Video editing

April 23, 2020 — August 15, 2022

Video editing. This is not my day job so I want to spend little money on it. So here are some cheap options, especially free/libre video editors or ones that are otherwies cheap New open-source ones are launched with curious regularity and get quite a lot of hype. I do not do enough video editing to have opinions upon the dynamics of this.

Figure 1

1 MLT derivatives

MLT is a video editing framework. There are at least two actual video editors built upon it, which both seem to be fairly actively developed.

1.1 shotcut

shotcut (Windows/Linux/macOs).

1.2 kdenlive

kdenlive (Qt based, Windows/linux) Have not yet tried, but the name is so awful that I will probably never remember to.

1.3 Flowblade

Flowblade is an editor of moving image. Its unique selling point is that it is Linux-only. It seems to be a python-GTK3 app which is bold but OK.

2 Openshot

openshot (Windows/Macos/Linux) also edits video.

I used this one recently by random choice. It works. It is not smooth; edits end up in inter-frame boundaries and so if you are editing something with a jump cut you might end up with next or previous fames sneaking in. Keyboard shortcuts are not discoverable. Zoom timelines breaks for long edits.

3 descript

Not open source, but cheap-ish and does something usefully time-saving apart from tuning me into a video monkey. descript aims to integrate editing with transcription and in particular seems to allow editing audio via editing the transcription via voice fake technology which is very handy for e.g recording lecture videos.

the unique selling point is that it edits using the transcript, so you can see the words your mouth said and then delete them, and the associated bit of video will vanish along with that text. Nifty. USD12/month.

4 Use a videoconferencing/live streaming tool

Some editing isn’t about timelines but live compositing.

4.1 OBS

OBS is not a video editor, but it might do what you want nonetheless; since it facilitates live composing, recording and streaming of multiple video and audio sources.

4.2 mmhmm

Also nice compositing tricks plus some real editing. See mmhmm.

4.3 Routing video live

See video routers.