Is KDENLIVE ready for productivity?

Hi, all,

I am presently doing a scientific research project on OSS NLEs and I would like to know whether you would consider KDENLIVE 0.5 as ready for productivity. To be more precise, would the program be able to cope with the following test task:

- Edit 25p PAL widescreen DV video,
- add transitions with scalable duration,
- add titles including graphics (PNG),
- add multiple effects on all the same video clip,
- render all free from artefacts?

Thanks in advance for your answer,


oss_tester wrote:
- Edit 25p PAL widescreen DV video,
- add transitions with scalable duration,
- add titles including graphics (PNG),
- add multiple effects on all the same video clip,
- render all free from artefacts?

Obviously, for me the answer is YES to all questions.
I am shooting documentaries. I like to be able to mix several formats.
The documentary "Les super-héros de l'immobilier" (super-heroes of real-estate) is edited with Kdenlive.
You can view rush :

In my case, I use micro-cameras, AVI DV and soon hdv.
A software supporting all video formats (thanks to MLT and ffmpeg).

For quality rendering, I may export to AVIDV and render in avidemux to h264.

Kdenlive is on the rare NLE to support HDV (720p and 1080p).
It compares to top NLEs like Sony Vegas.

Thank you very much for the info! Since you are the only practical user I have found so far, I might bother you with a mini user interview one in a while, if you don't mind :-).

No problem, feel free to contact me jm at

No problem, you are welcome.
IMHO Kdenlive is ready for productivity, if you mean daily editing of simple films.

It could soon reach broadcast quality, when additional post-production features are added, such as:
:arrow: custom interlacing/non-interlacing support (I would like to mix interlaced and non-interlaced movies),
:arrow: professional chroma/light features (to be able to work on long films),
:arrow: non-destructive rendering as for AVI DV and Mpeg2 (when no effect/transition is applied, video is copied without loss),
:arrow: AVCHD support (ffmpeg issue, wait a few months),
:arrow: better sound synchronisation (my issue, some of my mpeg2 files do not play well as for sound, probably an ffmpeg issue),
:arrow: better stability in MLT/kdenlive (I still experience crashes, but I can recover my files without loss immediately).

If you look at commercial products, they are extremely unstable and crash all the time. A friend of mine, a film maker, hiresstations in a video editing center ... only because he has limited time to edit films (1 week) and does not have the time to resolve crashes. Under Windows, crashes are nigthmares. Compared to Windows + a closed source solution, Kdenlive is "as stable" as a proprietary solution.

IMHO Kdenlive could become the #1 video editor without a few years.
IMHO, I prefer to use Kdenlive for my professional films, where errors are corrected very fast ... than to invest thousands of dollars in a closed source solution that crashes all the time.

Kind regards,

I am a senior video editor at a small post-production house in Sydney, Australia. I use final cut pro, along with its suite of "studio" programs from apple. I run FCP on both a quad-core G5 with 6Gb RAM, as well as a 15" MacBook Pro (2.2 Ghz Intel core duo; 2 Gb RAM). At home, I run Linux Ubuntu on a dual core AMD Athlon 3200+ machine, with 1 Gb RAM. At home, I recently installed KDEnlive for the purposes of being able to do NLE in a linux environment. I didn't expect much... so was bowled over by the functionality and ease of use of KDEnlive. Now that I take my MacBook home, I am waiting for the opportunity to a side-by-side vidcast for my production blog. It will be soon, and will be to show up the pros and cons of KDEnlive thus far in comparison to FCP - which I believe is a fair challenge, as FCP is a production standard software.

Right now tho, yes, I believe it is ready for limited productivity (home video, short film, low budget project with indefinite deadline). I would have to use it extensively and side-by-side with FCP to see if it can perform as well as what I expect from my day-to-day use, but I am confident it will.

Well... I think that depends on what you want to do with Kdenlive... Honestly (and sadly) I must admit that I still can´t use Kdenlive for a very simple thing -- make short "compact" videos with the best moments of each F-1 race which I record in DVD. From the previous posts, I can suppose that Kdenlive/MLT are well developed in DV capture/edition/rendering; but I seem to have eternal problems with the VOB files from the DVDs (maybe they are not imported/used correctly in the timeline).

c'mon guys...get serious!
i must admit that kdelive is a NICE TRY, and has many features. CONGRATS && THUMBS UP to the developers.
since rendering isn't good/has problems/bugs, the app is _automatically_ out of the question for production use (at least for creating dvds).
i'd love to see the project advance and solve all these issues. but until kdenlive/libmlt/ffmpeg solve them (in other words: COMMUNICATE AMONG THEMSELVES TO solve them), i cannot think of production use.
i am of the opinion that ffmpeg has the greater number of issues. that's the reason blender has many problems with render to video (i render to .tga, then use kino to create a video - at least i get a bloody video that's properly rendered).
it's a pitty, but we should be honest: rendering is priority #1...


