Open source video editing, after a long, slow start, is starting to mature far more quickly. OpenShot Video Editor , free software for Linux, has just hit 1.0. It’s a bit like the open source answer to iMovie and Windows Movie Maker; it’s a basic, accessible video editor, and even has some retro-Apple Mac Aqua-styled graphics theme. (Happily, you can switch that off and get a more grown-up GNOME look instead.)
But that’s not what’s important. Nor would I even to go quite as far as the optimism of the Open Video Alliance blog, who say “this will hopefully lower many barriers, monetary and technical, allowing amateurs and budding professionals to try their hand in creating amazing videos.” (That may well be, but let’s get it all working first.)
No, what’s important is that this is a quick, open source editor with an ffmpeg that can go where other video editors can’t. I recently had a video I’d generated with Processing that somehow got mal-formed. Nothing would edit it — except OpenShot. That’s thanks to the power of the open source ffmpeg video library and free software. And while this tool unmistakably does far less than a lot of its competitors, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Not only does it mean you don’t have to pay for the software, but just as importantly, you can focus straight on quick and easy editing based on a robust back-end engine.
I’ve got a big stack of videos awaiting editing, and now I’m shooting more at NAMM. I’m going to load PiTiVi, Blender, OpenShot, and others onto Fedora, see which is the most no-nonsense way to just get editing done, and report back.