Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 7th Dec 2003 07:44 UTC
Multimedia, AV My husband and I are thinking of buying the Canon Optura Xi camcorder soon (in our opinion, the best DV camera at this range). Because I run so many OSes I always have 'embedded' in me this "thing" to only buy supported hardware by the major OSes. I am sure Optura's DV part will work fine with some Linux tools, but then what? How do I easily edit my... masterpiece and burn DVDs or VCDs via an integrated solution and send them to our families in Greece and France?
Order by: Score:
by Bas on Sun 7th Dec 2003 07:57 UTC

There are a couple of proffesional solutions out there for Linux like Edie (Softimage), Houdini's VE and Maya composer.

I use Mainactor 4.66 and are thinking of buying the 5 version,
its real nice. Cinerella maybe has a not very userfriendly interface but its SO powerfull and has SO many features.

K3B can burn DVD and VCD (kde3.2-test), it also can rip and decode multimedia files.

re:State of Video Editing on Linux
by Anonymous on Sun 7th Dec 2003 08:00 UTC

It certainly seems like the field is a little empty. This is linux, the major competitor to Windows on X86, one would think it would have at least one fully functional product.

I don't see how the people at YellowTab want to compete with Windows, when even linux can't even do it very well.

by Eugenia on Sun 7th Dec 2003 08:00 UTC

Yeah, but I am not interested in high-end software like Maya, I am interested in something like iMovie. Easy, elegant, beautiful, suited for most real-life people. ;)

As for K3B, you missed the "integration" part. K3B is not integrated to any video solution. ;-)

by Henry on Sun 7th Dec 2003 08:16 UTC

First of all, cool choice on the camera.

But, why the interest in doing this the Linux way? I mean, if you've got a Mac or two in addition to a few Windows machines, isn't this exactly the kind of place where Macs (and to a certain extent Window boxen) are at their best? I mean, I guess I can see the interested in trying this on other platforms, but my experience in video editing experimentation hasn't been very positive. I remember a wasted weekend when I was convinced I could make personalStudio for BeOS replace iMovie. Yikes. What was a thinking?

RE: Why?
by Eugenia on Sun 7th Dec 2003 08:17 UTC

It is just the "bug" in me. The "geek genome" in me, I guess. I got too much time on my hands. ;)

OT genome
by Anonymous on Sun 7th Dec 2003 08:28 UTC

You may have a sinlge geek gene, but the genome is the entire set of genetic information of a creature -- soo... if all of that was to be really geeky in your case, than you are pretty freaking geeky for sure... ;-)

RE: OT genome
by Eugenia on Sun 7th Dec 2003 08:29 UTC

yeah, typo. I think in greek and write in english you see. ;)

by Andrew on Sun 7th Dec 2003 08:44 UTC

I'm curious why you write off avidemux as a 'weird looking app'.

Admittedly I've only used it for very basic purposes, but it worked great for me, with no experience with digital video. I found it very user friendly. Also simple to install, even for someone like me who only compiles software as a very last resort;) It does seem rather basic, but seems like a good start for what it is.

RE: Avidemux
by Eugenia on Sun 7th Dec 2003 08:45 UTC

To me, this just looks very weird: ;)

by ? on Sun 7th Dec 2003 08:47 UTC

"Yeah, but I am not interested in high-end software like Maya, I am interested in something like iMovie"

Well, Maya is a 3D package for image generation. iMovie is an image/movie manipulation/composing program. Is like apples to oranges, is like comparing a spreadsheet with a wordprocessor.

RE: @Eugenia
by Eugenia on Sun 7th Dec 2003 08:48 UTC

I mentioned it because Bas did in the first comment. I know what Maya is, I have the Learning Edition installed on my PowerMac.

What I'm looking for
by Spark on Sun 7th Dec 2003 09:19 UTC

While we are at it... ;)
Sometimes I'd like to small videos from a row of image files (in other words, game videos ;) ). I can convert the screenshots to an mjpeg with mjpegtools (I think), so all I need would be a simple tool which can:
- Open said mpegs for further editing
- Cut and paste of different parts of the video so I don't have to do this all by reordering image files
- Put sound in the background (ideally it would allow me to set exactly where a sound should start and stop, aligned with the video)
- Optional: Blending of different scenes (and ideally tracks) with simple effects, maybe text overlay

It wouldn't have to be done all in one app.
Does anyone know if this can be done in a rather uncomplicated (and free) way and which tools this would require?
I'm not really looking to spend much time into investigating the possibilities, but I'd like to use it sometimes if I knew the possibility would be there. ;)

by Ernst Persson on Sun 7th Dec 2003 09:34 UTC

While we're at the subject..

