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Video Editor OpenShot Wants To Kickstart Windows, OS X Versions 55

There have been video editing apps available for Linux for years, from ones meant to be friendly enough to compete on the UI front with iMovie (like the moribund Kino, last released in 2009, and the actively developed PiTiVi and Kdenlive) to editors that can apparently do nearly anything, provided the user is a thick-skinned genius — I'm thinking of Broadcast 2000/Cinelerra. Then there's VJ-tool-cum-non-linear editor LiVES, which balances a dense interface with real-time effects for using video as a performance tool, and can run on various flavors of UNIX, including Mac OS X. Dallas-based developer Jonathan Thomas has been working for the last few years on a Free (GPL3 or later), open-source editor called OpenShot, which aims for a happy medium of both usability and power. OpenShot is Linux-only, though, and Thomas is now trying to kickstart (as in, using a Kickstarter project) a cross-platform release for OS X and Windows, too. I've been tempted by dozens of KickStarter projects before, but this is the first one that I've actually pledged to support, and for what may sound like a backwards reason: I like the interface, and am impressed by the feature set, but OpenShot crashes on me a lot. (To be fair, this is mostly to blame on my hardware, none of which is really high-end enough by video-editing standards, or even middle-of-the-road. One day!) So while I like the idea of having a cross-platform, open-source video editor, I have no plans to migrate to Windows; I'm mostly interested in the promised features and stability improvements.
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Video Editor OpenShot Wants To Kickstart Windows, OS X Versions

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  • More for existing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bmsleight ( 710084 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @06:52PM (#43252675) Homepage

    Good, but why not pay for more development of the GNU/Linux version.

  • Sorry but no thanks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @06:57PM (#43252747)

    The Windows world has an awful lot of video editors you can get your hands on of all ranges. Personally, I'd spend a bit more and get Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 12, which runs you a bit under $40 from Amazon. It has a better interface, more features, and is quite stable in my experience.

    I like the Kickstarter concept and I've Kickstarted a number of games but you either have to offer something that isn't available, or something that is in some way better. Having tried OpenShot as one of many I tried in a failed attempt to find a good video editor for Linux, I am not interested. Windows has better products.

  • Pipe Dream (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Voyager529 ( 1363959 ) <[voyager529] [at] []> on Friday March 22, 2013 @07:13PM (#43252885)

    I've been editing video on Adobe Premiere since the 6.1 days, on a 733MHz PIII with 256MB of RAM, 80GBytes of storage on a SCSI Raid-5 array with an offboard Adaptec controller, and a dedicated Matrox effects/MPEG-2 render card. You can stay on my lawn, but avoid the gnomes...

    (Note: I edit on Windows; the following will skew in that direction, iMovie and Final Cut are both good, yadda yadda, platform wars aren't the point here)

    Adobe, Sony, Corel, and Cyberlink basically own the market here, and the reason is fairly straightforward: if Windows Movie Maker doesn't work for you, $100 or less will buy you software that does. If $100 software doesn't cut it for you, you need the $600 versions of Premiere or Vegas.

    I remember trying Jahshakah with its promises of being the best-of-both-worlds between Premiere and After Effects...and while pretty, trying to get clips to reliably appear and be manipulated on the timeline is an uphill battle, and there I'm being kind. The last time I used it, NOTHING was labeled; it was a 'hieroglyphics interface'. That may have changed as of late, admittedly it's been some time.

    Kdenlive is about the best NLE I've seen on Linux, and seems to be largely stable. If I found myself on a Linux box and forced to edit a video, it would indeed be my weapon of choice. It does, however, suffer from many of the same problems as the rest of the FOSS video programs; more on that in a bit.

    Cinelerra seemed to have LOTS of potential; I really liked its ability to network render things. However, it was clear that whoever designed the UI was likely a programmer, not as much a video editor. I found it incredibly complicated and once again, couldn't get my feet off the ground when attempting its use.

