Testing Pitivi CVS

Edward is planing a new release of Pitivi very soon so I have been helping him out with doing some testing. The target of this release is to allow you to transcode as many of your files as possible to Ogg Theora. We are building Pitivi step-by-step now with the roadmap being something like.

  1. Play any file that Totem plays (previous release)
  2. Transcode any of those files we play to Ogg Theora (this release)
  3. Merge together multiple clips into one bigger movie (next release)
  4. Basic transitions

There is of course a long todo list after that too, adding more and more advanced features, more output formats and so on and there is a lot of related bugfixing to make those items a reality. Like fixing the issues caused by those mobile phone and camera files we got yesterday. But our goal is that starting from the current release Pitivi will actually do something thats useful for many people, namely transcode their video clips into Ogg Theora. In some sense that todo list doesn’t look very ambitious, but there are a lot of bugs that gets found and needs fixing during this process. My thinking initially was that if we could decode it (for instance play it back with Totem) we could transcode it. This turned out to be a huge oversimplification. In the 1-to-1 file case this is mostly true, but since Pitivi’s goal is to handle many-to-1 in the end the design requires a higher level of perfection from the decoders in terms of how they handle seeking for instance. So far AVI, Windows Media, Matroska and Ogg files have transcoded fine for me. MPEG/Quicktime movies seems to lose either sound or video partway into the transcoding process, but those issues are being looked at and will be resolved with future GStreamer plugins releases.

Also in terms of getting gnonlin stable and bugfree there is now a good tag-team effort going on between Pitivi and Jokosher. The kind of issues that the Jokosher team runs into tend to be the same that Pitivi are or will be running into so with both them exercising it mightily a lot of bugs are found but also resolved. Also noticed a new batch of really sweet Joksher screenshots posted a little over a week ago. Reminds me that we need to get working on more Pitivi screenshots also :)

On a related note, Mike Smith commited the ALSA spdifsink to CVS today. This means that outputing AC3 through the spdif port on your soundcard should now work with GStreamer if your alsa driver has spdif support. Another feature in Totem we can now support :)

Also checking Jokosher webpage today I noticed that they don’t sport the cool GStreamer family web button. Anyone doing GStreamer based applications should be sure to sport this token of eliteness on your webpage :)

4 thoughts on “Testing Pitivi CVS

  1. wow, I cannot wait. long live good pygtk/gstreamer hackers ;)

  2. Totem uses playbin; alsaspdifsink cannot work with playbin. So, no, that’s not going to happen any time soon… Not until the decodebin rewrite, anyway. So that’s a pretty over-ambitious statement…

    Also, your blog (other than, now, this entry) also doesn’t sport this logo. You’re part of the GStreamer family too, Christian!

  3. Being able to transcode files to formats built on Open Standards will be great for users.
    However on the techincal side I do wonder how well you can convert from one lossy codec to another lossy codec. I guess the smart thing to do will be to make sure the default settings will always result in a smaller file, so users will at least perceive OGG as being more space efficient.

    Are there any prerelease tarballs, or nightly packages? I’d like to get a more up to date version of Pitivi and help out but CVS isn’t very convenient.

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