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Follow the latest news on OpenShot Video Editor!


Want to upload your finished videos to YouTube or Vimeo, but hate using a web browser to do it?
You are in luck, because OpenShot now has an easy to use, integrated "Upload to Web" feature! A new, extensible upload service back-end has been added, with initial support for YouTube and Vimeo.

How does it work? It's super easy! There are a few different ways to use this feature. The easiest and most obvious way is now baked into our export dialog. The user can choose to "Export to Folder" or "Upload to Web". The user can also find this feature by right clicking on any video file in their project, or using the File > Upload to Web menu.

A progress bar shows the upload progress, and a notification is displayed on your computer when the upload has finished. By the way, getting a progress bar to work with YouTube and Vimeo was a really big challenge, and it really kicked my butt a few times. In fact, OpenShot might be the first Python app to ever successfully tie an upload progress bar to the YouTube Python API.

I am really excited about this feature, and I believe this is yet another innovation that will help differentiate OpenShot from the other Linux video editors.


As you might or might not know, we have been hard at work trying to improve the look and feel of OpenShot, and today I have some big announcements!

First, we have a new default theme for OpenShot in the works! I have included a preview of the theme, which is designed / inspired by artist Jan Hofmann and coded by Maël Lavault. It is not quite final yet, but as you can see by the picture, it looks very sleek. =)

Second, OpenShot will now use stock icons by default! These buttons will now use your system theme stock icons, which will keep OpenShot from standing out as much! Users can still switch back to the original icons if they want to, but by default, it will use stock icons.

Lastly, we have added rounded corners to all thumbnail images, which is a very subtle but beautiful effect. When you add it all together, the new theme, stock icons, and rounded thumbnail images, I think this makes OpenShot the best looking video editor on Linux! I know, I know, that's not saying much, but still...

We are still about a month away from our next release, so please don't attempt to install this development version yet. More big updates to come, so stand by.


Linux Format magazine includes article on OpenShotLinux Starter Kit includes article on OpenShot
The newest issues of Linux Format magazine and Linux Starter Kit magazine both feature stories on OpenShot! They are available at US and UK newsstands, including Barnes and Noble and Borders bookstores.

Linux Format includes OpenShot on their list of applications that make up the "ultimate desktop toolkit".

Linux Starter Kit has an article titled "OpenShot - an exemplary video editor". It is between an article on Gimp and Rhythmbox, which is very good company to be in.

These 2 magazines speak to both advanced and beginner users of Linux, and both recommend OpenShot as the best video editor to use for your next video project.

I think this supports the direction we are moving in, by appealing to both the advanced and beginner users of Linux. OpenShot is not too hard, and it's not too simple.

If you have a chance to check out these 2 issues, please do and help spread the word about OpenShot!

Our next challenge is to polish the rough edges even more, improve the interface for all users, and add a few more unique and useful features. Related to this, I have a few surprises about the next version of OpenShot that I will be revealing soon, so stay tuned.


According to the Ubuntu & Debian Popularity Contest Project, I discovered an interesting statistic. According the data collected, OpenShot has the highest percentage of users, when compared to the number of installations. In other words, people who install OpenShot are more likely to actually use OpenShot, than people who install other open-source video editors.

Simple formula: Number of people who use the app regularly / Number of people who have installed the app.

So, now the big question: what does this actually mean? Why does OpenShot score so much higher than other video editors? Perhaps it is because OpenShot is more usable or more intuitive? Maybe it is because OpenShot is more stable? Or possibly that OpenShot is less intimidating?

While it is difficult to say exactly why users are more likely to use OpenShot than other open-source video editors, it seems to be a positive result, and supports the direction we continue to move the project in.

I believe this data supports what other polls have already suggested: OpenShot is the best Linux video editor available today. Of course, I think the main reason OpenShot has become so popular is because we are very much connected to our users. Between E-mail, Facebook, LaunchPad, and this blog, I am constantly getting great suggestions, support, bug reports, and new ideas that make OpenShot the great app it has become. So, a big thank you to everyone for helping me!

How do you interpret these statistics? Do you agree or disagree with my analysis?


As you might have noticed, OpenShot has a brand new website! I have spent the past few weeks putting the finishing touches on it, and integrating it with this blog. I am very happy with the finished product, and I believe it does a better job of promoting and educating people about OpenShot!

Please spend some time clicking around the website, and enjoy some of the new content and features!

