I am downloading AVI files from a German "online" video recording service. These files don't work with quicktime, but using the Elmedia video player (via app store) does the job.

Now I would like to "cut" those videos (basically selecting the real content of the videos, as they always contain additional 5 minutes before/after the actual recording).

I installed avidemux (using *brew cast install avidemux), and the tool installs. But when I open these AVI video files ... it seems that the buttons to select A/B boundaries for cutting are simply disabled. And on top of that, audio isn't in sync when avidemux is playing my AVIs - so I doubt that avidemux cutting the video would give me a correct file in the end.

As mentioned: quicktime refuses to play my avis,so this existing question on how to trim using quicktime doesn't help me.

Thus: are there other tools for Mac Os that work better?

  • What you are looking for is "video trimming". Free Video Cutter Joiner seems to be a decent option and you can find more similar apps from the app store. That said, you could also use VLC player to convert the files to another format and use quicktime to trim. Also, VLC player is the go to player when you need to play any video format. I typically use iSkysoft Video Converter for stuff like this, since I've bought it for video conversion purposes. It also has the trim feature. – Joonas Dec 8 '17 at 12:39
  • @Joonas VLC is unfortunately a no-go in my environment. – GhostCat Dec 8 '17 at 12:58
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    If you're okay with command-line tools, you could try FFmpeg. They have macOS builds. – JAB Dec 8 '17 at 16:37
  • I am using ffmpeg for conversions sometimes. I wasn't aware that you can use it for trimming as well. But I have to admit that I prefer a ui tool here. Instead of manually writing down time stamps to then pass them to the command line tooling. – GhostCat Dec 8 '17 at 18:28
  • @JAB ffmpeg works ... just some trouble with the end time ... in case you want to turn this into an answer, you will get my vote ;-) – GhostCat Dec 8 '17 at 18:57

You could just put them into iMovie and trim the beginning and end and export them.

I tried using iMovie with .avi files before posting this answer, so I know it works.

  • Don't think it supports avi format. – Joonas Dec 8 '17 at 15:28
  • It does; I tried it before posting this answer. – TDM Dec 8 '17 at 15:28
  • Huh... I seem to remember it didn't. In that case it may be the simplest answer... – Joonas Dec 8 '17 at 15:30
  • Maybe Apple added AVI support recently. – TDM Dec 8 '17 at 15:30
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    AVI is just a container, it is also about the exact content of that container. Installing it right now ... will give feedback later on! – GhostCat Dec 8 '17 at 16:00

After checking the various solutions, I guess I will stick with

  • Elmedia video player
  • and ffmpeg

It is a bit cumbersome: as you first have to use the video player to find start/end timestamps for cutting. As soon as you got those numbers:

 ffmpeg -i IN.avi -ss 00:05:48.0 -to 01:35:10.0 -c copy OUT.avi

where -ss gives the start time stamp and -to the end point (and because both timestamps apply to the IN stream, no manual subtraction is required).

Using this command, it takes about 3 seconds to reduce a 1.2 GB file to 920 MB.

The big advantage: just two small tools require installation + super quick time for actual cutting.

  • 1
    The best part about this solution is most tools use the ffmpeg library anyway. This is exactly the solution I was thinking of when I read the question. – Allan Dec 8 '17 at 22:10

Filmora Video Editor have a free trial and accept many input format like MP4, AVI, FLV, MKV, M4V, MOV, MPG, MPEG, VOB, DAT, TS, M2TS, WMV, ASF, DV, DIF, NUT, H264, NSV, PSP, 3GP, EVO, RM, TP, TRP, DVR-MS, etc.

anymp4, have a free version with this features: convert MOV/MKV/AVI/WMV/FLV/VOB/SWF/M4V to MP4 and Adjust video effect, rotate, flip, add watermark, clip and merge, etc.anymp4.com/app-store/free-mp4-converter

Last but not least FFmpeg, a free software that run via command line, you can trim or convert and save the video at the same quality

  • There is a free trial version of the tool. When you turn to the app store or the actual product page of that company ... as said: the free one is only for trial - and the pro one costs 60 USD or 55 Euros! – GhostCat Dec 8 '17 at 12:39
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    yes, I've see, so look at this anymp4, the free version have this features: convert MOV/MKV/AVI/WMV/FLV/VOB/SWF/M4V to MP4 and Adjust video effect, rotate, flip, add watermark, clip and merge, etc.anymp4.com/app-store/free-mp4-converter – claudio Dec 8 '17 at 13:44
  • That sounds more helpful ;-) – GhostCat Dec 8 '17 at 16:00
  • @claudio Please add this to the answer, and update your answer to point out that the existing one is just a trial. – wizzwizz4 Dec 8 '17 at 16:54
  • The problem I see: this tool allows trimming - but I couldn't find an option to not convert the input. But I absolutely dont want to convert. Conversion means that the complete file is read and a new output file is computed. – GhostCat Dec 8 '17 at 19:50

I attempted using Ghost Cat's answer but was receiving the following error:

Could not write header for output file #0 (incorrect codec parameters ?): Operation not permitted

This is what ended up working for me:

ffmpeg -i input.mkv -ss 00:05:42.0 -to 00:07:39.0 -c:v libx264 output.avi

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