Creating and Editing Media Files

Recommendations for video and audio editing software.

This page lists reliable, accessible media editing programs recommended for graduate student use.

Audio Editor


Audacity is an audio editing program used to create and edit sound files, favored by the iSchool ITD. It is free, easy to use, and available on Apple and Windows computers. You can download Audacity on their website, where you can also access the Audacity manual. 

Video Editors - Top Recommendations

Illinois Media Space

Illinois Media Space is a video hosting website licensed by UIUC and integrated with our Moodle site. Media Space is the recommended video platform for editing and sharing videos at the iSchool. The editor enables you to make simple edits to a single recording. It can also automatically generate captions for your video, which we recommend proofreading for accuracy before sharing. For more information, please review the Kaltura User Guide.

To add closed captions to your Media Space video, see these instructions: Kaltura, Captioning Tools.

Adobe Premiere Pro

This professional-grade video editor is available for free to Illinois students until at least August 1, 2021. Illinois Technology Services has created these instructions to activate your access to Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe Premiere is a full-featured video editor which should allow you to do nearly anything you could need, however it is relatively complex and you may need to take advantage of the built-in tutorials to get comfortable using the program.

Other Free Options

Mac: iMovie

This editing program is available for free to anyone with a compatible Apple device. iMovie has many templates, which can make building projects easier and quicker. For exmaple, the film trailer template is especially good for creating book trailers. Apple Support provides more information in iMovie Help.

Windows: Video Editor

Microsoft has discontinued its program Windows Movie Maker, but there is still a video editor automatically installed on most PCs. To access, open the Photos application and select Video Editor along the top bar. The program is fairly simple, but allows the user to add and trim multiple videos as well as overlay text and graphics. For more information about Video Editor, please visit Microsoft's support page.

Openshot, Shotcut, and DaVinci Resolve

These three programs are all free, feature-rich options for video editing software. Openshot comes most highly recommended, but all three are fully-featured and may require some learning to make good use of them. Openshot and Shotcut are both also open-source software, while DaVinci Resolve has a professional-grade paid version as well as the free edition.

Other Recommendations

YouTube Video Editor

YouTube Video Editor is available for all computer types. It can be used to edit videos, create slideshows with sound, and add background music to videos. For more information, please see the YouTube Video Editor Support page. The YouTube Video Editor is comparable to the editor on Media Space, because it is good for basic editing of uploaded videos.


Camtasia is a useful program for video editing, especially doing screen caps for video tutorials. It was previously available to UIUC students at a discounted rate, but the WebStore no longer offers the license. To access it, you will be required to pay the full Education rate of $170 (discounted from $250.) For more information, please review the Camtasia tutorials page. 

Keywords:Media Audio Video Editing Adobe Premiere Audacity iMovie Windows Openshot Shotcut DaVinci Resolve Youtube Camtasia   Doc ID:128387
Owner:Jonas Y.Group:University of Illinois School of Information Sciences
Created:2023-05-18 13:24 CDTUpdated:2023-05-19 14:25 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois School of Information Sciences
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