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.
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