I imported a lot of super 8 film using iMovie. While the import worked great it didn't split the video into separate clips. I've read that iMovie does this automatically for DV tapes. Is there any OSX software out there that will detect when one clips ends and another begins and automatically split the two into separate files. I imagine it would have to compare adjacent frames and determine if the difference between the two was great enough to warrant a split.

FYI I'm looking for a simple application that will do the above without breaking the bank. I don't want to invest in a video editing suite right now.


You might find ReCut helpful.

ffmpeg, a free open source product, looks like it is working on this issue. Unfortunately, it is not complete yet.

See also this Super User question: Automatic Scene Detection

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This is probably not a real answer (I do not have enough reputation to leave it as a comment on the question), but it gives a bit of information on why iMovie and other cheaper video editors split DV, but not super 8 and other analogue tapes.

DV formats encode the timestamp on the feed, and applications can read these timestamps and when a stop/start point is detected (missing time seconds) they split the video.
To split analogue formats, you must do image comparison, as you mention, detecting when the whole frame changes between frames. There are applications that do this, but I do not know of any that are in the lower price ranges.

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Andrew is correct. With DV there is the timestamp that determines when a clip starts/stops. But bringing in an analog tape, when you bring it in, it just gets one long timestamp. There's no software i'm aware of that does it well. In the end, it would probably be faster to just split it up manually anyways. The software, if it existed, would have to analyze every frame of video, and then guess where the breaks are. It would probably guess wrong too often, and you would end up having to put together clips that were not meant to be broken apart..

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  • How about software that assists humans splitting up the video? The software would error on showing you splits that might not be splits and it would quickly play that small segment to let you decide. Kind of like the way face confirmation works in iPhoto. – Steve Moser Apr 27 '12 at 20:44

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