Video Editing

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple Final Cut Pro

Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon and Facebook dominate the tech landscape. Their dominance is so broad they account for more than 20% of the S&P 500.

There are many things to admire about Apple’s hardware and software. Apple make great looking (albeit expensive) hardware. Over the years key successes include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the MacBook Air. The company designs its own hardware and software. This gives them the power to make an operating system and suite of apps that are tailor-made and optimized for their hardware. Apple also operates the Apple Music and Apple TV media distribution platforms.

macOS is Apple’s proprietary operating system for its line of Macintosh computers. Its interface, known as Aqua, is highly polished and built on top of a BSD derivative (Darwin). There’s a whole raft of proprietary applications that are developed by Apple for their operating software. This software is not available for Linux and there’s no prospect of that position changing.

In 2020, Apple began the Apple silicon transition, using self-designed, 64-bit ARM-based Apple M1 processors on new Mac computers. Maybe it’s the perfect time to move away from the proprietary world of Apple, and embrace the open source Linux scene.

Apple Final Cut ProFinal Cut Pro is a commercial proprietary video editing application which lets users log and transfer video, edit, process the video, and output to a wide variety of formats.

What are the best free and open source alternatives?


1. OpenShot Video Editor

OpenShot Video Editor is designed to be an easy to use, quick to learn, and surprisingly powerful video editor.

OpenShot can read and write most video and image formats. It comes with a powerful key frame animation framework, and it’s capable of an unlimited number of key frames and animation possibilities. There’s unlimited tracks/layers, over 400 video transitions with real-time previews, advanced timeline, frame accuracy, audio mixing and editing, and much more.

Linux for Starters - OpenShot
Click image for full size

It doesn’t offer all the functionality compared to Final Cut Pro. But for many of you, it offers a great alternative for video editing. And it’s under active development with new features being added.


2. Kdenlive

Kdenlive is another awesome open source video editor.

It offers all the essentials including multi-track video editing, it supports almost all audio and video formats directly, offers tons of effects and transitions, and much more.

kdenlive
Click image for full size


3. Shotcut

Shotcut is another powerful cross-platform video editor. Like Kdenlive it’s based on the awesome FFmpeg libraries and therefore supports hundreds of audio and video formats.

We love the software’s interface and the program’s hardware support. There’s AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA hardware encoding, OpenGL GPU-based image processing, a wide range of capture devices are supported. There’s also multi-core parallel image processing.

Shotcut


All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Apple's Products
Apple BonjourBonjour is an implementation of zero-configuration networking; technologies that includes service discovery, address assignment, and hostname resolution.
Apple Boot CampBoot Camp is a utility that comes with a Mac which lets users switch between macOS and Windows. The utility also guides users through non-destructive disk partitioning.
Apple CalendarCalendar is a personal calendar app supporting multiple accounts, colour code work, family and personal events, event support, as well as calendar invitations.
Apple ChessChess is a traditional chess game played on a well rendered board with a set of realistic 3-D pieces. It's actually a Unix-based chess program, Sjeng.
Apple CompressorCompressor is a video and audio media compression and encoding application with support for common formats.
Apple DictionaryDictionary is a small utility that lets users easily get definitions of words and phrases from a variety of sources.
Apple FaceTimeFaceTime is a videotelephony product for making video and audio calls. FaceTime forces many to stay locked into a proprietary world.
Apple FileMakerFileMaker is a relational database application with a graphical user interface and good security features.
Apple Final Cut ProFinal Cut Pro is a series of non-linear video editing software programs. Log and transfer video, edit, process the video, and output to a wide variety of formats.
Apple GarageBandGarageBand is a line of digital audio workstations for creating music and podcasts offering a complete sound library.
Apple NumbersKeyNote is a simple and elegant presentation software that's part of the iWork productivity suite.
Apple Logic ProLogic Pro is a Digital Audio Workstation and MIDI sequencer providing software instruments, audio effects and recording facilities for music synthesis.
Apple MailMail is a simple email client offering the ability to send, receive, and view email with good organizing capabilities.
Apple MainStageMainStage is a music application designed for use in live performance. This software lets you run a live rig. Transform your keyboard, guitar, or vocal performance with an enormous collection of plug-ins and sounds.
Apple MapsMaps is a web mapping service that's available in over 200 regions around the world offering curated guides.
Apple MessagesMessages is instant messaging software for sending messages, images, videos, and documents. There's location data and stickers.
Apple MotionMotion creates and edits motion graphics, titling for video production and film production, and 2D and 3D compositing for visual effects.
Apple NotesNotes is a notetaking app designed to jot down quick thoughts or to save longer notes filled with checklists, images, web links, scanned documents, handwritten notes, or sketches.
Apple NumbersNumbers is a spreadsheet application which uses a free-form “canvas” approach that demotes tables to one of many different media types placed on a page.
Apple PagesPages is a word processor that's part of the iWork productivity suite. It's marketed as an easy-to-use application that allows users to quickly create documents.
Apple PhotosPhotos is a photo management and editing application. Organize your collection into albums, or keep your photos organized automatically with smart albums.
Apple SafariSafari is a graphical web browser which uses the WebKit and Nitro engines. It's the default web browser for Macintosh computers.
Apple ShazamShazam identifies music, movies, advertising, and television shows. There’s nothing more annoying than hearing a new song not knowing the identity of the artist.
XcodeXcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing, and debugging. It supports source code for many programming languages including Swift, C, C++, Python, Ruby and more.
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One comment

  1. It’s a crying shame that Apple only offers Final Cut Pro for macOS. At our studio, we use this software exclusively.

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