OpenShot video editing software is a slow, buggy, unusable mess.
EDIT: Wow, this is my top article? A half-cocked rant about a terrible piece of software? Don’t hesitate to check out the rest of my content, there’s so much more than this!
I’ve never had much luck with video editing software. For the longest time I’d generally pass off any video editing stuff I needed done to one of my friends. I tried Adobe Premiere, Camtasia Studio, even Windows Movie Maker. My success in even doing the most mundane of video editing tasks was limited.
With my recent foray into the worlds of Twitch and YouTube, I figured it was finally high time to learn to edit my own videos and not always rely on others to do everything for me. A few people recommended a program called “OpenShot“. The interface looked simple enough, it was free, it did everything I wanted a video editing program to do, and most importantly, it was free. I installed the program and began working on my latest video endeavor.
And thus began my terrible experience with OpenShot Video Editor
OpenShot’s interface is slow and clunky.
The first thing I noticed was how slow OpenShot was.
Any action involving the timeline took tedious amounts of time. Dragging clips around the timeline was like trying to push a broken-down van uphill. The program would often hang or stutter as I attempted to line up audio or video. The more progress I made, the longer the hang time. The only workaround I could find was to restart the program, and even that was only temporary. Within 10 minutes I found myself facing the same issues again. Having to restart the program every 10 minutes just to get anything done was torture.
Resizing or re-positioning an image was a crapshoot. Whenever I clicked an image and begin dragging, I found that the image didn’t move. So I clicked and dragged again, and kept doing it until OpenShot decided it wanted to listen and try to move the picture. Returning to my broken-down van comparison, the interface is clunky and it’s very hard to move anything.
The resize process was anything but smooth, the program often stretched images in every which way except the way I wanted and took the patience of a saint to work with. Keep in mind this was also in tandem with the hanging and lagging. If I still had hair I would have ripped it out in frustration.
Most people’s first instinct will be to tell me that my system specs aren’t good enough for the Herculean task of making a seven minute YouTube video. Here are my system specs:
I’m not trying to render 3D animation here, all I want to do is trim and splice some video and audio clips, and throw in a few images here and there. My peripherals were not at fault here, OpenShot is just slow and poorly optimized.
OpenShot’s developers know it’s slow, they just don’t seem to care.
I wanted to rage at the developers for releasing such a shoddy program.
As I ordered Señor Juan to fire up the AJnet Huey and prepared to rain hell down upon the development team, I discovered that it’s actually just one guy doing all the dev work by himself, with a handful of volunteers contributing code here and there. Jonathan Thomas has clearly put a lot of time and effort into this program and I want to make it clear that I have nothing personal against him. I just wish he would fix this glaring issue that’s apparently been plaguing this program since its conception.
I suspected an issue with the memory caching, so I attempted to look further into this problem using Google. During my search I came across the OpenShot Github community. Already irritated from my fight with the horrendous lag, my rage dial was turned up past 10 when I saw what was happening on the Github community.
The developer had appointed one or two people to monitor Github for him, the most active being a user who goes by the name “Dylan C.” The C must stand for “condescending”, because that’s what Dylan is.
Floods of users reported similar issues to my own. Their reports were all locked by Dylan. His condescending attitude towards users experiencing issues would have made him fit right in on the WinAmp support forums, or on XDA.
I screencapped some of this jerk’s best posts:
But why was Dylan locking everything and trying to sweep all the bug reports under the rug? Well, to quote the man himself, there were just too many of them:
Hey jackass, if hundreds of users are complaining about the same thing, there’s a good chance it’s a legit problem and should probably be prioritized. You can’t just keep locking bug reports hoping they’ll go away.
Does Jonathan Thomas know that you’re being a snarky dismissive jerk towards his users? If I was a developer and one of my volunteers were treating my users this way I’d toss their ass to the curb with the rest of the trash. Dylan C. is a douchebag and needs to stop trying to bury what is a very legitimate complaint about OpenShot.
My message to Jonathan Thomas, the developer of OpenShot.
Mr. Thomas, if you’re reading this article, please listen to what I’m saying.
I tried to like OpenShot, I really did. When it didn’t choke up it was great and did exactly what I needed. It was easy to use and the layout wasn’t a cluttered mess of bullshit like Hitfilms. Unfortunately, I just can’t work around the lag on the Windows version. OpenShot is slow. Please, PLEASE, PLEASE fix this! I feel like I’ve provided enough information in this article to assist you in your efforts.
I know you’re just one person, and from what I can see your primary Github volunteer seems to be too busy taking snips at people to be of any real use to you. All I ask is that you prioritize this lag issue and make this program the powerhouse that it can be.
OpenShot has potential.
Stop squandering that potential and fix this. You have the framework to make a great and powerful video-editing program, now stop stalling and just do it!
To anyone thinking about using OpenShot as it currently is, my advice to you is don’t.
If you’re looking for a free alternative, I’ve heard good things about ShotCut.
If you’re willing to spend money, Sony Vegas is actually pretty solid. I was able to get an older version of it on a Humble Bundle deal for $10, and it works great. Look around, you may be able to find a decent price on an older version.
But whatever you do, do NOT use OpenShot. Otherwise you’ll be ripping your hair out in frustration.
Feel free to share your OpenShot horror stories in the comments section! Myself and many others would enjoy knowing that we aren’t alone in hating this program.
Hailing from the fine village of Northeast Philadelphia, AJ has been creating content on the internet for over 15 years. None of it has really been funny or entertaining, but he keeps trying anyway. Maybe he's bored, maybe he's drunk, maybe he's both.