I'm going to detail my frustrating experiences trying to get/install/use Kdenlive. Sorry in advance for this long post, but I've followed Kdenlive for well over a year and spent a lot of time trying to make this work and use your app, so far all to no avail, and I think my observations may be worth something.
What distros are the Kdenlive developers using? It would be so helpful to know this and how exactly they're set up. I'm sure Kdenlive must work quite well on some of your machines. I would actually be willing to switch distros to get this thing to work. But I haven't a clue.
That said, I would much rather stick with Ubuntu. I would like to suggest that the Kdenlive devs get a couple of Ubuntu boxes with the latest couple of stable releases installed and make sure that the app installs and runs flawlessly on them. I realize there are lots of other good distros out there, but there is a tremendous groundswell behind Ubuntu. The fact that this cool app basically doesn't run on the most popular Linux distro (in my experience anyway) is pretty mystifying.
I realize that this app depends on other packages like MLT and ffmpeg that for reasons beyond your control, are not up-to-date in Ubuntu 8.04 and 8.10. It does kind of puzzle me, however, why you don't just ship a binary package for these with Kdenlive customized up-to-date versions of these packages. Other app distributors have figured out how to do this. Since you've designed KDenlive so that these other packages are absolutely central to Kdenlive's correct operation, it's really not valid to just say, "Sorry, out of our hands."
Firstly, I run Ubuntu 8.04 LTS 64 bit natively on my main machine. It would be really nice if Kdenlive worked on 8.04 precisely because it's a Long Term Support release and a lot of people are going to continue using it for this reason. I've tried many times over the last few months to run the builder wizard. I can build it fine but it's never stable and won't play back any clips I try to import. I finally gave up on this avenue. The builder wizard is a good idea, but it's just not working, for me at least.
Next, I saw that you were recommending the Ubuntu Jaunty alphas because they have updated ffmpeg packages, so I downloaded Alpha 4 and ran it on a VM with VirtualBox. Now, I realize that performance in a VM is not going to be very good, but other video editors seem to work this way, just very slowly. It seemed pretty promising at first, because for the first time I could actually play back my AVCHD .mts files, and import them into Kdenlive and see their thumbnails and kind of edit. But playback locks up, and I could not get Kdenlive to render anything correctly, not even when doing projects in DV or other lo-res video formats.
Next, a few days ago I downloaded the USB Debian distro you have that has Kdenlive pre-installed. Seems like a great idea, you guys choose the ideal distro for it and set it up correctly. It was easy to format my USB key using the dd command and boot right into it which was cool. But there seem to be a number of key things wrong with this USB distro: could not get on the internet, due to the host settings being wrong. Had to track that down. This is pretty bizarre, I've never seen a Live CD with this problem. Next, there are very few video codecs installed. This wouldn't be a problem, except that the key gets formatted to FAT16 (Huh???) limiting it to 1GB in space and the distro is bloated, so there's almost no room to download other codecs, even though I used a 4GB key. I tried to play a .mts file only to realize I needed a bunch of gstreamer codecs. Video editing and playback just ain't gonna work without a fair bunch of codecs, so I tried to download them and quickly filled up the drive to maximum. Nothing worked after this and no changes could be made. Reformat and start over. The user account that boots up has very few permissions, I couldn't even access my home network drives with all my video files. Ugh. Nautilus starts up by default not in browse mode, which is bizarre. Next, the USB distro doesn't seem to be persistent. Changes made, if they take effect at all, are lost after a reboot. To get more room, I tried to uninstall OpenOffice because it's bloated (why include this giant program on a little USB key where space is at a premium?) so I uninstalled in in Synaptic. But it didn't uninstall, it was still there. Look, the "USB key distro" idea is really intriguing, but in this implementation is one quirky frustration after another. It would be much better if this were a 'persistent' install so that system changes could be made, and please don't include a bunch of bloatware - people could add what they want later. I just want to try out Kdenlive.
It does look to me like the best hope for Ubuntu will be Jaunty. I will probably do a fresh native install on my main machine when this is released. Unfortunately this is still two months away. I do hope the Kdenlive devs see the importance of getting this cool app out and usable onto Ubuntu and put the necessary time into making sure the Jaunty packages are a real priority. A lot of work is going into Kdenlive and it looks like an awesome and much needed app. I just don't see how many people at all are able to use it in the present situation.
Thanks for reading this, and thanks for all the work. A good video editor is so important for Linux progress and Kdenlive really has the potential to be the cream of the crop