I've captured hours of analog PAL tapes into MPEG-2 720x576 6000MBs 25fps format.
Not sure if this was the best choice, but it's too late now, the stuff is from 1980s
Before starting anything serious, I'd like to trim, cut and otherwise just REMOVE footage.
Q1: My questions is: will the quality of scenes that remain in the .MPG file deteriorate
with every saving to a new disk file operation? In other words, should I do everything
in one sitting, or not worry and edit/save any number of times?
Q2: By the way, I still have to choose the tool for this trim/cut task. It looks like
VirtualDub does the job for AVI, not MPEG-2, so can anyone recommend the
best (freeware) one? As a newbie, I'm totally lost...
Thanks in advance
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You should be fine as long as no re-encoding takes place. Usually, you are just saving a Project file (containing all your edit info), not necessarily re-encoding.
Freeware mpeg-2 editor: Mpg2Cut2. It cuts-only on I-frames and does not give you a lot of bells and whistles, but it doesn't cost anything, and does a basic job.
Thanks for the quick reply!
I realize that a project file of a full-blown app just keeps pointers into the original file, along with
effects and transitions.
But I also want to reduce those huge .MPGs, hence my urge to start by trimming and cutting and then use a tool like
Vegas, Premiere, or whatever, on those smaller files. I need to have them on USB sticks.
Is there a tool that can do that safely - just trim/cut/save and not re-encode in the process and leave
its project files around? Is Mpg2Cut2 it?
Vegas does "smart" editing of MPEG-2, meaning it will re-encode the GOPs surrounding a specific frame, if that frame is not an I-frame. (You can do a search on I, P, and B frames, if you don't know what I'm talking about.) Otherwise, Vegas will leave the other parts of the MPEG-2 stream unmolested, unless you do titles, filters, effects, and transitions over the video.
If you're willing to spend some bucks, Womble's MPEG Video Wizard will also do the trick (and it DOES do project files). Your original post asked for a free tool. Mpg2Cut2 will do it safely, but only with the mentioned limitations on frame-accurate cutting.
EDIT: after going back and looking at Mpg2Cut2 (I don't use it often; it's just in my "toolkit"), I don't see where it saves project files. If you need that kind of flexibility, spend some bucks on MPEG Video Wizard or Vegas.
Last edited by filmboss80; 22nd Dec 2010 at 12:07. Reason: Added clarity.
Thanks again for your help!!! I'm reading up on mpg2cut2 and now understand the limitations. Indeed,
out of sync sound terrifies me (as I've wasted days on editing AVIs with MP3 audio and realized - too late -
the results were catastrophic ;-(), so I'll make sure I add some extra "fat" around my cuts, as the docs suggest.
On to work now!
Wow, looks like you get what you pay for and the hunt for "free and perfect" is just an illusion .
At work, I can use Premiere for free, but it seems like an overkill right now. I also own Ulead and Magix tools
that came with my cards/cameras and other gadgets, but somehow never got excited about them.
I'm now considering demo versions of Sony Vegas or Corel VideoStudio...
I've used MPG2CUT2 for years, very few if any problems. Simply cut on an all-black transition frame, or a fade-out frame. Audio synch has NOT been an issue, and these were all captured MPGs that some other cutters have problems with.
There are no project files, a new, edited MPG is created and then you can manually delete the original file.
Why don't you actually try using it and see how it works for you?
Well, I just did a test on a short video by removing 10 seconds from the
beginning and 6 seconds from the clip end. I was using only the Forward/Back GOP
action keys, to stay on the I frames, I guess. Playback seems OK.
Format : MPEG-PS : MPEG-PS
File size : 348 MiB : 339 MiB
Duration : 8mn 56s : 8mn 40s
Overall bit rate : 5 444 Kbps : 5 456 Kbps
Video delay : -244ms : -4ms
Stream size : 24.5 MiB (7%) : 23.8 MiB (7%)
What caught my attention is shown in red above. Is that important?
The data comes from Media Player Classic info popup.
There is some lip movement near the end and it looks in sync. I'll try
a longer one and post the results.