Open Source Movie Editing Software

Screen Shot of Avidemux

The goal of this project is to figure out how to take multiple  DVD video files (*.VOB) from a Sony Handy Cam and compile them all into one video with various transitions, effects and title screens.  The program I use does not have to be anything fancy, but should have the basics mentioned above.  I am by no means an expert in this subject, but I have previously used Adobe Premiere Pro with digital video (DV), capturing the video over Firewire.  I am not able to use this same method as the Sony Handy Cam I am currently using records to a mini DVD.   I also no longer have legal access to Adobe Premiere Pro.

The first software package I tried was VirtualDub, but I got the following error when trying to open the VOB file;  “MPEG Import Filter: invalid pack at position 3: marker bit not set; possibly MPEG-2 stream.”  Okay, so this tells me I need to convert the video file before editing it with this program.  After further investigation, it does not appear that VirtualDub is going to allow me to do transitions and title screens.  It is time to search for another open source/free program.

The List of free and open source software packages on Wikipedia seems like a good place to start.  The first one on the list, Avidemux is able to convert my DVD based files into various file types (AVI, DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4, ASF, etc) , but still does not provide transitions or title screens.  It also provides simple cutting, encoding and various filters, but not quite what I need.

None of the other programs on the Wikipedia list seem to fit my needs.  However, it does seem that there are few awesome video editors for Linux/Unix platform.  I am unable to use any of these as I am limited to Windows XP.  I have come to the conclusion that a good open source alternative to Adobe Premiere or Final Cut for Windows does not exist right now.  Does anyone else know of one?

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01 2010

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