1

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.

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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.

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