If anyone is interested in how I built this website please read on. This new site is built with Django, my favorite Python web framework! Of course, the blog section (which you are viewing right now) is still hosted on Blogger, until I have time to integrate that into Django also. I was able to modify the Blogger template to share the same style and menus, so it creates the illusion that there is only one website .

If you have never experienced building a website with Django, you owe it to yourself to try it out. Check out the tutorial to get started.


How would you like to export your videos in the new WebM format designed for HTML5? What is WebM you ask? Well, according to the WebM project website, they define the format as...

"The WebM project is dedicated to developing a high-quality, open video format for the web that is freely available to everyone."
The WebM format is a combination of a new video codec sponsored by Google called "VP8" and the "Vorbis" audio codec. The container format ends with a ".webm" extension. Even though OpenShot does not have a "Simple" profile for WebM yet, you can still use it, if you know how.

To use WebM, you must have version 0.6+ of FFmpeg (which is included in Ubuntu 10.10). For older versions of Ubuntu you will not be able to use WebM, unless you upgrade FFmpeg, which is not an easy task. Switch to the "Advanced" tab on the export screen in OpenShot, and use the screenshot as a guide. I have highlighted the most important settings.

Video Format: webm
Video Codec: libvpx
Audio Codec: libvorbis


Are you a Windows developer? More specifically, are you a C / C++ developer with a love for video editing?

We are issuing a challenge to find a willing developer to help make the MLT framework compile and work under Windows. If you accept this challenge, please contact me ASAP and join the OpenShot Developers LaunchPad team.

The reward for the brave developer that takes on this challenge will be the love and good will of all video editing fans on Windows. I'll even throw in an OpenShot T-Shirt. =) Also, there is a FAQ with some technical notes about Windows support, for those that are interested.

What does this mean for the Linux version of OpenShot? Absolutely nothing. Porting MLT to Windows does not mean that OpenShot will magically start working on Windows. There is still much work to do, but if we are ever going to support Windows, we need to take this first step.

So... let the challenge begin!


Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) has approved our freeze exception request, and will be including OpenShot 1.2.2 (the newest release) when it launches on October 10, 2010.

If you have the beta of Maverick, you can find version 1.2.2 already in the Ubuntu Software Center!

Strangely, the software center has truncated one of our bullet points in the description (i.e. "Videand"). You can check it out on the screenshot here. I guess I'll file a bug about this one. =)


I am proud to announce the immediate availability of OpenShot version 1.2.2! We have been hard at work on this version since April 2010. While a 5 month long release cycle was not really what I had planned on, I'm happy to see this version finally get released!

Round of Applause
Before I give you a run down of the new features, I want to take a moment to thank all the great and talented people who stay up late with me working on this project. Andy Finch has been helping me since the very first days of OpenShot, and without his help, OpenShot would probably not be here today. Olivier Girard is one of the biggest promoters of OpenShot, writing articles, assisting new users, and was the primary contributor to the awesome OpenShot help manual. Maël Lavault has been a huge help on LaunchPad, answering questions, submitting patches, and was a huge help on this latest version. To all the people who have helped me, THANK YOU SO MUCH for making OpenShot the great application it is today!

Getting Started
Now, let's talk a bit about version 1.2.2. Where did 1.2.0 & 1.2.1 go? Why did we skip straight to 1.2.2. Well my friends, that is an interesting story, but one for another day. Just know that 1.2.2 is the official release, and it's awesome! I might be a little biased, but seriously, this is a really great release.

Video Highlights
As is tradition, I have used OpenShot to create a short video showcasing some of the new features. I mixed in some great overly dramatic music, and a few screen-casts to create a true masterpiece. Okay, I admit, the video is not quite a masterpiece, but if I said that, nobody would watch it.

OpenShot 1.2 Highlights from Jonathan Thomas on Vimeo.

New Features:
  • Improved Stability
  • 3D Animated Titles (powered by Blender 2.5)
  • Custom Transitions
  • New Audio & Video Effects
  • Time-line Improvements / Animations
  • Improved Effects User Interface
  • Improved Theme Engine (New netbook friendly theme)
  • Razor Improvements (now supports snapping to play-head)
  • Improved Language Support (Rotate effect now works in all locales)
  • New DVD Export (Create compliant DVD images)
  • Improved Preferences Dialog
  • Improved Exporting of different frame-rates
  • Numerous Bug Fixes
Let me dive into more depth on a few of these new features, and provide some screen-shots for your viewing pleasure.

