Avidemux Review – Non-Linear Video Editing and Transcoding Made Easy

very good
key review info
application features
  • Easy to use interface
  • (3 more, see all...)

Avidemux is a non-linear video editing and transcoding software that's been around for a very long time. It's not an overly-complicated application, but it gets the job done and it's accessible for new users.

The truth is that Linux has quite a few of these pieces of software. Non-linear video editing might sound like something only an expensive application can do, but there are some open source versions that are able to do this task without any problems.

Now, you might ask yourself what non-linear video editing is. Basically, this kind of editing allows users to manipulate the entire file, from every point along the video. Users have access to all the aspects of the editing process and it can be done without damaging the original file.

As I said before, Avidemux is not the application with the most features or with the best transcoding speed, but the fact that it has been around for so many years means that people find it useful. The main reason has to do with the interface, which is very straightforward.

Installation

Installing Avidemux on your system can be a breeze, unless you really want the latest version made available. I tested the application in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and the official repositories only have the 2.5.4 version.

I went to the official website, but the developer only provides the source package and this means you have to build your own deb files. After taking care of all the dependencies and installing numerous packages, I successfully built the deb files. I installed them, but the application refused to start working. Unable to find the issues, I settled with the version found in the Ubuntu repos.

There might be a PPA out there for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, but if you have any other kind of operating system, you might be in a little bit of trouble. Not even Arch Linux has the latest version in its repos.

Usage

One of the basic functions of Avidemux is video conversion (transcoding) and I suspect that many people are using it for this specific purpose. Finding an application capable of transforming a video format into another can prove to be a challenge, but Avidemux supports a large number of formats.

Unlike other applications, which are only developed for this reason alone, this software will also correct problems that might creep up. For example, users won't experience lag between audio and video in the files that have been generated with Avidemux.

Granted, you need to know a thing or two about the formats that you intend to use and the process is very processor-intensive, but not difficult to learn.

Now, to the other important function of this software, the editing. This is done very easily by placing markers on the timeline, but you can't do anything else more than that. It's a very simple procedure and users should have an easy time performing it.

As you can imagine, this software uses numerous plugins and it's capable of doing a few other tasks as well, like exporting a file with the exact compression to fit on CD or DVD, to rebuild frames, to check for black frames, to remove the audio of a file and vice versa, and an even add some filters.

The Good

If you are working with video files all day long and you find yourself needing an application with just a few features like clipping and exporting, then you don't have to look any further. Sure enough, it can do some other stuff as well, but this is its strong suit.

The interface is also very simple and intuitive. Users don't need any prior knowledge in order to use the application and it will only take them a couple of minutes to understand how the main features work.

The Bad

The application itself is almost above reproach, but installing the latest version of Avidemux is really annoying, even for people who have the time to tinker. There are just a few major operating systems out there and having a few binary packages for each of them shouldn't be too hard to put together.

Conclusion

Avidemux is not a piece of software with many features, but it does what it's supposed to do with ease. Its simple interface guarantees that users will be able to pick it up and use it immediately. If it weren't for the installation procedure for the latest releases, it would score five out five.

user interface 5
features 3
ease of use 4
pricing / value 4


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 
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