How to move a project to another computer

We are new to Shotcut. We started all our projects on one machine. And now realized in our team that editing takes muchly longer than we had imagined.

Now we want to move some project to other computers, so that other team members can work there. Also we hope to learn how to do proper backup through this question.

We have lots of “raw data from our cameras and our audio-recorders” in several folders and sub-folders (folders named by filming-day and by source hardware). The editor has looked through many takes and has settled on one take for each scene. I believe the Shotcut .mlt file is only referencing the source-stuff. So the source is not in the same folder, where the Shotcut project is (maybe this was a noob mistake?). Now we want to put all needed items into one folder (on an USB-drive for example) in a way that it will still be valid elsewhere.

  1. Is there a tool in Shotcut which does this “packaging”? (In Scribus it is called “collect for output” and makes a folder and puts all photos, fonts, etc., to be taken to a print-shop for example.)

  2. If not yet, is there a script somewhere which does the packaging? I know Python a little but might be able to learn from looking at other scripts.

  3. If not yet, how do we manually create a workflow for moving or backing-up projects?

I looked at this question: Sharing same project between Windows and Linux and learnt some detail but we do not need to share, we just want to move it altogether. It will not hop between two different machines or users. But…

  1. We do have some Windows 10 machines and some Linux OpenSuse (recent Leaps) machines. Can we move between those at all? And do we need to change any of the above workflows if the move involves a change of OS?

thank you

To answer #1, I don’t believe there is a packaging system.

There might be compatibility issues sharing from Linux to Windows. I can’t remember which can’t read the other. I think Linux used the ext4 file system, while Windows uses NTFS.

Have you tried cloud sharing?

If you looking to transfers vast amounts of data with one file, you could try 7-Zip.

Thanks so far. And to put it more compact: Which files do we need to move, to move a valid, working Shotcut project? How can we know which files are included and where they are?

We have a good grasp of all things Windows and Linux. Our Explorers can read the different Linux file systems and Linux can read NTFS these days.

We cannot do cloud stuff, because we are in Africa and our internet is so slow.

We are not afraid of vast amounts of data, we got USB-drives and external HDDs. But we need to know what to move.

Shotcut doesn’t move anything, and all of your source material is where you originally stored it. The only file shotcut creates is the mlt file, and the files you export. The mlt file and the exported files are stored where you saved them, either by OS default or of your own choosing.

I’m not sure where you have all of your source files at, nor could I know what you’ve used. I’ll show a few examples. Essentially it comes down to file management in how you or your team handles files and where they are stored. Realistically if you’re working on one project everything should be moved and stored to one project folder before actual editing. If you have multiple users not following the same file storage methods, then the only solution would be reading the mlt file to see where the files are stored at.

Example #1
In this example I have everything in one folder. I also included the mlt file testsdv1.mlt (4.4 KB) for you to open and follow along. Opening this in Notepad ++…
Line 21: <property name="resource">2018 sdv test 1.mp4</property>
Line 45: <property name="resource">Logo Screen EP 41.png</property>

Test 102

Example #2
I have the logo inside the subfolder “Logos”.

test57.mlt (4.4 KB)
Line 21: <property name="resource">2018 sdv test 1.mp4</property>
Line 45: <property name="resource">Logos/Logo Screen EP 41.png</property>

Test 106

If you have saved project open in Shotcut, you can see the file names in the timeline. (If you can’t see the file name, use the zoom tool to show more in the timeline to get the file names to show)
And this image is from test57.mlt. While it doesn’t show you the actual file path, you’ll have the file name.

Example #3
Test62.mlt (4.5 KB) D:\Test\Test62\Test62.mlt
Various file location, mlt file not saved in any subfolder with any source files.
Line 21: <property name="resource">E:/Test here/Testing58x/2018 sdv test 1.mp4</property>
Line 45: <property name="resource">D:/Test/Testing58x/Logos/Logo Screen EP 41.png</property>
The image above showing the file names in example 2 show the same for example 3.


Thank you, awesome answer; helpful examples. Seems we got it wrong, coming with our habits from the DTP in Scribus. Will get it right next time.

Problem ist that with our filming, there tend to be multiple takes. And we had used SC to browse through our takes and then pop into playlist and timeline when we like one take the best.

Seems we need to add a pre-step into our workflow where we are using a power-browser like Total Commander (or whatever can quickly preview, maybe calling VLC) and then move/copy “the good stuff” into a new Project Folder for SC.

Or how are you veterans doing this sorting-and-chosing-and-getting-the-good-stuff-into-one-folder?

