I've been following the progress of OpenShot, an open source video editor, for the past few years. I think it achieves just the right balance between ease-of-use and a rich feature set. When I heard about the OpenShot Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, I was one of the first to contribute. By the deadline, their intended fund raising goal was more than doubled at $45,000+. This success also meant that OpenShot 2.0 will become available on Windows and Macintosh.
Considering that video consumers constitute more than 50% of all Internet traffic and that every passing year this figure continues to rise, a free, high-quality video editing program for Linux, Macintosh and Windows is sure to cause quite a stir. The possibilities are endless for new authors of documentaries, narrative films, and personal video projects.
In the United States, donated computers are quite readily available for free. At the public library where I work people donate laptops, and though the ones with Windows Vista installed are sluggish, this can be remedied by installing Linux. What's great about Windows Vista laptops is that they have a strong GPU (graphic processing unit) which make them ideal for video editing. Also, every Windows Vista laptop has built in WiFi, and could easily serve the needs of a college student for all four years of their studies. (They would be at no disadvantage to their peers who have high-cost MacBook Airs).
My prediction is that OpenShot 2.0 is going to be a big open source news story in 2014. The arrival date for it has not yet been released, but everyone who backed the Kickstarter campaign will start kicking the tires of the OpenShot 2.0 beta soon.
If I were one of the 1,600 new millionaires at Twitter, I'd send Jonathan Thomas, Dallas-based designer and lead programmer of OpenShot, $50,000 along with a Thank You card. He is in a category all his own, and his incredible talent is matched only by his zeal for public service. I greatly admire the personal sacrifices that he and his family have made in order to bring this software to life.
Phil Shapiro is an educator, maker and media maker in the Washington DC-area. He has had a long interest in bringing community voice to the web and in the use of public libraries to weave social fabric via the creative process. His mind was open sourced in the mid-1970's. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @philshapiro