Friday, June 29, 2007

Video Editing and Ubuntu

Last weekend I had to edit a video for work. It was nothing too fancy. I had about 45 minutes of video on tape and I wanted to save parts of it to my computer (the takes). Then I wanted to cut the takes into pieces (the scenes), edit it as I pleased and add some background music.

Let me go straight to the conclusion: I gave up and did it all in Windows. How depressing...

I was able to capture the video to disk without problems (I think I used Kino for that), but the editing part was really bad.

I tried out Pitivi but it just hang after a few clicks. Then I tried Kino but unfortunately it is too basic. No ability to add the background music (actually I think there's a way, but 2 audio channels is still to limited).

Then I found Cinelerra. I tried everything to make Cinelerra work properly, I even fixed the dreaded startup error regarding the shmmax parameter. And although the software looks very promising, it is full of bugs that make it completely unusable... It's a shame really.

I did manage to do a test video in Cinelerra. The video had cuts, background music, the works. But while doing this video the preview was out of synch (and that makes editing really hard), I had to restart the software at least 20 times (no kidding) and when I got to work with my new video to show my colleagues what a great editor I was, I couldn't make it play on a Windows machine!

So I went back to my Windows partition, installed VirtualDub and another video editor I can't remember the name right now and was able to do the job hassle free... 1 down for free (as in speech) software. :-(

PS: To fix the dreaded startup error regarding the shmmax parameter edit the file /etc/sysctl.conf and add the following:

# make cinelerra happy
kernel.shmmax = 2147483647

You'll need to reboot for the changes to take effect.


Anonymous said...

Windows is so much better. This story is the perfect example that when the all cheap FOSS software fails, Windows can come to the rescue and get the job done easily, quickly and professionally -- without a bunch of ridiculous tweaking. This is why most "Linux users" are actually dual-booting with Windows, after all.

Anonymous said...

hi dude, have you checked this out?

miT said...

How dare you cross over to the dark side to accomplish your video editing needs!

I don't think we can be friends anymore.


P.S. You're not coming to my birthday party either!