I am very new to a/v editing and need to automate a simple process. Basically what I need is a way for my mom to capture video from her camera and input a series of numbers like

1:02 1:30
1:55 2:34
3:10 10:00

then the software to process the full video, cut out only the sequences specified by these time signatures and mix everything into one file.

I am a software developer by trade so ideally that would be some software that has a scripting language which I can learn and make a script in. I can semi-automate the process up to the point where it needs to cut out the desired sequences. I would do it myself for her but we don't live in the same town.

Note that no special editing is required, only cutting out sequences and stitching them together. I have googled around after "adobe premiere automation" and similar but found nothing. I am sort of familiar with AP, but it can be any other software.

If all else fails I would have to use some sort of desktop automation, but I would rather avoid this.

6 Answers 6


You can also try to use Avidemux -- its free and open source program + you can use it on Windows, Linux and Mac.

Here is the documentation wiki on Avidemux, where you can find section "Scripting":

  • Thanks, this looks best to me out of these three options.
    – Dreen
    Oct 29, 2012 at 14:12

MoviePy looks less intimidating than other scripting languages. It may be easier to script your time tag cutting tool with it.

MoviePy + IPython



I'm sure Virtual Dub http://virtualdub.sourceforge.net/ can do what you want, though there may be simpler scripted cutters out there. Before investing too much time in the script, be sure VD can handle the particular codec(s) you'll be using.

  • Thanks I remember this software from ages past. The API (virtualdub.org/docs/vdscript.txt) is a bit of a too much learning curve for now but Ill keep it in mind.
    – Dreen
    Oct 29, 2012 at 14:07

Take a look at Sony Vegas Pro. It supports scripting automation based on .NET (C#). There are third-party extensions like Vegasaur, which contains a lot of scripts and tools.

  • Thanks, this actually looks pretty cool but I don't want to invest all this money which is why I'm choosing Avid
    – Dreen
    Oct 29, 2012 at 14:10

try Freemake (older version, latest adds a watermark) or video to video converter.Both have easy to use graphical interface.


LosslessCut is the most efficient and free tool for your requirements which comes to my mind.

Your mother would watch the footage and just press I O I O I O ... all the time to set in and out points while watching. One can operate:

  • either inclusively: Keep everything between all in-out points and export the result.
  • or exclusively: Throw away everything between all in-out points and export the remainder.


  • Playback and operation is super fast and efficient.
  • Export is super fast and lossless — Concatenation without any re-encoding) but the cuts will occur at keyframes (which can be up to ca 1 sec away where you set the in- or out-point)
  • Operate by mouse or hotkeys. Very efficient.
  • Suits both beginners and advanced users well in one UI.
  • Free!
  • Cross platform: Windows, Linux, Mac.
  • Exclusive/inclusive mode can also be toggled any time. But ofc you should decide on your approach at the start of your cutting efforts and then stick to it.
  • With this you can easily create one export with "the good stuff" then simple swap the mode and then export "all the rest" into another file. If you need it as a backup. Maybe in a second pass you go through the "all the rest part" and have some takeouts there again. Until you have the "very very rest" which you may simply delete and not bother keeping at all.


  • Not frame-exact cutting (hh:mm:ss:ff), that would require to losslessly re-encode the portion from the last keyframe to that frame, but they look into implementing Smart Cut.
  • As far as I understood you only need seconds precision, so this con should not affect you.

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