3D Animated Titles
We have taken the power of Blender, some really cool animated title templates, and mixed them together with the simple and user-friendly style of OpenShot to create a truly unique feature. Everyone can now enjoy creating their own animated title sequences! Of course, none of this would be possible without the great Blender open-source 3D animation package! Colin Levy, the director of Sintel, even contributed a slick title animation to OpenShot! Blender has so many good features, but most are difficult for the average user to tap into. I hope that we can expand this relationship even further in future releases.

[click for larger image]

New Audio & Video Effects
Many new effects have been added to this release. However, a few effects had to be removed, due to crashes and instability on some systems. We replaced the missing effects with even cooler ones, so no tears. My favorite new effect is called Chroma Hold. This effect turns your video into grayscale except for 1 color. I've seen this effect used on TV commercials many times, and now we can all use it!

[click for larger image]

Timeline Improvements & Animations
We have added lots of polish and some subtle animations to all clip and transition movement, which is easier for the eye to follow. For example, clips that are not placed in a valid spot, smoothly (but quickly) animate back to their correct location. Clips that are removed animate into a dot and disappear. Same for transitions.

[click for larger image]

Improved Theme Engine (Netbook friendly theme)
The code that draws the time-line and buttons (our theme engine) has been drastically improved. Now theme artists can not only change the images, but the height, width, offset, position, alpha, and color of items. In theory, almost any video editor interface can now be created... assuming some artists want to jump in and help out. Also, a new theme was designed for netbook screens, taking advantage of the new theme engine.

[click for larger image]

GTK 2.18 Required
Okay, so what does this mean? In Ubuntu terminology, you must have Ubuntu 9.10 or greater to run this version of OpenShot. The glade library (which we previously used to display our interface) has been depreciated, and so we moved onto just using the GTK library. Many of the GTK features we are now using only work on GTK 2.18+, so with the assumption that most users are on 9.10 of Ubuntu (or greater), we decided it was not worth the effort to back-port to previous version of Ubuntu. However, it is possible (in theory) to adapt OpenShot to Ubuntu 9.04, but that's about as far back as possible, without recompiling GTK... and who wants to do that. =)

Download Today
The OpenShot PPA is the easiest way to install (and stay updated). It works on Ubuntu 9.10 and greater. Just follow the easy instructions, and enjoy! However, if you would rather download the DEB installers, you can do that as well.

Fun Fact
Did you know that in Kerala, India, a high-school textbook is including a chapter on OpenShot to be taught at all the schools in their city? How cool is that!

Thanks again to all the blog readers, users, supporters, translators, programmers, artists, directors, packagers, donors, and of course to my wife, Cindy, who allows me the time to work on this project.

Download OpenShot today and create some amazing videos... just be sure to tag your videos on YouTube as "Created with OpenShot, Yo!". Okay, you can leave off that last part, and just include "Created with OpenShot".


First of all, a big thanks to everyone who has helped translate the next version of OpenShot! We have completely translated 8 languages, and dozens of other languages are very close. To view the full list of languages, visit the LaunchPad Translations page.

We have updated the help manual for version 1.2.0 of OpenShot, and now we need some more translation help. We have updated the text, updated all images, and added some new sections. It is the easiest way to learn how to use OpenShot, and it is very important we translate the help manual into as many languages as possible.

So, once again I humbly ask for help from the OpenShot community. If you speak more than 1 language, please consider making your mark on our project, and helping us out.

(For instructions read the previous post)


Here is a quick update for all the anxious OpenShot users out there. Version 1.2 is shaping up nicely, with a ton of fixes, enhancements, and new features. This new version is easier to use, more feature packed, faster, and more stable than ever before.

We have completed 42 tickets on LaunchPad so far, and many of those tickets were quite complex. There are only a few small details remaining, but mostly just testing, documentation, and translations.

Which brings me to... Translations! There are many new English words and phrases that have been added to OpenShot, and they need to be translated to your favorite language as soon as possible!

Translating OpenShot is one of the easiest ways to contribute. All you need is a web browser, a free LaunchPad account, and thats it! Still not sure how it works? Let me give you the step by step:

Step 1) Login to LaunchPad (or create an account)
Step 3) Click on your language, and begin translating one phrase at a time. Be sure to filter the list of phrases to only show "untranslated items".
Step 4) Enjoy the good feeling of helping an open-source project!

The faster these phrases are translated, the faster we can release version 1.2. So, please share the link with others and help us out!

