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Thread: can anyone reccomend a lightweight program to cut videos?

  1. #1
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    can anyone reccomend a lightweight program to cut videos?

    Hi everyone,

    Can anyone recommend a lightweight program that I can use to trim some videos, I don't really want to install an absolute behemoth of a program if I can help it, and I'm ideally looking for something in the Ubuntu repository.

    Thanks!

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    Re: can anyone reccomend a lightweight program to cut videos?

    Try Kdenlive. It might help you.
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    Re: can anyone reccomend a lightweight program to cut videos?


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    Re: can anyone reccomend a lightweight program to cut videos?

    KDEnlive is nice, but rather overkill if you just want to trim some content. For that I use ffmpeg from the command prompt. Once I determine the time stamps I want to preserve I can run a command like
    Code:
    ffmpeg -i input.mkv -ss hh:mm:ss -t hh:mm:ss output.mkv
    This creates a new file, output.mkv, that begins at the timestamp defined by -ss and ends at -t. Because of how video is encoded, the start and end points may be adjusted slightly to begin and end on key frames.
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    Re: can anyone reccomend a lightweight program to cut videos?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    KDEnlive is nice, but rather overkill if you just want to trim some content. For that I use ffmpeg from the command prompt.
    Thanks, this is an ideal solution for me. I was surprised to see my CPU heat up so much trimming a little dash cam video, I guess it's hard work.

    Thanks again.

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    Re: can anyone reccomend a lightweight program to cut videos?

    OpenShot is pretty good, works for what I need.

  7. #7
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    Re: can anyone reccomend a lightweight program to cut videos?

    If you need frame-accurate cuts, then transcoding the entire video is required unless the source is MPEG2.

    If you can live with key-frame accurate cuts, then you can use other tools and the cutting process is basically a file copy, but only of the selected parts. This means that a low-end PC or raspberry pi can be used for editing.

    With mplayer, there is an interactive cut file creation aspect:
    Code:
    $ mplayer -osdlevel 3  -edlout "$EDLFILE" "$1"
    Use the 'i' key during playback to set begin-end cuts. mplayer can playback the source file honoring the cuts from the EDL using:
    Code:
    $ mplayer -osdlevel 3  -edl "$EDLFILE" "$1"
    These are easily scriptable with just a few lines to automatically create the EDL filename.

    The problem with this mplayer method is that other video editing software needs exactly he opposite - they want being-end times for the stuff to be kept. Further, mplayer EDL makes times in seconds, whereas mkvmerge (the best cut/merge tool), demands hh:mm:ss.ssss format. Of course, I whipped up some scripts to handle these conversions, but they aren't safe for public use, since I didn't bother to fix stuff that can trivially be handled in vim using visual-mode selections. My scripts generate other scripts to be run. I like meta-programming. My scripts read from stdin and write to stdout, so they can be used in a pipeline solution once the itch has been fully scratched.

    mkvmerge is the best of the cutting tools, because it cuts all tracks correctly, unlike almost all fancy editing tools I've seen and it does it at the speed of a file copy. No transcoding mandatory. If you have 1 video track, 4 audio tracks, and 10 subtitles/SRT/ASS tracks, then having them properly cut is important. OTOH, if this is a home-made video with 1 video and 1 audio track that is pretty short, then transcode away.

    BTW, the mplayer EDL format is supported by Kodi and other players, so if that is your playback method, it is worth using. There are many different EDL formats. Not all are compatible. For example, mpv has a completely different format than mplayer even though mpv is a fork from mplayer. They decided their format was better, but it is significantly harder to generate the mpv EDL files for anything non-trivial.

    For example, if you record your girl's softball or basketball games, but only want to retain the parts where she is in the play, there could be 40 cut points to be retained in a 2 hour game. Creating those edit points using mplayer isn't too hard. Too bad mpv doesn't have the ability to create that EDL file format.

    Anyways, here's little script to take manually created in/out cuts for some video and generate a single output file:

    Code:
    #!/bin/bash 
    ##########################
    IN="Some_Recored_Sport.ts"
    OUT="Some_Recored_Sport-mpg-cut.mkv"
    
    # ########################################
    mkvmerge -o "$OUT" --split parts:\
    03:08-03:18.00,+03:54-28:52,+32:04-  "$IN" 
    exit
    the ,+ means append this next part to the prior. If the '+' is missing, then the output will have numbered files which need to be merged some method. Just better to remember the '+'. I have a script that will merge file-001.mkv, file-002.mkv, file-003.mkv into file.mkv

    MKV containers can hold pretty much anything video, audio, text, and other related files. I would take the mpeg2 holding MKV container and transcode that into a high quality h.264 video file with multi-channel vorbis and AAC audio to support direct playback on a wide selection of playback devices, while reducing the file size about 75%. A 10G mpeg2 file will usually transcode down to a 2.5G h.264 file with no artifacts.

    Anyways, this isn't point-n-click, but it is easy to batch up and run a bunch of these cuts overnight.

    If the source material is TV recordings, check out comskip. It can make EDL files for where commercials are located (really close, if not perfect). Validating the cut areas is manual, but pretty quick with the right tools. Sadly, I've been searching for a Linux tool for this and haven't found one. vidcutter was sorta working, but the dev has moved on after making an AppImage and snap that seldom works for me.
    Last edited by TheFu; September 8th, 2020 at 11:03 PM. Reason: can't have times out of order.

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    Re: can anyone reccomend a lightweight program to cut videos?

    Shotcut? Very lightweight, gets great review and doesn't require installation. the tar ball is a bundle, just click the binary, the appimage also doesn't need installation, make executable and click, it also offers a snap.
    Last edited by monkeybrain20122; September 8th, 2020 at 10:59 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: can anyone reccomend a lightweight program to cut videos?

    Shotcut is the light one with GUI. it can do other complex stuff but it is kind of hidden unless you decided you need it.

    cutting videos and recoding or encoding them is hard work on CPU. for video editing you need strong CPU and lots of RAM, and of course you need disk space (fast disk will help). GPU is not that important, though it can help a bit.

    for gaming you can get away with weaker CPU and reasonable RAM amount, as long as you have strong GPU.
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    Re: can anyone reccomend a lightweight program to cut videos?

    if you try the ffmpeg command shown at post #4 you can make it very fast by using the options
    -acodec copy -vcodec copy

    This avoids any re-encoding of the output file; it will simply cut out that chunk and name to your choice.

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