Vlogging on a Chromebook
As a lightweight, easy-to-carry and affordable option, Chromebooks are gaining traction with bloggers and vloggers. Many are unsure whether the Chromebook has what it takes to actually produce videos for vlogs and be a sustainable alternative for bloggers, so let’s take a closer look at vlogging on a Chromebook, the features you can use, and whether it’s actually possible.
What is Needed to Vlog on a Chromebook
The biggest criticism with Chromebooks for creatives is normally that you can’t use Photoshop or Premier. However, there are a number of other apps available to give you the bare essentials. Chromebooks are more flexible now, which means there are a wider variety of apps than ever before.
To get started vlogging on a Chromebook, you need to be able to do three things: photo editing, video recording, and video editing. Here are some of the options you have available.
Video Recording Apps
If you don’t have a camera and wish to record your video with a Chromebook, you should know that there is not a pre-installed app or extension for that purpose, so you’ll have to find one on the Chrome Web Store first.
Once you install the app, you will have to grant permissions; otherwise, the app won’t be able to access your webcam.
- Clipchamp – An extension that can record, convert, compress, edit, and upload videos. It can be used on Chromebook and is a very popular choice for recording videos because it’s all-encompassing. It runs in the browser, but the videos are actually processed locally. The process is rather CPU-intensive, so it’s best to close other processes before you start recording.
- io – Another web-based recorder that keeps things simple. You simply give permissions and can start recording as soon as you push the red circle on your screen. Once you have recorded everything, click Stop > Save and Download the video.
Of course, many vloggers prefer to record video using a DSLR camera or their own device, which is a perfectly viable alternative. If you go that route, you’ll simply need the right editing software.
Photo Editing Apps
In order to really stand out, you’ll need to be able to edit photos, whether it’s a still image in your video or cover images for your channel and social media. To make photos more appealing, you can use any of the various photo editing apps available for Chromebooks, including:
- Pixlr – A web-based photo editor that comes as close to Photoshop as possible. You can edit images to your liking, and it’s free to use. The downside: as a free software, it has a number of ads, which could be a deal breaker for some.
- Polarr – Another web-based photo editor with basic options available for free; the full range of options is behind a one-time $20 paywall, however. Still, the options are really powerful, so if you use photo editors a lot, this would be a good choice.
- Adobe Suite – There are multiple Adobe apps available: Photoshop and Lightroom are available too, but they are not as strong when compared to Windows versions. Other apps include Sketch and Photoshop Mix for Chromebook users.
Video Editing Apps
Add fun effects, transitions, and the professional editing touch to your videos, particularly for vloggers aiming to monetize and build a foundation for income. These editing apps for vloggers are available on the Chromebook:
- PowerDirector – A video editor made for Android that also works well on Chromebook. You can easily import and edit videos, even in 1080p and 4K resolutions. Its best selling point is the effects that can be added: slow motion, transition, and more. Plus, the interface is simple and intuitive. One word of warning, however: it does take quite a lot of time to export videos once you’re done editing, since there’s no hardware acceleration available.
- KineMaster – Offers all the options that PowerDirector does, but it’s popular because of its themes. The tool’s Project Assistant basically builds your videos for you: you choose the artwork, fonts, music, and visual style, and then you let the wizard do its magic. It’s available for a monthly fee only, but there’s a trial version as well, so you can try everything out before you commit.
- WeVideo – A feature-packed editor available to Chromebooks with access to Google Play, like the Acer Chromebook 14. Thanks to the intuitive interface, it can be used right away and offers video upload options to Instagram, Facebook, or Google Drive. Its subscription-based, and if you use the free version, you will have a watermark on your videos. It features an extensive media library full of free music and sound effects, which makes working in this editor a real treat.
For the naysayers, vlogging is more than possible with a Chromebook. And thanks to the vast number of apps and extensions available for Chromebooks today, it’s actually easier than ever.