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The ubiquitous Kdenlive strikes again. It has been around for years and is used by many people. I tried to use it a few months ago, but it was completely unusable. It often didn’t start, and when it did, it crashed and refused to export properly. However, for this article, I installed the latest version from the Kdenlive PPA and tried it out. Things have changed. Oh my, how things have changed.
Not knowing what you need it to do, it is hard to comment but it is very easy to use just for movies. You just open up the track you need and position it on the timeline thingy. You then put the next track on the next line. You can then add blends or whatever you want and you can edit each track right there in the viewer. When you are done just render it out. It is true that this bit of blender is just a small bit in a very big program but if you focus on just this little bit you can learn it in a few minutes.
This is not a Linux defence. This is classic user interface tradeoff on all platforms- its Photoshop vs MS Paint. MS Paint might look easy to use, but as soon as you want to do anything outside its scope, it is quickly extremely difficult and frustrating- it would take an expert to do anything complex with it. Photoshop looks like a huge learning curve for my mother, but it is the best app out there for photo editing. After some practice, novices can do powerful things with Photoshop.
Even though Olive is in the early stages of development (version 0.1.0 Alpha at the time of writing this article), some users are already using it to produce content on a regular basis, and its developers are making rapid progress, which is evident from their activity on GitHub. Hopefully, they’ll be able to keep up the current pace and give all Linux users the video editor they deserve.
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.
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.
Shotcut is anther video editing software for Linux and it is an interesting one because its UI looks more like a media player than an editor. The software makes editing video very simple with the set of awesome features it has. For basic uses, it will work just fine, but if you need more powerful options, especially for advanced or professional video recording, then it may not be the best. However, with the features it has, it qualifies as a decent video editor for Linux.