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If just need to crop Audio/Video from a longer track, what can I use? I tried OpenShot, but I find the export video slow, perhaps its compling all the "layers" into a new movie? Perhaps I just need a simple "crop" tool for audio/video will surfice?

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What sort of video formats are you dealing with? Are you looking for a GUI or a CLI solution? –  fossfreedom Aug 6 '11 at 11:21
Formats will be probably mp4, flv, mp3. GUI or CLI will be fine. –  Jiew Meng Aug 6 '11 at 13:06

14 Answers 14

up vote 45 down vote accepted

I was going to mention commands like ffmpeg or avconv (The new one) which can OBVIOUSLY split files into groups. For example:


ffmpeg -i input.avi -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:00:00 -t 00:30:00 output1.avi
ffmpeg -i input.avi -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:30:00 -t 00:30:00 output2.avi  
ffmpeg -i input.avi -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 01:00:00 -t 00:30:00 output3.avi


ffmpeg -ss 0 -t 100 -i source.m4v -vcodec copy -acodec copy part1.m4v
ffmpeg -ss 100 -t 100 -i source.m4v -vcodec copy -acodec copy part2.m4v  
ffmpeg -ss 200 -t 100 -i source.m4v -vcodec copy -acodec copy part3.m4v  
ffmpeg -ss 300 -t 100 -i source.m4v -vcodec copy -acodec copy part4.m4v


avconv -i input.avi -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:00:00 -t 00:30:00 output1.avi
avconv -i input.avi -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:30:00 -t 00:30:00 output2.avi  
avconv -i input.avi -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 01:00:00 -t 00:30:00 output3.avi


avconv -ss 0 -i source.m4v -t 100 -vcodec copy -acodec copy part1.m4v
avconv -ss 100 -i source.m4v -t 100 -vcodec copy -acodec copy part2.m4v
avconv -ss 200 -i source.m4v -t 100 -vcodec copy -acodec copy part3.m4v  
avconv -ss 300 -i source.m4v -t 100 -vcodec copy -acodec copy part4.m4v

Or do some script like here: http://icephoenix.us/notes-for-myself/auto-splitting-video-file-in-equal-chunks-with-ffmpeg-and-python/

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Beware: According to the man page [ linux.die.net/man/1/ffmpeg ] this results in unnatural, overlapping cuts. For instance, the second command starts at 00:30:00 but goes on for an hour; i.e., up to 01:30:00, so the third command, which starts at 01:00:00, will yield an overlapping cut. It may be the goal, but it wouldn't be very natural. –  ezequiel-garzon Sep 24 '12 at 22:12
I can vouch for what ezequiel mentions. When doing the tests with ffmpeg or avconv the overlapping effect appears if using the times as mentioned above. I will update to a more accurate effect although I should mention that the first second will also overlap. I will fix both and add avconv to the group. Thanks ezequiel. –  Luis Alvarado Sep 25 '12 at 3:00
Thanks! But these ppa versions are out-of-date. Are the versions in Precise 12.04 good? Or can someone suggest better ones? –  nealmcb Oct 14 '13 at 14:47
Thanks for notifying me. When I get back home I'll post an updated link. –  Luis Alvarado Oct 14 '13 at 15:03
Thanks! avconv is blazingly fast and clear and convenient for splitting out clips if you know what start/stop times you want. No need to figure out which OpenShot video format your source file corresponds to, which I still don't know for sure.... –  nealmcb Oct 16 '13 at 23:16

kdenlive is (in my experience) the easiest software which will allow you to perform that task in a few steps and without problems. Even so, the OpenShot Video Editor project is also useful but it yet needs lots of hard work to get closer to the kdenlive.

Here are a screenshot of the kdenlive and openshot respectively:

enter image description here

enter image description here

I would suggest you to take a look at this post: Editing High Definition Video in the Israel Remix Team Distro Forum, where I documented my experiences using several of these tools during the research process for a pro-multimedia system.

Good luck!

