People who dislike Linux usually say that it’s not great for professional, high quality video production and as a result the industry ignores it and doesn’t take it seriously. This isn’t entirely true. It is very much a fact that Apple Computer will never release Final Cut Pro for Ubuntu, and Adobe will never make a FlatPak version of Premiere, but it doesn’t matter. Some commercial, professional video editing tools do find their way onto Linux.
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.
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.)
Introducing Lightworks, it’s a commercial video editing suite for Linux, Mac and Windows. It’s a non-linear tool with a completely different approach to editing video. Instead of a simple GTK or Qt window that is manipulated by the desktop environment (and themed by it too), the app offers up a full screen editing environment. Lightworks isn’t free. In fact, unlike the other apps on this list it actually requires a monthly subscription to use but it’s worth it if you want to edit and produce video on Linux.
Just like OpenShot, it is incredibly easy to learn and use this software. Flowblade gives its users the features of video transitions, watermarks, batch rendering, and drag & drop support. In addition to that, it also supports various image/audio/video formats. It also supports proxy video editing. As I already mentioned, it’s a method of editing in which original media clips are presented on a timeline by proxy clips for light-weight editing. The full resolution of the video will be used while wrapping up the project.
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.
The trade off is often money fortime, and the market reflects that. Tools aimed at “pros” tend to be expensive because they are based upon the money saved by their market. Few amatuers or casual users will fork out thousands of dollars for software in order to save a bit of time–even if it would be cost-effective for them, since many people never bother to do cost-benefit analysis.
The developers of the Pitivi editor believe that a video editor should be flexible, and efficient. Users can choose from simple views, to a complex mode that allows experienced users to make finer edits to their project. Users get access to “hundreds of animated effects, transitions and filters”, great looking audio waveforms in the project timeline, and a timeline that supports lots of different video and audio codecs.
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.
It has got a tremendous range of tools and techniques to provide the best experience of audio video editing. There are 2 move and 3 trim tools alongwith 4 techniques of appending, overwriting and inserting a clip on the timeline. Another great feature of this video editor is that if has more than 50 image filters and more than 30 audio filters to ensure the best video and audio editing output.
I have worked with several commercial offerings including Final Cut Pro, Premiere and Video Wave. I recently used Cinelera (on Ubuntu Hardy) on several projects and I like it very much. Cinelera is much more powerful than Video Wave and is more near the class of Final Cut Pro and Premiere. Sure, Cinelera has some stability issues from time to time but they are not major and it also recovers nicely since it saves your most recent changes anyway. To be fair, I have seen similar stability issues with the commercial products as well so I do not find this aspect of Cinelera any different.
Content Samurai promises that you can “Create Stunning Videos Fast” with their app. You can use Content Samurai video creation software to turn articles, blog posts and shorter pieces of content into videos in minutes, or so the creators claim. I’ve spent a lot of money having freelancers create videos for me, so I figured I would give Content Samurai a shot.