I've been shopping around and trying different video editing tools, and now that I have some basis for comparison, I'd like to share my impressions of them. I'll start with Kino, which I described in an earlier column.
Kino is extremely simple to learn. This is its main benefit. You can get up to speed with it in just a few minutes, even if you have no prior experience editing video. There are not very many options, and the single-strip metaphor and storyboard windows are very simple to understand.
However, I quickly hit the ceiling with this application. The lack of any kind of multi-track capabilities means that it's not really possible to cut video to an audio track (or vice-versa). There also no ability to zoom the view of the track, so it's not really possible to handle longer video projects. Adding background music or synchronizing new sound to video is a laborious process of exporting data, manually trying offset values, and repeating -- a lot. Not the smartest way to do it.
I'd say it was basically up to editing home movies to get rid of the boring parts. I've also found it useful for mining old public-domain videos from the Internet Archive to extract useful snippets of video. This, plus its ease of use, make it a valuable niche application, but certainly not for any serious video project.
Image: Screencap of Kino