Themes, Titles, and 3D Animations
Are translations not your thing? Only know a single language but still want to help out? Well, we are looking for new themes, SVG title templates, and of course Blender 3D animated title templates. If you have a possible contribution in these categories, please attach a compressed file with your work to the following LaunchPad ticket. Just imagine how cool you will be once we showcase and distribute your artwork around the world with OpenShot. Okay, so you wont be any cooler, but you will be appreciated by me!
  • Themes - OpenShot can be completely skinned and themed. To create a new theme, simply find the /openshot/themes/blue_glass/ folder on your computer (assuming you have OpenShot installed) and make a copy and start modifying it.
  • Titles - Title templates are just simple SVG images that can be created with Inkscape (or any other image application capable of saving in SVG format). If you can come up with original templates (very subjective I know), we will include them.
  • 3D Animations - If you are a talented Blender user, we are also looking for slick text / title animations. The .blend file (version 2.5 required) is all we need, and we'll even hook up the Python automation for you. All we need are some original and awesome Blender animations with text objects.
I am looking forward to see what you will come up with. Just remember to attach your work as a compressed file to the LaunchPad ticket mentioned above, and we will take a look. Thanks as usual for the support, and I'll post another update soon as this release comes to an end.


As everyone knows, OpenShot has a new 3D animated title system. However, what you might not know, is exactly how Blender is being used to create these animations. I thought I would explain what goes into creating a new Blender title sequence.

But first, take a look at the newest Blender template I added today. It's quite pretty, and very flexible. As you watch this video, I want you to think about the following question. Can your favorite video editor do this?

When using OpenShot, the interface is super simple. Take a look at the window I used to create the titles for this video. Each animated curve has a color picker, so adjusting the colors is quick and easy. The glare and lighting in the video are affected by the different colors, so choose wisely, and create your own stunning combination.

(Click image to enlarge)

So, the first step to creating this Blender template was to install Blender 2.5 (alpha). Once Blender is installed, I modeled a few curves and positioned them in a random fashion in front of the camera. I created a new material for each curve, so that the user can adjust the colors independently. The material also emits light and has no shadows, which helps create the illusion of a "neon" tube.

(Click image to enlarge)

Once the scene is modeled, I used the animation system in Blender to key frame a series of movements for the curves. For the most part, each curve is moved from the left to the right over 250 frames. Each key frame is visualized in the IPO curve window, so they can be manually adjusted until the animation feels just right.

(Click image to enlarge)

Next, I used the composite node editor in Blender to route the output of each frame through a series of nodes. This part can be a bit tricky if you are not familiar with how a node based editing system works. The goal was to take the curves (which are emitting light), and create a glare, which will help sell the idea of "neon" lights. To complicate things, the actual "text" of the title needed to be isolated from this glare, so not to blur the text. So, the text is actually in a different scene, and is combined together in the composite nodes, with some clever routing of the alpha channel.

(Click image to enlarge)

The last step was to create an .XML file which explains what "parameters" are available for this template, so that OpenShot can display a simple interface for the user. Most of the templates have a very similar set of parameters, so a little bit of copy & paste, and this step was done. Also, a custom python script needed to be created, which applies the parameters to the actual Blender template. Again, a little copy & paste helped complete this step.

Now it's ready to test and see if it actually works inside OpenShot. One more fun fact... more than 1 title can be created at a time. So, if you have a few different titles that need to be created for a video, they can all be rendering at the same time.

(Click image to enlarge)

Well, that about wraps up this post on how to create a Blender template for OpenShot. If you are serious about contributing title templates, please post them on our forums, and we'll select the coolest ones to include in OpenShot. Don't worry about the .XML and python scripts. Those are easy to create, and I can always assist.


Here is a video demonstrating the new 3D animated titles in OpenShot, as promised! As you can see, including some animated titles can be quite dramatic and add lots of fun to any video.


The wait is over! One of the big features I have been secretly working on over the past few months is a new feature which I'm calling the "Animated Title Editor". Using Blender 2.5+ behind the scenes, OpenShot can now easily generate animated 3D title sequences.

This feature has been in my dreams since I started working on OpenShot. I have always enjoyed working with Blender to create animations, but I also realized that most users will never have the time to learn a professional 3D animation package. Blender is simply too complicated for most users, which is why you don't see more 3D titles on videos created with Linux.

My goal is to bring the power of Blender, the creativity of the Blender community (in the form of templates) to OpenShot in the most intuitive interface possible. I really feel like I've accomplished that, which is why I'm so excited about this feature. =)

Here are some pictures to explain how it works:

Step 1: Choose a template.

Step 2: Change some settings, such as the text, color, size, and font. Preview any frame in the animation by moving the slider.
Step 3: Click the 'Render' button (and wait for a few minutes while your title is being generated). A preview of each rendered frame is shown, so you can watch the animation as it's created.

