Easy Video Editing with EasyMPEG and DVBCUT

Posted on Tuesday 6 July 2010

Let me give you a bit of background here on one of my favorite Video Tools…

For a long, long, LONG time I’ve depended on an amazing little tool developed for Windows, called EasyMPEG. This little program, which doesn’t’ take up much space has been without a doubt the most indispensable tool within my vast collection of Video Editors. It doesn’t do a lot, but what it does do, is done extremely well, with very little overhead.  It basically edits MPEG or VOB videos as easily as a pair of scissors used to edit old film.

Essentially you load your program, then load up the video you want to edit. You can quickly move through or play the video until you get to your first cut point ( where you make your beginning mark). You then quickly move to the end point ( the end of your selected cut ) and mark your end cut. Note you can also move almost frame by frame if you need to.

After you have selected the piece that you want to keep, you then click on the transfer button to put the file into your buffer. The amazing part here is that the process is almost instantaneous! I’ve used other “professional” editors to do this and it takes forever to transfer the selected video from one point to another.

At this point you can save the clip from the buffer ( again extremely fast ) or mark and cut another section from the same original video ( using the same process above ) and instantly  paste it at the end of the video in the buffer, or even load up a different video that you would like to cut a section out of and paste it onto your copy in the buffer.

Digital View, the company who sells this software, makes a lite version available for you to try for free, but the small cost of this software is worth every penny to get the extras available with the full package. It is an amazing piece of software that I cannot live without. It cuts my work down by more than 90%! Anyone who wants to clean up their home video, or post videos on you tube NEEDS THIS SOFTWARE – Trust me on this one!

Which leads me now to the rest of the story….

Linux/Ubuntu has all sorts of amazing free Audio and Video tools available in it’s library. The problem that I have found with most of them is that they are trying to compete with the professional packages. This means that they usually have way too much “stuff” to do in order to do a simple task like cutting out a small section from a larger video for posting to You-Tube.

I’ve downloaded and tried pretty well everything out there, and nothing…. let me repeat that NOTHING came close to doing the job as quickly, easily and smoothly as  EasyMPEG did and it frustrated the heck out of me!

It took a lot of research to find a tool that comes close ( it’s not perfect but it’s pretty close ) to what my favorite software could do. It is called DVBCut ( an odd name I know ) and while it seemed to exist “out there” in the Linux environment, it did not officially exist for Ubuntu.

I originally downloaded the source code ( the pieces that usually let one “make” a program with ) from Sourceforge ( dvbcut.sourceforge.net ) but it compiled ( tried to create the program ) with way too many errors. No matter what I tried I could not get the program to compile let alone run properly.

That is, until a week later I found a German site ( that’s right German…. and no I don’t speak German ) that seemed to detail the similar sorts of problems I was having with it.

Within their pages ( wiki.ubuntuusers.de/dvbcut ) were listed a bunch of programs and libraries ( special extra pieces found in the operating system ) that  were needed, which I added:

  • scons
  • libqt3-mt-dev
  • qt3-dev-tools
  • libao-dev
  • libmad0-dev
  • liba52-0.7.4-dev
  • libboost-dev

But before I  tried to recompile the program, a little further down on their page, I found an entry that they recommended for your sources.list ( the list of places/repositories that you authorize your computer to download software from. )

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/fabricesp/ppa/ubuntu lucid main

After adding this line to my sources.list ( you can see how to do all that here ) I was able to install and run DVBCut by just issuing the command

sudo apt-get install dvbcut

And voila I now have a quick little editor that works quite well within my Ubuntu environment. Unfortunately, it still isn’t as easy or as good as my original Windows EasyMPEG utility, but it’s still faster than any of the other tools that I found.  I have hopes that it will get even better and until then, if I need to, I can always reboot back into Windows to use my “old faithful”.

For those who are only running Linux and especially Ubuntu, I hope dvbcut will help in cutting down the amount of time it used to take you to put together your video. If my EasyMPEG experience is any measure to go by, you should be immensely pleased with the results!

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