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A new version of the open source video editor Shotcut is available to download, and in this post I share some of the changes it includes.

For those unaware Shotcut is a free, cross-platform non-linear video editor built using the MLT framework and leveraging the power of FFMepg.

The latest stable release is Shotcut 20.02.17 (yes, the version number is a date) which adds a notable new feature: low resolution preview scaling.

Although rather grand-sounding, this change allows editors to preview video in the on-screen display in a resolution that’s lower than the one they plan to export in.

Previewing video in a lower resolution offers a number of performance enhancements as the computer isn’t having to work quite as hard.

This new option is accessible via Settings > Preview Scaling. Here those editing on a high-resolution monitor or a more powerful computer can pick from a number of preview resolutions, including 720p.

Though this feature is likely to provide popular with video editors and content creators Shotcut devs do say that preview scaling is not a “silver-bullet, magical cure-all for performance issues.”

”This feature will be more beneficial when low resolution proxies are used, which is planned for version 20.04 in April,” they add.

Additionally, the editor also now boasts the ability to use preview scaling to export a ‘draft’ copy of compositions.

Elsewhere, the non-linear video editor adds a new audio pitch filter with speed compensation option. Users looking for more transitions can toy with matte transitions using greyscale video in addition to grey scale images.

These and other changes in Shotcut 20.02.17:

  • Lower resolution preview
  • New ‘Vector Scope’ tool
  • More export presets, including ProRes HQ
  • New audio pitch filter
  • Improved scrubbing
  • Matte transitions
  • Bug fixes

Shotcut is free, open source software. Linux, macOS and Windows builds can be downloaded directly from the official website as well as from the Github project page:

Download Shotcut 20.02.17 (64-bit .AppImage)

It’s also possible to install Shotcut on Ubuntu as a Snap app via the Snap Store:

Install Shotcut on Ubuntu (Snap)

While the app is available as a Flatpak app on Flathub for those who prefer that method:

View Shotcut on Flathub

I have not tried Shotcut personally, so I’m not sure how well it compares to other popular free video editors like Kdenlive, OpenShot, and Pitivi.

Because of this I have avoided making any grand proclamations on its usability in this post. If you’ve tried it, do share your experience(s) in the comments.

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