Getting media

Pitivi allows importing media files from your computer's hard drive.

When you create a new project and import the first video file, its properties are transposed to the project settings, unless you changed them yourself already. An infobar appears when this happens. Click the Project Settings button in the infobar for details.

Due to our limited resources and the rapid evolution of filmmaking hardware in the past few years, and to ensure Pitivi remains robust and simple to use, we do not attempt to support every possible hardware device out there. As a result, you currently cannot use Pitivi to capture directly from a camcorder; specialized applications are better suited for this task. For example, for DV/HDV camcorders using an IEEE 1394 connection, you may use Kino or dvgrab to capture footage.

Importing files using the file chooser

You can import media into the Media Library by using the file chooser dialog, which has the advantage of letting you preview the files you want to import. To do so, use the Import button in the Media Library header.

A file chooser dialog window will appear. You can press Ctrl or Shift to select multiple files at the same time.

How to work with unsupported media

The following media containers and formats are officially supported:

  • Containers: MJPEG, Matroska, Ogg, QuickTime, WebM

  • Audio formats: FLAC, MPEG, Raw, Vorbis, WAV

  • Video formats: H.264, JPEG, Raw, Theora, VP8

Working with other containers and formats is slow and lacks precision. Fortunately most of the time the unsupported media can still be played. Taking advantage of this, Pitivi allows transcoding the unsupported media into a supported format. The result is a separate file placed in the same folder. The automatic creation of optimized media is controlled with the Optimize checkbox at the bottom of the file chooser dialog. The optimized media can be managed at any time with the media library.

Most of the cameras nowadays create .mts and .m2ts files which use the MPEG Transport Stream container. This container is not optimal for video editing. This media is not supported as such and must be optimized for a smooth editing experience.

Importing files using drag and drop

The concept of drag and drop is a well-established method of bridging the gap between software applications. Simply select the files you want to import in another application (such as a file manager or a multimedia app) and drag them with your mouse onto Pitivi's Media Library.

This feature can be used to:

  • Easily import music or video clips from a media player (such as Rhythmbox or Totem).

  • Allow using a full-fledged file manager (such as Nautilus, Thunar, Dolphin or Konqueror) instead of the file chooser dialog.

  • Import a combination of multiple files and folders at the same time.

  • Leverage the searching capability of another application (such as GNOME Shell, Tracker, GNOME Activity Journal, GNOME Search Tool, etc.).