Web-Based vs. Local Video Editing Software - Pros and Cons

article by Sandra Trentino
June 26, 2019
It’s hard to determine the best video editing software for your projects. Many editors split the options into two camps: web-based video editing software and local video editing software. Each solution has its own advantages and drawbacks depending on your editing needs.

Video Editing Harnesses the Power of the Cloud

Web-based video editing software is stored in the cloud, making it accessible from any internet-connected device for both creators and whomever the video is shared with. It is also quite flexible for those on the go. However, these benefits come at a price – namely, the sacrifice of functionality and speed that must be made to accommodate the online environment.

The Pros

  1. A suite of editing tools is available anytime, anywhere. Once they are uploaded, personal video files can be stored or edited then and there.
  2. It is very easy to collaborate with a team. Clients, bosses, managers and other parties who have access to the video can edit as well.
  3. Storing video files on the cloud lends an extra layer of protection against loss: the host will automatically backup data in case of emergencies.

The Cons

  1. High-level features are not accessible because the memory and processing power required is not available via the cloud.
  2. Uploading and rendering video files, which are usually large, requires significant bandwidth that may slow other processes. There is also the chance of losing progress if the internet is disconnected.
  3. Video quality may be degraded to accommodate varying internet speeds, increase responsiveness and lighten the load on the cloud’s servers.
  4. Many cloud-based software suites force users to work online or at least be connected to the internet.

Local Video Editing Software

Editing video with local software, meaning those programs installed on your own computer and drawing resources from your computer only, has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The Pros

  1. Suitable option for individuals or small businesses where there is less emphasis on sharing or accessibility among coworkers.
  2. More high-level features, like the visual effects provided by Pinnacle Studio, are available because the software is designed to employ the resources of a single PC.
  3. Video quality is not degraded, as storage space is less of a concern when editing locally.
  4. Work offline without worrying about loss during the rendering or uploading processes.

The Cons

  1. Harder to collaborate and work with team members or clients, requiring manual sharing and uploading.
  2. Higher risk, and no support for lost data if the system or software crashes.

Choose Wisely

Editing video on the cloud may be a good thing if your main aim is to edit quickly on the go and share with anyone instantly. On the other hand, if you have just begun or are working alone, it is recommended to go for local video editing software like Adobe Premiere Elements. This way you can work offline and render the final video quickly. Ultimately, the decision for the best video editor solution rests with the user’s needs.