I have a number of videos that overlap in time that were downloaded from an online video stream: 0m00s - 15m10s 14m50s - 30m20s ... The first few seconds (usually around 20 seconds) of a video segment duplicate last few seconds of the previous segment.

I'd like to concat the video segments and form a single video file without duplicate parts. I can do it programmatically using ffmpeg libraries to find the cut points by minimizing error between a frame of the current segment and the last frame of the previous segment.

Is there a way to achieve this with an ffmpeg command?

  • If the files have absolute timestamps, it may be possible. But if no, it's not possible in a single command. You can run one command to find join point betweeen two consecutive segments using blend filter/blackframe and then write a concat demuxer text file with the required inpoint/outpoint – Gyan Aug 20 '18 at 10:37
  • I just checked with -vf showinfo, and it seems they do not have absolute timestamps, but they do have some checksums (are these useful for finding exact duplicates?) Thanks for the pointer on blend/blackframe - googling it. – Vadim Kantorov Aug 20 '18 at 10:43
  • You need to add -copyts else ffmpeg will remove any starting offset before it gets to the filter. – Gyan Aug 20 '18 at 10:46
  • It seems framemd5 matching is enough for my videos. I can make framemd5 files for every video segment and fetch out dts / pts of the starting frame in every segment. Is there a way to concat with dts / pts inpoints instead of timestamps? – Vadim Kantorov Aug 20 '18 at 12:56
  • No, time has to be in seconds. – Gyan Aug 20 '18 at 14:23

I wrote the following script to solve my problem. It uses framemd5 checksums to find the inpoints in time and then uses the concat demuxer (thanks @Gyan for the tip!). I also created a gist with a more complete version that supports exact PTS inpoints using concat video filter; computing inpoints using explicit frame differences.

# Usage: ffmpeg $(python3 script.py input1.mp4 input2.mp4) -y -an output.mp4

import os
import sys
import subprocess

ffmpeg_concat_echo, md5_last_frame = '', None

for video_path in map(os.path.abspath, sys.argv[1:]):
        framemd5 = subprocess.check_output(['ffmpeg', '-nostats', '-hide_banner', '-i', video_path, '-an', '-f', 'framemd5', '-c', 'copy', '-'], stderr = open(os.devnull, 'w'))
        tb_num, tb_den = 1, 1
        inpoint = 0.0
        for line in framemd5.split(b'\n'):
                if line.startswith(b'#tb'):
                        tb_num, tb_den = list(map(int, line.split()[-1].split(b'/')))
                elif line and not line.startswith(b'#'):
                        splitted = line.split(b',')
                        md5 = splitted[-1].strip()
                        pts_time = float(splitted[2]) * tb_num / tb_den
                        if md5_last_frame is not None and md5 == md5_last_frame:
                                inpoint = pts_time
        md5_last_frame = md5
        ffmpeg_concat_echo += 'echo "file {}"; echo "inpoint {}";'.format(video_path, inpoint);

print('-nostats -hide_banner -avoid_negative_ts make_zero -fflags +genpts -f concat -safe 0 -i <({}) -c copy'.format(ffmpeg_concat_echo))
  • This may result in "Non-monotonous DTS" errors. Some ways to solve: 1) Use concat video filter. Downsides: will re-encode 2) Extract streams and re-assemble them back. Downsides: will make a file copy, unless named pipes are used 3) Wait until this patch gets merged. Hopefully it would fix the problem – Vadim Kantorov Aug 22 '18 at 9:19
  • is there better version of it, gist isn't working – Muhammad Umer Jun 5 '19 at 5:10
  • This worked great for stitching some security camera footage together, thank you. – hannasm Oct 21 '20 at 15:40
  • The gist link is broken, could you please share the code again in a more permanent way? – Isti115 Jan 6 at 23:02

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