How to JUST TRIM a .mov and keep it as .mov?

johnnyjelko Website User Posts: 93

SO all I want to do is trim my .mov files and either keep it as .mov or re encode it as the a new .mov file.

Does anyone know an easy way to do this with an external editor or something like vlc or avidemux? I 


  • johnnyjelko
    johnnyjelko Website User Posts: 93
    edited October 2015

    Someone gave me some great advice on the way to find a solution.

    "Just use DaVinci Resolve 12"

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,114 Ambassador

    @JohnnyJelko If it works for you then great. While Hitfilm has the ability to function as an Editor, it's strength lies in it's VFX tools. The problem with .MOV files is they are quicktime, and I believe to export to Quicktime you need a licence. Hitfilm offeres some very good formats to export to in both Hitfilm 3 Express and PRO, but if you have a need to work in .MOV then go with what works.

  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester Posts: 2,481 Enthusiast

    @johnnyjelko I'm not knocking Resolve but that's kind of like using a sledge hammer to swat a fly. If your MOV files are really some variant of mp4 then Avidemux will do it easily with the only downside being the trimmed files will have mp4 as an extension instead of MOV. The A and B buttons located in the transport controls set in and out points. If you really have to have the output as MOV you could either just change the extension or use an ffmpeg batch script to change the container. 

    Mpeg Streamclip can do it too and work with compression types other than something mp4 based. The "I" and "O" keys set in and out points and instead of exporting just do a "save as"  and make sure the type is set to MOV.

    There's also Xmedia Recode which is a front end for ffmpeg. Like many things dealing with ffmpeg it isn't necessarily the easiest thing to use and the docs are only in German but it'll do the job too

  • BobDiMarzio
    BobDiMarzio Website User Posts: 630 Just Starting Out
    edited October 2015

    I'm a noob, so maybe I'm off base.  I interpret JohnnyJelko's post  as a desire to segment his clip into several clips with each having a small portion of the original clip.   If I understand this correctly, If Johnny trims and then output the clip as several mov file, won't Johnny introduce additional compression artifacts?  Would not a conversion to a less lossy codec, edit it into the desired segments and then re-render the segments back into a .mov file preserve more of the clips's quality?

  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Moderator Website User, Imerge Beta Tester Posts: 2,481 Enthusiast
    edited October 2015

    @BobDiMarzio It is possible to do "no recode" cuts or trims so there's no transcoding to introduce new compression artifacts. There are several programs that can do it from simple utilities like the ones I listed all the way up to Vegas Pro and Premier with the right configuration and workflow. In many cases the type of clips you're working with dictates what you use and how you do it. Keep in mind this is just for cuts. If you do anything else you'll need to transcode in which case you're better off going to an intermediate like you described.

    Common utility type programs that can do it are:

    Mpeg Streamclip - The key is to do "save as" instead of exporting. Works best with MOV files

    VirtualDub - They key for this one is to set the video and audio compression to direct stream copy. The caveat with VirtualDub is it will only cut on keyframes so if you're working with something  that doesn't have a lot of keyframes like h264 compressed video you might not be able to trim as close as you would like and you can really only stream copy to AVI files.

    AVIDemux - Set the video and audio output to copy. It only exports to certain containers and it's up to you to make sure both the audio and video codecs you're copying are compatible with the container you're exporting to. Like VirtualDub it likes to only cut on key frames and may pad the beginning or ending with blank frames to hit a key frame interval.

    FFMpeg - If you're a command line masochist you can work with it directly like so:

    ffmpeg -i INFILE.mp4 -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:01:00.000 -t 00:00:10.000 OUTFILE.mp4

    -i is the input flag. -vcodec copy and -acodec copy are pretty self explanatory. -vcodec and -acodec are the codec flags which here is just to copy. -ss is the start time flag (in point) and -t is the time flag setting the duration (out point) so in this example we're starting at 1 minute in and creating a clip 10 seconds long. XMedia Recode gives you a preview window and GUI controls to set all of the parameters. I'm sure there are others out there but this only one I know of off the top of my head.  

    VideoRedo - This is a paid product and I'm mentioning it because it was designed from the ground up to be a no recode cutter for mpeg 2 and x264 video and only renders frames around a cut that isn't at a keyframe. The downside is mpeg 2 and x264 are your only output options. They have added a new "professional" version that adds some support for professional codecs but I'm pretty sure it's import only support. 

  • BobDiMarzio
    BobDiMarzio Website User Posts: 630 Just Starting Out
    edited October 2015

    @Aladdin4d. Thanks,  I wan't aware that a clip could be trimmed and re-saved without a recode.  I have Mpeg Streamclip I will have to give this a try.


  • __simon__
    __simon__ Website User Posts: 113 Just Starting Out

    johnnyjelko's resolve post was tounge in cheek.

  • johnnyjelko
    johnnyjelko Website User Posts: 93
    edited October 2015

    Everything you all have assumed about me is correct  Basically I had some .mov files I wanted to trim a few seconds off and leave them as is with no transcoding. I was going to be adding them as content on the videoblocks,com - And they are VERY particular about the formats and containers.

    I appreciate all the help though! especially @Aladdin4d what a great community member

  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Staff Administrator, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 5,250 Staff

    In addition to the options already mentioned, Quicktime Pro allows you to set In and Out points on any open clip, then you can just copy and paste the section you have selected into a new clip and save that, without any transcoding required.

  • johnnyjelko
    johnnyjelko Website User Posts: 93


    that sounds like the best option for ease of use to price ratio


  • guestingg
    guestingg Website User Posts: 1

    Avdshare Video Converter is proved as the best MP4 trimmer for both Windows and Mac platform. 

  • Yeremyah
    Yeremyah Website User Posts: 995 Enthusiast
    edited December 2015

    I use the little "razor blade" icon (Slice Tool) to trim in HitFilm 3 Express, works really well.

  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Staff Administrator, Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 1,964 Staff

    Hi there @blackshady. This is an ancient post you're resurrecting, and I can't help but notice you solely promote products, which makes me think you're a bot. Consider this a warning for spam posting, unless you can provide proof you're not a bot, ie creating a useful discussion on the forum, you will be removed.

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