[clug] Video editing under linux and financial incentives.

Andrew Pollock andrew-clug at andrew.net.au
Wed Jun 9 22:38:20 GMT 2004

Good grief. Someone got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning :-)

On Tue, Jun 08, 2004 at 04:54:37PM +1000, Telek, John wrote:
> Hi all,
>    I have a rather strong interest in editing DV format video under
> linux. My preference is Windows XP pro and Adobe premier.
> At the moment, I see myself having to do the following in order to "sort
> of make it work".
> 1) hack around for a couple of day's recompiling the kernel to get one
> that's ok'ish to import video without too many
>    glitches.
> 2) hack around for a couple of day's recompiling the various 1394 libs
> and tools until they also "sort of work".
> 3) hack around for a couple of day's recompiling the various
> applications related to editing the video footage to also
>    "sort of make it work".

Common theme. Recompiling and hacking. The other day, I decided to have a
very quick dabble with Firewire under Linux. I use Debian. I'm heavily
testing sarge, so I used only sarge. I used a stock kernel-image package
with the defaults that the Debian kernel maintainer enabled. I used the
stock Debian 1394 packages. I used something called dvgrab. It just worked.
I ran it for maybe 30 seconds, and had about 2 gig of some raw AVI on my
hard drive. I played it back through xine. That's as far as I went.
> Just the other day I downloaded and compiled xine on my laptop wich runs
> mandrake 10.0. I compiled everything from source.
> I play one video and the display memory get corrupted if I try and play
> another video without rebooting first. Also that laptop cannot cope with
> the high IO bandwith requirements and eventually (within seconds) dies.
> Lasts longer if I disable audio. Work fine if I use windows. I'ts almost
> like I have to derive my own linux distro.

Maybe you should stick with a binary distribution? Maybe you're optimizing
things wrong? I personally can't stand compiling things. Not only does it
leave bits of cruft all over your system, it takes time, and the payoff is
usually limited. I guess if I'm really keen, I'll get a Debian source
package and tweak something and build a local .deb from it. I like having my
files under package management control.
> Maybe we should stop pushing linux into the desktop arena. It cannot
> compete full stop.

I disagree. Maybe it's not ready for the desktop video editing sector of the
desktop market, but it's getting quite competitive in the general
productivity + office apps space.
> I see the linux kernel evolving soooo rapidly with the result being NO
> performance stability or decent IO management or throughput. Very few
> manufacturers of hardware support linux with drivers for starters, and
> secondly, too many open source developers loose interest at 60-70% of
> completion of any project.

I agree that there's a lot of dead half baked projects around, but that's
often as a result of lack of interest from the community as well...
> Windows shits all over Linux hands down at this point in time.

Broad statement.
> And before you propeller heads even start, get it through your lopsided
> scone's that the majority of people just want their computers to just
> work. You cannot and should not expect everyone on this planet to be in
> your league.
> YES! I want choice. YES! I see the power of giving people the ability to
> express their creativity. NO! You can't expect everyone to be the same.
> We don't live in the Star Trek universe. ( Yet! Heres hoping.  :)  )
> This right/left wing religeous take that some people have on their
> "Favorite OS/Platform" is really not on and poor form.
> As much as I see Linux and it's importance with respect to it's role in
> the IT game, I've come to the conclusion that it will never get anywhere
> as a desktop product until someone takes it, exerts entire control over
> it and inject's a shitload of money into it. In the meantime, all Linux
> will ever be is a means for poor people/students to express their
> creative juices in the hope that someone recognises their abilities and
> starts paying the individual appropriately for their intelectual
> greatness.

Possibly. Fragmentation just dilute, or it can encourage more innovation.
> I've also realised that this, "It's free" business doesn't actually
> work. You university types should know first hand that here in australia
> (for starters), education is becoming more eexpensive. Slowly, little by
> little our "educated" population are turning around and going "fuck it",
> who's the highest bidder. Why ?. Because the landlord want's more money.
> Petrol is over a dollar. Life is EXPENSIVE.

All the more reason to not spend precious $$$ on the software.
> So now that we've brought it down to what it's really about, I'll give
> $500.00 (Cash in hand) to whoever can make my Linux based video editing
> system work AND work reliably to the same level of performance and
> reliability that I get from Microsoft Windows.

Install Debian. Donate the $500 to Software in the Public Interest, Inc.
> And before I get told, I have dropped linux as a destop solution. I am
> still happy to push it as an alternative backend solution though where I
> honestly believe it works very well.

It's horses for courses. I would unreservedly recommend Linux in the server
space, I would be slightly more cautious in recommending it in the desktop
space. It would have to depend on the requirements, but it's certainly not
in a state where it can be ruled out out of hand.
> I want to be able to watch a full screen divx movie (high quality) while
> importing/exporting video to tape in DV format via the firewire port
> from within one of the more decent video editing applications. Video and
> audio play lag times need to addressed as well. Ie: file/buffer/hw
> interaction and management. There still isn't a decent audio editor for
> linux either.

Try a stock "vendor kernel" and just tweak the performance settings that are
tweakable via /proc
> I suppose I want the DIRECTX (TM M$) equivalent for Linux. One standard
> not lots of different ones, and yes I'll pay for it.
> Time for change through incentive.
>    John.



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