What application is there that can open a video, modify it, and save it?
(the software that I am using now, only allows the video to be used as a source, and then exported)

I have adobe premier, but it does not actually edit videos, you have to make a new project, and set the output type/settings, then import the video, then bring in the video, edit it, and then save it.

I also have iMovie, and again, project, import, edit, export.

Is there any application that I can open a mp4 video make edits (clipping segments) and save it in the same format/size/container/etc as it was opened in?

  • 3
    Que? Editing software merely allows you to edit - they will not edit for you.
    – user2995
    Dec 19, 2012 at 19:41
  • If I understand correctly you want to avoid rendering out a new video. You just want tp cut a piece of video and click save. Quicktime Player on the Mac (and probably on Windows) allows you to do this. Dec 19, 2012 at 21:23
  • h.264 is not an all-I-frame codec. That means that the frames are dependant on other frames. This is a problem when you cut it, because you may be trimming off the frames on which it depends. TL;DR: You'll find that it will have to be at least partially re-encoded no matter what you use.
    – stib
    Dec 20, 2012 at 6:21
  • I'm not asking for the software to edit for me, just trying to update the workflow. My workflow now is, [new project (setup dimensions), import source, edit new video, export video w/o right settings], instead i want to [open video, edit video, save video (in original format/dimensions)
    – nycynik
    Dec 20, 2012 at 16:28
  • The mac tag was added to the question, while I do not disagree - The ffmpeg answer should work on multiple operating systems. So if you are reading this looking for an answer in windows or linux, this is applicable.
    – nycynik
    Nov 27, 2019 at 16:42

6 Answers 6


If you can script yourself, all you need to do is call FFmpeg repeatedly:

ffmpeg -ss [start-time] -i input.mp4 -c copy -t [clip-time] output.mp4

Here, start and clip times can be in the form HH:MM:SS.mmmm, or just in seconds.

To give you a rough idea how that'd look like in Ruby, see this Gist of mine. It contains a script that takes an edit list, a folder of videos, and cuts them accordingly. I've used it very often for cutting videos based on an input edit list.

The edit list would look like that, with the timestamps in the proper FFmpeg format (e.g. 00:00:24.240) and the difference passed to -t in the last column.

Note that you can't expect it to work with any input/output without synchronization issues. If that's the case, you need to re-encode video and audio parts. I wouldn't use that script of mine though as it's not very … eloquent in that regard. Rather cut your video in a NLE.

  • THIS is perfect. Thank you very much. Exactly what I needed.
    – nycynik
    Dec 20, 2012 at 16:05
  • Thanks! Let me know if you run into problems, I'm happy to improve that script – been a while since I've used it!
    – slhck
    Dec 20, 2012 at 22:12

Open your video in Quicktime Player, click Edit -> Trim and place the start and end marks at the desired beginning and end of your clip. Hit Trim and then click Save.

  • the only problem is it changes the video format, wish it could keep the format, but this is much faster then editing with the tools I was using.
    – nycynik
    Dec 19, 2012 at 22:01
  • Faster yes, but it's very limited. I just now see that you have a batch of files, then ffmpeg might come in handy. Just google ffmpeg and if you have any specific questions regardin ffmpeg and trimming you can ask them here of course. And not sure if it's an error but you've chose Chris's answer as accepted. Dec 19, 2012 at 23:05

AVS4YOU and Filmora can do this but they are 60USD.

Avidemux can do this for free (and the above software may even be reboxed Avidemux) but it will only cut one video where as these others will cut your video into lots of clips, saving each separately.

There is also losslesscut which is a GUI for ffmpeg seems to be able to do all that the commercial stuff does for free. You press the "i" and "o" (in and out) keys to set a cut, and press the c+ button to set a second cut. https://github.com/mifi/lossless-cut Unfortunately it does not seem to work with the video that I have created using Vegas.

  • 1
    LosslessCut is amazing, very simple and quick. I have wanted a tool like this for so long. Thanks for the recommendation.
    – Muhd
    Feb 22, 2020 at 7:59
  • My pleasure. The lack of an audio track on Losslesscut forces me to use AVS4YOU for the time being.
    – timtak
    Feb 24, 2020 at 0:51

What do you mean by "Edit"? If splitting/cutting all you need, take a look at AVS Video Remaker, which makes it without conversion.

  • This is also perfect, but I use a mac. But its the right type of software to solve simple edits w/o conversion.
    – nycynik
    Dec 20, 2012 at 16:22

Try Adobe Media Encoder. Import your clips, trim them, and batch export.

  • This will re-encode the video. The question asked how to avoid this.
    – tomh
    May 18, 2020 at 15:51

I think you are trying to reinvent the wheel here...premiere does exactly what you want it to do, just use google to figure out the parts you dont understand

  • OK- I have about 51 videos to trim, they are not uniform size, so im googling, but it seems like I need to set the dimensions for each project, and i must create the project for each video i want to edit, but im googling..
    – nycynik
    Dec 19, 2012 at 21:39
  • I was not able to find a way for premier to do this, it always has to follow the new project, new scene, import, trim, export/encode. Thats a lot of work to trim videos. I am accepting Barts answer, even tho that one changes the video format, i can batch encode them all after I finish the trims.
    – nycynik
    Dec 19, 2012 at 22:00

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