12 March 2010

No video for you (at least not today)

I am pissed. So pissed that my language will probably stronger than usual. I have work to do but I can't.

Yesterday was the March RLUG meet where I recorded videos of all presentations and I was supposed to start today editing, uploading and sharing them. Unfortunately, Kdenlive, the tool I settled on after extensive research refuse to cooperate: is broken when placing clips on the tracks. It must be the massive yum update I performed a couple of days ago after a long time of laziness: I see in the logs updates for mlt, kdelibs-common and qt, it should be one of them. I can do a yum downgrade for mlt and kdelibs-common, but that's even worse: "kdenlive: error while loading shared libraries: libmlt.so.2: cannot open shared object file".

I don't know what conclusion to draw from here:

  • stop doing any updates
  • stop using KDE apps
  • stop hoping Linux can ever be used for video editing
I don't have the time (nor the patience) for drawing insightful conclusion or for debugging the problem, I have plenty of work to do today, including selecting, editing and publishing some photos from the same event (and forget about the funny story about when the Microsoft guys crashed our meeting).

For the short term, there are a couple of possible solutions for me:
  • put the videos on keep and forget about them for a while (I hope my next week will be even busier with some photography stuff), maybe another update will fix the things and I can continue with the work
  • turn back to the only trused and reliable video editor available for Fedora, mencoder (PiTiVi is useless, Kino can't do HD, Avidemux is a tool for a different job, Kdenlive just let me down and I don't think we have something else in an usable repository) and do only some rough work before uploading - just splitting and merging, no titles, no effects, no nothing.
I was close from not publishing this angry rant, as in the context of the large discussion about updates in Fedora it can be misread as an endorsement of the Board's vision, which is not, I like a lot feature upgrades and staying on the bleeding edge, I just want those updates to be less broken. If the Board's vision becomes reality, I will probably see myself forced to use Rawhide more and more, endure even bigger pains and in the long term become even more frustrated.


  1. I only say cinelerra.
    It never left me alone sitting starring on a crash screen.

  2. Regressions are annoying, I always fear to upgrade the kernel, and see what is broken after reboot. But the most annoying thing when I report a bug about the regression, and haven't got any answer for months.

  3. @Leszek Lesner: thanks for the suggestion, but last time when I tried it (a couple of years ago) I got nothing but crashes... and it is available only on repos conflicting with rpmfusion.

  4. @bobpoljakov: with the kernel you at least have the option to reboot and choose from GRUB an older one (and yes, I had my share of losing hardware support after upgrades in the past).

  5. It seems it was something wrong with blog comments, I received this insightful advice directly, thanks killphi (still, seems like something for TODO, not for today):

    killphi wrote:
    > I feel your pain.
    > Although I don't have any "real" work to do, I - finally, after years - got up
    > and looked for a usable non-linear video editor available for Fedora. I found
    > kdenlive and was almost immediately deeply in love.
    > Then the update to Qt 4.6.x came and broke kdenlive 0.7.6
    > I took that opportunity to upgrade my desktop machine from x86 arch to x86_64
    > arch, however to keep the story from expanding too much.
    > MY FIX
    > - Install MLT-0.5.0 (I enabled it from updates-testing for one update)
    > - Install pretty much every devel-tool you need for that
    > - compile kdenlive yourself
    > I know, it isn't quite elegant, but it got the work done for me. There seems
    > to be some packaging stuff in RPMFusion that doesn't work, which is why this
    > essential update hasn't come along, yet.
    > My hopes for the future: Quicker Updates for kdenlive and cinelerra in RPM
    > Fusion. I've also read the idea that kdenlive could be "stripped down" to
    > it's most basic functionality, integrated into normal Fedora repositories and
    > then "kdenlive-extras-freeworld" from RPM Fusion.
    > Anyway, these are my 2 pence. I hope I helped you to somewhat shed some light
    > on the issue.
    > And I share your hopes of making Linux NLVE and "non-breakage by the means of
    > updates" viable in the near future.
    > - killphi

  6. A fix is on the way, unfortunately, kdenlive maintainership is a bit in flux and rpmfusion folks have been a little slow getting it sorted out.

    On the positive side, see also,

  7. Quick followup (should've checked my facts first), but there are fixed kdenlive packages available now in rpmfusion-free-updates-testing

  8. @nicu
    Thats true you need to compile it yourself. The prebuild packages (especially the rpm packages I found) are mostly crap.
    Ah and confuse cinelerra with cinelerra cv. I meant the cv version thats working fine here (for 2 years now) (on a debian based system though).

    So you surely need a bit of work to have a good video editing system running. But its worth it.

  9. Nicu, have you tried openshot? http://www.openshotvideo.com/

  10. at Rex advice, tried kdenlive from updates-testing and it seems to work

  11. @mairin: OpenShot is not available in any Fedora repo I am aware of... IIRC until recently they had only Ubuntu packages.

  12. i'd go with openshot, it's the only straightforward and functional video editor i've seen for linux.

  13. Blender has a very very good sequencer that you might be interested in.

  14. @Anonymous: I got quite a few recommendations for using Blender for this job, but honesty, I am still scared by its user interface (I acknowledge, I tried Blender a few years ago, so I'm not very up to date).

  15. Until the vlcvideo editor is ready, I've been using ffmpeg with start/stop options to pick parts and then merge. If you don't mind adding a conversion, ffmpeg to avi format, then user avimerge, avisplit, etc, to play.

    Sounds like you could just use ffmpeg, though.

  16. Bill, I use mencoder a lot for editing, but those videos are a bit more than split and merge: they have titles, subtitles, credit screens and so, they need a few advanced features.