Step 4: The new animation is then added to your OpenShot project as a clip. It will have the same height, width, and fps (frames per second) as your OpenShot project. Drag your new clip onto the timeline and enjoy!

This new animated title sequence is created as a RGBA image sequence. That means that each frame has full alpha (i.e. transparency), and can be composited on top of any other video, such as the screenshot above of the chimpanzee.

As far as I know, OpenShot is the first FOSS video editor to incorporate 3D title animations (not including Blender of course). Hopefully this feature (along with a few more we are working on) will start to differentiate OpenShot from the pack of FOSS video editors.

This feature will not be available until our next version is released, which we are all working on, so please be patient. Soon enough everyone can test it out. But please don't mess up your current install of OpenShot trying to install this "alpha" feature. =)

More news soon, so stay tuned.


Academy® and Emmy® award winning video editor Lightworks has recently announced an open-source version. Lightworks is rumored to be available on all platforms, including Linux (although I have yet to see an official statement from EditShare on which platforms will be supported). Many people have contacted me for my reaction, so here I go. By the way, I am making the assumption that Lightworks will be released on Linux for the sake of this article.

The first point I would like to address is the future relevance of Linux open-source video editors, including OpenShot, Kdenlive, PiTiVi, and similar projects. Why would someone choose OpenShot (or insert your favorite video editor) over an Academy® and Emmy® award winning application?

Well, let me first remind everyone that Blender is also a great video editor. Blender can do just about anything with video (even rivaling Hollywood quality effects). So, why doesn't everyone use Blender to edit their videos? I think the answer will be the same for Lightworks. These applications are designed for professionals, not average consumers. (Note: I am not comparing Blender to Lightworks... just the fact that applications that are targeted at professionals are inherently more complicated).

Just to be clear, I think some Linux users will absolutely love Lightworks; those users who are interested in professional video editing. But what about the average users who want to arrange some home videos? What about someone with no aspiration to learn a complex application, who just wants to trim a video before uploading it to YouTube?

As far as OpenShot is concerned, we are trying to become the easiest to use video editor on Linux. We are not trying to become the next Lightworks. So, to directly answer a few emails I've received, "No, OpenShot will not die after Lightworks is released". I think the world needs an easy to use video editor. So, that will continue to be my goal. =)

It just makes me smile when I read articles about how Linux video editing is now "saved", because of Lightworks. I wonder if these writers would change their tune after trying to use Lightworks to edit a quick video without any training.

Lightworks is trying to distribute their core product as open-source, and hopefully grow a marketplace of plug-ins and 3rd party extensions. However, it's yet to be seen if these plug-ins will also be multi-platform.

I am also curious which formats and codecs the open-source version will support. And will the Linux version support the same codecs as the Mac and Windows version? Will they use FFmpeg, Gstreamer, or their own code? Will lightworks regret the move to open-source? Will other projects cannibalize their code and make their libraries available to everyone, including OpenShot? Lot's of interesting questions indeed. =)

Let's turn our attention to Windows for a second. Will the average user stop using Windows Movie Maker and instead start using Lightworks? I'm guessing they will continue to use Movie Maker. Of course, if a user was about to purchase Avid or Adobe Premiere, they will likely be very interested Lightworks.

In summary, I wish the best to EditShare and Lightworks Open Source. If they are successful, maybe we will all be using Lightworks some day. But, in my personal opinion, I think this announcement is mostly irrelevant for the average Windows, Mac, and Linux user.

What do you think about the Lightworks announcement? Will it change the face of Linux video editing? Will average users embrace it? I would love to hear some good analysis on this.


Greetings everyone! It has been more than a month since my last post, so I thought an update was due. Lots of activity is happening on OpenShot, even though my blog has been relatively quiet.

There are 2 really big features I am working on right now. I don't want to let the cat out of the bag yet, so I'll wait to announce them until a future date (soon... I promise).

But fear not, I will leave everyone with a hint: "no other FOSS video editor has this feature yet." This statement might be misleading, but hey, it's just a hint. =)

The community has been very active, and there have been many contributions and patches! I am still in the process of reviewing the patches, and merging them into the code.

We have recently moved our user interface to GtkBuilder (as opposed to Glade). Basically, Glade is no longer supported. The interface will still look the same (since it's still using GTK), but the XML files that help us create the interface are a bit different.

I have been working part-time on a new Django-based website for OpenShot. I figured Django would be a perfect fit for my Python skills. =) So far, so good. Expect to see the website sometime in the next month.