    All of that being said, the common thing all these titles had that kept them miles behind their for-profit counterparts on Windows: effects. Now yes, many, MANY people use effects poorly. I hate overly effect-heavy clips as much as the next guy, especially the cartoonish transitions that Pinnacle Studio nickels and dimes you for. However, even things like color correction, EQing, reverb, split-screen, and DVE transitions were all sorely lacking as opposed to what came bone stock with all the rest of the editors. Partial dissolves, alpha channels, and any number of subtle-yet-effective things were all but nonexistent. Additionally, Adobe and Sony have excellent plug-in ecosystems. If you don't like what comes in the box, Pixelan, NewBlue, BorisFX, Panopticum, Magic Bullet, and a swath of others will be all too happy to sell you their solutions. Linux doesn't have this at all. DVD Flick will burn a DVD and add a menu to it, but even its functionality is limited in comparison to the ten-year-old Ulead DVD Workshop.

    On top of that, format support has traditionally been inconsistent (AVCHD, I'm looking at you). You're guaranteed to run into some real hurdles if you're planning on spitting out MPEG-4 and keeping your source GPL'd.

    Now...the UI of OpenShot looks like they solved many of these problems, which is awesome. However, OpenShot will end up with yet another hurdle in its path: Crash Acceptance. Premiere Pro CS2 crashed. a LOT. I can't begin to count the number of hours I lost to having lapsed memory of hitting Ctrl+S. Vegas was somewhat more stable, but it wasn't using the Matrox hardware. But after a $2,000 investment between hardware and software, we accepted that it was a fact of life. I fear that OpenShot will run into significant hurdles in this regard. If a company the size of Adobe or Sony can't get their software stable, supporting one platform (Yes, Premiere used to support MacOS, then it didn't, then it did again; Vegas never did, PowerDirector never did, and Video Studio was also Windows-only), I have my questions regarding the stability of such a title on Windows. Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to see Adobe and Sony quake in their boots over it, but this too raises the question as to whether either company will simply let a largely-successful OpenShot li

  • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @07:34PM (#43253097) Journal

    Not a comment on the feasibility of this particular kickstarter, but....

    I remember when open source software was about "scratching an itch." Now with kickstarter, it's about "fuck you, pay me." The other day, I saw a project that boiled down to "I'll work 1 month for $15,000". The point isn't the money (I'm not donating so I don't give a shit) but I don't believe it can be done one month. Then what?

    I don't know if I've ever seen a successful open source project from kickstarter. But I have seen many (from people with the credentials to do it) where the project is late (or even abandoned) and the code is buggy and incomplete. But the code is on github so you can be a chump and work on it for free.

  • Re:Pipe Dream (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dskoll ( 99328 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @08:00PM (#43253319) Homepage

    Cinelerra seemed to have LOTS of potential; I really liked its ability to network render things. However, it was clear that whoever designed the UI was likely a programmer, not as much a video editor. I found it incredibly complicated and once again, couldn't get my feet off the ground when attempting its use.

    Cinelerra has a really, really steep learning curve and a quirky UI. However, I found it was worth the time to learn it because once you get past the initial intimidation, it's immensely powerful. I would rather kickstart a project to write comprehensive and useful documentation for Cinelerra than put anything towards yet another video editor.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Saturday March 23, 2013 @01:52AM (#43255007) Homepage Journal

    I'm actually really happy with the GIMP for any graphics work I do, but I can't even find a linux video editor that's as good as iMovie from a decade ago. Heck, I can't seem to get one to run for 10 minutes without crashing!

    This makes me sad, and also curious as to why the GIMP is succeeding but the video projects aren't.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 23, 2013 @02:10AM (#43255057)

    Since Lightworks was bought by Editshare they've failed to deliver on all of their promises. Also, the whole 'free open source' thing is bullshit. There's a crippled version that's free open source, which is about as useful as a demo. If you want the real version you have to pay $60 per/year for a license. At that point, over a couple of years, Final Cut looks like a better deal.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27