best operating system for Video Editing
This week’s question is: what is the best operating system for video editing? This is a loaded question, and there are many variables. Today I’m going to break down the features of Windows, Linux, and OS X and why you may want to consider one platform over another for the world of Non Linear Editing (NLE).
Windows 7 64 Bit
Windows, despite many of its problems, continues to be the operating system used by a majority of home PC users because it’s simply the most available operating system. Of all windows flavors, I would stick to Windows 7 64 Bit as the choice flavor for video editing.
A 64 Bit Operating system will allow you to jump from 4 GB of ram all the way up to 16 TB of ram, (although that amount of ram in one PC is not currently possible in one single system). Windows has the advantage of being the OS with the smallest learning curve simply because most people use windows in some form or another already.
The downside to Windows is that you have to turn off the annoying features such as windows update, unnecessary desktop animations, and of course the never-ending challenge of cleaning up after viruses or malware hit your system. Windows Live Essentials is free with windows and will give you an entry-level video editor with Windows Movie Maker. This piece of software will help the average consumer along with a simple sample of resources, but will not allow much more than basic video editing.
Windows Editing Positives
- Small Learning Curve
- Compatible with existing home PC’s
Windows Video Editing Negatives
- Constant Malware and Antivirus performance issues
- Limited 64 bit compatibility
- Mismatched hardware and software vendors
Video Editing in Linux
Video editing in Linux is more powerful that what most people realize. While Linux is the least known player on the block in the world of Non Video Editing software, it has one extremely powerful feature that makes this operating system potentially the most powerful option: 100% script able commands.
Each Day Google requires hundreds of thousands of servers to be online and functioning to meet the demands of their growing use group, which includes users of YouTube. The YouTube Video editor is a browser-based online video editing interface that takes the simplicity of a web browser interface and combines it with the scripting abilities of ffmpeg to deliver many of the most common options that you might need to make a home-made video.
It’s also free, which is nice. The biggest downside to Video Editing in Linux is the lack of vendor support. If you discover a bug or if you have questions, beyond the written documentation your pretty much on your own. This won’t bother the hardcore computer geeks of the world, but if your company needs to have vendor support for a professional video marketing campaign then Linux is not your best choice.
Linux Video Pro’s
- Highly configurable
- Infinitely scalable with clustered operating systems
Linux Video Cons:
- No Vendor Support
- Steep Learning Curve
- Not as User Friendly
Video Editing on OS X
Video Editing and Mac computers simply go together like peanut butter and jelly.
The single biggest thing that OS X brings to the table is seamless integration between the hardware of the machine in front of you with the operating system that runs in the background.
OS X also is 64 bit through each process that is in use. OS X is based on a solid Unix kernel which is fast and stable. OS X Mountain Lion also includes handy features such as time machine with versions, allowing you to take snapshots of a file or project that your working on, so you can restore the project to an earlier version of that same file.
Mac OS X comes standard with iMovie, the entry-level video editor that has many powerful features. A skimming video interface was introduced in iMovie 8 and has continued to evolve through iMovie 11. iMovie 11 also introduces audio editing, and video trailer creation.
If you step it up into the professional software lane, Final Cut Pro X along with Color and Compressor really give you some powerful features. Industry leading ProRES codec and high-resolution formats, 4k Resolution, GPU and CPU optimization with grand central dispatch, background processing and encoding jobs, and shared rendering with compressor 4 and qmaster encoding are the leading reasons about why OS X is clearly the stand apart leader in the video editing industry.
The only down side to video editing on a mac is the price of the hardware that’s required to run it. The least expensive mac mini will cost you $599, and it’s not hard to price up a desktop or laptop machine to $3,000 or $4,000.
Mac Video Editing Pros:
- Solid Stable Unix Based operating system
- Integrated hardware and software solutions
- Grand Central Resource Optimization of GPU and CPU Cores
- Scalable video Rendering using Compressor 4
Mac Video Editing Cons
Considering all of the options on the market and based on my experience of editing on all three platforms I recommend that you use Mac OS X for video editing. iMovie brings a simple and fast interface to get stared and Final Cut Pro X gives you a huge library of features to crank out videos faster than any other platform.
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