There are a lot of people on videohelp asking about what tools to use to join or cut videos without re-encoding. I am writing a small article for gizmo's freeware about the best splitter/trimmer/joiner, so people can easily find the best tools.
From what I can tell, Asfbin is very good for asf/wmv, avidemux for avi, yamb for mp4...
I'm looking for tools for avi, mpeg, mp4, mkv, flv, wmv, m2ts, vob, 3gp, mov...
What are the best tools you know about and for what format?
Thanks a lot, I will post the results of the research when it's done!
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Do your own research.
Don't be a hack "article writer" that doesn't know what he/she is doing.
You're not helping anybody.
Just so I'm clear:
1) I'm not a writer. I do this for free just for the sake of it. So I'm not trying to make someone work in my place.
2) There is absolutely no resource to tell people what to use for which format, so yes, I think I'm helping by gathering that information.
3) There are many tools and there's not a single one that is good for every format. That's why I need help so people can tell me about their experience. Don't worry, I'm doing my on research, and I already have tested more than 20 Splitters/joiners (solveig avi trimmer + mkv, movica, machete, virtual dub, Asfbin, free video dub, yamb, easy video joiner, easy video splitter...).
4) If you still think I'm a scam, go read this article that I wrote like a big boy without anybody's help, for free, just because I thought I'd share some knowledge with people: http://www.techsupportalert.com/How-to-find-out-the-actual-quality-of-an-audio-file
I thought a forum was supposed to be a place to be helped and help in return. I'm trying to solve the question of the best Splitters/joiners once and for all. I do it for free, and I thought people would be happy to contribute and share their best tips.
On DOOM9 forum there is a rule that states you are not allowed to ask or post a question that has the word "Best" in it. I agree with this discipline as it prevents rambling threads that can never be resolved. There is no such thing as best, my best might be bleh! for someone else! And with video editing and joiners etc there are so many variables to consider as Baldrick referred to.
@hech54 @netmask56 I understand there are many things involved, and I have been splitting/trimming/joining files for quite some time, so I know what some of the problems are. Of course "the best" is a very subjective thing. But when someone comes to you for advice, don't you have a favorite tool to recommend?
I've read the countless threads with people asking "I have an .avi video that I'd like to cut, what can I do ?". And people always recommend Virtualdub or Avidemux. Why did no one ever recommended Free video dub for example ? Maybe because it's not as good as the two previous ones.
So I know there is no such thing as the ultimate best, but at least, we're trying to give a simple solution that people can try out for themselves. We're also writing a spreadsheet with all the different technical aspects, so if our "best" solution doesn't work in a specific situation, users can try a different tool.
Please, do give a look at how Gizmo's freeware is made, and you'll see it quite makes sense. For example, I wrote this article on best video encoders: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-video-encoder.htm
It's not perfect and I'm not trying to launch a debate. For a beginner who doesn't know the first thing about reencoding, he can go on this page, read it in 20 minutes and start trying out the tools for himself.
I'd like to write a page and recommend splitters/joiners/trimmers for each format so people know more easily what to try.
Last edited by ARTO65; 21st May 2011 at 07:53.
@Baldrick Thank you so much for your feedback, I was starting to lose heart in this.
Thank you for mpg2cut2, I overlooked it at first. I tried it and it's indeed very good!
I am not so sure about avidemux: I tried to split an mkv file but the output is jerky. It seems Avidemux is struggling with B-frame, why is that so ?
I had no problem with avi files.
Here is the mediainfo log for the MKV file:
Format : Matroska File size : 145 MiB Duration : 23mn 9s Overall bit rate : 873 Kbps Encoded date : UTC 2011-05-05 11:01:52 Writing application : mkvmerge v4.0.0 ('The Stars were mine') built on Jun 6 2010 16:18:42 Writing library : libebml v1.0.0 + libmatroska v1.0.0 Cover : Yes
ID : 1 Format : AVC Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec Format profile : High@L3.1 Format settings, CABAC : Yes Format settings, ReFrames : 8 frames Codec ID : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC Duration : 23mn 9s Nominal bit rate : 750 Kbps Width : 848 pixels Height : 480 pixels Display aspect ratio : 16:9 Frame rate : 23.810 fps Original frame rate : 23.976 fps Color space : YUV Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0 Bit depth : 8 bits Scan type : Progressive Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.077 Writing library : x264 core 94 r1583 7608d73 Encoding settings : cabac=1 / ref=8 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / subme=7 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=0 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=1 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=6 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / weightb=1 / weightp=0 / keyint=240 / keyint_min=24 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=40 / rc=2pass / mbtree=1 / bitrate=750 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / vbv_maxrate=1927 / vbv_bufsize=1927 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:0.50 / nal_hrd=none
ID : 2 Format : AAC Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec Format profile : LC Codec ID : A_AAC Duration : 23mn 9s Channel(s) : 2 channels Channel positions : Front: L R Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz Compression mode : Lossy
ID : 3 Format : ASS Codec ID : S_TEXT/ASS Codec ID/Info : Advanced Sub Station Alpha Compression mode : Lossless
@hech54 It's useless to use a joiner for making a compilation, that much is true.
