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Got a bunch of .mp4 videos (info shows H.264 Video + AAC Audio) that are chapters of a larger video.

I'd like to merge them, but not sure which is the best way. I don't have Quicktime Pro, but I'll get it if that's the best way to do this.

Edit: Just to clariify this is Mac OSX 10.6 I'm on.

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    Sorry I'm too new to be able to comment or vote up. The person that noted that Quicktime pro an do this got me to thinking. My Mac Mini didn't come with the older version of Quicktime that had a pro version. I have Quicktime 10.4 and thankfully didn't have to pay for a pro upgrade. I was able to combine two MP4 files by opening the first video clip and then in the edit menu I selected add clip and selected my second part of the movie clip. Quicktime then showed a time line sort of like iTunes. Then I closed the window and it asked me if I wanted to save the combined video as another file. I sa
    – user106789
    Dec 31, 2014 at 3:19

5 Answers 5

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Quicktime Pro is a must-have in such situation. iMovie is great if you need a simple tool, but you may loose quality in the process.

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  • Chose this answer because I tried the iMovie route and it didn't work.
    – r00fus
    Oct 22, 2010 at 18:09
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    You can merge .mp4 files with this technique, yet the output will be in .mov format.
    – AlessioX
    Apr 3, 2020 at 17:47
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Virtual concatenation script demuxer

You only need ffmpeg

  1. At the end, write the video files that you want to combine into a text file. Here is an example, it is best to drag the video files into the text file. The name of the text file is in my example files.txt

    file 'Video 1.mp4'
    file 'Video 2.mp4'
    file 'Video 3.mp4'
    file 'Video 4.mp4'
    

Now open the terminal and enter. Finish.

ffmpeg -safe 0 -f concat -i files.txt -c copy output.mp4
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  • For me this resulted in output.mp4 which was much smaller than the two files combined and only consisting of a still image with audio. Maybe this is due to using static ffmpeg build?
    – foss
    Apr 8, 2021 at 14:52
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You don’t specify your OS but if you have OS/X, then you probably have iLife, then you have iMovie. Merging all that with iMovie is extremely trivial. Just import the videos to iMovie and compose the final movie using all the parts you want to use.

Effects, Transitions and Captions are a bonus ;)

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  • Thanks, I've edited to clarify this is on OSX. I assume this is a lossy conversion?
    – r00fus
    Sep 16, 2010 at 17:36
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    If the videos are mp4 (H.264+AAC) the quality loss should be minimal (if all the videos are in the same format). However, due to the nature of what you’re trying to do, yes, since H.264 is already compressed, operating with the video and then exporting a new movie will have to recompress it. Quicktime Pro allows you to “merge” one video, but only that. You can put one after the other. Unless you’re using extremely super 1080p videos, I doubt iMovie will be a problem. Sep 16, 2010 at 18:03
  • Actually the videos are originally AVI/h.264 which I iSquinted to mp4 anyway, but I don't think iMovie supports AVI...
    – r00fus
    Sep 21, 2010 at 5:17
  • Merging with iMovie is anything but "extremely trivial". I'm trying to do it and the Share options are disabled. Also tried the Merge clips, but apparently that doesn't work with separate clips. Maybe if you add more detail on the 'Compose the final movie using all the parts" that would be helpful.
    – user26270
    Jun 20, 2015 at 14:10
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Yes, Quicktime can connect 2 Mpeg4s but if you want to upload to a video platform like Youtube or Vimeo they will still appear as 2 videos and will not upload properly. They must be "stitched" together by a program designed to do this. There are 3 ways to do this that I know of.

  1. Importing each MP4 into an editing program, editing them together and exporting the sequence to Mpeg4 (if your Editor has this capability. If not you must export at whatever formats your editor allows and then encode the sequence in another program). This is time-consuming and there will be a small loss in quality depending on your Editor as you have encoded them twice (on Import and then again on export).
  2. There are apps designed to stitch multiple Mp4s together like the free "MP4 Joiner". They will do it quickly and work well if each Mp4 compression parameters match. For example if one has a resolution of 1920 X 1080 and the other is 1280 X 720 or if one was compressed at 4000 Kbps (Kilobytes per second) and the other at 5000 Kbps or if different codecs were used the app cannot connect them.
  3. You could use a professional compression/encoder program like Sorenson Squeeze, Telestream Episode, Apple Compressor, or Adobe Media Encoder and re-encode your Mp4s to Mp4 using the same settings. These are expensive programs but will do the job without quality loss. There are others programs that can do the job for far less money or even free like Handbrake, just Google Mp4 Encoders. If you use a decent program there will be little or no loss in quality.
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Well, I'm late to the game but the best way IMHO would be to just use mp4joiner and be done with it.

It just does one thing, merging mp4 files, and does it really well and simple. Also: Free and open source and also working on Linux and even Windows.

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    There have been reports that the app mentioned installs Spyware (PremierOpinion), so proceed with care.
    – nohillside
    Apr 13, 2015 at 19:41

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