A keener eye on Kino.

If you caught this post on Identi.ca over the weekend you might think that my glowing review of Kdenlive last week was perhaps a bit premature. And you’d be right.

Instability is one thing, but when I found that I could not export my hour-long video to file or DVD without losing audio sync I had to move on — interestingly enough right back to Kino, the video app I started with. I had passed on it originally because its interface was too foreign to this former Final Cut user, but a sober second look got me figuring it out pretty quick.

Let me show you what I mean…

Kino Timeline

Kino’s timeline view will likely be the biggest head-scratcher for anyone used to a more traditional video editing interface. Instead of running along the bottom of the app window the timeline itself is stacked in blocks down the left column of the screen. You get clips into it by using the “insert before” or “insert after” buttons in the top-most menu (they’re the ones immediately to the left of the greyed-out undo/redo buttons).

And the thumbnails in the centre panel are just that — not separate clips, just arbitrary points in your project’s timeline to help you find something faster.

Kino Edit

Clicking on any of these thumbnails will bring up the editing panel — but the editing tools don’t work at all in the way you would expect. For example, the scissors tool doesn’t “splice” a clip but instead “cuts” it from your project like a word processor would. So to splice a clip into two separate sub-clips you would actually copy the clip, paste the copy into the timeline and then trim the in and out points of each.

This makes dialogue cutting a practical impossibility with Kino, as every element in the timeline is stacked as a separate event, with no overlap.

Kino Trim

And here’s the trim tab, which is pretty straightforward for a change…

Kino FX

Kino’s power as a video editor becomes apparent in the FX tab. It has a built-in title generator as you can see above (which works great), and the ability to generate video and audio transitions as well. Audio mixing and video-correcting tools are also available, along with some cheesy video effects. You can muck around to your heart’s content, then hit “render” to commit.

There is no shortage of export options for your Kino video project, notably YouTube-ready Flash video and MPEG-2 for DVD. And unlike Kdenlive there were no sync issues with my results. I don’t mean to bash Kdenlive or any of the other video editing apps I’ve tried thus far; for whatever reason, Kino seems to be the most usable on my particular machine.

Kino has available packages for the following distributions:

Though it’s been labelled as abandonware at SourceForge it worked well enough for me on this relatively simple project. But next time I think I’m going to try something a little more hard core

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