A Day in the Life of Ubuntu

How do you use Ubuntu in your daily life?

I thought of capturing a few moments of how I use Ubuntu and putting it to some music. Simple right? Except if your me, then you’ll inevitably make things a bit more complicated.

For starters, somehow I thought it would be a good idea to do a clean install of Precise Pangolin Alpha 2 and create the video in that environment (ignoring all warnings of course). I wasn’t totally wrong, but my usual video editor, Cinelerra, didn’t have complete dependencies yet. However, kdenlive, which previously gave me problems, decided to work flawlessly on Precise Alpha 2!

The second hurdle was recording the desktop. The only decent recorder I have found is gtk-recordmydesktop. It works very well for the task but it only seems to output OGV format. This is a problem because most video editors don’t seem to process the output files very well and the result is black patchy things all over your video. The second problem is that whatever you record will likely be in a strange aspect ratio. I solved this buy loading the OGVs into PiTiVi (which doesn’t make black patches) and exporting as MP4 in 640×480 (should have gone larger). Then it was a matter of setting up the point-and-shoot camera to film the silly bits.

Part three was creating the music. Normally it’s a simple LMMS jingle, but to complicate things further, I decided to add lyrics (clearly I borrowed some). The problem is that I don’t sing very well and no one was around to lend a voice. But, a couple Audacity tweaks later and I came up with something that I could bear.

I had been planning to do this video like this since August of 2011. I didn’t get around to it until now. The idea seemed a lot better in my head, but some parts turned out better than expected. Who says that you can’t use an alpha release for a production machine? (Still not recommended). With the 12.04 LTS just around the corner, we can only expect things to get better.

How do you use Ubuntu? One thing that I use Ubuntu for is making videos, and now that the process has been explained a bit, here is the result:

Software Featured:
audacity, kdenlive, zoneminder, thunderbird, firefox, pidgin, lmms, mixxx, ubuntu tv

Made with:
Ubuntu Precise Pangolin Alpha 2
gtk-recordmydesktop
PiTiVi
Kdenlive
Audacity
LMMS

7 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of Ubuntu

  1. How I wish I can do what you are doing. Every time I create/edit images, I always use Photoshop. 🙁

    • @TechieTalk:
      You can check in with your Ubuntu Local Community. Likely they can teach you how to leave proprietary software behind once-and-for-all.

  2. soares

    If you use ffmpeg directly, you can record in any format you like, even lossless. It’s the only decent method to capture the screen I know of. Haven’t tried Gnome 3 with its build-in screen recording tool yet. It might as well use ffmpeg internally.

  3. TheGhost

    Sounds like you had a lot of fiddling to get this video, which is btw. really nice, ready.

  4. As an alternative to gtk-recordmydesktop (which is pretty much dead development wise) take a look at Kazam. http://launchpad.net/kazam . The developer is very active and is responsive to user feedback. We hang out in #kazam on freenode irc.

  5. Disposable Joe

    @AlanPope @soares
    Thanks for the suggestions about kazam and ffmpeg. Maybe I didn’t do my homework 😛 , but I guess I was working directly from the Software Centre and non-command-line apps, and those options didn’t show up for me in alpha 2. I’ll definitely check them out.

  6. What a nice video, and a really addictive song =)

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