I have a file that has one video stream and one audio stream with 8 channels. I want to create a new file that will only contain the first 2 channels of the audio stream (no video). I can do this using the pan filter. I also want to clip the file. I can do this using the -ss and -t options. However, when I try to do both together, I get an error.

So, if I run:

ffmpeg -i a.mov -filter_complex "[0:1]pan=2c|c0=c0|c1=c1[stereo]" -map "[stereo]" "a.audio.mov"

It works fine - I get the audio file with the correct channels.

But when I run:

ffmpeg -i a.mov -filter_complex "[0:1]pan=2c|c0=c0|c1=c1[stereo]" -map "[stereo]" -ss 00:00:01 "a.audio.mov"

I get the following error

[trim for output stream 0:0 @ 0000000002145720] Cannot select channel layout for the link between filters trim for output stream 0:0 and output stream 0:0.
[trim for output stream 0:0 @ 0000000002145720] Unknown channel layouts not supported, try specifying a channel layout using 'aformat=channel_layouts=something'.

Anyone have any ideas what I'm doing wrong and how to fix it?

  • 1
    Your 2nd command works for me on a movie with a 6-channel AC3 track. BTW, you probably want to use -c:a libfdk_aac, not the default AAC encoder. Is your ffmpeg version old? Does -ss work on that input stream when you aren't using that filter? Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 23:32
  • 1
    Thanks @PeterCordes! I had an older version of FFmpeg - it works in the latest version!
    – charisk
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 8:13

1 Answer 1


This was bug in atrim filter, not supporting unknown channel layouts, it should be fixed in latest ffmpeg.


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