Have a great weekend. SC still seems a little buggy at times, like my time-line just lost some settings and several clips went from 3 seconds each to 14 seconds each (or there are “features” where the zoom-buttons suddenly become stretch buttons). But our experience is telling us that free tool under active development and with a friendly and active user forum goes much further than a sleek pro-tool, where we pick the free-version and get stuck/limited more and more each year, while the free tool is getting better and better each year. We are seeing a very friendly forum and a very promissing tool. Thank you developers and thank you forum! We like to work with free tools, so we can later share our experience and templates with neighbour-projects here in country.


This advice isn’t related to shotcut, but I’ve seen in one YouTube video a professional photographer using one simple technique, the date method. I’ve adopted this well over a decade ago for the photographs I take, but I had to figure it out for myself. But his method was everything was from raw to processed works is all handled by date folders.

This is an example of how I save photos.
Then after each date like 2018 01 15 I label what event or some definitive information to be found later.
2018 01 15 KMart Closing
2018 01 25 Commission Meeting
File Structure 1

I also use this method for my multiple USB devices and Flash Cards.
File Structure 2

I suppose the ultimate Guru would keep a spreadsheet with what all drives have on them.

This is not my video, but this file structure technique is very helpful. He’s using a Mac, but it doesn’t matter, the concept can be used cross platform. Although I do believe in Linux you have to very file specific in regards to capital letters.
Again, this is not my video.
At 4:38 - I use this method when working in GIMP

So you are saying, you also keep all your raw stuff in their specific places, according to date, event, camera etc.

What if you now make a SC project? Suppose you cover a wedding on Friday afternoon, all Saturday and a send-off on Sunday morning. I guess you will create a fresh project-folder and copy all clips you need into that? So you have all the “good data” twice on your HDD and all your unused data once. Do you have an action-point in the end, when the video is finished, when you delete or archive all unused stuff?

And how and when do you know what you need from your raw data? Is it not during the editing, that you realize that a certain take does have a problem in it (somebody ellbowed the camera) and you have to select the second-best take. And that you need more coverage of the band to mix with the guests dancing… Do you constantly toggle between your files-explorer and SC?

Because if you ever want to share or move or backup the project, I am learning that raw source matter should best be moved to a SC project-folder before you even open/import it. Maybe for you that has become normal. We are used to the creative/messy approach, where we pick and try many things and only tidy-up when a page or document is fully layouted for printing. Not a criticism, just trying to steal all your secrets. :wink:

I’ve responded in a private message to you as this is no longer Shotcut related.

Forget all that, it’s totally the wrong approach for managing assets for your video project.
Collect your source assets (you erroneously are calling ‘raw’) and place them in one common folder before you even start Shotcut. When you import those assets, save the MLT to the same source folder as the assets. You should then be able to take that folder to another computer and open the MLT.
I’ve done it and it works perfectly.

The road map has some features to facilitate project archive and management. One idea is that you can have assets in disparate places and ask Shotcut to copy or move all files from the source locations to the designated folder - either after a project is more-or-less done or ongoing as you work on the project and bring in additional assets. But all current effort is centered on media processing features to more fully expose the capabilities of Shotcut’s engine called MLT (and its dependent projects/technologies).

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Thank you for sharing from the road map. That is encouraging. I am not pushing at all, since SC is free, just giving my “yes please!!!”.

There will be users like @Steve_Ledger who know from the outset which clips and which takes they will need or will use for their final edited videos. I agree that (in theory) his approach is better.

And there are other users, who are beginners at all things filming and who “need to make the most of it” when they sit down for the editing.

In our case we even have all our stuff in one massive folder, but once the project is finished, we need to get rid of many many gigabytes of takes that did not make final cut. So that tool will be muchly appreciated whenever it is ready. Thanks again.

Just my 2 cents, I have been able to move a project from windows to linux(ubuntu) in shotcut before by moving the entire directory machine to machine. This is easier if you manage things in a way that @Steve_Ledger mentioned as I was able to just move a folder with 2 video files for my test. If you do plan on working in a mixed enviroment however I do suggest a centralized server, both linux and windows can read from SMB(CIFS) shares just fine over gigabit or 10GBe allowing you to keep your storage common without worrying about the system you’re working on at any given point.

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Yes, thank you. Our office has had good results with our main NAS. Just the video project is new and we will need a new NAS; much bigger than our old 3TB. Good to know that SC can handle good ole SMB via a network, not all tools do well via network.

I think it would be awesome one day if we could edit .mlt files separetely and then put the multiple mlt files on a timeline for further merging and editing.
imagine if the .mlt file included the audio, video and all effects and then I could email it and my collegue could edit it and bring it back for review.

You can do something indirect but equally practical.
Here you can read something recently about this, and my way of moving whole projects between computers and doing editing on different operating systems.
Surely a whole project with all the content (videos, images, etc) is too big to send by email but there are always options to share larger files (a link to a cloud space).

That’s Ok!