P.S: i should make clear that i use kdenlive v0.4 (debian etch). but from what i read in developers' mailing list, rendering problems haven't been solved...


can you explain why the rendering (vob) is so important ...

ok it's has some bug, but you can export in best quality and convert after (avidemux ...) and make your dvd with dedicated software ...

ok you lost time, but for me it's 1% of the total time including, capture, montage ....


oss-tester, are you a troll?
I posted messages on well-known video forum ... and you arrived.
Are you trying to underline that your professional and closed solution is better than our community work? ;)
kdenlive will soon be the best video editor around, so beat it.

Hello, I am the CTO at Sam-Son Productions in Pennsylvania, USA. We currently have DVCpro (tape) video cameras. We just purchased JVC HDV cameras and also FireStore (firewire) hard drives. The FireStore will record the video shot with the JVC in the following DV formats... Quicktime, Raw DV, AVI Type1, AVI Type2, and some other formats. The FireStore will also record video shot with the JVC in the following HDV formats... M2T and Quicktime HDV. The goal is to create an open source tapeless editing solution for our news department. (On the Production side, we are looking at the Autodesk Smoke and Piranha Cinema [both run on Linux]).
Basically, the news department doesn't require the video to be shot in High Def, so I was focusing on the SD DV formats like Quicktime or raw DV. I was thinking of going with Macs with FCP, but I was hoping there would be a simple editor on Linux that could handle editing newsroom stuff.
The longest edits would only be 5 minutes and there is no worry with capturing the video, as the FireStore will plug in as a firewire external hard drive and I can just copy the digital video files onto the pc.
I know v0.5 was just released and I have tested the v0.6svc a little bit, but I was wondering how all of you feel about using Kdenlive in this way, in a professional production facility? And if you believe Kdenline is up to the task, what format would be best for Kdenline to use? Also what would be the ideal hardware configuration and software (distro) configuration for the Kdenline?
Thanks for listening.

kdenlive and Autodesk Smoke are LEAGUES apart. If you have the sort of money to be affording a smoke setup then I don't see why you would even consider using a free, community developed, dot release video editing app. Not to mention Smoke's unbelievable real-time editing, colour correction and effects. There's absolutely no comparison.

Put simply- kdenlive is not ready for production.

In saying that, I'm basically saying- if you are being paid a decent sum of money by clients to produce a professional product within a deadline, it would not be realistic (nor at all responsible) to consider using anything that cannot be considered at least mildly predictable and stable.

That said, I definitely consider kdenlive capable of editing videos by home users or people serioulsy considering experimentation or rather making the statement that they can edit a movie using an open source tool. Right now I sort of liken the state of linux video editing to iMovie before it was thought of as more than a home movie editor- when projects like Tarnation ( started turning up, some people started thinking 'Who needs to buy software for editing when I can use a program that comes with my computer' (or in the case of linux's open source apps- 'is free and not closed source'). But the truth is, editing news or any other production level program with imovie or a linux based solution would still be foolish as your WORKFLOW is still limited. If you are a rebel movie maker with a great story, and can light and shoot incredible looking footage, and have plenty of time on your hands to work through the bugs- then kdenlive is a great tool for you, and you might forge a name for yourself through the gimmick of being the first to create something moving and professional looking with a free linux video editing tool (hell if it's that good you might not need the gimmick). Even taking into account that the program works, and CAN make simple cuts and transitions, and it intends to be for intermediate to pro editors- it would still be crazy to say that it was production ready. I highly doubt any of the developers would consider it even close (considering they're still only labeling it .5) to being production ready.

I'm so excited about kdenlive. To me it seems like the first step forward from the major problems of cinelerra and large oversights of jahshaka. It seems that the kdenlive developers truly do want to make a prosumer linux tool, and are definitely the closest team to reaching that goal at present. Personally I'd love to see if I could edit a feature length indie production using kdenlive. It'd give people hope for the future state of linux video editing. That said...even three years after a project like that and others are created, no one who created them would vouch for the tool as production ready, because where indie editors have time, production companies do not. Instead they have money, and the comparable small expense for professional software for the time they will save and stability they will be assured will keep productions using professional tools until kdenlive or a similar open source alternative can claim to ALSO be professional. In the audio realm we've got ardour (which as advanced and capable as it's become, is itself not yet truly production ready [though it's growing nearer]), but for video editing nothing can even come close. In my opinion, kdenlive is closest right now. I've been following it for a decent while now, testing for a couple of months, and cannot wait to see where its future will take us!

My final opinion is anyone seriously considering using linux in a production environment, come back in a year and see where it's gotten. Anyone considering doing something revolutionary, take it away ... there's never been a better time!