Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lights! Camera! No Action!

I am sorry about the lack of posts. Linux just has not interested me in a while. Anyway, today we will take a wonderful look at the world of video editing under Linux. Now, Linux's suckiness when it comes to video-editing is well known, but I am not talking about professional video editing. Today, I am going to look at how Linux handles a very basic feature.

Here's the deal. I have a bunch of porn videos. I want to trim out the crap to leave only the good stuff. The usual way to do this is to split the video into a bunch of clips and then assemble the good clips into a movie. This is easy with Movie Maker, and it is slightly less easy with iMovie. Now let's try it on Linux...

NOTE: I am using Ubuntu 8.04 x86-64 LTS for this comparison, since it is the Linux system I have installed. All the packages come from the Ubuntu repositories. I tried to use every video editor I could find in the Add/Remove section.

The main contenders are the following.

  1. Avidemux

  2. Kino

  3. Kdenlive

  4. Open Movie Editor

  5. Pitivi Video Editor

Let's see how each stacks up.

NOTE: If you want to follow along, you can find the video I am using here. For those with the IQs of lusers, the site is definitely NSFW! The link is down.

FURTHER NOTE: GIMP, being the wonderful program that it is, decided it needed some screen time in some of my images. I am too lazy to redo them, so you will just have to cope. Ah, the wonders of Open Source!

EVEN FURTHER NOTE: Anyone who complains about the movie being WMV can feel free to go back to and pretend the rest of the world uses Ogg Theora.


Alright, let's fire it up!

Okay, this looks decent enough. Let's click "Open" and select "Chrissy.wmv".

Well, this one actually works! Sorta....

Now, since it plays the video properly, it should be able to copy it properly too. Let's just select a portion of the video with the A & B icons. It is actually quite user-friendly. Let's just leave the Video and Audio options as "Copy". It should now create a new WMV file (I named mine chrissy2.wmv). Now, let's open it!

Well, it looks great, but there is no sound! Well, I don't really want to fuck around with audio options, so let's continue on.


Kino looks like it is a great, simple video editor .... for camcorders!! However, since we are desperate, we might as well try it.

Let's click "File->Open" shall we?

Well that's no good! Still, we might as well try to import it. Who knows? It might work!

Since PAL is for Eurofags, I will choose NTSC. You choose whatever you like.

Oh gosh! It failed! Who woulda thunk?!


There is no way in hell I am bringing down all the KDE dependencies for a stupid video editor!

Open Movie Editor

As usual, let's fire it up.

You figure it out!

Alright, drag the Chrissy.wmv onto the Video and Audio tracks. Select a clip. Then click on Project->Render.

Choose to render it as a Quicktime file (the only option, of course). Then click Encode. After several minutes it should give you this.

If you are not following along, you can simulate the image by rocking your head back and forth really fast. It seems to have recorded two frames and looped them for several seconds. At least, the audio is working!

Pitivi Video Editor

Last but (barely) not least, we come to the Pitivi Video Editor. Let's fire it up!

Cool! We can just drag Chrissy.wmv onto the Clips window! Drag & Drop is so awesome .... for 1995!

Well, it seems to support the file, but now what? Apparently, the Pitivi developers care very much about the GNOME Interface Guidelines, and they have been reading up on how to write a GNOME application. Pitivi is so simple (READ: stupid) that it can only supports merging clips into one video and not splitting a video into clips! This would have been useful for the second phase of the operation, but it is useless without the first!


Let's summarize. Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution among 'ordinary' (i.e. not super-freetarded) users, features several video editors, none of which can make an acceptable movie clip! I am not trying to splice special effects into my Hollywood film reel here! I am just trying to cut out the boring parts of pornos! All I really needed was an editor suitable for editing home movies, and Linux cannot even provide that!

What else is new?


  1. So this is like a childish, unfunny version of the Linux Hater's Blog?

    Just pointing out that Linux sucks isn't interesting. We already know that it sucks.

  2. haha, so true.

    Linux = Choice. We've got 25 programs for the same thing, none of them work.
    Windows = a couple of programs that work.

  3. what about cinelerra? ( )

  4. I did not use Cinelerra or Jahshaka because I did not want to bother setting them up. I was just using stuff that the official Ubuntu repositories (i.e. stuff that the Ubuntu maintainers have declared as stable). Plus, those seem to be half-assed programs for professionals, and I just needed programs for home users. Plus, I did not want to have to RTFM just to make the damn thing work!

  5. I was tryin' Win tools on your *.wmv - not workin'.

  6. Anon #5, that is strange. I tried it in iMovie, and it worked fine! I assumed it would work in Movie Maker, since it is WMV.

  7. Works fine with Movie Maker.Who knows what he was using.

  8. Again with the uninformed bull and inability to actually look beyond your own CRT monitor.

    I know the site looks crap, but regardless, there is a list of SOME of the blockbuster movies made with Linux in the last 7 years. For those who can't be bothered to click the link, here's a few slightly notable studios using Linux to make movies:

    WETA (Lord of the Rings films)
    Tippet (Blade II)
    D2 (Star Trek Nemesis)

    Some of the movies made with Linux:

    Little Nicky
    Scooby Doo
    Star Wars Episode II
    Stuart Litte

    But you're right mate, Linux doesn't do video editing, it's crap at it.

    With regard to installing codecs and having to mess around to play with proprietary files, install vlc, on ubuntu it's simple, sudo apt-get install vlc, it'll play just about anything you like.

    Why don't you make blog posts that are actually accurate, there are plenty of things wrong with Linux and Open Source Software to blog about. One thing wrong with Open Source Software is that there's nothing to stop retards like you from using it, bad mouthing it and your little followers from believing your bull.

    One of my best friends works for a Digital Animation Studio, specialising in 3D effects, guess what the Studio runs on?