Shave Video: Lightweight Video Editing

Video editing programs are big and bulky and take a lot of resources to run. I regularly use Adobe After Effects and Premiere, but my computer isn’t always happy about that. It doesn’t make sense to use Premiere or After Effects for the little tasks, but I don’t particularly care for iMovie so I often find myself having to open up Premiere just to do a simple conversion or little edit, which doesn’t make a great deal of sense. I’ve been looking for a light-weight program to take care of the little edits and Shave Video is definitely one I like.

Shave Video is a simple and quick program that’s great for basic cutting, chopping, splicing and conversions. Shave Video is useful no matter your skill level. Novice users can complete simple edits like cutting a scene from a phone-video. Professional editors will appreciate the simplicity of the software for use in prep work or batch conversion. Read on to find out how the program works as well as what I really thought of it.

Major Features

Shave Video offers users the ability to do simple edits or to convert video to different formats. Regardless of the project at hand, importing the footage is the first step. Importing is fairly straight-forward, but make sure your video is in the proper format. If you are editing video, Shave Video supports QuickTime, Windows AVI (with Perian installed), MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. If your project just involves conversion, all of the above formats are supported, as well as Mastroka MKV (with Perian) and DV Streams.

The supported formats for import and export.

After your footage is imported, Shave allows you to easily cut up and splice together footage. I had a video that I shot on my phone that I wanted to cut a few seconds out of, thanks to the fairly intuitive controls in Shave I was able to import, edit and export within just a few minutes. Trimming scenes is easy: just set “in and out” (start and end) points for the clip and then choose the trim option. If you want to use a clip in another video, set your in and out points and use the extract tool. Lifting works just like extract, but leaves the original scene intact. The editing mode is also the place to add any additional video clips, audio and even still images.

Utilizing the easy to set "in and out" points for some trimming via the editing menu.

Converting video is another big feature. It’s just as simple and straight-forward as cutting and exporting. Just open up the footage you want to convert, select the export format and let Shave do the work for you. To make things even simpler, if you have several files to convert Shave also has a “batch convert” feature. This feature allows you to queue up and convert several files at once to the same format. This feature is useful for multiple complete, original files or for exporting various clips from the same video as separate files.

Batch conversion of a few movie files.

If you are working on only one file, the export options are pretty decent, given the level of software. Files can be exported as 3G, Windows AVI, Quicktime (.mov), MPEG-4 or DV streams. You are also able to change a variety of the settings for video and audio. Options include the compression time, frames per second, dimensions and sample rates. If your video is going online, this is also the place to make sure it is optimized for online playback.

Exploring the array of export options.

Advanced Features

While Shave is definitely great for all skill levels, if you are an advanced user there is some further functionality that definitely benefits you. First, Shave is accurate down to the frame for the best quality editing possible. You can easily trim down to precise frames or scroll the footage one frame at a time. This accuracy ensures that any prep work done in Shave Video can be used in more advanced editing programs.

Advanced users will also appreciate the plethora of keyboard shortcuts, similar in many ways to the shortcuts found in professional-grade editing applications. From the basic program controls like opening and closing files to editing and playback navigation shortcuts, the program makes it easy to master the shortcuts and use them to easily speed up workflow. Shave also supports some gesture controls, although there are not nearly as many and they are not as useful as the keyboard shortcuts.

Test out the many keyboard shortcuts to greatly improve your user experience.

A few other notable features include the ability to add watermarks to the video (via the tools menu) as well as the ability to export still images from the videos. These images are able to be used as either thumbnails or preview images for the video you are working on. Both tools are simple to use and are helpful in the editing process.

It is worth noting at this time the things that Shave is lacking in. You will not find fancy effects or transitions in this program. This is not what Shave is designed to do, and for that I am thankful. The one thing I wish they would add, at least in a very simple way, is the ability to add some text. I don’t wish for scrolling text or fancy shapes and colors and customization. If the program is aimed (at least in part) at an audience that wants to simply trim down a video and put in on a social media site, the ability to add at least a title to the video would be fantastic and I believe much appreciated. I am glad that Shave has stuck to the simplicity throughout the application, but a basic text tool would be great.

Final Thoughts

Shave Video has found a permanent place in my workflow after testing it out. As someone who works with video on a regular basis, I love the batch conversion tool and the ability to do some easy prep work (with frame accuracy) before I have to open up the more intensive program. If you are looking for a light-weight program for use in the professional world or just a simpler replacement for the extremely bloated iMovie, then check out Shave Video.

Of course, I am excited to hear what you all think about the program as well. Have you tried it? Does it help you in your daily workflow? I’d love to hear from all levels – professional editors and novice iPhone shooters. Share your thoughts below.


A light-weight video editing and conversion program that is great for simple edits by users of any skill level and does great prep work for professional editors.