We review Shotcut, the free, but feature-rich, open source, cross-platform video editor.
Shotcut is a surprisingly powerful free video editor that makes even advanced editing straightforward, and dare I say it, rivals many aspects of similar expensive ‘pro-sumer’ software. And it proves proves that getting your hands on a top-notch video editor doesn’t have to cost big money – or in fact, any money!
In the few areas where Shotcut does fall-down, the mitigating factor will always rise back to the surface: It’s free. Free across Windows, Mac and Linux; and that’s totally free with no adverts, paid upgrades, adware, malware or ‘freemium’ features.
So yes, Shotcut is very good, and not just – good for a free piece of software – it’s very good, period. Perhaps the best way to sum the program up in as few words as possible, is that it’s like a more advanced and more feature-rich version of the easy to use old reliable that is Windows Movie Maker (also free.)
Ease of use
Despite being open source, Shotcut has a sleek and intuitive interface. Users work with numerous dockable and un-dockable panels that you can move around and play with [edit with] as much as you want. It’s easy to view the properties of each media file, and standard panels such as the jobs queue, encoding panels, and filters are easily on hand for whenever you need them.
Overall the interface is easy to use, if somewhat minimalistic. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as users can choose what modules they do and don’t want clogging up their screen, making for a pleasant and easy to manage worktop.
WYSIWYG: straightforward video editing
The process of importing video clips, audio and images is literally drag and drop. Just select your media files, and simply drag them to the timeline at the bottom of the screen.
Shotcut is also surprisingly lightweight to download and works reasonably well on slightly older systems, though obviously the more powerful the system the quicker and faster it works. Also, it will tend to drag and stutter on machines with less than 4GB of Ram.
Shotcut is also updated by developers regularly, has an active community base and will check for updates often when it starts up to make sure users are running the latest version.
Shotcut also has superb support for almost all existing media formats and codecs: both audio and video.
So, no, there’s not a huge amount of support documentation, but there are a bunch of video tutorials, which may or may not be your thing. They certainly aren’t mine. I much prefer to read than watch when needing help with this type of software. It’s a small complaint, and the only one I have of Shotcut. It is of course free, so it really is a small grumble.
Shotcut is free. Shotcut is good. It’s an open-source video editing application with a minimalistic interface but some very powerful features, and is as far as we are concerned in the office, one of, if not the best free video editing software available today. It’s available on Windows, Linux, and MacOS.