Trim like a professional hair stylist

In my spare time this week I implemented one of my favorite missing features in PiTiVi: a live preview of what you’re trimming. No more fuzzying around and moving the playhead all the time to figure out if you cut your scene right. No more trial and error. Just pure, unadulterated productivity. HTML5 video below:

It is fast enough to seek through the 2K version of Sintel like a breeze and to stay reasonably responsive with 4K videos. But that’s without hardware acceleration, mind you (I’m looking forward to trying this again in GStreamer 1.0…).

I actually filed a bug about this feature three years ago (you know, when I filed a little over a hundred bug reports within the space of three months). You hadn’t noticed how I am a visionary way ahead of my time? Well, now you’ve got proof.

I’m sure that all the other open source video editors will rip my beautiful code and clone this feature within 12 hours. But mark my words: PiTiVi had it first. Yes: PiTiVi is the only open source video editor that has this feature. Take that, haters.

When nekohayo starts touching your gst pipelines, you should be very afraid.

Let’s try a small social experiment here. I’ve always been curious to see if there was a significant demand for a “serious-business-I-kid-you-not pitivi”. So now you have an opportunity to donate some money.

“WHAT? You capitalist pig!”

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not begging for money here. I have a job and I’ve always contributed to Pitivi without any financial motive. What I want to do here is to gauge the possibility of sustaining Pitivi to the point where it would be developed faster and be much more robust:

  • If I get 10$, I might be able to afford a sandwich.
  • If we get 100$, we could pay a couple of beers for contributors at GUADEC.
  • If we get 10 000$ per year, now we’re starting to get serious enough to be able to organize one or two PiTiVi hackfests per year (still, that’s just nearly enough to pay a port of travel fees for developers for a hackfest).
  • If we get 100 000 to 500 000$ a year (yeah, right!)… then things would change very drastically around here. Like actually contracting GStreamer hackers to make Pitivi the professional-grade open-source video editing solution on Linux. Or hiring ninjas to infiltrate Avid’s headquarters, that sort of thing. I’m not saying we need hundreds of thousands of dollars either: with a significant-enough amount, I could finally prove my case to some select folks I know, and get the ball rolling. It might come as a surprise, but I don’t just have a crazy passion for Free Software, I also have some nice business skills.

You never know until you try, right? So, for now, let’s do this initial experiment. You can send some love through Paypal or with Flattr. I placed the Flattr and Paypal buttons on the website if you think I’m joking (they are located at the bottom of the home page, or in the “Contributing” page). And here’s the same Flattr button if you’re so excited that you need a target to click right now:

Flattr this

I’ll just watch and study what happens. By the way, I won’t be using the money for myself as an individual. It will go towards the project, I just need to figure out the technicalities of doing so. I’ve been talking with the GNOME foundation in the past few months, and I’d like to know if the amount of donations we’re facing would warrant the additional overhead.

Oh, and I have some more features in the cooker, but they’re not ready yet. Stay tuned. In the meantime, feel free to let the world know about the important milestone we’ve reached today. And if you want to spread the word about donations, you may use this URL or this URL (“contributing” page) when linking to the pitivi website, to help me keep track of what’s going on.


Branding strategist and business developer, free & open-source software UX designer and experienced community manager. Has unlimited hi-HP potions to keep teammates alive.

You can check out my main website or find me on G+ or Twitter.

8 Replies to “Trim like a professional hair stylist”

  1. I’ve always loved PiTiVi’s philosophy of being usable and reasonably easy, while integrating all of the essential advanced features people would expect from a high-quality editor. I don’t need a video editor that tries to do everything- just one that manipulates video/audio, and does it well, without making me confused just looking at it.

    I’m glad to see you’re enthusiastic and that the project has some strong goals. Python lends itself to that sort of flexibility which many older projects can’t seem to muster. I’d love to see PiTiVi show even more why open source is king going forward. You have my support.

  2. @J5: sure we can gently ask the gnome foundation for hackfest funds… but could we do that multiple times a year and not become a burden? “Can we offload some financial weight to increase the amount of such hackfests? Could we get to the point where we could hire people to work fulltime on pitivi?” Those are questions I would like to answer with this experiment…

    @nacho: it happens on, but on the “ges” branch (not master). When it’s stable enough we will merge everything to master, but that might take some time. Please do come and talk with us on IRC so we can help you get set up if you’re interested!

  3. Eric: I have entertained this idea yes, thanks for reminding me of that! But then one has to figure out the top features that users want. Sure, I have my own “idea” of the roadmap for what various subsets of users want, but I may be wrong. Do you think that some sort of survey (using google documents’ survey feature maybe? or something else?) could be useful here? I would welcome suggestions.

Comments are closed.