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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Wed, 09 May 2012

Video-editing update: LiVES, KDEnlive and OpenShot

I really wanted LiVES to work. I installed it in Debian Squeeze, but I couldn't figure out the first thing about how to use it. I figured out how to play a clip, but it wouldn't work -- I just got a blank window on my screen.

It really makes me appreciate how well OpenShot works.

Not that I'm against trying everything, because I'm not. Right after LiVES failed me, I installed the KDEnlive video editing application on my Debian system. While I haven't actually edited anything in it just yet, I have poked around in the interface and imported and played with a few clips.

I hope to try it soon for a full video, but I'll have to do a little reading first so I know what I'm doing.

Things that bother me about OpenShot right now are that it's hard to precisely trim a clip (you kind of have to vibe it), sometimes the transitions can be rough (though this can be mitigated with "technique," in terms of how you stack the clips), and there are some annoying artifacts on the screen (flyout menus persist after you're done with them). And ... I'd like to be able to "split" audio from video; right now in OpenShot you can "mute" video and have a track that's just audio, but that's a bit hackish.

Most of this will no doubt be addressed in the course of development -- and the fact that development is so active bodes well for OpenShot.

But for me right now, the problem with precisely trimming clips is bothering me. I have a feeling that KDEnlive deals with this, and I know you can split audio and video.

I'm not sure how titles work in KDEnlive, but I imagine I can keep using Inkscape like I do in OpenShot. That was a nice discovery, and I wouldn't have figured it out had Inkscape and SVG graphics not been so "baked into" OpenShot.

Right now I'm still open to other editing solutions. I want to focus on the application(s) that allow me to do more and be more creative and productive in terms of putting videos together.