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Kdenlive is my favourite. All other linux editors crashed when using MOV files from my Kodak Zi8 camera. Easy to use and very powerful. –  Ramon Suarez Jun 16 '12 at 6:52
Not sure what's going on with my edit. Looks fine in editing mode but here its messed up. –  Insperatus Sep 5 '12 at 20:59
Sorry, I can't understand. Do you mind giving further details? If you think necessary please open a question about your issues. Thank you! –  Geppettvs D'Constanzo Sep 5 '12 at 21:17
Sorry about the OT intrusion and thanks for your cordiality, I'll take it where appropriate. Good day! –  Insperatus Sep 6 '12 at 23:32

I like kdenlive for finishing up as well or clipping out small chunks...but if he wants to split a LARGE lecture into smaller pieces he could try:

ffmpeg -i input.mpg -ss 00:00:10 -t 00:00:30 out1.mpg -ss 00:00:35 -t 00:00:30 out2.mpg

discussion of the command is here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=480343

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you can use winff (GUI for ffmpeg) also –  jahid65 Aug 6 '11 at 17:36

With new version from ubuntu avconv

avconv -i srcFileName -c:a copy -c:v copy -ss 00:03:40 -t 00:01:12 targetFileName
  • First argument time is from time
  • Second argument is duration (not end time) duration may be either in seconds or in "hh:mm:ss[.xxx]" form.
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OpenShot Video Editor looks promising. Have you checked it?. Checkout the features: http://www.openshot.org/features/

To install it just open a terminal and run the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonoomph/openshot-edge
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openshot openshot-doc

Just give a try. alt text

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If he is using maverick it is in the repository –  Sabacon Nov 11 '10 at 6:26
Openshot FTW! :) –  OpenNingia Nov 11 '10 at 14:16

I use Kdenlive, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could even slice video this way in PiTiVi:

  1. Create a new project with your full lecture.
  2. Set your start and end points for the first "manageable chunk" in the clip monitor.
  3. Drag from the video in the clip monitor down to your timeline. It will be just the chunk you chose.
  4. Set new start and end points in the clip monitor and repeat as needed.
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I've looked around, and I can't find any way to divide a long clip into multiple shorter clips that I can easily manage. There is no "clip monitor"; PiTiVi is very simple (and I mean that in a good way!) Obviously, I could just cut up the video and reorganize the unnamed chunks in the timeline, but I'd like to know if there's a better way. –  Evan Kroske Nov 11 '10 at 6:05

My preference for easy video clipping has always been avidemux Install avidemux

Just set the video and audio encoding to Copy and choose the container format you want, within reason.

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Try Avidemux Install avidemux

sudo apt-get install avidemux

or LiVES Install lives

sudo apt-get install lives

more here.

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Avidemux freezed several times for my under Ubuntu 13.10, even with a x4 CPU. –  Lucio Mar 1 '14 at 19:01

In PiTiVi 0.13.5 (Ubuntu 10.10) I was able to simply select a clip and go to Timeline > Split (or just press "S").

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Pitivi too complex? Well... I suggest you learn how to use the mouse then lol

Anyway, I always use Kdenlive. Just import the video, drag it onto the timeline, click on the spot where you want to split it, right-click it, and choose cut. Then remove the part you don't need.

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Thanks for the helpful suggestion, but for what I need they are too complex. Note that I didn't say too difficult to use, just unnecessarily bloated for my purposes. I ended up using openshot –  jfoucher Aug 22 '11 at 23:06
@jfoucher: you should accept Geppettvs's answer then ;) –  Takkat Aug 23 '11 at 7:31

For cutting, merging, scaling etc one can use … Blender (yes, this 3D editor, but it has also video editing part). You need workout some 20-min tutorial to survive the interface, but then it appears to be unexpectedly pleasant to use.

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For quickly cutting I have used MythTV. I recorded some show, let it automatically search for the commercial breaks and fine-tuned the found markers. After this I started the Myth archiving function and burned all to DVD, without the commercials.

I have to admit, it worked gread from about 2006 or such. Somewhere in 2008 or 2009 some update ruined it all, my markers where somehow shifted.

Right now, I'm in the progress of re-installing this myth stuff, just to see if I can get the trimmer/editor and archiver working.

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I'm using ffmpeg CLI interface for that. It's very easy and fast:

  • to cut video:

    ffmpeg -i InputFile -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:00:00 -t 00:01:32 OutPutFile
  • to cut audio:

    ffmpeg -i InputFile  -vn -acodec copy -ss 00:00:00 -t 00:01:32 OutPutFile

In both of these -ss is the start point, while -t is the duration of the piece.

You can calculate duration e.g. using LibreOffice Calc or python's dateutil package.

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VERY VERY quick tool: mp3splt I use the CLI version to cut MP3s with Ubuntu 13.04 and it works perfect. Of course there is also a GUI version, but I didn't try it.

This is not exactly what you want, because it cuts only audio.

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