As some of you know I’ve been making League of Legends videos, uploading them to Youtube, and discovering what Youtube trolls are like.

I recently made a new video, but before I could upload it, I needed to trim it down to size. I had accidentally recorded a bit too much and ended up with some video of me browsing Facebook and random stuff like that. I didn’t have any software on my PC that could edit MP4 video, so I searched far and wide in order to find some free or open source software to do the job.

What a mission!

I went through about 10 programs, only to discover none of them supported MP4. I eventually discovered Blender actually had a timeline editor, and that it had support for the MP4 file format. I downloaded and installed it, delighted by the fact that I wouldn’t have to pirate my way into video editing history.

I then spend the next hour trying to figure out how to:

  1. Load a video
  2. Trim a video
  3. Render said video
  4. and close windows I accidentally opened

Now let’s get this straight: I am fairly well versed with Adobe Premier Pro and Final Cut. I am no noob when it comes to video editing software. You wouldn’t believe how frustrating the Blender experience is! I eventually gave up because in the hour that I used Blender, I only managed to figure out how to load a video and trim it. Rendering it was easy. Rendering it to a specific location was virtually impossible. I also discovered there seemed to be no way to reset the interface to it’s default settings. You could load the factory defaults for Blender, but doing that also closes project you’re working on! If you try to reopen it, it reopens your interface as it had as well. How hard it is to code a “Reset view” option into the Windows menu? Seriously! I was getting really frustrating as what would have taken me 15 minutes to do in any commercial software, I had spent an hour on and had gotten nowhere! The interface in Blender is terrible! I thought we’d moved past these problems when it comes to open source software!

So to the developers of Blender I say: please bring the interface more in line with other commercial products. You don’t have to make it exactly like it, but at least have an option so that it can look and feel like either Adobe or Apple’s products. I am a PC enthusiast (to say the least), so if I find it frustrating trying to tweak the interface to suit my needs, or just to do basic tasks like load a video, you’re never, ever, going to convert the majority of people who use products like Premier and Final Cut. They will spend five minutes trying to figure out just how to load a video and then go “Fuck this. I should not have to go onto Youtube and search How to open video in Blender”. If 90% of your user base has to do that, something is wrong!

After getting extremely annoyed with Blender, I managed to track down a nice free piece of software from DVDVideoSoft.com called Free Video Dub. It did exactly what I wanted and took me a grand total of 10 minutes to figure out. It’s trim feature is a bit unusual, but at least I got it to work!

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