I swear I’m not here to complain (it’s free and the product of just a few developers toiling; I’m in no position) and, if I knew what caused the catalyst for this post, I would 1. provide steps to reproduce the issues, 2. work with folks to narrow down the problem to a T, and 3. avoid the cause like the plague. I’m still browsing the Bug category to check if some of these things are known/previously reported and, if not, make posts for them separately.
Here’s the thing. I’m using Shotcut (18.06.02/Win64/GPU enabled) to re-edit a movie. This involves multiple source videos from different versions of the movie, a few source audio files, but most importantly: a whole lot of splitting, merging, re-timing, transitioning, using the Gain/Volume filter, a couple of masks… basically nothing that should be too out of the ordinary.
But while editing, I find I have to make sure the picture loads before pressing play, or the play head moves right back to where it was previously. I have to re-position the play head or dragging a clip gets confused and won’t snap against another clip. Or if there’s two clip ends - one on the same track I’m dragging in, and another nearby on another track - again it will refuse to snap to it and need to zoom in first.
Sometimes I can’t merge a clip with the next clip (in order to add a transition that spans the two clips), both from the same original clip (e.g. after removing a shot) even though it’s worked a dozen times before, and I have to go back and try re-splitting. Sometimes merging a clip causes the ‘next clip’ that it was merged with to disappear from the timeline (refreshing typically remediies this).
Sometimes when I undo a split and re-arranging of clips multiple times, the entire timeline gets screwy (i.e. a completely different scene now appears at that point in the timeline).
But while those are annoying, at least I can readily identify when it happens, and there’s work-arounds.
Then yesterday, I was going back in the timeline to look for a shot that would be good to place where I was working at the time. Hit play and… no sound. For reasons unknown to me, a whole sequence of clips on the timeline had their audio track property set to None. Okay, easy enough to fix, but what other clips had this happened to? Have to go through them all and make sure they’re good - while keeping in mind some were explicitly set not to have a sound track because there’s
no easy way to mute a clip (yes, a -50dB Gain filter is probably ‘close enough’), or go back and find a version of the file (yes, I save, I save often, and I always save to new filenames) that did not have these clips’ audio tracks removed, but then I still can’t be sure that all of them are good to go. So go through every clip I did, and all was good again.
But then today - and know that with limited screen estate, I typically only show 2 video tracks and 1 audio track… essentially the main ones - I do some editing, and have to detach audio (happens all the time), and only when I detach a second one that was from an overlapping clip do I notice that hey… it added a second audio track. Wait a minute, I already had three audio tracks. Where did the third go? For that matter, where has the second been? All the clips that were on it originally are no longer there. There’s no keyboard shortcut for removing a track that I saw in the online list, nor in the source code, nor is there a dedicated button to click accidentally, so the only way to remove a track appears to be via the hamburger menu or the context menu; I most certainly did not use either one once, let alone twice.
There’s no easy fix for this. The last version of the file that still had the audio tracks was several versions back. I have three options: A. Compare that version to my latest and make the same edits all over again, B. Use the good version as a new source clip and trim it to where I need to go… except that means I can’t go back and edit that on the timeline - I’ll have to open that file, and edit it there, then (if its length changed) edit the new main file to match this new duration, C. See if I can make heads and tails of the XML files and try to merge the two manually.
Even after that, I’ll continually have to work with the file knowing the sword of damocles can come crashing down again, meaning I’ll have to compare XML files on every save just to make sure the only changes are my recent edits, and not previous clip changes or entire tracks vanishing.
So my question is… is it me? Am I doing something fundamentally wrong? I’m happy to work with anyone on narrowing down potential causes, find repro steps, and file proper bug reports… but if it’s me, I’d rather fix me first.