We recently blogged about the best video editing software for YouTubers, and some of you mailed us asking for free and open source alternatives. So, here we are, with a list of open source video editors for every major platform.
Not many options. Why?
If you are coming here from Google, you might already know, there aren’t many options when you are looking for open source video editors. One reason for that, is the fact that, video editors are generally used commercially and need constant updates, which is why it makes sense to sell them instead of just giving it away for free. But still, there are some nuggets that we, at TechWiser, were able to find for you.
Since the tech giants are vying for our attention and there are multiple platforms to choose from, I will be sharing some video editors, open source, of course, that you can use on any device. Plus, one of them is available on all the platforms. This is to bring consistency to your work.
1. Open Source Video Editor for Windows
Let’s begin with Windows as it’s one of the most used OS in the world. Love it, hate it, you will find it everywhere. Good job, Bill Gates.
Shotcut is an open-source video editor that is available on multiple platforms like Windows, Linux, and Mac. It comes with a number of features with support for FFmpeg. FFmpeg is a suite of libraries and tools that help with audio and video editing.
Note: Here is an extensive guide on FFmpeg and how to use it. You can find more on the web.
You can work with different video formats with 4k, titles, and there is support for composition, transition. There are a number of video effects that you can choose to apply to your video. Video editing is not it’s only strength. Shotcut offers amazing audio editing tools too like filters, scopes, mixing, effects, and transitions.
Shotcut has a really nice UI which looks professional and works amazingly well for a FOSS. It can also work with HTML and MLT XML file formats. It also supports more codecs than most video editing tools out there.
Shotcut is more suitable for intermediates and experts than newbies who are looking to add simple effects on their beach holiday videos for Instagram and Facebook. There are apps available for that.
The UI is rather simple when you launch the software, and you might think it is just a player. As you begin messing around with the buttons and drop down menus, you will realize the full potential.
Shotcut is totally free with no ads or additional third-party software.
2. Open Source Video Editor for Mac
Although, Shotcut is also available for macOS, but I wanted to talk about another software, that can utilizes the true power of your Mac.
Blender, a free and open source software (FOSS), is a crazy powerful video editor which is widely used by professional YouTubers, game makers, indie and big-name movie makers, and even engineering simulations. In fact, rumor has it that it was used in the making of Spiderman 2. This video editor has been written entirely in C++ and python.
Blender is awesome when you want to make 3D videos and animations. An open GNU licensed piece of software, it comes with tools for animation, character development, modeling and node tools.
Video Sequence Editor or VSE is the tool that will allow you to work with transformations, color gradients, and mixing among others.
Blender will take some time getting used as there a lot of features and tools to master, but once you do get the hang of it, you should be able to create something truly awesome. A video editor once told me that he could also use Blender for non-destructive (non-linear) video editing.
3. Open Source Video Editor for Linux
Again, Blender and Shotcut, both are open source and available on all 3 popular platforms. But if you are running a Linux machine chances are, you need something less powerful and more simple. Not everyone wants to make a movie. Some of us are happy posting random vacation videos on Facebook and Snapchat.
We talked about non-linear video editing in Blender. Kdelive, another open source video editor that is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac, stands for KDE Non-linear Video Editor. It was built from the ground up to be simple and easy based on the MLT framework. It supports pretty much all the video file formats.
You will have to compile it for Mac and Windows there’s that. Kdenlive is good for editing small videos and not editing movie clips. The interface could be better than what it is currently but still professional.
Kdenlive comes with FFmpeg which means there is support for pretty much all the codecs you can think of and use. There is support for multi-tracks, special effects, and transitions. Where it shines is the user forum where you will find an active community ready to help you out.
Download Kdenlive for Linux | Mac | Windows
4. Open Source Video Editor for Android
I love F-Droid. They have some of the most amazing open source mobile apps ever. Video Transcoder is a FOSS, GNU General Public License, with support for a wide variety of video formats.
You can use it to trim, cut, and join videos, and also extract audio from the video. An app with support for FFmpeg got to be awesome. Using FFmpeg, you can transcode video files into different formats. It FFmpeg also means it supports quite a few codecs.
Read: Best Apps on Fdroid
There is support for different filters and effects with the ability to control speed and transitions.
Download Video Transcoder for Android
5. Open Source Video Editor for iOS
We were not able to find any open source video editor for iOS. However, iMovie is a robust video editing tool that was built by Apple itself. The app is free to download and use. It works on both iOS and macOS which is a plus.
You can add titles, some special effects, and background music on the fly. iPhones are known for their DSLR like image qualities and with that thought in mind, iMovie supports 4k. There is additional support for broadcasting, picture-in-picture, split-screen and speed control.
iMovie is not bad but surely there are other alternatives available on the App Store. These alternatives won’t be free though.
Download iMovie for iOS | macOS
Wrapping Up: Open Source Video Editors
There are a few powerful open source video editors available for all platforms with a lot of having cross-platform compatibility. Which one should you use depends on your usage and project rather than cost because they are all free. I would suggest Blender because it is really powerful and Kdenlive if you are looking for something more basic.
If yo have a good internet speed, you can also try one of these online video editor. Although, they are not open source, the good thing about them is that you don’t have to download any software or sign-up for anything.