AVIDemux - Open Source Utility for Trimming Video Files
Where, O where, can I find a simple utility for trimming an MP4?
Most video editors make the editing process into a "project" and for
good reason. Video editing wants to combine video, audio, images,
subtitles and more into a package which is then rendered into a
specific video format (codec).
All I wanted was a simple trimmer (as in trimming the hedges, not
uprooting them). I found AVI-Demux and couldn't be more delighted.
How to install avidemux and how to use it to trim an MP4 - no muss, no
fuss. Great utility for all videographers.
by SourceForge, an open source community, avidemux has many
capabilities. This writer's only goal was to find a utility that
could "trim" an MP4 to extract a section and save that as a separate
file. While you would think that trimming any fiile would be a
simple task, it is not. Avidemux makes the videographer's life
simpler so here is the scoop.
According to their website, http://avidemux.sourceforge.net,
AVI-Demux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering
and encoding tasks. It supports many file types including AVI,
DVD compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of
Codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and
powerful scripting capabilities.
The official name of the utility is just "avidemux" but try pronouncing
that. For the longest time I called it "uh-VID-uh-mux" with an
accent on the second syllable. Saying it that way is smooth but
it still sounded like a foreign language.
I found a forum entry that asked the same question "How do you
pronounce it?" did I learn the answer but more importantly obtained
insight into the name formation. In the video world, AVI stands
for Audio Video Interleave while "demux" stands for "demultiplex" which
is separated streams or signal. Now it made more sense. The
utility name has two roots - AVI and Demux. I like calling it
Why Not use a Regular Video Editor?
I have at least a half-dozen video editors on hand but they all use the
same approach which is to save the file under construction in their
proprietary project format which then needs to be "produced" in the
video format of interest. There is good reason for the
project file approach as most videos are the result of combining
multiple video streams cut into many pieces, image files, audio files,
subtitles and more with opportunity to enhance the video and the
simple is nice. In other words, I didn't want to use a
video editor that required me to make a "big project" out of simple
trimming. Just as I can open an audio file using WavePad Sound Editor,
use it to trim the file and then save as a separate WAV file, I wanted
to do the same with an MP4.
Installation of the stand-alone utility AVI-Demux should be simple but
with my virus software, VIPRE, the process was more complicated.
What seemed like the correct download path contained warnings that the
location was not safe. Odd for a free open source software
product. So I kept looking around and discovered that AVI-Demux
also comes in a 64bit format. The associated download site,
Berlios, contained no VIPRE warnings.
Using AVI-Demux to Trim an MP4
Getting the utility to cooperate was a bit tricky at first. What
seemed like obvious steps in the drop-down menus was not working.
Eventually I figured it out and what worked for me is ultra-simple.
Step 1. Open the MP4
Step 2. Set the configuration files
Step 3. Play the file until you reach the beginning of the intended cut
Step 4. Stop the playback using the space bar
Step 5. Use the left square bracket to indicate the start of the cut
Step 6. Press the space bar to resume playback
Step 7. Press the space bar to stop playback at the end of the cut
Step 8. Use the right square bracket to locate the end of the cut
Step 9. Click on Save
AVI-Demux automatically saves only the portion of the file within the
square brackets. Note that additional toolbar options exist for
moving the location within the file short distances so that some level
of fine tuning can occur.