6 Essential Open Source Apps for Mac Videographers

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 12, 2008

If you do any work with video on a Mac, you probably already have some basic software for video editing and production. Out in the open source fields of dreams, though, there are many excellent utilities, adjunct applications, and just plain novelties that any videographer can benefit from using. These include excellent tools for incorporating animation with your videos, encoding video in multiple formats, producing slick storyboards, and more.  Here are six examples.

Simple Theora Encoder installs quickly on Mac OS X 10.4 or higher, and does an outstanding job of converting video among many popular file formats. To use it, you just open a dialog box and click "add" to bring up the Mac's Finder menu. The Encoder can convert multiple files at once from several different formats, including .avi, .mov, and mp4. As Lisa wrote, click Encode, and that's all there is to it.

Limewire is well-known as an extremely fast file sharing application and features a P2P linking scheme called Magnet Links, similar to working with torrent files. This is an excellent tool for sharing video files, and it runs on the Mac, Windows or Linux.

Blender, seen at left, is not only one of the best graphics/animation programs from the open source world, it's one of the best open source applications of any kind. Widely used in the video and animation communities, it's great for 3D modeling, rendering, playback, and creating memorable characters.Long-form animated films have been created entirely in Blender.

Miro is an Internet television and video player and publisher that is available in a Mac version. It lets you access, and organize, free web video channels and play video files. You can use it to access lots of good HD content, and if you publish video on the web, you can get a custom version of Miro that can keep you from having to build your own player, while keeping your player personalized and unique.

In his recent post about Google folks creating useful applications for the Mac, Matt Asay brought Vidnik to my attention. If you like to use an iSight camera to record videos and load them on YouTube, this is the app for you. The application is specifically tuned for sending your video to YouTube for encoding and posting. Very nice.

Celtx is open source media pre-production software that goes way beyond just helping you generate scripts. You can do storyboards, develop characters, and more. I recommend taking the Feature Tour.