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(This is similar to a question I asked in 2014 but I'm hoping there are better options available now, plus we have to take the lack of 32-bit apps into consideration now.)

QuickTime 7 will no longer work in macOS 15 "Catalina" so the time has come to find an alternative.

Playback is no problem, as there are many apps that can playback videos in more formats than QuickTime 7 could.

However, one of the best features of QuickTime 7 "Pro" was that it was able to make simple edits to video files (not just trimming from the start or end, which is all QuickTime X can do).

It also did so without re-encoding the videos, at least for .mov files.

I'm hoping to find GUI app options, rather than, say, some kind of magical ffmpeg invocation. Bonus points for being easy to use and not having an atrocious UI, but at this point I'm open to just about anything.

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I am not sure if it is allowed and wanted to mention our product, nessViewer, which have the feature you requested.

Please note that we are the distributer of this application - it is commercial and costs 19.90 Euro.

The video editing is very near to the old style - which means that you select the start point, via shift pressed the end point, and then remove the selected video frames. This works on any part of the video and multiple times.

Beside this simple editing, the application allows it to join multiple videos (copy & paste does not work), rotate and flip, and to change the size of the video (e.g. to fade out black beams on top and below).

The application is signed, and certified by Apple (notarization). We have tested it on macOS 10.15 (Catalina) and have not found any problem so far.

One last info: this application is a collection of many features - not just video playback and editing. So at the beginning, it might need some time to learn how to handle all these features. If you need any help, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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QuickTime X seems to be able to open a .mp4 file, trim it, and re-save as .mp4 with no re-encoding.

This was surprising to me, as the only way to Export the file is via a filetype change to .mov.

If you take other actions such as Add Clip to End..., the menu item for Save will become greyed out and you will be forced to export as .mov if you wish to save. If you Split Clip more than one time without deleting a segment it similarly prevents the save.

But this does enable easy trimming and re-saving without .mov conversion using Quicktime X.

Trim .mp4 video file:

  1. Open a .mp4 with QuickTime Player X
  2. Scrub to a location in the file. Use the keyboard arrow controls for frame-perfect accuracy.
  3. Press Split Clip CMDY to cut the video into two segments.
  4. Select the unwanted segment. Press delete to delete.

Note: You can also use the Trim CMDT command. But I find it is almost impossible to accurately set the In/Out markers without keyboard arrow controls, which do not function in the Trim UI. Instead, use Split Clip to delete each end of the trim.

Save without re-encoding

  1. Press Save CMDS
  2. A "Save As..." dialog will pop up.
  3. Note that it is exporting as .mp4. Default value: Export As: Untitled.mp4
  4. Rename your file and save.
  5. Resulting format will be same file type and dimensions as your source file. Its file size should also be smaller, depending on how much was trimmed.

Export As:

Export As...

Note that the Export As... menu does NOT contain "pass through" or "original" or any good option.

When you select 480p you are only able to export as a .mov file.

Use Save rather than Export, which will allow you to re-save as a .mp4.

Export As is NOT good

  • I mentioned in the original post that I am aware that QuickTime X can trim this, but it's not what I'm looking for. Imagine that I have a 10 minute video and want to remove minutes 2, 4, and 6. In QuickTime 7 I could easily edit out those time-stamps and then save the file again, but QuickTime X cannot do that unless you split the video into separate parts, which is not what I want. – TJ Luoma Sep 18 at 0:57
  • @TJLuoma yeah I understand the desire for "trim from the middle" functionality. But it is nice to know that QuickTime X can be used to re-save some cuts using the original encoding. Everything I had seen involved exporting as .mov. – pkamb Sep 18 at 17:08

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