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Author Topic: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?  (Read 15692 times)

superboyac

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Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« on: May 02, 2009, 02:19:14 AM »
Before you start recommending virtualdub or avisynth, or something along those lines, let me explain.  I'm looking for the best, easiest video splitter.  I'm talking you load a video, pick two points, press a button, and you're done.  Very, very simple...monkey-simple.  Either free or pretty cheap (~$20)

However, I've tried probably dozens of these programs (and there are a LOT of them), and they all have had a feature missing or something I didn't quite like.  If you look at a previous thread here, you can see some of the ones I'm talking about:
Quote
1. Easy Video Splitter
2. Ultra Video Splitter
3. Speed Video Splitter
4. Video File Master
5. New Video Splitter
6. SolveigMM Video Splitter

As I've tried these programs, I've narrowed my requirements down to the features I really really want.  So here they are:

--Being able to manually type in (h:m:s etc.) the split points.  Many of these programs don't have this.  As soon as I see that this is not possible, I'm done with that program.  I don't want to slide a bar around to find my point.

--Must be able to split losslessly.  I don't want any re-encoding.  When I press the "split" button, I don't want it asking me what format I want the clip in.  Just clip the file at the points.  For conversion, there are much better things to use, like Super.  Also, it makes the splitting faster, obviously, if it doesn't have to convert.  The majority of these programs do this, but there are a lot that don't, so you have to be careful.

--(not critical, but would be nice)  It would be nice if there was a volume control (or mute) button for the programs previewer.  Most of these programs omit it, and there's no way to control the volume.  You have to use the Windows master volume mixer.  Not a big deal, but a nuisance.


The program I've liked the most so far is one called Movie Splitter by the company Movie Toolbox.  It pretty much has it all except for the volume control (but it has a mute button).

Anyway, I was just wondering if you guys knew of any other good ones, I'm curious.  And maybe there's a great one that happens to be free!

lanux128

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2009, 09:56:11 AM »
Boilsoft's Video Splitter comes close but it doesn't seem to have volume control..

nosh

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2009, 10:41:02 AM »
I just can't get over the fact that almost all these software houses have two separate products - one for splitting and one for joining, I'd have thought they're two sides of the same coin!

MilesAhead

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2009, 11:19:47 AM »
Depending on the codec, AviDemux might work for you.  I don't think it has movie preview, just the image of the frame at the cursor.  But it has split, and append functions.  As you might expect, it has some doodads for .avi input.  Like in Automation tab you can set it to automatically build VBR Map, rebuild index if needed etc when you open a file or load for append.  Also if you google there's a .js script out there someplace to append a chain of files like avi.001 avi.002 etc..

You can type in the times, and it copies the section out from the nearest I Frame on begin and end.  For cutting and appending it's very fast.

Some types of input I haven't had much luck with it such as .wmv.  But for .avi esp. it's good.  Also has a Wiki page with command line options for complex script usage.

btw if you try it out on Windows I recommend using the GTK ui. It's a lot less flaky than the alternative at the moment.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 11:22:11 AM by MilesAhead »

superboyac

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2009, 01:17:09 PM »
Boilsoft's Video Splitter comes close but it doesn't seem to have volume control..
Oh yeah, I forgot about this one!  Yes, Boilsoft is also very good.  i have nothing to complain about it, except for the volume thing.  I would put it up there with Movie Toolbox.

superboyac

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2009, 01:19:08 PM »
I just can't get over the fact that almost all these software houses have two separate products - one for splitting and one for joining, I'd have thought they're two sides of the same coin!
I know.  I think it's another example of how one software company starts doing it a certain way and everyone else follows, especially when it comes to making more money.  It's like why do all DSL services have annual subscriptions, but cable modem doesn't?

superboyac

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2009, 01:21:08 PM »
Depending on the codec, AviDemux might work for you.
Sounds interesting, I'll have to check it out.

lanux128

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009, 07:57:25 AM »
Boilsoft's Video Splitter comes close but it doesn't seem to have volume control..
Oh yeah, I forgot about this one!  Yes, Boilsoft is also very good.  i have nothing to complain about it, except for the volume thing.  I would put it up there with Movie Toolbox.

it does look quite spiffy. maybe you should write to Boilsoft and get them to include the volume thingy. :)

superboyac

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2010, 07:27:42 PM »
Man, I'm going through this again.  I'm still shocked that there isn't a popular, free lossless splitting program out there.  It sounds like AviMux is useful, but it's not clear whether it does lossless splitting.  It seems like it does, but there's too many nerdy dialogs and things that come up that make me doubt it.  Ugh...video stuff is always such a pain.

superboyac

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2010, 07:28:30 PM »
Man, I'm going through this again.  I'm still shocked that there isn't a popular, free lossless splitting program out there.  It sounds like AviMux is useful, but it's not clear whether it does lossless splitting.  It seems like it does, but there's too many nerdy dialogs and things that come up that make me doubt it.  Ugh...video stuff is always such a pain.

