How do NLEs (video editing software) work?

a801120ba3c46aa176f1cba39cc4c41e_XLDavid Shapton over at RedShark posted a nice little article giving you an inside look at what makes your favorite NLE (Non Linear Editor) work. Hint: It's all about data, databases and knowing where everything is and how to show it.
RedShark by David Shapton
NLEs (Non Linear Editors - computer editing systems) have transformed the creative process since they were first introduced a quarter of a century ago. But how do they actually work?
Most of us working in the video industry have used an NLE (Non Linear Editor), but have you ever wondered how they actually work? After all, what you see on your computer monitors is really very far removed from the processes going on inside your computer. And that's a good thing, because we prefer to deal with pictures, not numbers. The term "Non Linear Editor" is quite revealing, if you think about it. Before computer editing, there was no need to make a distinction between linear and non linear editing, because all editing was linear, in the sense that it was a matter of locating content on sections of media that was either film or tape. You couldn't just jump instantly from one point to another without going through all the points in between. Admittedly you could do this in fast-forward or rewind, but what you specifically couldn't do was jump instantly. read more...

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