XidipityReviews - Chromebook Clipchamp Review
March 21, 2023
The best video editor for Chromebooks in 2023 may surprise you!

Having a video editor at your disposal is very important to many folks and there is no shortage of choices for Windows and Macs, but not so many for Chromebooks. When you add free or very affordable as a requirement, the list shrinks even further.

Clipchamp is a video editor from Microsoft and it is available for Chromebooks from the Google Play store. The features are robust for a product which is marketed at a freemium cost. The free version is fully usable without watermarks or export restrictions. By upgrading to the premium version, you will gain access to additional options in the audio, image, and video library, as well as more filters and effects. You will also be able to expand your brand kit, allowing you to better manage logos and colors. Additionally, you will have the ability to back up your content.

The biggest gotcha may be exports are limited to 1080p HD. This is suitable for most circumstances, but if you are into 4K editing this is not your tool. I did not feel constrained using the free version, but the ability to backup my creations does sound appealing.

Use case scenarios I see include:

  • Create video shorts or gifs to be included in other documents such as web pages or presentations
  • Groom video clips to be used in other documents
  • Create slideshows or photo ablums
  • Create social media clips for YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Create video how-to's
  • Create video promotions and commercials

Things I Liked

I liked the fact there are a plethora of templates to get you started. Templates are a good way to jump start your effort. Even if you don’t like the design, if there is something the template does you would like to use, they become a great training resource. They also show what is possible. I counted twenty nine categories containing numerous templates.

One thing Clipchamp has that the high end solutions do not is the ability to record from your Chromebook. This is very useful in the scenario where you want to capture the activity on your screen and at the same time record yourself as the narrator.

I liked the selection of available tranisitions. A transition is the process of moving from one scene to the next. A very common transition is when the first scene fades out as the next scene fades in.

Many circumstances require the addition of text to the scene. This is supported and enhanced with text transitions. In addition to text, videos can be enhanced by the application of annotations, shapes, stickers, and backgrounds.

The Not So Free Stuff

In the field of video editing, it is typical to pay for access to music, sound effects, images, and video clips. Clipchamp only allows full access to this content for users who have upgraded to the premium version. The quality of the content is good and you can preview it in the catalog to determine if it is suitable for your needs. Another option to consider for these types of materials is ArtList.

Video effects are a bit more prickly. Clipchamp refers to these as filters and they modify the video in some manner. If you want something more than what ClipChamp has to offer, then you will have to use a site like veed.

The Demo

For the demo we added to a video created for Mint Mobile that used content created by ChatGPT. The exposition or introduction was created in Clipchamp using text tools and transisitions.  A bell tone was added as an audio clip to bring the viewers focus to the intro. The main clip fades in and runs to completion. This is where the fun begins. An image was created and added after the Mint Mobile clip. We then asked ChatGPT to perform the following. 

In the voice of Jenny from ChatGPT, re-introduce yourself to Ryan Reynolds. Inquire into his satisfaction with an ad you drafted earlier for Mint Mobile. Offer your gratitude for the opportunity and for being included on the team. Close by offering to respond to any questions about the work you performed and invite him to make future inquiries on topics of interest.

ChatGPT’s response was converted into a voice using the text-to-speech function of the editor and then added to the timeline as an audio clip. We then added a little magic by including the audio visualizer overlay to the graphic. Just like the Mint Mobile clip, a closing promo image was created and added to the very end. To set the mood, a music clip was added from slip stream.

To complete the task the new video was rendered in 1080p and uploaded to YouTube.

Missing In Action

Clipchamp does not include an audio mixer. Functionality is limited to volume control, fade in, and fade out. To be honest that sounds worse than it really is. 

Final Thoughts

Even though the Mint Mobile promotional video was probably edited with a high end editor like Final Cut Pro, I believe I could reproduce it in Clipchamp if I had access to the artifacts.

I found Clipchamp to be a great video editing solution for mid to high end Chromebooks and it works really well with larger screens like the Pixelbook. Speaking of larger screens, if this is something you will be doing on a regular basis, an external monitor may be a good investment or running it from a Chromebox. The primary reason for this is the timeline. Cutting and splicing the timeline is tedious work and the larger working area would be a great help.