Comparing seven current video editing programs

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All of these video editing programs seem put a lot of weight on effects – the more the better – but simple editing functions and an intuitive user interface are still on track. Apart from Flowblade, Cinelerra, and the hopelessly outdated Kino, none of the programs provided quick and accurate clip trimmings. Simple drag-and-drops rarely worked as expected. Those who have worked with Windows editors might consider the Linux software to be a return to the Stone Age.

Auteur would be the ideal program for amateurs who simply want to cut and rearrange material. Its fussy operation and several small bugs render it useless in the end, however. Hopefully the developer will pick up where he left off to improve it.

Cinelerra's functionality targets professionals and it almost plays in that league. Unfortunately, its usage pattern is complicated, especially in regard to applying effects.

Flowblade is convincing with its numerous editing tools, with even roll cuts possible. Operation could be a bit more intuitive, however, and its limit of five video tracks in light of all the flexible effects you can apply seems outdated. Thus, Flowblade is recommended above all for ambitious beginners and advanced users for which Kdenlive or Cinelerra appear too cluttered.

Kino seems extremely stable, provides mature tools, and can satisfy editing novices with its simple operation. Unfortunately, the program supports only the outdated DV format. If you still have a DV camera or want to rework older material, you should definitely give Kino a chance.

LiVES is aimed primarily at VJs, video artists, and others who like to experiment with effects. Although its confusing user interface needs some tweaking, it remains a fairly powerful tool. You can speed things up a bit with keyboard shortcuts.

OpenShot appeals to beginners with its clearly structured and intuitive user interface. The comprehensive help can clear up any questions. You'll need some patience, however, to get an accurate cut in the clips.

PiTiVi promises on its home page to provide a user interface that beginners as well as professionals would be pleased with. Ultimately, the functionality serves simple projects only. Beginners should consider it, however, because of its comprehensive and clearly written instructions [11].


  1. Auteur:
  2. Cinelerra:
  3. Flowblade:
  4. "Splice and Edit Videos with Flowblade" by Tim Schürmann, Ubuntu User , Issue 16, pg. 20
  5. Kino:
  6. LiVES:
  7. LiVES manual:
  8. OpenShot:
  9. "Editing Videos with OpenShot" by Vincze-Aron Szabo, Ubuntu User , Issue 16, pg. 26
  10. PiTiVi:
  11. PiTiVi manual:
  12. Lightworks:
  13. Kdenlive:

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