Video editing … again

Since I forgot how to use Blender, I thought I’d try out a different video editor.

kdenlive. Usability FAIL. You can’t just load a video clip and edit it, unless it fits a “profile”. This video clip is a screen capture at 1024×768 so of course it doesn’t fit any existing profile like HD, DVD, 720p etc.

Why is video editing so hard?



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20 responses to “Video editing … again

  1. Kenny

    Rich, have you tried PiTivi? It’s in the Fedora repos, and I have had pretty good luck with it. I agree with the comment about KDEnlive. However, I can’t seem to do much with it since it randomly crashes on my system.

    • rich

      PiTivi … crashed on me the first time I opened it. I’m trying again with a smaller resolution.

      OpenShot … fairly simple, although I couldn’t work out how to cut a segment from a video.

      Also trying out transcode and ffmpeg to see if I can get these simple edits done on the command line.

  2. Casey Dahlin

    Yeah, it’s all in a pretty bad way. I still have high hopes for lightworks though, which will be open sourced “any day now” and I’m betting will be ported to linux moments after.

  3. Jim

    In kdenlive you can go to Settings – Manage Profiles and create a new profile to match the clips.

  4. Onyeibo

    Go back to blender … it will be easier to recollect and besides Blender 2.6.x rocks!

  5. Fred

    There is always Avidemux in the repos. Its a pretty solid application.

    There is a lot of tutorials for Avidemux on Youtube. Here’s one.

    • what you can do with Avidemux you can also o easily with mencoder and command line tools (joining, splitting, transcoding), things like Kdenlive are non-linear video editors where you can combine multiple tracks, add titles, effects and much more.
      Avidemux is pretty much like VirtualDub for Linux, a cute little tool, but not the end of all problems.

  6. The reason video editing is so hard is a combination of many things; There is a million types of files to deal with, many a bit broken and video editing requires much more of the demuxer and decoder than mere playback does. General immaturity of the video editing libraries is another issue. A highly divided effort ie. there is no Inkscape of video editing and instead there are 10 different efforts taking ten different approaches. And so on.

    PiTiVi has improved greatly over the last year and hopefully it will take another big leap in the coming year, so there is hope, but it is not an overnigth fix.

  7. however, with all its problems, from all the tools i tried i stuck with Kdenlive for its features set (and i am using it on a GTK+ desktop)

  8. bionan

    For me it’s one of the great weakness on linux word: lack of a good, full feature video editor. There’s many video editors to Linux but all of them are too basic. On almost all video editor’s projects are only a few guys trying theirs best but it’s not suficient! Videor Editor it’s very complex project to be take by a few persons. Why they don’t join and working together? Sorry my poor english…

  9. I’m totally with you on this. I’ve been trying for 3 weeks to find a way to edit video on my Ubuntu 11.10 system. Openshot can’t export h.264 codec in mp4 format without turning it into a silent movie, Pitivi skips and flickers too much to be usable, Kdenlive fails to open, and I can’t even figure out how to install Cinelerra after trying way too long. This is incredibly frustrating that none of these highly touted programs can begin to edit the video off my new camera. I’m about to try Avidemux as soon as I press “Post Comment”

  10. Avidemux isn’t usable either. It loaded my 720p video, displaying it do big that it made the whole Avidemux window too big for my 1400 pixel width screen?!? Which naturally, meant my controls to edit the video weren’t even on the screen anywhere. Seriously? Is this really the state of “best video editors” on Linux? I can’t believe people say these programs are usable for video editing at all. if they’re the best… wow… ouch.

  11. Instead of moaning and bitching, why not just use LiVES.

    • rich

      Since you asked … because I have looked at the code in LiVES and I have serious issues with the quality of the code. Also, in our experience it’s not very stable. It’s likely that the two issues are connected.

      You could start by taking every system call, and ensuring that you check its return value, and act correctly on errors. You’ve got tons of code like this:

      dummyvar=write (fd,&hdlsize,sizint);

      which is immediate data loss. And that’s just the start, there is tons of data loss / security crap in the code.

      • The fact that there is only one outstanding crash bug (GUI related) and zero feature requests regarding code clean up suggests that the code is _extremely stable_ and that these kinds of issues are not affecting other users. My own day to day use of the program also supports this.

        The code in question would only cause problems if the user were seriously short of disk space – in which case there would most likely be other errors/warnings going on in the system. Therefore the best thing to do is to ignore the error and allow the user to take their own corrective action and repeat the last operation. I say this as a programmer with over 30 years of experience.

        You are more than welcome to make bug reports or feature requests if you feel these are important issues or they should be handled in another way, and they will be fixed straight away. The same applies if you are finding the program is unstable for whatever reason. I cannot fix bugs which I am unaware of.

        I don’t want to take up further space on this blog discussing this, so please feel free to email me in private

      • Oh and err….since it´s free software, feel free to send a patch 😀

      • rich

        .. or NFS failure, or any filesystem that doesn’t guarantee full writes. Seriously, you need to check the return value from just about every system call and take action. write and close are particularly serious examples of this, but it applies everywhere.

        You should also be quoting parameters to external commands you run more carefully as there are likely to be security concerns from your frequent unchecked / unquoted calls to system.

      • I wish you had emailed me because really this is a very interesting discussion, and I am appreciating your input here.

        If you look carefully at the code, all of the commands which are passed to system() are checked very carefully before being used. Filenames and such provided by the user are quoted, and so on. I would be interested to find examples of where the strings are not checked carefully enough. I know that generally it is recommended to use execv() for example but in this case the composed commands are generally more complicted than execv can handle (it cant take int paramters for example).

        The return value of system() is not checked in many cases because there is simply no logical thing to do if the command fails. Nevertheless I will go back and take a look at these system calls and see if any additional action needs to be taken.

        However with (currently) 393 system calls in just the frontend code, obviously dealing with every possible failure would be very time consuming. That is why I rely on the input of users and other developers to find the areas to concentrate on.

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