Covid and Melbourne lockdown have meant that most birthdays since March have either been run over Zoom or involved people pre-recording birthday messages for their friends.

I’ve been responsible for compiling a few together so thought I would finally document my steps. It might not be optimal but it’s what has worked for me.

  • Windows 10 Photos app - video compilation and basic trimming - you’ll need to at least be on the Windows 10 Fall Creators update from October 2017 - basic guide on editing here
  • Shotcut - boosting audio and any other fancy video things like un-stretching aspect ratios
  • Audacity - noise reduction

You’ll likely be getting videos from all over the place in different formats. I received the majority through Messenger (.mp4), so for consistency, if a video was sent to me another way I would just send it to myself on Messenger to get an mp4 and deal with the slight compression. On your computer, go to in a browser, click the video, then click download in the top right.

Will update this post later with more specifics on how to use each app