Video Editing Tools: An Introduction to LiVES

LiVES is one of a few video editing tools that is also Video Jockey equipment. LiVES version 3 was released from GNU under GPL, and binary versions can be found for most of Linux distributions, which are Gentoo, Ubuntu, Fedora, Slackware, Core, Arch Linux, Debian, Mandriva and Suse. Ports for BSD are present as well, and LiVES will work under the IRIX, Solaris, X/Darwin and Mac Operation System.

The Development of LiVES

LiVES was mainly developed by a world renowned video artist and Video Jockey Gabriel Finch, known as Salsaman. The year 2002 began the project which created LiVES, but its first version 1.0.0 waited 7 years to finally be released. LiVES has proved popular with a great many users who were seeking a non-linear software for editing video.

With LiVES, users are unable to exploit video in both real time and non real time. The LiVES application has features that go far beyond what you'd find in traditional programs for video editing. Some examples of this include the fact that a remote source can monitor and control over a network. The potential exists to stream to a different copy of LiVES. The fact that it is frame and resolution independent adds to its appeal.

LiVES makes use of plug-in systems to get effects, encoders, decoders and video playback. These now have well defined APIs, and it's relatively easy to expend the application.


LiVES blends real time video performance with non-linear editing in a professional, high quality application. It allows you to begin making video as soon as you start using it, without worrying too much about frame sizes, formats or frame rates. It is a very useful tool for both professional video jockeys and editors, because it allows you to switch and mix clips from the keyboard, to use many real time effects, trim and edit clips using the clip editor, and bring everything together using its multi-track timeline.

LiVES is sample and frame accurate and it can be controlled from a distance or scripted with a view to being used as a video server. LiVES supports all of the latest free standards.

Features of LiVES include the capacity to load and edit almost any format of video. It offers glitch free smooth playback at various rates, both forwards and when played in reverse. LiVES provides very well for the use of plug-ins, which are able to open many formats instantly.

LiVES Interface

There are two main interfaces for LiVES. The first one is the clip editor which relates to a store of audio and video material, and the second one is also a window featuring multi-track, in which you are able to arrange clips to feature in a timeline.

The clip editing feature allows you to take advantage of variable rates of playback. You can apply real time effects when mixing clips before going into multi-track mode.

LiVES allows you to create very high quality video in a way that's easy to manage and effective. It offers many advantages to the modern video jockey and editor alike.