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Re: [tlug] Video Editing Soft & Formats

On 09/07/07, Dave Gutteridge <> wrote:

I'm obviously not against Linux in any way,

I know this, which is why I had to double-check the name attached to your first post.

1. Video editing software on Linux is still in very early stages of
development. They are buggy, crash often, and don't support a lot of
features, formats and codecs. Not to mention the interfaces are by and large
clunky and obscure.

I cannot speak to this at all, since I have not used any video editing tools on Linux.

2. Command line interface may be fine for Pietro, and you, and others.


3. That there is documentation for something, command line or otherwise,
doesn't automatically mean it is any good. It is just as likely as not to be
pages and pages of terminology that makes sense to the person who coded it,
but not to the people who may want to use it. The existence of documentation
is not evidence of its usefulness.

I have been using mencoder (and occasionally, ffmpeg) for converting, re-sampling, re-mastering, and re-fooing for Many Moons, so I can speak to this.

Frankly, if you cannot understand mencoder's man page, you probably do
not know much about video.

I do not know much about video myself, at least in the nitty-gritty
details of format implementation, but I still find the mencoder /
mplayer man page extremely useful. I just search the man page for what
I am trying to do, e.g. /subtitle or /kbps, and then read just the
little section that is applicable to that.

As for documentation, it is often as easy as:

mencoder movie.wmv -o movie.avi -ovc lavc -oac lavc

And that is described many places on the Web, not least here:

As for my comment that if I really needed to do video editing, I would use
Mac and recommend others do so is because Mac is still far more reliable and
easier to use than Linux for that task. You will spend far less time
searching for software and setting it up and more time actually editing
video on Mac. For a price, of course, but nonetheless a lot easier.

This is a valuable statement. Trading money for time is a reasonable thing to do, and many of us are happy to do it. Some of us are not. But it is important to point out what is going on.

However, that doesn't mean I'm advocating Mac. I believe that within three
to five years time, hopefully sooner, there will be open source video
editing software available for Linux that is just as good or better than
anything proprietary.

Yeah, but where do you get your numbers, and how do you define "as good or better"? I consider the video playback and conversion tools on Linux to be far superior to anything available on the Mac or Windows. Granted, I don't know shite about Mac or Linux, but trying to use Quicktime or Windows Media Player just to play my movies was like pulling teeth. Whereas on Linux I just type "mplayer -fs foo.avi" and away I go.

But in the meantime, I don't think it is at all "FUD" or unreasonable to
point out when Linux has not yet achieved functionality that is equal to
other well established software packages and platforms.

It was not what you said, exactly, it was how you said it. Or what you omitted. I would have liked to see a lot more about your usage patterns and your reasons for not liking the video editing experience on Linux, and less blanket statements like this one: "I did want you to be aware, though, that video editing on Linux is an area that you should keep your expectations to be very low. If I really needed to do video editing, I would buy a Mac."

If you disagree that Linux can do anything as well as any other OS and
software in the area of video editing, please show me some actual video
content, such as a documentary or fictional work, created entirely in a
Linux environment, and (this is important) with no step done by the original
developers of the software used. I would love to see that.

Every single bit of digital content produced by Weta Digital (i.e. in the "Lord of the Rings" films and "King Kong") was rendered on Linux. I am not sure what software Peter Jackson used for the editing process.

The important thing to note is that what is good for a professional
film maker is not necessarily the same as what is good for a LUG
member, and that is what I feel you did not understand in your
original post.


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