Simple tool for cutting video into clips/loops?

looking for some recs for some super basic simple sotware for trimming down longer movies into shorter video loops/clips. I’m on a mac and can use quicktime, but would ideally like something wthat can handle a wide variety of video formats. thanks in advace :slight_smile:

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Recently I have been trying an open source video editor called olive. It is still in alpha but so far I’m finding it really intuitive and easy to use and working pretty stable. I’ve edited a few clips with it so far and been really happy

(If you have lagging while scrubbing I can recommend using a clip proxy by right clicking on the media object and selecting create proxy )


awesome. thanks. will give it a go tonight

we need more tools like this for sure, especially with apple binning Quicktime. Simple tools that do one thing well are vital. I’m still using MPEG Streamclip ( while i can but it’s not been updated in donkeys.


Under Quicktime, have you used [CMD] + [T]? You can set in and out points and export directly from there. Once you’ve edited, [CTRL+Z] to undo the Trim and redo as required.

Obviously, depending on OS version you may limit yourself to codec export options.


Not quite what you’re looking for but this tool is great for isolating really interesting ‘seamless’ loops from video files, with variable length (if I remember right). Worth checking out!

will check it out. thanks

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Just a quick video to explain it all.


thanks for the link :slight_smile:

We now have an ffmpeg thread which works on Mac, Linux and probably PC (at least on Windows Subsystem for Linux but possibly also in the Cmd prompt?).

To make a short clip, you can trim a video from a given start time mm:ss to an end time mm2:ss2. You can also convert between formats simply by changing the output file extension.

ffmpeg -ss {{mm:ss}} -to {{mm2:ss2}} -i {{input-video.mp4}} -codec copy {{output.mp4}}
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just popping by to say thanks for the responses. I’ve been using the quicktime trim feature to create small clips out of longer videos. its straight forward and works quickly. Only small PITA is trimming a clip, having to save, then “undoing” the trim to restore the full length and repeating the process. Would be cool if you could create multi-part trim sections and batch save them all as seperate clips. But hey, I ain’t complaining having a simple free tool that gets the job done :slight_smile:

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Does quicktime really save videos without reencoding? How does it handle GOP then???

I have to mention this

It copies the bitstream, the only problem with it being you have to start with a keyframe!

Yea, this works on Windows as well. To trim a video down, I use ffmpeg -i INPUT -c:v copy -ss 00:00:10 -to 00:01:00 OUTPUT for example. If you want to trim a duration instead of to a specific time, use -t instead of -to. Replace 00:00:00 with duration of seconds. It would look like this… ffmpeg -i INPUT -c:v copy -ss 00:00:10 -t 50 OUTPUT. Those each accomplish the same task.

Also, for looping clips together, I create a text file with the video file listed however many times I want it repeated like this…

file ‘video1.mp4’
file ‘video1.mp4’
file ‘video1.mp4’

I usually save it as list.txt or something similar, then run… ffmpeg -f concat -i list.txt -c copy output.mp4

Hopefully that helps.


For quite some years I have been using this script to extract short clips (usually 1 second) out of a video.

It takes an input video and chooses a random start point and makes a video of between 0.999 seconds to a user defined maximum duration. (I originally made it to make this series of videos

Hope it helps!


Something that I would like to see in a simple video editor would be the ability to do ‘Beats and Bars’ instead of timecode/feet & frames.

My dayjob is cutting in Premiere, so I do a lot of trimming in that (you can kinda pair it down with custom workspaces, so it’s really fast), but i’ve got a Windows VM with an ANCIENT copy of Vegas specifically because it will change the timescale of a sequence to Beats & Bars.

Additionally, have some sort of draggable Stretch option (similar to the R tool in PPro) is really handy for retiming loops to get them snapped into a grid.

Finally. . . PPro has an ‘Edit Detection’ feature that’s in public beta that I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on. . .

. . . but if there was a small, open source, multiformat Video Editor with Beats & Bars, Rate Stretching, and Edit Detection for larger clips, I’d lose my shit, shout it from the rooftops, and literally tell everyone I knew about it.

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