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Content-based video retrieval is a proper solution to handle the video data. But because of their huge volumes and high dimensionality, finding a proper way to organize them for efficient search and retrieval becomes a challenging and important problem. In this paper, we present a framework for content-based video retrieval using the Shot Cluster Tree, while the latter organizes the content of shots in the tree structure. The framework can supply users with two types of queries: query-by-content and query-by-example. We also put up a novel and efficient clustering method for generating the Shot Cluster Tree structure, where shots which are visual similar and time adjacent are grouped into shot groups using the method of Sliding Shot Window firstly and then shot groups are clustered into shot clusters with the simple agglomerative hierarchical clustering method. In addition to constructing the structure of content, the Shot Cluster Tree also provides better ways to video summary and video annotation, which facilitate the video retrieval. An experimental system has been built up. Experiments verify the effectiveness of the proposed approach.