But when you download a group of videos like "video01.wmv", "video02.wmv", "video03.wmv".... "video45.wmv", it's nice to know you can join them in a matter of seconds and losslessly.
Joining, trimming and splitting is always going to be more technical than simply editing and reencoding, but when you use it in specific situations those tools are a 100 times better than any video editor.
Last edited by ARTO65; 21st May 2011 at 07:56.
Your comments reflect that have your own editing criteria. That's fine, we all do. And that is why there can never be a "Best" for everyone. Baldrick's post reflects tried and true findings, based on the experiences of countless people here.
@filmboss80 I totally agree with you. There can only be a subjective best.
My point is not to establish a standard for video editing. I'm merely trying to gather information about the tools that I think are best for very specific situations so people don't have to spend hours doing the research by themselves.
Seriously, just go look at what one of those articles looks like.
Seriously, just go look at what one of those articles looks like.
This is a terrible guide: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-video-encoder.htm
Either you're not communicating your ideas well, or your video knowledge is very limited. For example, "how to reduce the filesize of videos while retaining maximum quality" has nothing to do with interlacing. And then the encoders listed seem random, and you've overlooked better encoders. There are a number of factual errors, too. And you have clearly never used MainConcept Reference if you think freeware is better for H.264 encoding.
This is misleading: http://www.techsupportalert.com/How-to-find-out-the-actual-quality-of-an-audio-file
For one, you're not using known transparent MP3 bitrate (320k). Beyond that, a lot of audio is altered well before it hits digital distribution, so you have no basis upon which to compare sources to determine if it's compressed. The asserted frequency cut-offs are random guesses on your part.
I hate to come across as the forum ogre, but you're writing crap. (Though I commend you for attempting to help others.) It reminds me of Best Buy salesmen, who speak when they really don't know what they're talking about. Misinformation aggravates me, so I'm sorry if I come off a bit harsh here. I like that site, but your contribution are not helping anybody, as it's inaccurate/misleading information.
This latest guide won't be any better. YAMB, for example, tends to butcher MP4 and creates streams full of errors. So by listing that program, you're not helping anybody.
@lordsmurf As hurtful as it may be, what you said is true: I'm not an expert. I'm not going to argue with you because you're always going to win: It's been your job for more than 20 years, I'm an amateur.
1) I wish YOU wrote those articles so I know what to use when I want to put a DVD onto my iPad. I'm writing about the things I'm interested in and I try to answer the questions I'm asking myself. On a scale from 1 to 10, I'm maybe level 5 and I'm trying to explain people on level 1 to 4 what I understand. It would be great having a level 9-10 telling about that stuff. I'm not writing for experts, I'm writing for beginners. Writing for beginners also means taking shortcuts in order to avoid drowning them under a sea of technical terms.
2) I never said encoding had anything to do with interlacing. I simply said that many commercial videos are interlaced, and it's better to deinterlace them if you want to watch them on a computer.
3) "MainConcept Reference 2 is a powerful yet easy to use application that enables video professionals to transcode video". I'm clearly writing for amateurs, not video professionals. Do you know a better encoder than x264 for under $100? (Reference 2.2 H.264/AVC Pro is $ 1.160,00).
4) In my article about the spectrogram, I specify very clearly: "this method might not be perfect, but at least it can give you an idea about how bad an audio file is." Last year, I asked a friend to send me .wav files, but the quality was crap. Thanks to this method, I was able to make him understand that uncompressing a wma 128 kbits/s file to a .wav file was pointless. I just thought it was a cool trick people would be happy to hear about. I also warned about its limitations.
It's not because high frequencies are cut off that the audio file is crap or because the high frequencies seem intact that the audio file is good: I'm just relying on the fact that encoders tend to cut high frequencies first. So if you see a straight line at the top of your spectrogram, there are good chances you're note dealing with a lossless audio file.
5) What do you mean by "Transparent MP3 bitrate (320k)" ? I did the same test with the same track encoded in mp3 320k with lame 3.98.4, and it cuts everything above 20khz very clearly. http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/9388/20110521223634.png What am I missing? I know a spectrogram and an ABX test are not the same, but that's the whole point: being able to SEE the difference.
6) Please do not compare me to Best Buy salesmen: I have nothing to sell, so my opinion is not distorted by how much stock is left in the store. My interest is not in selling my stuff but helping gather information about best practices.
I understand your criticisms and I accept them, I'm not pretending I know everything . That's why I humbly came here to ask for advice and spread the word. Thank you for your comment on YAMB, and saying how little you think of it. Please do tell me more.