Say I want to make music, on Linux? Is there something like SoundTrack or FruityLoops for Linux?
A free sound library?

And don't tell me that ArtsBuilder works... :-)

by anon on Sun 7th Dec 2003 09:59 UTC

Actually I thought that screenshot looked alright. At least they seems to be using QT, a nice looking toolkit, instead of some crusty old toolkit like all the others except for Kino, AFAIK do.

Avidemux Cont.
by anon on Sun 7th Dec 2003 10:03 UTC

On closer inspection it appears it is infact GTK. Nonetheless my previous statement still stands.

a nice thought
by James Warkentin on Sun 7th Dec 2003 10:31 UTC

I've been searching for a similar app, but even more basic than your needs.. all I really want is a VirtualDub clone, or something else that supports the same functionality.
There is nothing like that on Linux yet.
Vegas Video works nicely on Windows though. When there's a Linux clone or replacement for Vegas, AND something decent to play my DivX encodes with, I'll start dual-booting again.
Good luck, Eugenia ;)

by Anonymous on Sun 7th Dec 2003 11:09 UTC

What about cinepaint?

by Charlie on Sun 7th Dec 2003 11:11 UTC

I can't believe you missed out Cinepaint (previously known as Film-Gimp):

by sasquatch666 on Sun 7th Dec 2003 11:30 UTC

...Or lack thereof is the reason there are no killer video apps for the alt OS's and from what I see Linux even falls behind BeOS in the media creation/editing dept.
PersonalStudio in BeOS had all the makings of being the "killer app" for video editimg... I mean how simple could it be "drag a clip here" with a big arrow blinking at you,but the lack of support for all the newer codecs and whatnot kills it .As lomg as they keep coming out with proprietary codecs for video and audio I don't relly see Linux Or BeOS keeping up with the big two on this level.
It sure woulld be nice if they had an open standard for this type of thing,but I don't see that happening so if you want to do this type of work on the Linux or BeOS platforms you must rely on the work of some talented hackers and crackers to crack the codecs for these media.BTW I think there is a Unix that is geared to thgis type of work,It's called SGI Irix ,save your $$$ and get a SGI box LOL

High end
by Anonymous on Sun 7th Dec 2003 11:57 UTC

Sadly, Linux does seem to lack the lower-end applications (ie, those for end-users like iMovie etc).

To be fair, I think Linux is way more suited to the high-end of things (motion picture quality stuff) than the low end. Just been watching the Two Towers DVD - not sure which OS they used to do the Gollum animation, but it was all based on KDE! :^)

How about Windows apps?
by tr0lli on Sun 7th Dec 2003 13:12 UTC

Does anybody know Windows apps for light video editing? And I am looking for free software, but haven't been able to find much anything.
ABC VideoRoll seems ok, but crashes on me too often. Zwei-Stein looks too weird for me to understand, and also crashes sometimes.

re: How about Windows apps?
by Kevin on Sun 7th Dec 2003 13:34 UTC

Avid FreeDV is pretty nice...

re: Music?
by Anonymous on Sun 7th Dec 2003 13:45 UTC

search for a "tracker".

My experience.
by Anonymous on Sun 7th Dec 2003 14:11 UTC

For those that don't mind going the extra mile things aren't too bad at all. I use dvgrab (with a couple of patches that haven't made it into the official release) to rip stuff off of my trv900e using the timecodes, then use kino to arrange stuff, apply effects, additional audio etc, then use transcode to do encoding (usually using ffmpeg or xvid). This works pretty well for me. I suppose I lean more toward linear editting than NLE, but then I have pretty simple needs. Kino is pretty deceptively powerfull, I only use the minimum feature set realy, doing title cards, fades, audio dubbing and arranging the actual source clips, there is alot in there that I don't go anywhere near.

I've tried using cinelerra but just never got comfortable int the UI, it's a fun program for checking out effects though, it's also possible to use a tv out card to do live previewing on a proper telly which could be fantastic for tweaking the image tones. I'm far happier writing scripts than trying to get a gui to do what I want.

The only thing I really would like is something to help with grading to a 17% grey card.

Linux is far from ideal for video, I am not suggesting that it is for everyone. But for those of us that actually enjoy that act of doing these things as much as the end result then there is plenty of fun to be had.

RE: Music
by azazel on Sun 7th Dec 2003 14:13 UTC

Yeah a fruity loops replacement would be ultra cool.

RE: cinepaint
by Bolanski on Sun 7th Dec 2003 15:01 UTC

Cinepaint is not a NLE. Its a tool for painting and image retouching of 35mm film and other high resolution high dynamic range images. Its kinda like Gimp (built on it) but using 16bit/channel and have a framemanager (flipbook thingy). It works using sequenced singel frames in most formats. I do not think it handles any video files like DV Avi Qt.

RE: High end
by Jason on Sun 7th Dec 2003 15:23 UTC

"To be fair, I think Linux is way more suited to the high-end of things (motion picture quality stuff) than the low end. Just been watching the Two Towers DVD - not sure which OS they used to do the Gollum animation, but it was all based on KDE! :^)"

Apparently they are using Linux. I checked the Weta Digital web site ( They are doing a remodel of their site so you have to launch the "old" site which is flash based. They have an anouncement under "Recruitment" for a "CG Pipeline Engineer." In it they require that you know Linux. There you have it. The Lord of the Rings effects folks use Linux.

by UID500 on Sun 7th Dec 2003 15:27 UTC

iMovie is free...That LVE even looks just like iMovie.

I'd rather use something complete then a bunch of half done projects. Video editing takes too long to waste time.

Re Jason
by Patrick on Sun 7th Dec 2003 16:13 UTC

Jason, the Lord of the Rings was done in Maya.

Re:  How about Windows apps?
by Manik on Sun 7th Dec 2003 16:18 UTC

Some one mentioned VirtualDub. It's free (GPL), free (0$), and good. See .

Nandub is a clone of VirtualDub. A boosted clone. It is as free as VirtualDub in all senses. You'll find it here:

Hope that helps.

Camera Choice
by Hexydes on Sun 7th Dec 2003 16:50 UTC

Hey Eugenia,

This is slightly away from topic, but if you're willing to spend a bit more ($700), you can get a Canon GL2.

Really nice camera. The picture quality is going to be about 20 times better on that one than the one you have picked out, due to it having 3 CCDs. The next step up is an XL1, though that is a little out of your (and most of ours) price range.

Just my $.02

Planet CCRMA @ Home.
by e on Sun 7th Dec 2003 17:03 UTC

If you're after audio/video editing/processing under Linux check out CCRMA software site. It is set of RPM packages (aviable for RHL 7.8, 8.0, 9) with tons of FS/OSS multimedia apps, custom patched kernels (for multimedia: lowlatency, preemptible, etc.). All accessible via APT. Really worth a look. :-)

From site:

Planet CCRMA (CCRMA is pronounced ``karma'') at Home is a collection of rpms (RPM stands for RedHat Package Manager) that you can add to a computer running RedHat 7.3, 8.0, 9 or Fedora Core 1 to transform it into an audio workstation with a low-latency kernel, current ALSA audio drivers and a nice set of music, midi, audio and video applications. It replicates most of the Linux environment we have been using for years here at CCRMA for our daily work in audio and computer music production and research. Planet CCRMA is easy to install and maintain, it can be installed and upgraded over the network from the Planet CCRMA apt repository or its mirrors, or from cdroms you can download from this site.


Some corrections...
by Gein on Sun 7th Dec 2003 17:04 UTC

First, someone said LVE looked like iMovie.

It doesn't! It's a total ripoff from Pinnacle Studio though! And Studio works really bad on its own so I think a clone would probably be even worse ;)

As for LOTR being done on Linux vs Maya? One on top of the other of course. But I bet most artists don't even notice Linux. Maya is such a beast, more like a world in it self, that most people just try to understand the DCC package and leave the OS to the IT guys. Plus, this big studios (ILM, Pixar, Weta, Digital Domain, etc) have a lot of their own tools (stuff like Massive from Weta or Nuke from DD, that just went comercial), use pretty much every DCC package, a lot of different OS's and hardware, so it's irrelavant to use them at pissing contests.


v RE: Avidemux
by V. Velox on Sun 7th Dec 2003 17:09 UTC
by Michael Lauzon on Sun 7th Dec 2003 17:40 UTC

Wonder why no one has mentioned FilmGIMP (!

Michael Lauzon, Founder
The Quill Society

@Michael Lauzon
by Michael Lauzon on Sun 7th Dec 2003 17:42 UTC

Okay, responding to my own post, it was mentioned, don't know how I missed it though...!

Michael Lauzon, Founder
The Quill Society

Definately a vacuum
by Darryl on Sun 7th Dec 2003 17:59 UTC

My hobby is prosumer video, and I would LOVE it if we had more Linux options for processing video. The author of this thread is correct that there aren't a lot of applications that are just good, basic, and free (or affordable) to edit video.

But I'm one of those people who don't want the basic version. I'm making broadcast-quality music videos, commercials, and indie movies. The closest two Linux candidates for this type of heavy lifting are Cinelerra and MainActor.

Cinelerra is very difficult to get running, but once you do, good god! You can edit hidef video realtime if you've got the hardware for it. And Cinelerra has two features that are attractive in the pro space: it scales with your hardware, and it has built-in render farm capability.

MainConcept is about to release MainActor version 5 for Linux, which should be about as full-featured as the Windows version. Now that is an affordable, well-written, basic package which can take you where you need to go. I'd say that this package is what you want.

re: Camera Choice
by Kevin on Sun 7th Dec 2003 18:55 UTC

I reccomend the Sony DCR-TRV950 ($200-$300 more than the Optura Xi). It's a nice camera, and it has 3 CCDs (one for each primary color) unlike the Optura which only has one CCD. As Hexydes mentioned, the GL2 is also a very nice cam but that's kinda expensive.

Btw, nice article. ;)

by Rayiner Hashem on Sun 7th Dec 2003 19:43 UTC

Movie studios basically use either UNIX (Solaris/IRIX), OS X, Linux, or Windows NT. Recently, there has been a huge movement in the CGI market towards Linux, and to a lesser extent, OS X. Most of these companies were using IRIX before, so Linux offered them a very good migration capability. In this case, the OS really does matter. From the interviews I've read with the, media companies like the following things about Linux:

- Its very UNIX compatible, which makes migrating all the tons of custom tools easy. Also, studio IT departments
- It runs on commodity (most companies using Linux are on Intel/NVIDIA combos) hardware.
- Its got ports of a lot of important high-end apps like Shake, XSI, Maya, etc. The recent Shake and Maya ports to OS X also helped that platform out a lot.
- Its very capable of handling high loads. One of the Massive developers has stated that the program runs twice as fast on Linux as on Windows.
- The source code is available. For the largest studios, this matters. They've got their own in-house developers, to develop custom tools and make modifications to commercial programs. They can't afford to spend the time waiting for the company to release official bug fixes.

So basically, it validates exactly what the OSS community has been saying about Linux --- its robust, compatible with lots of important UNIX software, and availability of source code makes it very customizable and tunable. Why shouldn't the Linux guys use this info in pissing matches?

About FilmGimp
by Rayiner Hashem on Sun 7th Dec 2003 19:45 UTC

FilmGimp isn't really the same thing as iMovie. FilmGimp is an image editor, not a movie editor. It'll work on movies, and help you do stuff like add a special effect to certain frames, but it doesn't do splicing, transitions, compositing, etc.

RE: Re: How about Windows apps?
by Anonymous Coward on Sun 7th Dec 2003 19:48 UTC

nandub hasn't been worked on in a while, rather than that, I suggest VirtualdubMod @ (with a third party bit-rate calculator maybe? I've been on linux for several months now and I'm not sure about the state of vdubmod...)

Re: How about Windows apps?
by Sagres on Sun 7th Dec 2003 19:49 UTC

Some one mentioned VirtualDub. It's free (GPL), free (0$), and good. See .

Nandub is a clone of VirtualDub. A boosted clone. It is as free as VirtualDub in all senses. You'll find it here:

Hope that helps.

I would also recomend VirtualDubMod, a sort of virtualdub on steroids.

and you could always head over to to get some help (including a linux forum).

NLE on linux
by Outcast^ Aka The_Editor on Sun 7th Dec 2003 19:59 UTC

You think your've got problems ?

try getting firewire drivers for debian PPC !!

Having moved from Amiga Analogue to x86 NLE and currently using Mediastudiopro.

I am in the middle of "Moving back" to Amiga and have bought the AmigaONE PPC. I fully expect it to be some time before NLE stuff appears back on the trusty Ami and so expected to dual boot AmigaOS 4 with debian. ( what the A1 comes with)

Imagine my surprise/dismay when I find that all that shouting from the tux brigade was in fact ... just hype.

I'll stick with it, of course .. I always was a bit of a tit !! But there is some serious stuff MISSING from Linux.

This is, of course ............ NOT GOOD. And yet another reason why Linux is not ready for the general desktop.

by Gein on Sun 7th Dec 2003 20:11 UTC

The problem is, when on a pissing contest you only try to prove your point over the other, witch platform is superior to the other. What I was trying to say is that this doesn't hold so much on CG studios 'cause they have no problem in using the right tool for whatever the task at hand. And they use ALL tools. ;)

Remember, most of Maya licenses sold are for OS X, witch doesn't have most of the advantages you pointed. Stuff like handling heavy loads is a task for rendering TD and IT staff to figure it out. DCC software is probably off of the pipeline for some time when it reaches this stage.

But yeah, linux is a lot faster even on Maya. Not sure if the rendering bugs were worked out for version 5 though.

Anyway, this is way off topic. ;)

On topic again, I've looked for this kind of easy capturing/editing/exporting application, like iMovie, for Windows for some time now. I've tryed Pinnacles, Ulead and others. Either the software crashes a lot (pinnacle studio) or only works well with very specific hardware. Usually, the solution endeded up be using 2 or 3 apps to do the job.

This was when trying to create a very EASY solution. If you don't need that, stuff like Premiere, Avid XpressDV and the like work great but they are expensive.


by Rayiner Hashem on Sun 7th Dec 2003 20:18 UTC

I don't really think of it as a "Linux 0wnz you, you should use Linux for every computing need." Rather, I think this information lends credibility to the statement that "Linux is a very robust, commercially useful platform, so you should seriously consider it for your computing needs."

mjpegtools and avidemux
by ephemeron on Sun 7th Dec 2003 20:46 UTC

mjpegtools isn't command-line only. It comes with a front-end (sort-of) called glav. A fancier frontend is Linux Video Studio. If you're looking for a command-line video editor, try mplayer.

"AVIdeMux - A kind of weird-looking app" just doesn't cut it as a description of a program's strengths and shortcomings, especially in a piece that claims to be about the "state" of a field. Have you actually tried it? Or did you just rate based on the screen shots?

RE: mjpegtools and avidemux
by Eugenia on Sun 7th Dec 2003 20:52 UTC

I did not try AVideMux yet, but based on these shots and feature description I don't want to use it either. It really does not feel as welcome like iMovie or even Moviemaker do.

by Gein on Sun 7th Dec 2003 21:12 UTC

"Linux is a very robust, commercially useful platform, so you should seriously consider it for your computing needs."

That my friend, no one is arguing. Specially if you have an IT staff to help. If you have, the experience with linux on high-end production is perfectly viable and sometimes, recommended.

My comments were never intended to point otherwise. Sorry if it looked that way.


v What about Amiga?
by dpi on Sun 7th Dec 2003 21:36 UTC
RE: Linux VirtualDub clone
by Kar120c on Sun 7th Dec 2003 23:53 UTC

Have you tried Avidemux. While it looks a little different now, the original version was heavily inspired by the design of VirtualDub. While that aspect has changed a little in v2, the basic functionality is still pretty similar. Ones method of encoding and editing should transfer over from VirtualDub to Avidemux with a minimum of time and effort.

by Gary on Mon 8th Dec 2003 01:41 UTC

Try JahShaka at I haven't looked at it in some time now but it was pretty darn good about 6 or so months ago.

I am using the following programs....