4wd

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2010, 08:01:02 PM »
I think you mean AVIDemux.

AVIDemux does lossless splitting, like so:

2010-12-24_12-43-49.jpg

1. Open your file.
2. Enter your time.
3. Hit 'A' for the start of the clip.
4. Hit 'B' for the end of the clip, then use Control-X to remove it.
5. Save file.

Points to note, starting from top and going down, left -> right:
* Volume control for preview playback
* Set Video to Copy
* Set Audio to Copy
* Set Format to same as input file format
* Play/Pause button
* Stop
* Frame type - this is important - if the initial cut frame type is not I, (key frame), then no matter what program you use the first few frames will have to be re-encoded until the next key frame.

You will see three type of framesw represented by the following three letters:
  • I - frames are the least compressible but don't require other video frames to decode.
  • P - frames can use data from previous frames to decompress and are more compressible than I-frames.
  • B - frames can use both previous and forward frames for data reference to get the highest amount of data compression.

I always aim to start a cut on a key frame.

If you don't start the cut on a key then when you go to save there will be a dialogue asking if you want to enable Smart Copy - choose Yes if your cut doesn't start on a key frame, otherwise you can safely choose No, (if that doesn't work, save it again and choose Yes).  Just answer OK for the next dialogue about quantizer.

Any program that allows frame-accurate cuts will need to re-encode any section of video if it doesn't start with a key frame.

ADDENDUM:
If the program detects a packed bitstream when you open the file, it will offer to unpack it - the correct answer is NO.
If the program detects H.264 video encoding, it will offer to open the file in a 'Safe' manner - the correct answer is CANCEL.  Be aware that this might cause the program to crash, however the alternative 'Safe'  method can cause a loss of sync between video/audio streams.

I suggest the following preferences for opening of files:

2010-12-24_13-18-02.jpg

I use AVIDemux for all my MPEG4-ASP editing without a problem.  I also use it for some MPEG4-AVC edits but I now upgraded to VideoReDo TV Suite H.264 from v3 which can do frame accurate on MPEG2 and now MPEG4-AVC.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 08:59:56 PM by 4wd »

superboyac

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2010, 09:30:28 PM »
Thanks 4wd!  That's very helpful.  I was doing most of those things, the part that confused me was that more often than not, when I opened a video file to split, I'd get a message about reindexing or some other technical jargon.  If I said "no", then sometimes the split file would be bad in some way.  If I said "yes" then I was worried that it was doing recoding and other things that would make it not lossless.  Actually, i said yes to one of those messages, and after that, I wasn't able to select the "Copy" setting in the video part.  So I knew that meant lossless was not going to be possible.

This stuff is all too technical for me.  I just want to split a video.  I just want to enter the start and end point, press split, and it splits it in a lossless way.  Whatever it has to do to reindex and get the AV syncing right, just do it.  Don't ask me about it, don't tell me about it, just do it.  I just want the clip split.

4wd

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2010, 10:19:27 PM »
Actually, i said yes to one of those messages, and after that, I wasn't able to select the "Copy" setting in the video part.  So I knew that meant lossless was not going to be possible.

That would have been the question about unpacking a packed bitstream, as soon as you answer Yes the output format changes to AVI-Unp, (IIRC).  It doesn't actually encode it, if you then hit Save the file will be saved as an uncompressed AVI resulting in a file many times larger than the original - no video encoding is applied so it's effectively RAW.

Quote
This stuff is all too technical for me.  I just want to split a video.  I just want to enter the start and end point, press split, and it splits it in a lossless way.  Whatever it has to do to reindex and get the AV syncing right, just do it.  Don't ask me about it, don't tell me about it, just do it.  I just want the clip split.

A little more involved with AVIDemux since it wasn't really aimed at that kind of one shot wonder appliance.

To split the file you need to cut the end bit off of the first section, save it, Edit->Reset Edits, cut the start bit off of the second bit and then save that.

However, you can queue these things up in the joblist and have it do numerous files all together.  Otherwise, I could possibly look at modifying one of the scripts to make it a bit easier, ie. select a split point and then run the script to have it do the above steps.

delwoode

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2011, 03:55:08 AM »
I've always found Virtual Dub easy to use

MerleOne

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Re: Video Splitter: What's the best AND easiest?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2011, 10:07:36 AM »
I got a low cost license of Solveig Video Splitter.  Works usually well and is very easy to use.
.merle1.