MPEG Streamclip is a handy free software tool that we find is very useful for marking and saving clips from video files- this can be more efficient that trying to split it in movie editing software; but more so, sometimes you may need only 20 seconds from a video, so it can save you from filling up a video project with a large mass of files.
In this tutorial we highlight the basic steps of marking, trimming, and saving video clips.
Doing the Trim
I've had mixed success in opeing YouTube URLs directly in MPEG Streamclip (Open URL from the File menu), so you might want to refer to our previous tutorial on downloading YouTube videos as MP4 files. If you have the file on your computer, you can open it into MPEG Streamclip.
The program acts like a video player, what you want to do is use the player controls or move the playhead to the point where you want to mark the beginning of the segment you want, the "In" point. You can use the Edit -> Select In' or just press "i" on your keyboard to mark this point, then use Edit -> Select Out; or just press "o" on your keyboard to mark this point.
Then, select Edit -> Trim and the video is replaced by just that sequence. You can repeat this process to zero on on the exact segment you wish to keep; you can also select in and out points in the middle if you want to remove a segment (I have done this when say, I want only one side of a dialogue).
Once the clip is marked as precisely as you need, simply use File -> Save As to save it as a new MP4 file- this is both quicker and more easy to do than any of the export options, which involve numerous video setting adjustments.
Now here is the neat part, you have not really changed the video file at all; if you select Edit -> Revert All Changes, the clip is restored and you can repeat the process on another section of the video.
Some other things you can do with this program is open a series of saved video files, and it will assemble them in the order of their file names- essentially you are using MPEG Streamclip as a simple video editor when you are just combining clips. Also, the File -> Export Frame option is handy to save single frames from movies (e.g. for making animated GIFs).
For some other ways to use MPEG Streamclip see:
- Creating Animated GIFs with MPEG Streamclip and GIMP by Jim Groom