Cinelerra -- This one will take a day or two to grok....
the main think that you need to figure out is the use of the '[' and ']' keys to set in and out points pretty much every operation requires these to mark the bounds of the effect. It may feel a little clumsy at first but it helps to get all your edits exact first time.

Cinelerra still has problems - mostly to do with capturing and exporting.... This is still more a mater of maturity than anything else.

Kino is probably my pick for an easy video editor.... It is not as feature filled as others but the capture/export is flawless. Again it will take a little bit of time to grok.
It is easy to install and use on Mandrake. The only thing is setting up the DV-Cam.

DVCams require manual setup - at least on Mandrake.
you will need to add the following lines to your /etc/modules file (as root):


to load up the camera drivers at startup you will now need to load them in using the insmod command eg 'insmod raw1394' (or you could just reboot the computer).

you will also need to change the permisions of the raw1394 device so everybody can read/write to it.
chmod 666 /dev/raw1394

I know that K3b is not intergrated... But frankly WHO CARES it is not that difficult to open up another app and it has a lot of features for dealing with video files.

The gimp is also part of my video editing setup.... Sometimes I want to use effects that I just can't get with the video editing progs I have. I can load out the video as a series of images and use GIMP + Python to modify them. I will probably use Cinepaint at some point in the future to do the same thing. Ok I am not a typical consumer but Linux lets me do things I can't do elsewhere.

Euginia is right -- there is nothing that matches iMovie on Linux -- But iMovie doesn't match all of use either.

VirtualDUb in WINE
by PeteVine on Mon 8th Dec 2003 02:33 UTC

I've just tried it in wine and it works quite well.

RE: Re Jason @ Patrick
by Jason on Mon 8th Dec 2003 06:35 UTC

Patrick said:
"Jason, the Lord of the Rings was done in Maya."

I am not sure if you are trying to negate my statement or not. I am a little consfused by why you are telling me what application Lord of the Rings was done in. I simply stated that Weta Digital is using Linux as one of their OSes. This doesn't say anything about what application is being used. If they are using Maya, great. Apparently it is the Linux version.

by Eugenia on Mon 8th Dec 2003 07:51 UTC

I just installed Avidemux. I tried both the CVS and the release version and they will both fail on linking because of a libc check that never takes place on its I managed to fix the issue and send a clue to the developer. So, I have it now installed and up and running. But I am not impressed at all. The UI is a disaster, even though it seems better now than the older screenshots on their site. If someone from the Gnome community enters their project and start some usability tests the app can become pretty good. Still though, no DV capturing.

by JW on Mon 8th Dec 2003 08:02 UTC

If you don't mind paying for software, try Vegas Video. It's better than Premiere, ulead, etc. and if you use the SoundForge tools it's got a familiar interface. Highly intuitive. I don't think there's an OSX version though.

by JW on Mon 8th Dec 2003 08:06 UTC

is AVIdemux similar to VirtualDub?? I'll try it out if so..

Begore the app, the libs
by TraxTech on Mon 8th Dec 2003 08:42 UTC

On the "geek side", what are the libraries that are suitable to write a video editing app on Linux ? Is there libs with a descent API for import/export/frame rendering ?

by Eugenia on Mon 8th Dec 2003 11:05 UTC

Main Actor is segfaulting on load (Slackware 9.1) and Cinerella crashed while moving down a scrollbar. ;)

v Mac OS X is UNIX
by Gorkhali on Mon 8th Dec 2003 13:12 UTC
Stick to the Mac
by Jeff on Mon 8th Dec 2003 13:50 UTC

I wish there were something in Linux too. Instead, I'll be shelling out $3000 in the spring for a Dual processor G5 PowerMac with Final Cut Pro along with DVD Studio Pro. If you've already got the Mac, its a no-brainer.