On a completely unrelated note, my mom has just gone through a serious neck surgery, and I have been spending much of my time with her over the past 2 weeks. I am happy to report she is recovering great.

Well, how is that for an update. Many unrelated snippets and stories. Hopefully I will have a few more updates over the coming weeks.


The first ever survey of OpenShot users has come to an end, and I have all sorts of fun data to share with everyone! If you want to skip the analysis and just download the results, here are the direct links:

Download PDF | Download ODP

We have collected a total of 1,241 completed surveys! That is a great sample size, and hopefully represents our user-base accurately.

This survey attempted to answer the following questions:

1) What existing features are most used?
2) What new features are most requested?
3) How is OpenShot installed?

I'll admit, a few of the answers surprised me, including the top 2 most requested features. So, lets break down the results, and see what we've learned.

1) What existing features are most used?

[Click image to enlarge]

As you might expect, the top most used features are "Fade In / Out", followed closely by "Slice / Cut" and "Transitions". This supports the idea of automatically cross-fading clips when they overlap, and generally making it easier to fade clips, right? Also, improving the snapping, anchoring, and moving of transitions would also seem like a good fit, based on the usage of those features.

Knowing which features are the most used should help us focus on which toolbars, buttons, menus, and features to keep close by, and which features to hide in menus / preferences, etc..., in order to keep OpenShot the easiest-to-use video editor on Linux. =)

2) What new features are most requested?

[Click image to enlarge]

To my surprise, the top 2 most requested features are "DVD Creation" and "Video Conversion". Of course, the next question might be... should OpenShot include the ability to create a DVD? Or is that better suited for a stand-alone application. Or should OpenShot include a suite of video editing applications: video editor / DVD creator / video converter?

As much as I hear people tell me that video effects are not important, and no "real" video needs them, our number 3 top requested feature is "Additional Video Effects". So... it seems clear to me that people really like video effects. =)

The 4th most requested feature is an interesting one, "Video Capture". As more and more video cameras store video files on memory cards, hard drives, and USB mass storage devices, how important is this feature? In 2 years will people still need this feature? Are there existing video capture applications that OpenShot could "better" integrate with? Or does it need to be a built-in feature for OpenShot.

Multiple selections, color correction, and multiple audio volume levels (i.e. audio key-frames) are all really good features, and are at the top of my "personal" list. In general, I would like to have more specialized dialogs for some of the filters, like color correction, with sliders, live previews, etc... Also, I am interested in alternate ways of showing audio wave forms, audio key-frames, etc... Rendering audio wave forms can be slow, and in most cases, not very useful. However, when trying to sync audio and video, seeing the waveforms can save you countless hours. So, I wonder how it would feel to selectively turn on / off waveforms on a clip (as needed). Just a thought.

Also, I really thought the "Photo Slide-show Wizard" feature would be higher on the list, as well as the ability to upload to video sharing sites, such as YouTube and Vimeo. Oh well... the people have spoken.

3) How is OpenShot installed?

[Click image to enlarge]

This was a useful question, since I spend so much time packaging OpenShot. It looks like most of our installations are from a Repository or PPA. This is great news, as it's the safest way to install OpenShot, and the easiest to update when new versions are available. Only 25 people (out of 946) could not get OpenShot installed at all. However, those 25 people kept us busy with bug reports, questions, forum posts, emails, etc... Looking at our mailing list, sometimes it feels like nobody can get OpenShot installed correctly. But clearly, only a small percentage of users have trouble installing OpenShot.

Thank you for helping us make this survey a success! I would like to continue this tradition between each release. As we plan for our next release, it's nice to know we are working on features that people actually want. =)


What features do you want to see in OpenShot?  What things would you like to see improved?

Take the OpenShot Survey Now
(Please only take the survey once)

Please help us shape the future of OpenShot by participating in this brief survey.  We will be using the results of this survey to decide what features will be included in the next version of OpenShot.  Contributing to OpenShot has never been easier. =)  Depending on how this goes, I would like to take a similar approach after each release of OpenShot, and create a survey between releases to help measure what features our users want.

This survey will be open for 7 days, and then we will publish the results for everyone to enjoy!  Please help us spread the word about this survey.  Here is the link:


With the impending release of Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) just around the corner, I am proud to announce that OpenShot 1.1.3 has been accepted by Ubuntu and is ready to install from the Software Center!  Also, the MLT framework (the video editing library used by OpenShot and Kdenlive) has been updated to it's newest version (0.5.4).

This is the most stable version of OpenShot ever created, so hopefully everyone will enjoy using it!

