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The most promising or also often called best Linux free video editor of all, OpenShot has a long history of development and should be mature and stable. I downloaded the latest Openshot from its PPA since the one in the main Ubuntu repositories is, rather perplexingly, a very old and outdated version. Once OpenShot is opened, it appears very easy to use. The default layout is simple and intuitive, and there are even hints that pop up the first time you use it! I drag-and-dropped a few videos I had taken in preparation for this post, and boy, was I disappointed with this so-called best Linux video editing software.

If you are looking for some linux video editors to make home movies, then you've come to the right place. Actually, there are some great free video editing software for Linux which can serve as Windows Movie Maker and iMovie alternatives. Here we list the top 10 Linux video editing software which can help you make customized home movies and easily share them with families and friends.


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Coming from a film editing background I *know* how to edit, it’s just the tools I need to master. It should not be that hard. What’s finally pushed me over the edge is that the windows codec is broken (I have the worst lemon version of XP you can imagine) so that I can’t even see the images for the thousands of hours of video I have recorded with my Canon camera in the premium video editing software available for Windows But I can’t replace the codec because Windows thinks it works, so it won’t reinstall. Which is too bad because I slaved to learn that bloody commercial editing software that cost a bomb and got quite good at it. But intuitive? No way, Pierre.

After briefly testing all the various open-source video editors I could find easily available for fedora 13, I came to the conclusion that kdenlive was the best fit. By and large most of the editors were plain unusable for more than 5 minutes or just had too many limitations. kdenlive has its own faults, including that its documentation is not always clear and one must refer to it constantly when figuring out the UI (hint: video tutorials were so useful to understanding the docs). Essentially, I can now do almost anything I need to with kdenlive now, but I would greatly appreciate it if the devs could improve rendering time, update the dvd creation wizard to support blu-ray, and add more rendering options (for example, ogv output does not support quality levels, only bitrates). As for stability, I saw several crashes when I was first exploring features, but none since.
OK, as what we use in our office, bearing in mind that we need to do rapid editing and splicing of 1080p video from two fixed point cameras, we use http://www.womble.com/ DVD Wizard. The cameras (yes two) get plugged in, the files are dropped on the time lines and within seconds we can start editing. Moving through the files, editing and splicing, is fluid and quick. Rendering the final product is, of course dependent on format as you’d expect but we tend to batch our work and let the jobs run overnight.
LiVES (LiVES is a Video Editing System) is a free software video editing program and VJ tool. LiVES mixes realtime video performance and non-linear editing in one professional quality application. It will let you start editing and making video right away, without having to worry about formats, frame sizes, or framerates. It is a very flexible tool which is used by both professional VJ’s and video editors – mix and switch clips from the keyboard, use dozens of realtime effects, trim and edit your clips in the clip editor, and bring them together using the multitrack timeline. You can even record your performance in real time, and then edit it further or render it straight away.
LiVES is a free video editor developed for Linux operating system. It has a blend of real-time video performance and non-linear editing. It enables users to edit and make videos without worrying about the video formats, rates, frame sized, etc. Furthermore, it also performs as a Video Jockey software because of its multitrack timelines, mixing of clips and switching.
The point is, I make some of my income from editing video files. They are an important part of our business’s value adding strategies. So I don’t have time to experiment. I need something that works and is easy for our staff to master. Windows and Mac software does and, like most businesses, we’re happy to pay the price so that we can get on with the job. BTW, the package we’re using costs less than $100.00 per seat, has easy to understand configuration and user settings, is easy to master, makes editing, cutting, dubbing a doddle. It also batches files for rendering (from the GUI). it is reliable and robust, comes with excellent support and the authors have been quick to respond to requests for new features. It is also written to actually run in a multitasking environment so we can do other things when video files are being rendered. Linux authors, take note.
It has been a long known fact that there is a larger variety of software products for Windows and Macs compared to Linux. And even though Linux is continuously growing it is still hard to find some specific software. We know many of you like editing videos and that you often need to switch back to Windows in order to make some easy video editing tasks.
That said, I am also long time ‘nix user (from before we had the GUI) and other OS. Linux has its place but fast video editing isn’t one of them. My office needs to edit about 3 hours of video every day, splicing together the scenes from two fixed cameras. There is some Linux software that might do it, but it is just too slow, awkward and buggy to use. We use Womble’s DVD Wizard software on Windows on that. It’s not expensive, good support and very fast to use even on lower spec hardware.
Latest version of Vivia was launched in 2008. This highly user friendly free video editor is not only made for Linux but is also appropraite for windows. The Vivia is an easy to handle video editor which is free for both personal as well as commercial purpose. Vivia ensures easy and simple non linear editings and real time transitions on a friendly interface. It also supports multi camera feature on which clips obtained simultaneously from different cameras can also be edited.
Pitivi has been around for a few years too. This video editor for Linux is a GNOME application and is designed to fit into the GNOME desktop. (I assume it will work just fine in KDE or XFCE too.) Installing it requires the use of Flatpak, but they give rather easy-to-use instructions on the Pitivi website, and I had no problems at all. Drag-and-drop seems to be well supported, and it first transcodes videos before they can be used, which takes a few minutes or seconds, depending on the size of each. But it appears the videos can still be used during this process.

LiVES is supposed to be mature, feature-rich and ready for more professional use-cases and even video jockeying. Both the website and the Wikipedia pages seem promising. However, although I was able to install and open it just fine, it refused to resize properly and did not import a single video. (If there is a “proper” way to import video’s, apart from the way the program makes it possible for users, then I was unable to find it.)

Whether you’re cutting a feature or just editing a short or two or even a youtube video, having an NLE that you don’t have to wonder about (whether it’s going to just slowly fall apart) is preferable. What is the basic stuff most people use? I’m a rather accomplished editor and I find that even for the simplest projects I tend to use advanced techniques. However, that doesn’t stop me hoping that someday someone is going to create an NLE for Linux (commercial or not) so that I can make the switch full time. Because I love the command line and I love the free part, and I like being part of the friendly community…the more time I can spend hacking wifi the better.
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Shotcut is another free, open-source, and cross-platform video editor. Unlike Kdenlive, novice video editors will be able to get a full-fledged experience with Shotcut as it is rather easy to use. It comes with a wide range of features, including native timeline editing, video transitions and filters, and a multitrack timeline. It supports keyframes for filter parameters and 3-point editing. If you quickly need to delete the audio from a video clip, Shotcut gets it done.
It supports high-definition video, Blu-Ray, 3D, tethered shooting, integration of video, audio, and still images, all the usual effects such as scrolling titles, pans, and fades, animations, speed changes, audio mixing, export to multiple formats and quality levels including YouTube and Vimeo, and tons more. It is under active development and has great community support. This may be the only video program you’ll ever need.
That was the first video editing software package I bought for making home movies. It was easy to use, intuitive even, although some bits were a bit clunky. After making 20 or so coasters, it turned out to be near impossible to burn DVDs. Going online I discovered that burning DVDs was a common problem that upgrading wouldn’t help so I bought Vegas. Since my goal is primarily making home movies for distribution to a far flung computer illiterate family (and that isn’t even just the octegenarians) this is important.
Pitivi has been around for a few years too. This video editor for Linux is a GNOME application and is designed to fit into the GNOME desktop. (I assume it will work just fine in KDE or XFCE too.) Installing it requires the use of Flatpak, but they give rather easy-to-use instructions on the Pitivi website, and I had no problems at all. Drag-and-drop seems to be well supported, and it first transcodes videos before they can be used, which takes a few minutes or seconds, depending on the size of each. But it appears the videos can still be used during this process.
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