RE: Mac OS X is UNIX
by Jeff Goldschrafe on Mon 8th Dec 2003 16:59 UTC

That's just silly, you're babbling about semantics. While you're "technically" right, it's painfully obvious that everyone debating the state of video editing on Unix/Linux is referring to X11-based free software.

re: Stick to the Mac
by Anonymous on Mon 8th Dec 2003 18:27 UTC

I agree. This is one of the main reasons why I switched from Linux to Mac. I've wanted to do video editing on home movies of my 2 year old son and I couldn't find anything good in Linux. So, I bought a used Mac and now I'm editing away with iMovie and iDVD and it's such a piece of cake it's incredible. Everything is just drag and drop -- video, still photos from iPhoto, music from iTunes..... I made a cool slideshow and movie for my Dad's 60th birthday. It looked totally professional after it was done. It's amazing how integrated those iLife apps are and the quality of the iLife apps is really top notch for consumer-level software. And if you need more rebustness, just get FCP for FCP Express. For me, the easy of video editing more than justified the cost of the Mac hardware, which, if you buy used, really isn't all that bad at all.

re: Pathetic.
by Kevin on Mon 8th Dec 2003 21:28 UTC

And that's why I don't do video editing on Linux. I reccomend that you just stick with OSX or Xp using Avid FreeDV or iMovie...

by anon on Mon 8th Dec 2003 21:59 UTC

If someone from the Gnome community enters their project and start some usability tests the app can become pretty good.

Oh God please, no, after that that application will consist of a big start button and have no actual functionality.

Avidemux is a VirtualDub clone it behaves like VirtualDub it's interface resembles VirtualDub and it tries to close the gap in terms of features. The icons are butt-ugly and could use tooltips but I'm quite happy otherwise

RE: Avidemux
by Adam Lassek on Mon 8th Dec 2003 23:39 UTC

While avidemux may seem weird to you, it was written that way for a reason. There is a very useful video encoding tool for Windows called Virtualdub, available at

This is not only an application I find the most useful for encoding video, it is also licensed under the GPL. The UI for avidemux is basically a copy of Vdub.

Virtualdub, however, is not a video editor. You can do editing, but it is only a linear editor and quite painful to do anything but the most simple of cutting and pasting. What Vdub is good at is capturing and encoding video.

other nle
by G on Mon 8th Dec 2003 23:52 UTC

Is iMovie bundled with Macs? No need to look if it is otherwise Strata Videoshop & Avid Cinema (Avid sold it off to some other company years ago) were the main ones before iMovie came along. Videoshop is closer to Adobe Premiere but without the clutter.

by dougsk on Tue 9th Dec 2003 00:13 UTC

> Oh God please, no

+1 funny
+1 sad but true

re: other nle
by Anonymous on Tue 9th Dec 2003 02:26 UTC

Yes, iMovie bundled with Macs, as is iPhoto, iDVD, and iTunes. They all come with Macs.

by Danni Coy on Tue 9th Dec 2003 04:25 UTC

" Main Actor is segfaulting on load (Slackware 9.1) and Cinerella crashed while moving down a scrollbar. ;) "

Ouch.... Can't repeat Cinelerra crash behaviour here (Cinelerra 1.1.8 on Mandrake 9.2)...

As for Weta -- They do the majority of work on Linux workstations - They use Maya to do most of the modelling and animations - Rendering happens with Pixars PRMan... Compositing (read video editing) is done with Shake...

Disney Now does 100% of its work on Linux workstations, ILM more than 90% etc, etc....

This is kinda irrelevant because these large scale productions have very different requirements to mar and pop putting together their own home movie of their grand children.

Some additional notes...
by Roger on Wed 10th Dec 2003 02:40 UTC

I would suggest you actually try using some of the applications and learning them more in-depth before jumping to conclusions.

I use kino (dvgrab) using ieee1394 capture box and kino works excellent. Atleast for my needs. I only need to capture, and atmost, cut some frames. I then compress the finished avi to divx using mencoder (tool that is packaged with Mplayer).

Using Kino in combination with another compressor is really the way to go. You could use mjpeg-tools if you're simply compressing to mpeg1 or mpeg2 formats.

When I was on the mailing list with mpjpeg-tools, they really strived to make sure they followed video standards to ensure compatable streams (and win32 is a definite example of hacks & products producing incompatable video streams -- video streams that would not be able to be edited and played using other players or editors). The *only* downside to mjpeg-tools is that it's divx tools (lav2divx, yuv2divx) are usually broken. I find Mplayer's mencoder to be an excellent successor when compressing to divx. ;-)

I'll have to agree with the Cinderella (I believe this was formerly known as Main Actor??). It crashed quite often and is really only known to deal with one video format.. which is quicktime (?).

