Mark used clips in playlist

After some video shots I return with quite a bunch of clips which I import into Shotcut, but I end up using only a few of them. To know which clips are actually in use it would be helpful if clips got marked in the playlist as soon as they are used in any track. And unmarked as soon as they got removed from the last track.

Additionally a new command could be added to remove all unused clips from the playlist and, optionally, move the related file into the trash bin.

There is no relation between the playlist and the timeline.
You don’t need to have any of the clips in the timeline on the playlist.

While this is true, many people use the playlist as a media manager or “bin”.

The Shotcut roadmap has a few related ideas:

  • integrated file browser and manager
  • project media management (automatically copy or move to project folder, automatically convert)
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Hello Brian,

please add the idea of a command to clean up the playlist (removing all items from the playlist that are not used in the timeline) to the shotcut roadmap if it doesn’t already exist.

With best regards from Germany

While this is true, this and similar requests seem to fail to acknowledge the existence of sub-clips and how those are supposed to be handled. As soon as you trim an item in either playlist or timeline, they are no longer in sync and should not be. Are they still equivalent? Now, technically, what was in both are no longer. Does the indicator get cleared? Or does it only work at the file level such that when you add something to timeline every matching item regardless of in and out points get marked in the playlist? This request makes some sense from a simplistic high level perspective, but probably only when working with the playlist in a very specific manner. However, the playlist is flexible. Maybe people need to pay more attention to the story of their timeline instead of accounting for everything added to playlist. Or, maybe if the playlist is so important the timeline should not be used.


Thanks a lot for your answers. As mentioned in my original post my main idea is to have some kind of asset management for the current project.

If I come home with a bunch of video files from a trip, I often have similar shots from the same subject. I could of course first sort all video files by watching them in a different application and then delete the ones I don’t like before importing the rest into Shotcut. But in many cases, I cannot take the decision without processing the clips a bit (e.g. I like this clip a bit more, but can I still recover the highlights?). In other cases I don’t include clips that I originally liked or add some which I initially wanted to discard, but I needed some more footage to match the video with the music.

In any case I often end up with a playlist full of videos and the need to delete the clips and corresponding files which I didn’t use (drive space is not unlimited). I wish there was a way that Shotcut could tell me which video files on my hard drive are used as input for the project and which ones not.

I see, and you can use the Playlist, Sort By Name to figure that out once the ones not in the timeline are removed. A problem is that you can have files in the timeline that are not in the playlist. Even when your workflow primarily involves adding to playlist first, it can happen easily by accident. Also, there are files that filters may need such as LUTs, video stabilization, alpha masks, etc.
How about a File > Export > Report… text file? It could list all of the unique files, sorted by name, with separate sections for the playlist and timeline. It would probably grow over time to show other things but these as a start.

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Hi @shotcut - that would be a very useful thing to have!

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Hello and thanks for your replies!

A list of media files included in the project I can already extract from the .mlt file, searching for “resource” properties. But I would actually need the opposite, all files which are not in the tracks so I can delete them.

A question for my personal understanding: What is the purpose of the playlist? As I can add media to the tracks without adding it to the playlist, it doesn’t serve as a media manager.

Another potential use case: If I want to extract several sequences from one clip and move them to the timeline I can already apply some filters to them in the playlist and then copy the clip several times to the timeline and all copies will have the same filters applied. But in case I later change the filters on the clip in the playlist, the derived sequences in the timeline are not automatically updated, therefore I see only limited use in the playlist to maintain the same filters on a bunch of elements in the timeline.

Therefore my question: What is purpose of the playlist?

So you already can do what you want by removing the resources referenced by the <playlist id="main_bin" that also appear in the tracks. Too much work? I do not disagree. That could be a part of the report, or at least you can much more easily deduce it from the report.

The playlist is a simple list of media objects (not strictly files). You can also think of it as a single track timeline with no transitions. The purpose is up to you.

  • You can use Shotcut as a media player, and most media players have a playlist. That is especially useful with the external monitoring via a Blackmagic Design SDI/HDMI peripheral.
  • You might need or want to use timeline for its complexity or slowness, so you can instead make a playlist if you need more than one clip in a project (e.g. beginner).
  • You can use it for storing shots before working in the timeline (my main usage).
  • You can use it for some bulk operations like export each playlist item or slideshow generator.
  • You can use it to move something out of the timeline but keep it in case you choose to use it again.

Thanks a lot for the explanation. I see that only items 3 and 5 would go well with my idea to convert the playlist into a bin or media manager. So I assume that there won’t be any interest from the Shotcut developers to further pursue this topic.