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 GarageBandGarageBand is a line of digital audio workstations for creating music and podcasts offering a complete sound library.
Apple FaceTimeFaceTime is a videotelephony product for making video and audio calls. FaceTime forces many to stay locked into a proprietary world.
Apple PhotosPhotos is a photo management and editing application. Organize your collection into albums, or keep your photos organized automatically with smart albums.
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 MotionMotion creates and edits motion graphics, titling for video production and film production, and 2D and 3D compositing for visual effects.
Apple SafariSafari is a graphical web browser which uses the WebKit and Nitro engines. It's the default web browser for Macintosh computers.
Apple MessagesMessages is instant messaging software for sending messages, images, videos, and documents. There's location data and stickers.
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 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.

Popular series
Linux for StartersNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you make informed decisions.
Linux ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to GoogleAlternatives to Google's Products and Services examines your options to migrate from the Google ecosystem with open source Linux alternatives.
MicrosoftAlternatives to Microsoft's Products and Services recommends open source Linux software.
AdobeAlternatives to Adobe Cloud looks at free and open source alternatives to products available from Adobe Cloud's subscription service.
AppleAlternatives to Apple recommends free and open source alternatives to Apple's proprietary world.
CorelAlternatives to Corel surveys alternatives to Corel's range of graphics processing products and other software applications.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Linux System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
Linux ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
Home Computer EmulatorsHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
Best Free Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Share this article

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.

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.