Although I have not published many posts recently, I have been working hard to improve OpenShot.  Three different versions of OpenShot have been released in the past 45 days (version 1.1.1, 1.1.2, and 1.1.3).  All of these versions have been uploaded to both Debian and Ubuntu.

We have already started work planning OpenShot 1.2, and will soon be discussing features with you... the community, and hopefully we'll be able to incorporate many of the feature requests that have been suggested.  I will soon be publishing a survey for everyone, to collect feedback on likes, dislikes, wants, needs, etc...  So, stay tuned for that post.

If you would like to help the OpenShot project, please feel free to use the banner image above on your own website to help promote us.  The bigger we can grow our user base, the more contributors we will attract, and thus... the better we can make this project!


After 8 months of waiting, OpenShot has finally been officially registered as a US Trademark! This is great news, as it protects the name and branding of OpenShot, and ensures we won't have to choose a new name at some point.

When I first announced the name "OpenShot" on this website, I was soon contacted by a company who claimed I had "lifted" their name. This began an 8 month battle to trademark the name. So, you see, this is a big moment for me, as it means the name is finally safe, and I can return my focus on the things that really matter, like the next version of OpenShot!


According to the readers of on a recent poll about the best Linux video editors, OpenShot won first place! OpenShot received 35% of the vote, which is great news for us!

What I find interesting is that Kdenlive got 17% of the vote. If you combine OpenShot and Kdenlive, we account for 52% of the results. Both of our projects use the same video editing library, MLT. This is great news for the MLT Developers. Even more interesting, is the top 3 applications all use FFmpeg. That is 74% of results that use FFmpeg.

I know that much has been said about Gstreamer, but it is interesting to see how popular FFmpeg is with video editing applications.


That's right. You can now buy OpenShot at Borders and Barnes & Noble book stores across the United States and the United Kingdom... sort of. Linux Format magazine (a UK Linux magazine), issue 129 has included a copy of OpenShot 1.0 on the included CD.

Although the magazine only has a small mention of OpenShot, I am thrilled to finally be "in print", so to speak. It's also great to be included on the CD, and physically distributed to many different countries!

Here is a quote from the magazine:

"OpenShot is a relatively new program, but it sports an impressive range of features."
If you see OpenShot mentioned in your favorite magazine, please drop me an email, because I would love to keep track of the articles.


It seems like just yesterday we released version 1.0 of OpenShot. However, two months have passed, and we have a brand new version just busting at the seams with excitement and anticipation. I am proud to announce the immediate availability of OpenShot 1.1!

40 different bugs and features have been addressed in this version, including some highly requested features such as Undo/Redo support! As tradition, here is a video I put together announcing 1.1. All of the footage was filmed on my Canon HF S100, and edited with OpenShot (of course).

Here are the highlights:
  • Speed, speed, and more speed improvements. Over 1300% faster rendering previews after an edit. 1000% faster launching OpenShot. Seriously though... it's way faster.
  • Undo / redo (with history panel)
  • Improved export screen. Only your installed formats and codecs are listed. Improved notifications after the export has finished (using libnotify). One of the most common crashes of OpenShot was selecting an export format that was not installed. So this should provide much more stability.
  • Multiple copies of effects can be added to clips. A common scenario would be using 2 chroma key effects, each with a different shade of green or blue.
  • Dynamic tiling of overlapping clips (Brady Bunch style). This can take an unlimited number of clips (that are all on separate tracks playing at the same time), and tile them across the screen. OpenShot does all of the math, and the user only has to click 1 menu option (in the Layout menu). Just imagine the possibilities.
  • New effects have been added: Contrast, Edge Glow, Saturation, and Cartoon.
  • Fade in / out menu has been added. This is the quickest and easiest way to dissolve / fade a clip (including audio).
  • Edit titles with ease. Use our simple title editor or Inkscape. Just right click on a title, and select "Edit Title". Also, when you duplicate a title, it will now create a new SVG and add it to your project.
  • New keyboard shortcut to cut / slice clips. Just press the "c" key, and it will cut clips at the position of the play-head (i.e. the red line).
  • Improved localization and translations. Many labels, buttons, and tool-tips were missing from our translation system. Also, numbers on the export screen (such as bit rate) would not work in other languages. These have been fixed, and OpenShot works much better in other languages.
  • Timeline scrolling has been improved to better support lots and lots of tracks. The left and right side of the timeline will always stay in sync now.
  • H.264 support has been improved to support Debian.
  • View the full details of this release
If you are upgrading OpenShot from our PPA, you might need to use Synaptic instead of the Update Manager. We have a few new dependencies, and the Update Manager might not allow you to upgrade.