When people want to get the audio stream from a video file, you can't imagine how many people will simply convert it to some low quality format. So I let them know about how to extract audio with Pazera free audio extractor: http://www.techsupportalert.com/Extract-audio-stream-from-video-files.
You have a better solution ? Good! Tell me about it! I made mistakes in my article? Good! I'll correct them. Meanwhile, I'm going to try to help beginners use better tools than the ones they're used to.
Last edited by ARTO65; 21st May 2011 at 16:30.
Lordsmurf is not a mean guy. He is very much on the spot to admonish you to learn all the ins and outs before dispensing advice. (If you had to ask that question about B-frames, clearly you don't know enough.) No one is begging for your advice anyway, are they?
@filmboss80 I know what a B-frame is, thank you. My question was: why does Avidemux struggle with B-frames?
Yes, indeed, local reencoding is acceptable.
BTW, people indeed asked me for advice. After some of my articles, they sent me messages to tell me it was helpful, and they wished I'd write more about that. I'm not writing for experts, I'm writing for beginners.
I echo Anupam's words. I'm sure a lot of users would want to do more with this subject if only they knew how and this article will be a great helpIf possible, can I suggest some more articles along these lines, explaining interlacing, bitrates, and so on, for beginners... so that they understand conversion/encoding better... if you can .
I want to know what tools to use when I want to cut/trim/join videos. I usually use SolveigMM video splitter, but it's not perfect. I looked for an article about what tools to use. Guess what? I didn't find anything!
Who is going to write a simple article that allow people to find a solution to their problems in minutes? Please, tell me who is the expert who is going to take the time to tell people to cut avi with avidemux and mpg with mpg2cut2?
I don't understand why people have given me so much crap here about the philosophical meaning of the concept of "best" and tell me how ignorant I am.
I'm just doing my research to gather information about the best practices to cut&join video losslessly, and apparently, I'm not going to get much information from here.
BTW, I also mentionned Videohelp.com twice in my article, to encourage people to go and look for more information by themselves.
Last edited by ARTO65; 21st May 2011 at 16:58.
@lordsmurfI like that site, but your contribution are not helping anybody, as it's inaccurate/misleading information
Please use your knowledge to help people instead of bashing them. I'd be glad to correct my mistakes if you were so kind as to actually tell me what they are.
If you wish to write for Gizmo's freeware, You're welcome!
I would suggest had you entitled your post as
"Your thoughts on video tools" (a more open ended question)
and the body text had been something along this line
There are a lot of people on videohelp asking about what tools to use to join or cut videos without re-encoding. I am writing a small article for gizmo's freeware about splitters/trimmers/joiners, so people can easily find the best tools for the job.
Your thoughts and ideas most appreciated....."
I believe that approach would have had a more positive and helpful response as it indicates you are interested in collating individual experiences and the reasons for those choices of software tools. and....
Rather than introduce your opinions or ideas on particular tools it would be better to leave that for one of the follow up replies. Like " how well considered are iAsfbin, avidemux, and, yamb ? (once again a range of opinions would be given)
@netmask56 Thanks for your post. I'm sorry if I asked my question the wrong way.
Do you think there's a chance we might bury this thread and start over?
Okay, we can start over.
Part of the issue is that you generally SHOULD NOT join videos. Period.
And certain formats are distribution formats, NEVER intended to be edited again. Period.
It doesn't matter that people want to do it, or that some tools attempt it.
For freeware that can work -- CAN, not WILL -- refer to Baldrick's post. (#4)
I also suggest your try the methods, don't just assume others are correct.
That's really my issue with this.
It's like content mill writers -- people that write about something when they're way out of their depth.
Either you know about it, and should write about it. And you don't, and therefore shouldn't.
Those that should not, but still do, usually write misleading/incorrect/myth-filled crap.
My conversations run the full spectrum, from newbies to pros that know as much as (or even more than) I do.
One minute I could be explaining why a DVD is digital (with a retiree) ...
... and the next going over GOP encoding theory (with a peer in the broadcast industry).
The only reason I've never written anything on this topic is because I've never been asked.
@lordsmurf Thank you for agreeing to start over
1) Why shouldn't we join videos? If a wmv file has been split up in 40 wmv pieces, is it wrong to join them back together with asfbin ?
2) Baldrick's post was indeed helpful, but I think there is more to it than just 6 tools.
3) I am indeed testing on my own, I'm not a mill writer and I only write about things I care about. First time I split up a video was in 2003 with virtualdub. And I've been doing it a lot since then. It's not like I woke up one morning and thought to myself I'd write about that.
One example why I want to write about this: I know a guy who had wmv TV recordings. Do you know how he used to take the ads out ? Windows movie maker. Yep, that's right, he would reencode every single 4-hour video with WMM just for that. If I can convince at least one person to cut ads with Asfbin instead of WMM, it would have been worth.
