Why do you use Shotcut?


We stumbled upon Shotcut out of necessity. A few years ago, we spent our discretionary income on photography gear, then pleasantly discovered it also made great 4K video that was way more interesting than photographs. But we had no money left for computer hardware or editing software.

I do part-time professional audio recording and mixdown, so I had a very old Windows box with my DAWs and VSTs already loaded up. But the hardware wasn’t beefy enough for video editing. So we bought a used (and old) graphics workstation for $100 to get the raw core count up, then used Linux to avoid OS costs. We wanted to find an editing program that was cross-platform so we could move to Windows in the future. Linux is great for many things, but pro audio work is not one of them due to fledgling VST support and weak DAW compatibility with other audio shops. My end game was to do audio and video editing on the same computer, meaning Windows was the ultimate destination, but I couldn’t afford a Windows license on the new hardware yet.

The search for a free open-source video editor began. Blender was cool but not intuitive. It also required that all source videos be pre-processed to the same frame rate. This is a total deal-breaker when doing documentary-style productions. Source videos are 25fps from Europe, 30fps from USA, who-knows-what from cell phone variable frame rate, and then 24fps from the guys who hope it will make their street shots look more cinematic (it doesn’t). Then there are the mismatches between drop-frame and non-drop. When I first experienced Shotcut letting all these frame rates play nicely on the same timeline without pre-processing, I was sold. I suppose Kdenlive can do the same thing, but our search for an editor happened during the time that Kdenlive had the big refactoring challenge going on and the program was simply not stable. I assume they’ve worked it all out now, but I’m already entrenched with Shotcut, and I at least know Shotcut does and has worked great on Windows.

We may have found Shotcut out of necessity, but here are the reasons we stay with it even though we could now move on to Resolve or Premiere:

  • Xcopy deployment on Windows and AppImage deployment on Linux. Multiple versions can be installed side-by-side. This is an archivist’s dream because old projects can be opened with the Shotcut version that created them without doing an uninstall/reinstall.

  • Shotcut is nearly feature-complete for narrative filmmaking tasks.

  • Shotcut has very accurate color processing.

  • Extreme control over the export settings.

  • An active and responsive forum community that can solve any problem. The quick bug fixes and release cycles are also a nice by-product of the forum.

  • Totally transparent. No complicated project folders or binary file formats that prevent carrying files between computers or OSes. MLT files are human readable. Shotcut can be extended with new features like filters and a proxy workflow because of its openness.

  • Wide-ranging video format support, and forgiving about input formats thanks to ffmpeg. The data in files do not need to match the filename extension, which is critical to faking a proxy workflow.

  • Since it runs on Linux and can support proxies (with manual intervention), Shotcut can run well on really old hardware that Resolve and Premiere wouldn’t even install on. This drastically lowers the entry cost of video editing and extends the service life of any hardware purchase.

So yeah, there’s a lot to like, especially when broke. :slight_smile: Thanks to Dan and Brian and any other developers or contributors who keep this project going!


Just started with Shotcut. I was a longtime user of Pinnacle Studio since 2006. Recently on my Windows 7 setup, Studio started crashing.
It was impossible to do a clean uninstall and re-install failed to fix issues.
Initial experience mostly positive.

  • The UI is a bit quirky - but hey, that’s the designers’ choice.
  • Had a couple of crashes when adding .png files to the timeline. I’ll try to reproduce and bug report.
  • A couple of things I’d like to see added, but I’ll wait until I’m more experienced.

Finally, is there a way to donate to help the developers?


On the help to the developers you can find the donation button below the download links:



Thanks, I missed it on download :slight_smile: