Thanks in advance for any advice. I'm a beginner. I've been researching this for a couple of days now, without much luck. I've read about the difference between containers and codecs, just enough to realize how complex video editing is.
Since I'm using a Mac, the tools seem much more limited.
I would like to do simple joining and splitting of WMV files on my Mac without re-encoding, which I assume will not result in any loss of quality in the video. I don't mind limiting my splits to I frames. Naturally the simpler and faster the tool can do this, the better.
I am open to any suggestions and want to find the best tool for this job, whether the tool is free or up to $50 or so, in cost. I appreciate all the members here sharing their extensive knowledge and experience, helping those like me who are just getting started.
I've been using Avidemux version 2.6 for splitting and joining other file types for a while now, but have not had good luck with WMV files, which I don't even think it claims to support. It's great for me, because I just set video and audio to copy when doing the splitting/joining, select save, give it name and in no time the edited video is ready. I tried a few times to save as a different format, but because I didn't know what I was doing, the results were awful. So for now, i'd like to stick to just simple splitting and joining and saving in the same format as the original for the tool I'm looking for.
I learned enough to know to install Flip4mac and Perian on my Mac so WMV files could be played. I even went so far as to buy Flip4mac Pro to solve this problem, which allows splitting and joining WMV files, but it seems I can only save the edited file as a MOV file instead of WMV file.
I don't know if editing with Flip4mac Pro as I'm doing is lossless, especially if the file can only be saved as a MOV file. It could also be Flip4mac can do this, but I didn't know how.
I was also wondering for future reference, if I should leave any WMV or MOV files as they are, after the joining/splitting, or whether I should change their format to the MP4 container with H.264. I will only edit them once, then save them.
I'm OK with leaving them in their current format, if changing it would result in a quality loss in the video.
The files will only be stored and used on a desk top computer, so resizing or sending them is not an issue.
Your thoughts on any tools you'd recommend for the splitting/joining WMV and MOV files, as well as whether I should convert these files to another format is greatly appreciated.
Thanks very much.
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Last edited by freshair; 2nd Sep 2013 at 19:47.
The Mac protocol is everything must be converted to ProRes. Why? Because Apple doesn't support "3rd Party" video codecs. And why is that? Because it's a closed system. And why is that? Because they want all the money. And why is that? Because Steve Jobs has to win.
Thanks for the reply.
Sorry about my ignorance, but when you say "everything must be converted ProRes", what does that mean?
Flip4mac Pro does edit the files, but I don't think it lets me save it as anything other than a mov file. Is that the conversion you are referring to?
If that's the case, and there's no tool to split/join and save a WMV file as a WMV file on a Mac, would that mean to edit it, you'd have to convert it to something else?
If that's the case, then conversion to some other format would be required and the question would become, what format to convert to, that would convert quickly, with the least amount of quality loss, then what's the best tool to do that?
I'd appreciate your opinion on what I need to do to edit these files and save them. Thanks
The good and bad news is you're already pretty familiar with the available universe on this issue. It isn't large. Parallells could be another option. Nothing particularly wrong with ProRes except it doesn't play nicely with PC's (better than it used to, though.)
Bottom line, you'll have better luck with windows media on a windows machine.
edt: Flip4Mac Studio and Pro claim to export wmv.
I was thinking ProRes was a tool, because I hadn't heard of it before. I just looked up ProRes 422 on Wiki and found out it's the Mac Codec used for editing, before final encoding of a video file. Maybe that's what Flip4mac is converting the WMV file to, inside the MOV file type. You guys probably know.
Thanks for the telestream link. I remembered that Flip4mac Studio (Pro doesn't) offered WMV file output, but for some reason I thought it was pretty expensive. Your link shows it at $49. I wish I had bought the studio instead of Pro now. I might do some more research and see if I can find any reviews on the studio version. If it's the only thing that will allow what I'm trying to do, if it's any good, I'll probably spring for it.
I hadn't thought about Parallells. That would give me a virtual PC for editing video. I've never used it so I'll have to see how it works and does it rob anything from the Mac if Parellells isn't running. I have a 2008 Imac with just 6 gig of ram, so I'll have to see if this machine could handle that.
I appreciate the feedback. This gives me a couple of more leads to check.
If anyone else has used Flip4mac Studio and knows how well it would do what I'm trying to do, I'd love to hear about it.
I found this in the Flip4mac manual:
How you can export media in Flip4Mac depends on the upgrade you have licensed:
• Player—You can export media with limits. You can export complete WMV files to
MOV files (or any other format), but the file is watermarked. You can also export
MOV files to WMV files, but the exports are limited to 30 seconds and the files are
• Player Pro—You can export media with limits. You can export WMV files to MOV
files. You can export MOV files to WMV files, but the exports are limited to 30 seconds–
the files are not watermarked.
• Studio—You can export media without truncation limits. You can export WMV files
to MOV (and other format) files, and you can export MOV files to WMV files. You can
select from a wide variety of preset encoder profile choices, which cannot be customized.
• Studio Pro HD—When exporting MOV files to WMV format, you can change individual
WMV encoder settings and save those changes in a new preset (note the Preset
drop-down list at the top of the Flip Player Export Settings dialog). You can also
select New Preset from the popup menu (near the bottom of the drop-down list), to
create a new, custom interlaced or progressive encoder profile with custom settings.
See Creating Custom Encoder Presets later in this manual for more information.
You can also export WMV files to MOV files and all QuickTime settings are
So it pretty clearly says you can't export WMV in Pro except as MOV files.
It says in Studio MOV and other files. Doesn't say which other.
If all I'm doing is splitting and joining, I wouldn't think I'd be reencoding and I wouldn't think I'd need to export the file, just save it in its new trimmed or joined fashion, as what it started as, a WMV file.
I'll try to see if maybe I shouldn't be exporting, but just saving.
Anything with the moniker "Virtual" is simply another front-end running inside the regular front-end, except the first front-end is hidden so you don't notice it and start wondering if it's eating up most of the resources doing it that way.
I can't imagine running a Virtual Mac on a PC, but somehow Mac people don't seem to mind attempting Windows on a Mac.
Last edited by budwzr; 3rd Sep 2013 at 00:25.
I moved to you to our mac section.
Thanks Baldrick. Maybe someone in the Mac section can share with me how they handle editing and saving WMV files.
Flip4Mac suite of programs is the only serious contender. I suppose a developer needs Microsoft's approval/blessing to code around the lack of native support for WMV that is needed on non-Windows systems.
MOV files (containers) can have the WMV video codec, thus allowing for unchanged video quality. You can look at the movie properties (⌘-I) to verify the codecs in the container.
But WMV in a MOV would make it hard for others to view those videos. I wouldn't want to be locked in like that.
I don't know if Flip4Mac Studio (HD) would be a solution. (Do they still have trial versions?) Their pricing seems to be only considering very serious WMV users.
Originally Posted by freshair
Originally Posted by freshair
WMV is a proprietary Microsoft video format. Microsoft does not release the specifications to WMV because Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer want all the money.
When I end up with WMV files the first thing I do is convert them using HandBrake, it is free. I convert the files to mp4 - an open standard that everything understands. Then you can mess with the files in just about anything you want.
I use VLC to play WMV files to get the bitrate information, and enter that into Handbrake. The mp4 files I end up with are indistinguishable from the originals.