I've got hours of footage from a wedding reception.

I have about 100 short 5 second clips in a movie. They are all in sequential order.

I would like to shuffle/randomize all the clips so they are in a more unexpected order.

Is there an easier way to do this than manually dragging and dropping clips around?

2 Answers 2


You cannot shuffle clips once added to the media library. However, you surely can shuffle the sequence in which you are adding the clips to media library.

To shuffle pics when I try to create a slideshow, I do this:

Assuming all your pics are in my_pics folder

Open Terminal, then:

cd my_photos

mkdir -p random

for filename in *
   cp "$filename" ./random/"$(( $RANDOM % 1000 ))_$filename"

This will randomize the list of photos in your mu_pics/random folder, which you can then drag into your iMovie.

Shameless plug... if you like this answer, please do check out my photography website : http://makuchaku.in

  • 2
    Ran this ... Worked great ... imported photos ... iMovie put them right back in order ... ?W+T+H??? Jul 11, 2019 at 19:09
  • 1
    Had to Right Click (not on a picture but around it in the inside the my media tab) -> select sort by -> name Jul 11, 2019 at 19:13

No matter what you do to the filenames the metadata of the images of when they were created will be used by iMovie when you import them so they always get sorted by date, old to new in iMovie.

I got round this first by copying all (1,021 files for me) of the files to a test folder to work on in case it went wrong. Next randomise the filenames, I did this using a MacOS terminal and the below first "for loop", then strip all the date info from the metadata using exiftool (download it).

for img in *.jpeg; do newname=$(head /dev/urandom | tr -dc a-z0-9 | head -c 8); mv "$img" "$newname".jpeg; done

Repeat for .jpg .JPG files etc

exiftool -overwrite_original -time:all="" -wm w *

"*" in the last does all files in the dir. Then import from the dir into iMovie. Quick and dirty but works to give a shuffled order in iMovie.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .