Kdenlive GUI


So, this is my first post, although i am reading the mailing-list and the forum for quite a while now. I had an eye on the development of kdenlive, because i always missed a good and useful software for digital video on linux. Now kdenlive has come to the point, that it is very useful, powerful and stable.

I would like to make a suggestion for the GUI of kdenlive, as i think here is some room for improvement.
Although kdenlive looks very nice, i think much space is wasted because of much too big buttons and menu-bars.

I am not a bit of a professional user, but i used many different software until now, on linux and on windows.
When it comes to usability, i think "Final Cut Pro" has a very good GUI. So, why shouldn´t the good aspects be copied?

I attached a mockup of kdenlive. It has a low quality, but i think one can see, what i mean.

The important things for me with this GUI are:
- Small buttons and menus.
- Dual view.
- Big clip and timeline monitor.
- Small rectangles for video and audio. (You don´t need more.)
- You have an eye on audio volume with the "audio-meter"
- There is not much space "wasted".

So, what do you think?


Coming from FCP, I actually found I like kdenlives Gui better.

Personally, I do not like the mockup:

  • The timeline always has to have maximum width.
  • Dual video should only be a popup window, otherwise it is largely unused, and wasting space. (speaking from experience with FCP)
  • Tabs should be embraced. Kdenlive has it perfect with project tree, effect stack, and transition.
  • Where is the undo stack?!?
  • Apple basically sues anything that breathes, lets not try to copy the competition.


There are some things that are good in your mockup, but its more of a matter of time before the feature gets implemented. I dont think reinventing the wheel is the right way to go about this in this particular project. Perhaps you want to suggest a feature or plugin system where there can be custom layouts.

But again, 2 video windows is a waste imo. Have one, and if you need the other, its just a matter of clicking on the file and bringing up an external popup of it.

Check out http://lumiera.org/, they would really appreciate your Gui input, as they are in the planning stages. They really  need imaginative users giving input,

... maybe you should play around with kdenlive gui.. you will see that you can move everything around (drag and drop all the windows around) and have the same view as your mockup (without the audio meter)...

Well, maybe the right GUI is just a matter of taste. So it might be the best, that kdenlives GUI is custumizable.

I played around a bit with it. Most parts of the GUI are already highly custumizable, so that i could create a GUI, that suits my needs.

Thanks for your replies.


> Apple basically sues anything that breathes, lets not try to copy the competition.

Well, Apple and most of the other video editing systems are copies of Avid MediaComposer, so I would not worry too much about that. Use whatever good ideas you find. There is still room for improvements, but if you take a look at the big systems - Avid MediaComposer, Apple FinalCut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas - they all have some things in common. And these companies have spent big money on findong out what works better, not to mention all the feedback they have had from users. So it is not a bad idea to approach some of their ideas.

Here is a twist on the original idea:

Make some standard settings that mimics the setup in some of these systems so it is really easy to switch with one click and decide what will be the default for your system. Personally, I prefer the MediaComposer setup with dual (physical) monitors and dual viewers so I can have bins and project on one monitor and viewers and timeline on the other. Of course, this has to be compressed on a single monitor, and I think the tabbed viewers of Kdenlive is a good idea.

I will get back to the bins and project in a separate post here.