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I occasionally need to trim an MP4 video or split a clip out of the middle. Up to now I've been using a great app called MPEG Streamclip which has all the features I want:

  • super light weight, opens instantly
  • gui for scrubbing through videos
  • keyboard controls for frame-by-frame, keyframe-by-keyframe, in, out, and trim
  • batch list so I can set up multiple splits without waiting for each to save
  • saves clips from MP4s without transcoding

A lot of this functionality was also available in Apple's Quicktime 7 Pro, although not quite as streamlined.

Unfortunately the last update to MPEG Streamclip was in 2012, and each OS update breaks it further. In Mojave the Streamclip GUI is almost useless, and it's 32 bit so 10.15 will kill it entirely. Same for Quicktime 7.

I'm sure I'm not the only person who wants to trim and split video on a Mac. What are the options for lightweight editors to trim MP4s without transcoding?

Edit to explain how this is not a duplicate of Is there an easy way on a Mac to split an audio file at defined intervals?: This question is about splitting a video file, not an audio file, at points decided by scrubbing through the video, not on a defined interval. That question currently has no accepted answer, and the answers that were proposed do not apply to this question.

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LosslessCut

https://github.com/mifi/lossless-cut (lightweight)

Shotcut

https://www.shotcut.org (heavy)

  • Both look like they can do what I want! I'll check them out. Thank you. – Robert Oct 30 '18 at 21:08
  • Lossless Cut does exactly what I wanted, and is very quick and easy. Thanks! – Robert Nov 9 '18 at 22:23
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Avidemux is a lightweight editor that can split videos without transcoding.

  • 1
    Avidemux does almost exactly what I want, minus having to relearn the keyboard shortcuts. Thank you! – Robert Sep 29 '18 at 5:31
  • @Robert you are welcome – Ruskes Sep 29 '18 at 5:40
  • I'm going to edit to remove Handbrake as it explicitly does not do passthrough, so it cannot split without transcoding. – Robert Oct 30 '18 at 21:13
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You can do this (and many other things) with ffWorks. It is actually a GUI for ffmpeg, a really powerful encoding tool.

Just be aware: it costs 19€ and may be a bit more difficult to use, but if you plan to do any more video/audio conversion I can absolutely recommend this software as you can do a lot of things with it.

For trimming without reencoding with ffWorks: select "PassThru" for video and audio codec and add the trim filter. Click "edit" on the trim filter to open a GUI similar to what you described.


For multiple splits I recommend the open source project mkvtoolnix, which can also do many more things than that. It only outputs MKV however, but these can easily be converted to MP4s with ffWorks (without reencoding of course) within few seconds.

2

Movie Splitter

You can split your .mp4 movie without transcoding using Movie Splitter – which I wrote for my own needs.

There is a demo you can download and try.

Miln Movie Splitter for macOS

Splitting and Trimming Custom Sections

Movies can be automatically split by embedded chapter markers, halved into two, or quartered into four. Version 1.4 added the options to let you select custom ranges to be extracted – by scrubbing or through keyboard input for fine grained control.

custom ranges in Movie Splitter for macOS

  • It looks like your tool splits videos either on chapter marks or into halves and quarters. Can it scrub through the video and split on arbitrary frames or keyframes? – Robert Sep 29 '18 at 4:50
  • Yes, Movie Splitter can split in custom sections. You can download and try. – Graham Miln Sep 29 '18 at 4:59
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    Awesome! The screenshot you put in your answer appears to be from a version prior to the addition of the "Custom" button, so that's why I was confused. I tried it out and it works. Thank you! – Robert Sep 29 '18 at 5:30

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