Video Tools

By Eric Foster-Johnson, ITworld |  Opinion

I recently received an email message asking about the availability of
Linux video editing tools. After digging around, I was quite surprised
by the amount of available tools. This week, I'll list a number of
these tools; however, since I do not have video capture equipment, I
was not able to try out these tools.

Video for Linux ( is a
good site that covers the Video for Linux API (often called
video4linux), and applications and drivers built to this API. Quite a
few devices are supported, which is good since the first task is
getting Linux support for your video hardware. The Video for Linux API
and standards cover video capture cards, TV cards, and radio cards.
Most current Linux kernels should support the Video for Linux API. A
good set of Video for Linux resources are available at

The XawTV program ( is one of the main
applications based on the Video for Linux API. XawTV began as an X
Window application for watching TV but has evolved into a whole suite
of related video4linux applications.

In addition to Video for Linux and its associated applications,
numerous video and audio editing and building applications are
emerging. The GStreamer ( streaming media
framework allows you to build audio and video streaming applications.
It includes a streaming media player as a sample application. Cutter
( is a program for cutting videos.
ml) captures a single frame from a Video4Linux device. FreeJ
( provides a framework for video processing in
real-time. FreeJ treats video sources as layers, which you can then
combine together.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Linux video
applications and APIs. The main problem, though, is that while a lot of
material is available, far too much of it comes in the form of
programming APIs and not complete applications.

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