Thursday, 4 November 2010

The best video editor in Linux? OpenShot vs. Kdenlive? The jury is still out.

I'm starting to create videos more or less frequently, and the software that I tried so far, while good, was not working that well. My video editing needs are simple: put together a number of sequences, mix them with audio, apply some effects and transitions (fade in, fade out, etc.), and add some titles, credits, etc., and export it all to different formats: for Internet, DVD, etc.; and obviously, all within Linux.

When I start creating videos more regularly, perhaps I change my mind about the software I've used, but so far the fight is between OpenShot and Kdenlive. The video editing software that I have used:

Pitivi, was behaving properly, it looked stable and easy to use, but transition effects are not yet implemented, only fades.

Open Movie Editor, the interface does not look very polished, although it was quite OK for some of the videos I did, but the main problem for me was that I didn't find a way to zoom in or zoom out in the timeline. This was a problem when I had very short clips (perhaps just a few seconds), because it would be difficult to select them, in order to move them around or cut them, etc.

Kdenlive, this is probably the most complete editor of them all, and it has all those features that I want and many more, but in the past it crashed on me many times. Today I'm trying it again, with a new version (, which apparently squashed many bugs, and it looks very promising. If I manage to run this version without crashes, this is probably the one that will win my heart. A screenshot of the video I'm editing right now:

OpenShot is the new kid in the block, and the interface is quite clean and it is feature rich. So far, my only gripe is that if I apply effects to consecutive video clips, sometimes artifacts are created in the audio, but I think this also happens with Kdenlive, so I need to investigate. The screenshot of the same project with Openshot:

There are a few more programs to try, (see, but I think one of these two is going to be more than enough for my needs.

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