This will be the last version of OpenShot to support Ubuntu 8.04 and 8.10. Moving forward, we will only support 9.04 and greater. This is due to gtkbuilder support (or lack thereof) in those older distros.

A big thanks to all of the contributors that have helped with version 1.1: Andy Finch, Olivier Girard, Dan Dennedy, Francesco (hva), Moimael, Cody Parker, Joop Mevissen, Ptf, Benjamin Drung, and everyone who emailed, submitted bugs, submitted translations, asked questions, and supported us.

I hope everyone enjoys using OpenShot 1.1 as much as we enjoyed creating it!


Guess what! Not only has OpenShot been accepted into Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) and will soon be a 1 click install, it will be version 1.1 of OpenShot! This is a far better version than 1.0, and because many users will not bother upgrading OpenShot to future versions, it is great to have this version accepted.

We are listed in the Software Center in the "Sound & Video" department. You can drill into the "Sound & Video" department, or simply search for "openshot". It's easy to find, and just as easy to install.

We have also updated our branding and software description for the Software Center. We are trying to appeal to the non-technical users as well as the ones who already know what video editing is. =)

This has been a goal of mine since I started the project. Ubuntu was the first distro I fell in love with, and I am super excited to be accepted into the Ubuntu universe. This will be the easiest way for most people to install OpenShot.

On a somewhat related note, we have also found a Sponsor for Debian, and are currently waiting to be approved for Debian. In the next 1 to 2 weeks, I expect OpenShot 1.1 will also be available in Debian Unstable. I will let everyone know once this has happened! We have lots of Debian users, and because so many distros are based off of Debian, it will be great to be in their repository also.


In the world of Linux video editing, there are two very well known video editors: Kdenlive and Kino. I know there are a few others, but let's focus on these two for the sake of this article.

I'm sure many of you have .kdenlive and .kino project files lying around your hard drive. How would you like the ability to import these projects into OpenShot (version 1.1 of course)?

Thanks to the awesome power of the MLT framework, which is the video editing framework we use for OpenShot, we have the ability to import project files from these two video editors, and use them like any other clips! Just drag and drop the files into OpenShot, and then onto the timeline. Now you can trim, apply additional effects, or mute these clips. They will act just like any other video files.

NOTE: This only lets you import the project files as a "clip". You will not be able to edit the individual parts of the project files unless you return to Kdenlive or Kino. Still... it's a great feature that might be useful to a many people.


OpenShot has two methods for fading a clip in and out. You can drag and drop a transition onto the timeline, overlapping the edge of a clip. Or you can open the clip properties dialog, and set the video fade in / out.

The benefit of using transitions is the flexibility to use different wipe designs and patterns. The benefit from setting the clip fade in / out properties is the fade belongs to the clip. If you move the clip, the fade moves with it (very nice).

With OpenShot 1.1, we have introduced a new "easier" way to fade clips. Simply right-click on a clip (video, image, or audio), and choose an option from the "Fade" menu.

[Fade menu: quickly fade clips in and out]

The fade menu will set both the video and audio fade in / out. In other words, it will fade the clip to transparent, and the audio volume to zero (and vice versa). This is really just a quick way to set the fade clip properties. They can still be adjusted on the clip properties screen.

This is just one of the many new features in version 1.1 of OpenShot. Stay tuned, because we have much more news about the 1.1 release coming soon.


We are quickly approaching version 1.1, and need to finalize our translations as soon as possible. If you would like to help translate OpenShot, now is your chance! All you need is a web browser and a LaunchPad account:

Translate OpenShot Now

Update: We have many languages that are almost done! Just a few more translations left, for anyone who speaks these languages. =)


I have some great news for everyone today. As you can see by the title of this article, OpenShot is now officially included in the Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) repository. If you have an alpha version of Lucid, you can already find it in the Software Center. Just search for "openshot".

A big thanks to Benjamin Drung, who helped me improve the packaging and guided me on what to do each step of the way. Also, thanks to the hundreds of supporters who voted on the Ubuntu bug report for OpenShot packaging. We were the #2 bug on Ubuntu's Launchpad page (based on the number of users affected).

Even though we are now included in the Ubuntu repository, we still need to get included in Debian. We are searching for a Debian sponsor, who can help us upload the "openshot" package into Debian. If you are a Debian developer, please consider helping out our project and sponsoring us. =)

Details on the "openshot" package can be found on

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