(Before I begin this review it should be said this is my first time using any software from Meltytech so my review will be limited to my own knowledge and experience testing out the software package. This review has not been sponsored or supported by Meltytech and all opinions are my own.)
If there is one thing in the IT world that I love, it’s open/free software. Over the years I have been changing my previous selection of premium apps such as Adobe Photoshop, Premiere and Flash to free alternatives and recently went one further and decided to run my main desktop on Linux. With new video projects approaching I needed to find a video editor that was both free and available on Linux. A friend of mine suggested Shotcut, a free, open source, cross-platform video editor that he had learnt the basics on before progressing onto more premium packages.
After testing and reviewing Avid’s Media Composer First I was curious to find out what Meltytech's 'Shotcut' offered and if it was worth using. At first glance we are greeted with a familiar screen displaying a time line, play list, history, project and preview window.
After adding some clips to the play list window I started constructing a video by simply dragging and dropping sections into the time line like most video editors.
I went on to add a master audio file which was going to be used as the main audio source for this video. Again, like most video editors this can be synchronised by using the generated sound waves in the time line.
However, one flaw I found at first glance was the audio from the video file was imported directly into the video file making it difficult to edit separately without affecting the video clip. There might be a solution to this with tweeking but it would be good if this was a default setting on first time using.
The next feature I wanted to explore was the filters available and to my surprise the selection was good, also including a free Chroma Key option (Like Media Composer First ) to essential cropping, brightness/contrast and color correction.
The make or break point for me was to test the exporting options and again I was surprised on just how many presets there were to choose from and how well they were all set up.
I decided to go for a full lossless MP4 test on a 300mb with resulted as exporting a 2.2GB output file. However, this truly was a loseless export of the original and if you don't mind the higher file sizes you can get original quality results. For exporting for web Shotcut also offers a handy ‘Youtube’ preset with all the details already selected for you and with 1080 support.
Here is an example of the lossless edit uploaded to youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZM91JXuyv4
I can confirm Shotcut is a well built, advanced and user friendly video editor that ideally should be included with the Linux OS installation software bundle. I highly recommend trying this for both beginners and intermediate users and I hope as time goes on there will be more external plugins/addons available.