I haven't done much video processing in the past year, however, kino's mailling list is monitored/active the last I checked. It's last known feature implementations were incorporating mjpeg-tools into the kino gui. (It would be really cool if mencoder were integrated, however, once you come up with a command line set of options, you mearily have to save it to a script/file for later usage.)

You also forgot to mention transcode! Transcode is raved by some and, from what I've seen, you can really do *allot* with it. However, I have little patience for reading large man files. ;-) You can also compress to divx using transcode, but from the benchmarks I ran a 6-12 mos ago, mencoder produced much better divx quality when compared to transcode. (Seems transcode divx coding may have been lacking some code to produce divx quality that mencoder was able to produce.)

Well, good luck and I hope this darn article posts without asking for a user id and pass! (looks like it will after I fill in a subject) -- also, remember, command-line tools, atmost times, are more powerful then being stuck with only a gui app. And once you get a sequence of options for a command together, you only need to save them to a file for later usage and you can avoid loading an entire gui app and trying to remember all the options you used in the past!

RE: Some additional notes...
by Roger on Wed 10th Dec 2003 02:47 UTC

Also, in response to some saying that mac/win32 is more powerful then linux at video captuing & editing... I think that Linux is by far a better option then either of those o/s's.

Standards, large pool of developers, and a standard/stable kernel make Linux a very good first option for video capturing & editing.

If my career were "movie making", my first option for an o/s for rendering my video would be Linux.

I've used several linux NLE ones mentioned. Here is another set of opinions.

cinellera - I've used this one off and on since it was bcast2000. It's got alot of flexbility, but it was very hard to make a useable output for simple things like VCDs. It's got the most potential of anything I've seen. It crashed alot.

main actor - windows like GUI. Crashed alot. Didn't have alot of output options. Couldn't read DIVX files last I checked. Not any better than cinelerra.

mjpegtools - there's a simple gui called glav that makes an editlist file. Once you get the hang of it, it's nice. It's mainly command line stuff though. Good news is that the documentation is really good, especially that HOWTO. bad news - I think these editors have to be GUI to have any mass appeal. Worked well with xawtv/winTV for capture.

linux video studio - didn't see this one mentioned anywhere. It was a front end for mjpegtools. It's had some promise for simple editing, but I think development has stopped on it for over a year. Too bad. One cool thing was this idiot dialog box for output - like VCD and SVCD. Took alot of the guesswork out of the 1000 parameters you need to pass to an mpeg encoder to get output you can use.

Kino - tried it once. I remember it didn't have a many output options nor input file formats.

real producer - there was a shareware one of these available about two years ago. It would capture and export right to real player movies. It was crude, simple and worked well for crappy little internet movies. I think it's dead now.

The movie maker in XP (I forget what it's called) only support WMV files which in my opinion are worthless. If you want to get the output to play on a TV at some point, MPEG (VCD, SVCD, DVD) are the formats to stay with. For little web movies, I guess is really doesn't matter.

For analog low resolution (VCD type) capture and editing, I'd recommend the mjpegtools option from simple stuff. For more complicated editing, go with cinelerra and cross your fingers. Anyway - I hope the development on these tools continue. I just wish they were closer to a commerical product. If I could help them I would, but I can't, so I wait ;)

Re: music
by Isaac on Wed 10th Dec 2003 11:58 UTC

You can find some replacements for Fruity Loops or other trackers in the Multimedia section of:

RE: Music?
by Paul on Wed 10th Dec 2003 13:52 UTC

You may want to have a look at an application called Rosegarden To quote the website:
"Rosegarden-4 is an attractive, user-friendly audio and MIDI sequencer, score editor, and general-purpose music composition and editing application. It is a powerful professional application that runs on Linux and is aimed at composers, musicians, music students, and small studio or home recording environments."
Hope this helps.

re: Before the app, the libs
by Tommi Uimonen on Wed 10th Dec 2003 23:59 UTC

This is what you are looking for, if you are going to do some developing

What a poor review. Are you paid for this ?
by Phil Ozen on Fri 12th Dec 2003 11:21 UTC

If you have no time to try each LNE, don't write about them. Please, respect the developpers & others whom spent numerous hours to create such apps.

You'd better write a part 2 to this review but this time, try the apps properly.

BTW, you can try another app called LiVES (based on Mplayer & Mencoder):