You must have a very powerful machine. I don't have many crashes when working on high end custom built machines, but they do happen.
From most stable to least stable for me have been:
1) Lightworks (2010 announced they were moving to Open Sourcing the code, still hasn't really happened) It has been used for decades now to make Oscar winning films. If you understand the analog way of editing video this makes a lot more sense. Its basically free but has a HUGE learning curve
2) DaVinci Resolve (Most people use it only for color correction but they have added editing recently) My preferred and the one I recommend to everyone when asked what to use.
3) Sony now Magix Vegas Pro - My previously recommended and preferred video editor does a great job on keeping the work flow the work flow and not getting in your way (Lightworks actually does this best but man it is hard to get through the learning curve)
4) Adobe Premier - This thing is a BEAST but it is the defacto standard. Moderate learning curve but it is cross compatible and has every tool available. Great eco-system.
105) Final Cut Pro - I cringe when I have to use it. Only reason this thing has such a following is it is so hard to learn another video editor. Premier was the standard and somehow Final Cut Pro took over around 2008. Boy I really never liked it, but I was always in the minority till the Final Cut X came out. I have lost hours of work and I have also lost hours of work because case sensitivity is optional on OS X and MacOS.
I must admit, I've not really heard of Adobe being used in professional editing contexts. With a little research I've found some articles suggesting the BBC was standardising on Adobe Premiere. Article is from 2010, but I can't confirm that happened though. I left that organisation in 2011 and at that time, I was managing a number of Mac based editing suites with Final Cut Pro (FCP).
I then ran a post-production company in London. We had suites full of Avid Media Composer and one solitary FCP, because some people refused to use anything else. (Also had a Baselight grading suite and Avid ProTools in the audio suites). We never considered Adobe Premiere and I can't, off the top of my head, recall any other post- house using it either.
We went from Avid in the early/mid 2000's to Final Cut Pro on Mac Pros (in the cheese grater days) to Premiere Pro on Windows workstations which I still use today. First we switched away from FCP when Mac Pros languished and FCPX tossed out a lot of the features we needed. I understand that a lot of those were later replaced but at the time it was a dealbreaker.
With Premiere, we can edit on either MacOS or Windows workstations, performance is good on a properly equipped machine, and it integrates well with the other tools in the suite like Audition, After Effects, and their still-image stuff like Photoshop and Illustrator when needed.
It's not going to work for everyone and I'm still not a fan of the subscription model (much prefer the old way where I'd spend $600 or whatever every few years and be done with it). That said, it doesn't surprise me to see it getting professional use, just as it doesn't surprise me that other production houses find FCPX to be a better fit for their equipment and workflow.
I've looked at Lightworks before, but it looks like the free version only exports up to 720p? If that's the case, that's an immediate deal-breaker :(
I would just convert your H264 into a supported format and avoid ProRes if you don't have a lot of RAM and drive space since it makes the compressed H.264 files really big for no real gain. The one HUGE thing is you want your H264 to be in I Frame were each frame is an indvidual frame and makes your CPU use more effecient (Hand brake would be constant framerate). (That is why people go to ProRes it is i frame native BUT it makes the file HUGE and your re-compressing your already compressed files). On windows you would use something like DNxHD but again it is a HUGE file from H.264 source. Ratio s to size RAW 1:1 and ProRess would be 1:4 in size and H.264 would be around 1:0.4
You really want an editing format (i frame) and a delivery format. For editing a x264 lossless works when you are starting with a H.264 source. Unless you are on MacOS there are serious issues with encoding anything ProRes with ffmpeg, handbrake or anything else. Also ProRes file sizes are HUGE (Think 10 times) and I can't see this codec being the future for 4K. Here is a good blog post on H264 and slices http://gentlelogic.blogspot.com/2011/11/exploring-h264-part-...
Here is Apple's official policy with ProRes with anything decoding anything other than Apple Products (ProRes is NOT cross-compatible because you can't encode it other than MacOS):
> “Using any unauthorized implementation (like the FFmpeg and derivative implementations) may lead to decoding errors, performance degradation, incompatibility, and instability.” This is why I avoid ProRes and try to use different i frame codecs.
Davinci supports the following formats inside of the H264 container
H.264 8 bit MPEG4/MP4 (This is what I would target with i frame slices for editing AKA every frame is a indvidual picture)
H.264 (Sony XAVCs) QuickTime MP4 (XAVC MIGHT be the future for 4K codec but everyone has their own codecs right now)
So I would use handbrake to just change it to one of those formats. Once you have glitch free playback save your settings and just a one button operation after that. I rarely have a project that I am not converting my source material first anyways and sometimes my whole job on a project is to clean, process and label the video and audio so someone else can edit. Its a pain and it's called an assistant editor.
> second that it had some inexplicable rendering glitches in the output (visibly glitchy and corrupted frames)
Welcome to Codecs they suck right now and have always sucked. I don't use ProRes because I don't rely on Apple standards due to cross compatibility and Apple seems to just make one's life messerable for no reason every blue moon or so. So when you are exporting you actually have to make sure your source is consistant and if it isn't your going to have issues in playback.
When people tell me the editor is not smooth it is 95% of the time the materials codecs. If you don't have consistent frame rate aka 24 frames per minute your computer is decompressing the video while you are edniting and previewing it. Compressed video for playback normally has a variable playback rate to save the file size and it isn't really an issue except while editing video. So you have the consistent frame rate for editing and a variable frame rate for export. So even though you have an export issue it actually is a transcode issue with your source material, normally.
Final Cut Pro was my first video editor. When X came out, I couldn't stand it. I hated how a lot of Apple fanboys just started apologizing for it. But it was good in a way that it forced the rest of the market to step up its game. I'm glad a lot of studies decided to move away from it. It pretty much turned into iMovie Pro.
Conan O'Brien https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxKYuF9pENQ
>> They are unstable because they require huge amount of resources ...
This actually is not enough of a reason in theory for the programs to crash. The programs should stop the processing when they run out of resources and allow a graceful exit.
The root cause for crashes then, I am guessing, must be lousy code. Either the entire video editing industry has gotten used to it, so that they are not demanding better solutions and thereby the product companies are not prioritizing fixing these crashes, OR, there are some common libraries that they all using which crash, and these product companies feel helpless. Hopefully someone knows the actual answer! :-)
Huh? Almost every application just panics when it runs out of memory. Not least because it's actually difficult to do stuff without using memory within typical application frameworks.
When I was at college more than a decade back, I tested many applications under such conditions and my own application too. Most Microsoft's applications survived even with less than 100 bytes of RAM remaining and a disabled virtual memory! This included Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, et al. My own application survived too with a fix or two. Windows Explorer, funnily, crashed. Many non-Microsoft applications crashed.
More recently (2012), I tested two commercial Java profiler applications, JProfiler and Yourkit. They both survived without issues under such conditions.