I write about a lot of subjects: Google, Simplenote, Flac, clipboard managers... I'm not an expert in any of those subjects, but I try my best, and from what people told me, it's been helpful. Whenever someone more knowledgeable than me shows me something better, I update my article to take it into account.
You probably can do a better job than me for multimedia articles so please, will you come and write for Gizmo's freeware ?
I'll be happy to introduce you to the community. If you want to contribute to the article about Splitters/trimmers/joiners, I'm writing that article with Jojoyee, and we'll be glad to have you.
BTW, I wrote the introduction of the stub before I posted here and got into this whole fight about how ignorant I am.
I can't keep my mind out of what has been said in that thread because I've been hurt. I was called a "hack article writer", compared to a Best buy salesman...
You took every chance to misinterpret my writing and pick up details out of context to underestimate my knowledge and put me down.
@lordsmurf when you speak of "known transparent MP3 bitrate (320k)", it's inaccurate. Transparency is a subjective notion and mp3 320k is not always transparent for everyone. http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=72542. Still, I didn't call you a hack, I didn't say you write crap, and I didn't question your knowledge.
I'd like to forget about it, I still thinks highly of some of the members of videohelp, but I wish there was more respect.
Why avoid splitting and joining? Well, it really goes back to the fundamentals of how and why video encoding works, especially for anything with GOP encoding, and how it counters the methodology used to concatenate ("split") files. It's not complementary or compatible technology. The reverse is even more true, as the stream containers generally end up broken or butchered. It's really hard to explain something of this level. It's easiest to say "Don't do it, because it will mess up your video."
Your source for 320k audio transparency is not authoritative in any way, just random discussion from random people. As I suspected, it's simply the #1 Google SERP for "320k transparent mp3" and p1 SERP for similar searches -- please don't try to #1 SERP me to death, it won't work. If you want a good compression with adequate transparency, look into AAC options. If you want to measure MP3 for loss, and compare to others, use at least 256k MP3 as the basis for comparison; anything under 192kbps is well-known to be compressed so much as to almost be butchered.
As far as the "hack writer" comments -- it's all about knowing your limits. It just doesn't seem right to attempt to teach others when your own command of the subject is limited. If you need that much help, then you're still a student -- you're not the teacher yet. I know it seems mean, rude, condescending, etc -- but it's not meant that way; I'm simply trying to be honest with you. You basically came here and said "I want to write a guide, but I don't know what to write."
You'll never stop, huh?
Don't you think ogg q10 was good enough for a transparent sample? That was my point, to show ogg q10 and mp3 128k so people can see the difference between a good lossy sample and a butchered one.
You keep saying splitting/trimming/joining is butchering videos, but you never said why. In most of my tests, I haven't seen much of problem: the videos play smoothly and stream fixers don't warn on any stream errors.
I didn't come here to say "I'd like to write an article I know nothing about". I already knew most of what I needed to know, and I came here to discuss and see if someone had better recommendations than what I had. The stub had already been written before I came here to ask for help. I know my limits and I'll write that article.
Anyway pointless discussion since you're always going to use your "expert" status to put me down. Apparently, you have a hard time changing your mind, no matter what I say or prove.
and stream fixers don't warn on any stream errors
Not all of them are.
to show ogg q10 and mp3 128k so people can see the difference between a good lossy sample and a butchered one
Avi - Virtualdub
Mpeg/mpg/vob/iso/TS - VideoReDo
Mkv - Boilsoft Video Splitter (messy - always outputs the source into 3 files) or AviDeMux (unreliable - almost never works effectively)
Wmv/asf - Boilsoft Video Splitter
Mov - Quicktime Pro
Flv - Flvextract to demux streams, Yamb to mux into mp4, and then AviDeMux to edit the mp4.
Mp4 - AviDeMux
Joining - Boilsoft Video Joiner
Boilsoft crap is not freeware.
I was using the last milestone build (6714, nov 10th), I followed your recommendation and upgraded to the latest SVN (r7200).
There are slight improvements with cutting mkv, but it's not perfect yet. It's not jerky anymore but a little slowed down, not very smooth.
The best free tools I have found to split mkv are "SolveigMM Avi trimmer +MKV" and of course MKVmerge.
i appreciate the work done by arto65 by suggesting the tools for joining/ splitting. there is no harm indeed in doing that. by this thread the newbies in video editing can understand so many things. most people suggest avidemux. it is free tool but it is not reliable. sometimes it works and sometimes it won't. you cannot cut the video at a point of your wish. sometimes it gives output without audio.
Not to necro, but props to some suggested splitting resources. Saves lots of search time and gives a good general idea of whats needed.
Last edited by temporary01; 9th Feb 2013 at 18:06.