I often find myself needing to make simple edits to media files on my Mac. Because this media is saved in lossy formats, I try to avoid re-encoding wherever possible. These edits include:

  1. Splitting a media file into smaller, separate clips.
  2. Combining multiple clips into one larger file.
  3. Removing a segment from the middle of a media file.

Typical formats are mp3 files, aac audio in an m4a container, or h.264 video and aac audio in an mp4 container.

I can currently do 1, 2, and 3 with ffmpeg, through some combination of the concat video filter and the -ss and -t parameters. However, editing visual media via a text-based command line is cumbersome and time consuming. Finding the exact timestamp to cut is an exercise in trial and error, and 3 is typically a multi-step process.

Quicktime X is capable of performing 1 without re-encoding, but only on video. And as soon as I attempt 2 or 3, it insists on re-encoding everything.

Is there a graphical program that will allow me to do 1, 2, and 3 on both audio and video files without any re-encoding? Ideally, I would like something with a minimalistic UI to go along with the simple nature of my edits—but at this point, any graphical program will probably be an improvement. I'm not opposed to paying a small amount of money, but anything professionally-priced will be overkill for my needs.

1 Answer 1


There are a number of FFMPEG GUI front ends but when combining clips you will find that it is necessary to re-encode if any of the following are true:

  1. The last frame of one clip is not exactly one frame before a keyframe
  2. Any of the parameters used for encoding differ between the clips

I would suggest taking a look at iffmpeg - there is a free trial and the purchase price looks very reasonable. Gives FFMPEG a nice user interface for OS-X.

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.