I am looking for a tool (preferably Windows and freeware) which is able to efficiently select a part of a movie (mp4 and avi), and store it as a separate movie.

With efficient, I mean

  1. No visible loss in quality
  2. Significantly reducing filesize (i.e. if I select 50% of the length, I expect the result file to be, approximately, half of the size)
  3. Easy to use

Typically, the movies that I am working on vary in extension (avi, mp4), in length (10s-60m) and in size (2.5-500MB).

I would like to add that I have tried "Windows Movie Maker", but when cutting down a movie from 32s to 14s, the filesize increased from 2.5 to 3.5MB.

Which tool for Windows fits my requirements?


3 Answers 3


While it is a bit complicated and not highly intuitive at it's simplest you can do exactly that with AviDemux.

AviDemux screenshot

To just cut a section out and do basic compression with no knowledge of formats is not hard to do - I'm sure with a bit of reading of the docs and about formats you could do a better job than random selection but even at a semi-random trial and error selection you can do okay.

  • You can extract time bounded chunks of movies. This can be done by pressing the buttons A and B in the above screenshot followed by "Edit > Cut".
  • You can compress (quality loss depends on degree of compression - with around 70% compression I had zero visible quality loss on a 5-minute video from a concert I organized recently - while reducing from ~517mb -> ~150mb.)
  • It also supports quite a few file types
  • 1
    I accepted this answer, because it is easy to install (Windows), easy to use with cutting, and reduces indeed the file size!
    – Bernhard
    Feb 14, 2014 at 19:38

I use Virtual Dub for this kind of work - specifically in my instance re-encoding videos recorded using FRAPS of me playing games after appending each of the files into a single stream and cutting out the various parts of the video(s) I no longer need.

Virtual Dub UI with an example video

It doesn't have the best user interface I've seen but it certainly gets the job done and has enough features to meet your requirements, including;

  • Easily manipulate videos, cut sections out, append multiple videos together
  • Re-encode video into whatever formats you've got codecs available for, at whatever quality levels you choose
  • The ability to customise the audio over the video
  • Batch exporting to do multiple passes during encoding if you want that

If you cut out half of the video and export it using the same parameters as the video that was imported, you will get a file that is about half the size of what you imported.

It is available in 32 bit and 64-bit versions for Windows.

  • 1
    Virtual Dub does not work with .mp4. I've tried just now.
    – thermz
    Feb 8, 2014 at 11:35
  • Try using this Virtual Dub plugin to open MP4s. Remember that MP4s come a large and wide variety of flavours, you might need to use GSpot or something to find out how the one you have is encoded. | Discussion about MP4s in Virtual Dub
    – Flyk
    Feb 8, 2014 at 12:44
  • @Flyk Would you mind editting in the remarks about MP4 in your answer, because my question asks about MP4?
    – Bernhard
    Feb 14, 2014 at 19:13
  • I opened my 2.5MB .mp4 movie, and saved it as .avi for a fraction, and it ended in 142MB of rubbish quality with default settings. Any hints on that?
    – Bernhard
    Feb 14, 2014 at 19:29
  • @Bernhard Video menu > Compression > select your codec > click configure > select encoding settings... by default it selects (Uncompressed RGP/YCbCR), which will result in the behaviour you experienced
    – Flyk
    Feb 14, 2014 at 20:08

VideoReDo TV Suite (paid) should do what you want, it's useful for trimming/splitting video files (you can also remove ads in your videos).

This link has a similar question: Edit video file while retaining the original format

With VideoReDo's perfected smart rendering technology you can edit again and again without degrading any of your precious videos.

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