Open source libraries for working with videos.

Open source libraries

One of the things we broadcasters of free and open source software should strive for is to eradicate from users the linear mindset of Y as an alternative to X. In other words, the belief that for each Windows program there must be an identical one in Linux with the same features, but free and under free licenses.

Let's tell the truth If you are a professional user, neither The Gimp is going to be as useful as Photoshop nor Audacity as GarageBand nor Kdenlive as Vegas.

Before you organize the lynch squad, read on.

Changing the paradigm

Reread the beginning of the article. Nowhere did I say that proprietary software was better than free software for multimedia editing. What I said is that we do not have to be drawn into a discussion in which free and open source software has the upper hand.

In other words that instead of trying to compare turnkey solutions, Let's get started talking about the vast number of open source multimedia libraries that can do things that Adobe and Blackmagic products never dreamed of.

It is true that you have to take the trouble to learn some programming and to use the terminal a lot. But, you don't have to pay for licenses.

Between buying the car that you can afford or getting the parts of a luxury car as a gift, along with the instructions and tools to assemble it, what would you prefer?

Open source libraries for working with videos


moviepy is a library for Python focused on video editingor. Among other things, it can be used for cutting and joining clips, inserting text, non-linear editing, video processing and creating custom effects.

Want an intro like Star Wars? Would you like to create titles like Top Gear, this library is going to enchant you.

MoviePy can read and write all the most common video and audio formats including GIF and works on Windows / Mac / Linux.

Here you can see a demo of this library in action


pyscenedetect is at the same time a command line application and a Python library to detect scene changes in videos. Once this is done it automatically splits the video into separate clips.

It has support for various scene change detection methods:

PySceneDetect can be used by itself as a standalone program or integrated with other applications as a library.

Some possible uses are:

  • Divide long videos into individual scenes.
  • Removing commercials from TV show recordings
  • Deleting uninteresting scenes from porn movies (it's for a friend)
  • Intensive film analysis.
  • Processing of surveillance camera recordings.


This project has as purpose make video algorithms easily accessible to students, engineers, instructors, and researchers.

Scikit-video allows users easy access to video files by using the FFmpeg / LibAV backend. This toolkit offers high- and low-level abstractions for reading and writing video files.

Scikit-video comes with quality measurement tools that allow users to manage their own video collections and researchers to easily compare their algorithms with a consistent, peer-reviewed set of tools.

It also provides utilities such as scene boundary detectors and block motion estimators commonly used in video processing algorithms.


It is a framework to create, manage and run multitrack audio and video projects.

It is used in all kinds of applications such as the Shoucut video editor. Provides a set of tools for broadcasters, video editors, media players, transcoders, and webcasts.

This is a short list of the libraries available for Python that by no means exhaust the possibilities. Each of the open source programming languages ​​has its own.

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  1.   jose said

    THE FIRST THING: I TRY TO USE lINUX MORE THAN TEN YEARS AGO, I am in favor of linux, I like linux and I have it installed as a second system on my machine.-

    But we all know that what photoshop does, not Gimp, is to compare a Ferrari with a car.
    Whoever uses Gimp knows what he uses, what is exasperating is the legion of linux fans who say that what happens is that those of us who want to use linux do not want to learn ... that even Gimp is better, that we want everything served ... and other stupid fallacies that only they believe, who live in a cloud of flatus and vanities that they create themselves.-
    And this example applies to almost everything
    But if there is progress, the sound, which was always a fright in Linux, now has a little awakening, and the same thing happens with video, although always light years from "the other"

    Why the market share of linux does not come out of the misery of 8%?

    Because those who do work almost exclusively for their huge egos, there is not a Linux user who does not want to be unique, and also brag about it.
    That's why there are thousands of distros, all limping from one of their hundred feet, and most with less life and less future than a moth.
    And because nobody gets into the skin of someone who starts with Linux, everyone assumes that whoever uses Linux already knows that the simplest thing like a notepad will force you to use the terminal,
    Nobody thinks that the Linux user has to say that whatever distro he decides to use, it will not cost him money, but it will force him to spend endless hours in google, in an arduous pilgrimage looking for solutions to problems to which the "gurus" will propose various solutions. , most of which, for him, will not work, because the hardware does not react all the same, or because it is simply part of the essence of linux.
    And I could give a thousand examples of what I say, but I have already had enough of arguing uselessly, I just want to warn those who enter Linux that siren songs are not created, and that if you want to use Linux, you do not need money, but you need a lot of TIME, a lot of PATIENCE, and some other VALIUM
    At the bottom of this article, there is an ad, which says that Wine has been released, with the GDi32 library converted to PE, (ha) ...
    Just thinking about the time I'm going to waste to know what that is, to use an emulator crap (THAT IS NOT AN EMULATOR) to be able to use a windows program in linux, (old, of course, that the new does not go with Wine not backwards) they make me nauseous.
    And I repeat once again, nobody forces me to use linux, but stop telling me tricks, please

    1.    Diego German Gonzalez said

      I have been several articles saying more or less the same thing.
      What I say in the article is that if you take the trouble to learn how to use the libraries, you will achieve spectacular results.