyVhN25fHV0YDuLDsUTKHrpzQaAsM68P8HAQ 
I tried wonder share and didn't like it found it simple, not a great mainly for cutting trimming some effects..
wonder-share on YouTube you can checkout.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKWae0ktU1E
Sony Vegas is also a bit too slow for me as a video editor
http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegassoftware
I can vouch for Nero Vision in Nero. It also has lots of visual special effects but not quite as vast Cyberlink PDD.
http://www.nero.com/eng/products/nero-video/whats-new.php

Just my thoughts, I'd recommend using the trial of Cyberlink PDD at least it can show them the learning curb what it is like. Most video editors have a TRIAL!!
Gets you hooked or not :)
The director zone freebies as a member is limitless effects styles and even provide video guides. They have completions as well.
If you'd like to see some check out you-tube
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cyberlink+videos
Director ZoneStuff we can download is amazing
Of coarse there is the ultimate Adobe but it's just for the professionals and very expensive, tried it and not really excited it, meant mainly for professionals and they constantly want money for any of the tools.
Trials is the way to go to know which video editor is suitable.
Nero with Nero Vision bundles with a DVD rom burner or buy it stand alone.
Many DVD burners have a video editor onboard just check out the specs.
Regards Merete

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BillDLCommented:
Merete has given a great answer based on her experience with video editing over a number of years.  My experience goes back quite a while to older versions of a more limited number of applications than she has used, so I will stick to trying to address the "Why" and "When" aspects of your question.

"How would you qualify that an upgrade is needed or recommended to someone who is growing in video editing skills?"

"What will be the next level of learning curve & competency to be attained in photo/video editing, beyond Windows Movie Maker?"


Up to now the 14 year old has been taking still photos and creating family "picture slideshow" videos with transitions and audio for general entertainment, and has been doing that for 2 and a half years.   The easiest way to know whether that person is ready for more "professional" software is when he or she expresses an interest in being able to make "real movies", in other words importing existing videos and editing them.  People who want to advance will usually use examples of other peoples' creations as examples.

Those interested in web development will often be quite impressed by some other websites and will ask "how did they acieve that?", and "how can I get the same effects on my site?".

Those interested in photo editing will be captivated by some special image editing used by somebody else, and they usually want to know what software was used and how the effects were achieved.  Most young people these days have mobile phones that capture good quality video.  Most will readily video events around themselves and are usually not shy in uploading the videos to Facebook or YouTube.

If somebody of that age who has been creating picture slideshow videos has not yet expressed an interest in merging existing videos (their own or other peoples') and modifying the soundtracks, then there may be a few reasons:
1. They have not been exposed to videos that are any more advanced or creative than they have been creating themselves
OR
2. They have no real interest in learning more advanced skills in video editing
OR
3. You have not been listening to their feedback.

I don't think many will argue that Windows Movie Maker is more of a hobbyist application for the family than for really serious video editing, but it does have the means to import more than a handful of video file types that can be subjected to some basic editing functions and then exported.  I think it might be time for YOU to ask this 14 year old whether he or she has actually tried making videos from videos yet, and whether he or she has found any limitations in Windows Movie Maker that has prevented them from doing anything more adventurous.

In my opinion, having simply read the features and support for:
http://filmora.wondershare.com/video-editor/
and
http://www.iskysoft.com/video-editor-windows.html
these applications do not offer a realistic stepping stone towards more advanced video editing.  They are gimmicky and fun to use by people who want to edit and share holiday photos and videos with the minimum of fuss and smallest learning curve.  They offer a couple of features that aren't available in Windows Movie Maker, such as "Picture within picture" and the ability to speed up and slow down the video and audio, but the remaining features are either already present in WMM or are just gimmicks.  It looks as though they both offer a wider scope of video and audio formats that can be imported into a project, and a wider range of export formats for the latest High Definition era, and that can only be an improvement, but I still don't think of them as a "next step".

http://filmora.wondershare.com/video-effects/  seems to be the better of the two in terms of more professional special effects.  http://www.iskysoft.com/video-editor-windows.html just looks crappy to me.  When I scroll down to the "guides" section at the bottom and see the top two "guides" showing as:
5 Methods to Fix the 'iMovie Error 50'
3 Solutions for 'iMovie Not Responding'
I have to ask how good the software is.  In the middle of the page they have tried to "showcase" the effects and tools, but have failed dismally by showing some really amateurish "before and after" thumbnails that either don't show an "after" or display the rendered effects in the most gimmicky and cheap way they could ever have done.

The strange thing is that in the "guides" section I find a link to a page that compares Apple iMovie with Apple Final Cut Pro.
http://www.iskysoft.com/video-editing/imovie-vs-final-cut-pro.html
Neither of them are related to iSkysoft Video Editor, so it is a puzzle why the guide is listed, but the chart shown on that page is actually quite a useful guide when comparing hobbist video editing software against the "next step in the learning curve" video editors as long as you understand that the comparisons are not reviews and are only intended to establish why the two different applications are aimed at two entirely different audiences.

As a "next step" application for somebody who is interested in learning more and breaking past the limitations of Windows Movie Maker you made a good observation in determining that http://www.cyberlink.com/products/director-suite is a much better application, and hopefully Merete's comment demonstrates this.

The DESIRE or NEED to do more than the current software is able to offer is your best guide on WHEN to upgrade, but sometimes people need to be asked what they want to achieve.
25112Author Commented:
this is truly a great help. I thank you much for your dedicated guidance, which will make a difference this month.
MereteCommented:
Thankyou 25112
whichever you choose if you need help how to use it I have a few spare video editors
Good luck and all the best
Regards Merete
BillDLCommented:
Thank you 25112
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