Knowledge Base

Video Slave 3 - The Playlist


As in a typical media player application, a playlist provides a container to hold a number of media items. In Video Slave, you can import movies stored in a variety of containers such as QuickTime MOV and MXF containing media encoded in a huge number of codecs. 

To import a movie into Video Slave 3, you can either use the menu (File -> Add Movie to Playlist) or drag-and-drop movie files directly from the Finder.

When the movie could be opened, it is added to the playlist and displayed in the playlist view. The image below shows how a movie is displayed along with some explanatory notes.

Video Slave 3 Playlist Item Detail

  • Start TC:
    • The timecode address of the first frame of the movie. It the movie does not have a timecode track when added to the playlist, Video Slave sets the start TC to the value you defined in the preferences. (Note: please make sure that the movie files are not write protected as Video Slave won't be able to remember timecode for them if they are).
  • End TC:
    • The timecode address of the last frame of the movie.
  • Video Frame Rate
    • The number of frames per second at which the video will be played back with.
  • TC Frame Rate
    • The number of frames per second at which the timecode counts. This is usually identical to the video frame rate. If Video Slave adds a default timecode reference, it always is identical to the video frame rate.
  • Edit Comment Button
    • When clicked, opens a popup window which allows you to add a comment to each movie in the playlist. This comment is stored alongside other information with the playlist. A blue circle at the corner of the button is shown when a movie contains a comment.
  • Edit TC Reference Button
    • Video Slave 3 - Edit TCWhen clicked, opens the popup shown on the right. In this window, you can change the movie's TC reference. In an audio application like Pro Tools or Logic, you tell the application which timecode address certain audio events correspond to by moving events around on the project's timeline. Video Slave doesn't have a timeline so there needs to be another way to tell Video Slave where you want your movies to be located.

      This works by adjusting the movie's start timecode. If the movie's start timecode is set to 01:00:00:00 for example, the movie will start playing if it receives an external timecode of 01:00:00:00. It depends on the settings of your timecode master machine (usually your audio software) what the correct settings are in your case. In the best case you have a timecode overlay added by the editorial. In that case, you would set the timecode reference to the address displayed by your timecode overlay. Simply type the address of the first frame of the movie into the "New TC address" textfield and hit "Edit TC Reference". The frame rate is already adjusted for you.
      In case you don't have an overlay, you will need to look out for another reference video frame like the 2-pop for example. In that case, locate to the 2-pop in Video Slave using your left and right arrow keys or entering the value numerically using the clip timecode counters (do this before opening this popup). Once the reference frame is displayed in Video Slave, open the TC popup again and type the address of the 2-pop - something like 00:59:58:00 for example - into the "New TC address" textfield. Before you hit "Edit TC reference", change the "Reference Frame" to "Current Frame" to tell Video Slave that you don't want to set the address of the first frame of the movie but the address of the current frame. Video Slave will then compute the start timecode address for you.

      Addtionally, it is possible to define an offset in this window. This can be used as an alternative to setting the movie's start TC and might make more sense if the movie has a timecode overlay burnt in for example. When an offset is applied, the clip timecode counters will still show the movie's original timecode so it might be easier to navigate to TC addresses numerically.
  • Set active state button
    • In Video Slave, it isn't only possible to turn the application's sync online and offline, you can also tell individual movies that you don't want them to respond to incoming timecode. This can be particularly useful if you have several movies with identical or overlapping timecode ranges in your playlist. To set a movie active or inactive, click the button on the very left of the playlist item. If the movie was active before, the icon will now turn into an 'x'. Inactive movies will still be playable from within Video Slave, they will only not respond to external sync.



Ever heard of a picture lock? That's an urban myth where the picture editors don't change the movie after a given date. In reality though, it is rather common to receive different versions of the same reel of a film even after this so called "picture lock". To help you organize the different video cuts of the same reel or episode for example, Video Slave provides a playlist feature called "versions". Versions in Video Slave behave much like a folder. You can add several movies to a version and you can give it a name. The only specialty is that only one movie in the version may only ever be active. 

To add a new version to the playlist, choose File -> Add New Version to Playlist or drag one movie onto another in the playlist. The following picture shows a version containing two movies. To expand or collapse the version, click the number on the right of the title.

VS3 Playlist Version

You can double-click a movie within a version to view it in the player. However, you must be aware that Video Slave will choose the movie with the tick mark on the left when playing back in sync. As mentioned above, there can only be one active movie per version.