LiVES 0.9.8-pre2 review

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LiVES is a simple to use yet powerful video effects, editing, conversion, and playback sys

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 1966K
Developer: salsaman
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LiVES is a simple to use yet powerful video effects, editing, conversion, and playback system aimed at the digital video artist and VJ. LiVES project uses commonly available tools (Mplayer, ImageMagick, and GTK+), so it should work on most Unix-like systems.

It runs under Linux, BSD, IRIX, and openMosix (and soon OS X/Darwin). It works with almost all types of video, and is fully extendable through plugins and the included plugin builder tool.

Here are some key features of "LiVES":

Stable and well tested core.
Fully cross platform for Linux and many flavours of Unix (e.g. BSD, openMosix, IRIX). Runs on at least x86, amd64, ppc and xbox/x86.
The LiVES audio/video platform is now custom extendable through RFX plugins. See the Custom RFX page for more details.
Allows quick and easy prototyping of new tools, utilities, effects, transitions and more, using the included RFX builder window.
Plugins can be written in Perl, thus allowing O/S level access to individual frames within clips.
Will scale for high/low end hardware. Can be split into client/server components.
Control every function in LiVES remotely using OSC protocol.
Versions for many linux distributions: Mandrake, Gentoo, Suse, Rock Linux + bootable CD from Debian package coming soon. Has also been tested succesfully with latest Fedora Core.
100% original, non-proprietary code.


Loading and editing of most video formats (via mplayer decoder).
Smooth playback at variable frame rates, forward and in reverse. Display framerate can be controlled independantly of playback framerate.
Cut and paste of frames within and between clips.
Saving/re-encoding of clips, selections, and individual frames.
Lossless backup/ restore.
Streaming input and output.
Real time blending of clips (chroma and luma blends).
Can handle in/out streams in yuv4mpeg format. Streams can be piped from stdout into other applications.
Supports fixed and variable framerates. Playback rate can be smoothly adjusted independant of display rate.
Ability to 'scratch' with video - that is to move smoothly backwards and forwards through it, and to record yourself doing so.
Playback can use LiVES' own internal player, there is also a high performance fullscreen SDL playback plugin
Support for RGB24, YUV420 (TV), and UYVY palettes, horizontal chroma subsampling is implemented.
Ability to edit many filetypes and sources including remotely located files (with mplayer/ffmpeg libraries), and directories of images.
Real time capture/recording of interactive (via mouseclicks) external windows.
Encode to any of the 50+ output formats which are now supported (e.g. mjpeg, mpeg4, mpeg1/2, VCD, SVCD, DVD, ogg/mp4 ogm, Matroska mkv, dv, swf, Ogg Theora, Dirac, MNG, Snow, xvid, and even animated GIF !)
Encoder formats can be extended through the encoder plugin API.
LiVES will suggest the best settings for saving to each format.
Resampling of video (time stretching) to any frame rate (1 to 200 fps); option to auto-resample or speed up/slow down between clips.
Ability to instantly alter the playback speed of video and audio independently.
Rotation, resizing and trimming of video clips.
Deinterlacing, subtitle removal.
Instant saving/loading of clips for performances/presentations.


Can load mp3, ogg and wav files.
LiVES can also load tracks directly off CD to use with your video (using cdda2wav).
Ability to save audio selections, and append audio.
Sound can be trimmed to fit video selections.
Cutting and pasting of audio within and between clips.
Resampling of audio (rate, channels, sample size, signedness and endianness); audio is auto-resampled between clips.
Supports (auto)inserting of silence and deletion of audio sections.


Many effects, including random/targeted zooming, panning of video, colour cycling and colorisation/colour filtering.
Merging/compositing of frames is possible: e.g. frame-in-frame, fade in/out and transparency.
Real time previews as the effect is processing.
Support for the LiViDO effect plugin architecture which will allow sharing of realtime effects with other applications. Experimental support for this framework is already included.
Use real time effects to blend clips together, regardless of frame size or fps. Luma and chroma blending are currently supported.
Multiple real time effects are now possible during playback (VJ mode), these can also be rendered to frames.
Effects and transitions are now fully customisable using the RFX builder window.
Effects/blends can also be applied to incoming streams in real time.
Dynamic loading of effects.


Simple and intuitive menu layout.
I18N text support. Translations into French and Czech are included.
RFX builder allows rapid prototyping of new effects, transitions utilities and tools. Custom RFX scripts can be exported to share with others
or downloaded and imported. Test scripts are run in a sandbox to allow safe testing of new plugins.
Midi sequence synchronisation (start/stop).
Can load single images or directories of images in numerical order and assemble them into videos or slideshows.
Ability to play music through xmms (including random selection of tracks).
Toys !

What's New in 0.9.7 Stable Release:
Multitrack improvements were made.
Effect parameters were fixed.
The user is now abile to show effects at frame, to edit or delete an effect, to delete a parameter change at time 0, to reorder effects, to adjust a region using spinbuttons, to copy a selection to a timecode and vice versa.
File loading improvements were made.
Memory errors affecting some systems were fixed.

What's New in 0.9.8-pre2 Development Release:
Compilation errors which occurred when compiling without jack were fixed.
Instead, a warning message is shown when compiling without jack.
Jack >= 1.0 is supported. Audio tracks and the context box can be shown or hidden from the View menu.
The multitrack menu option "Edit|Ignore selection limits" when inserting audio was added.
A crash in interpolation of boolean parameters was fixed.
Fixes were made for jack audio pause and unpause.
A crash which occurred if Preferences are opened with no clip loaded was fixed. Compilation on OSX/Darwin was fixed.
Adjustment of audio block start/end points and velocity is allowed in the multitrack window.

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