I personally believe that Windows Movie Maker is probably the best solution for newbies and beginners to video editing. Most of us just want to edit our picnic and wedding movies we created with our camcorders, digital cameras or mobile phones. Windows Movie Maker is a good choice if you want to add text, simple video effects, background music, voice over, or things like that. And above all it comes free with your Windows XP PC.
But then sometimes you buy a product that saves your pictures and videos in a format which is not supported by windows movie maker. In that case, or if you want to do something that windows movie maker can’t, then you will need some other free video editing tools.
DVDx is a free tool that allows you to copy DVD and convert it as VCD, SVCD, DivX, AVI or WMV in one step. DVDX is a free and open source software. It has a simple user interface, and there is support available for free. There is also a paid version of the software.
MediaCoder is a free and open source transcoder that can help you convert your audio and video files from one format to another. It supports many popular formats such as AVI, XviD, DivX, MP, CD, VCD, DVD, Windows Media audio and video, mpeg, Mp4, among many others. For support options it has a Wiki with conversion tutorials and other related information.
DVDStyler is a free and open source DVD authoring application based on dvdauthor. It allows you to create your own professional looking DVDs that can be played on almost any standalone DVD player and your computer. You can create menus, buttons, add pictures, music, chapters, etc. You can even add your own subtitles to the movies. It has a simple uncluttered interface. Support is available via mailing list, user forum and Wiki. While downloading make sure that you download win32 version for your windows computer. DVDstyler is a cross platform application so you would also see links to downloads for other operating systems aswell.
I love Videohelp Forum for all my video editing related questions. It already has many well written guides to do just about anything with your videos. They also have tools directory that lists hundereds of audio video editing tools categorized as freeware, adware and non-free labes. So if there is something you want to do with your movies but don’t know how to do it and don’t want to spend money on expansive video editing software then videohelp forums is the place for you.