Pitivi 2020.09 — Hocus Focus

The Pitivi team proudly presents Pitivi version 2020.09 “Hocus focus”, a new milestone towards the most reliable video editor.

New features

Since the 2014 fundraiser and until Pitivi 0.999 released in 2018, we included only critical features to focus on quality. For example, the proxy functionality which allows precise editing by seamlessly using the optimized media when the original media format is not supported officially.

Life and GSoC happens and we developed many good features over this period. Most of these originate from the Google Summer of Code program in which we took part, but not only. The new features came with accompanying unit tests and they have been merged only after careful code reviews. Even so, we kept them in the development branch.

This approach led to extra work for taking care of two branches. In addition to a “stable” branch out of which we were making releases, we also maintained a “development” branch in which we were merging cool features. Luckily, despite not much appearing to be happening with the project due to releases containing only bug fixes, contributors kept showing up, and not only because of GSoC.

Since the previous release we came to our senses and reconsidered the earlier decision. Pitivi 2020.09 includes a ridiculous number of new features, for your delight. Read the full list below and get ready to be blown away by what our contributors built.


The user survey we conducted in 2013 revealed the most important point was to have a “stable as hell” basic editor. Since the previous release two years ago, we fixed the last outstanding bugs in GStreamer Editing Services (GES), Pitivi’s reusable video editing backend.

At this point, the extensive GES and Pitivi unit tests and the gst-validate testing framework developed for GStreamer/GES allow us to make changes without being too afraid of introducing regressions. Thanks to the quality assurance we have in place, we are now switching to a date-based versioning scheme for Pitivi. The intention is to release often what we have at that point and make gradual changes.

Even though there won’t be a Pitivi 1.0, after 15 years of hard work we are proud GES has reached the “1.0” level. We are very happy to finally reach this essential milestone in the project life!

This was possible thanks to contributions from Igalia who has been sponsoring the development of the GStreamer Editing Services by stabilizing it and implementing many features such as the integration with OpenTimelineIO from Pixar, implementing timeline nesting, and clip speed control (yet to be leveraged in Pitivi).

We’ll be looking for ways of creating a constant stream of money to fund development by drawing interest from institutions backed by public money. Until this will happen, if ever, we’ll play with occasional fundraisers for improving stability. More about this in a separate blog post.

What’s new

This release includes lots of new features, originating from GSoC internships spanning four years, from University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s SOFT-261 class Spring 2020 and from individual contributors.

GSoC 2017

GSoC 2018

GSoC 2019

GSoC 2020

University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s SOFT-261 class, Spring 2020

Individual hackers

Under the hood

Since the Pitivi 0.15.2 release that came at the time of our 2014 crowdfunding campaign, we have basically changed everything under the hood, with too many bug fixes to count:

Please see the corresponding 2020.09 milestone for details.


You can install Pitivi 2020.09 right away with flatpak. Follow the installation instructions from flathub.

What’s next

We keep the highest priority issues in the 2020.12 milestone. Basically a mix of bugfixing, cleanup and features.


Many thanks to all the contributors!