How to Trim Video Using FFMpeg: cut like a pro!

Master video trimming with FFmpeg! This beginner-friendly guide explains everything you need to know, step-by-step.

Video trimming is an important part of video editing because it lets users improve and tailor their content to specific lengths of time or segments. FFMpeg is a flexible multimedia framework that has powerful tools for quickly trimming videos. This article shows you how to Trim Video Using FFMpeg.

With FFMpeg’s command-line interface, users can precisely set the beginning and ending points of trimming, making sure that segments transition smoothly from one to the next. By giving timestamps or durations, this process lets you extract only the parts you want from the original video file, getting rid of the rest.

It’s also fast and reliable, which makes it a popular choice among both professionals and hobbyists. By adding trimming to a video editor with FFMpeg, users get access to powerful tools for making content that looks good and fits together well. This improves the editing experience overall while keeping it quick and accurate. To learn more, we recommend visiting the official website.

How to Trim Video Using FFMpeg

  1. Use the -ss parameter: Specify the starting position within the video using the -ss parameter followed by the desired timestamp. This sets the point from which the video will be trimmed.
  2. Define the duration: Determine the length of the segment to be extracted. This is done using the -t parameter followed by the duration in either sexagesimal format (HH:MM:SS.MILLISECONDS) or seconds.
  3. Execute FFmpeg command: Run the FFmpeg command with the specified parameters. The command structure is typically ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -ss [start_time] -t [duration] -c:v copy -c:a copy output.mp4.
  4. Optional: Preserve audio and video quality: Include the -c:v copy and -c:a copy options in the FFmpeg command to maintain the original quality of both the video and audio streams without re-encoding.
  5. Ensure proper time calculation: Be mindful of the duration chosen to avoid extending the output beyond the length of the input video. If the specified duration exceeds the length of the input video, the output will terminate at the end of the input video.
  6. Verify the output: Check the resulting output file to ensure it contains the desired segment of the original video, starting from the specified timestamp and extending for the specified duration.

Basic Syntax for Video Trimming with FFMpeg

Cutting by choosing a beginning and ending time:

  • use ffmpeg -i input.output from mp4 -ss start_time -to end_time.mp4 -i switch on.mp4: Shows the video file to be used.
  • Sets the beginning point of the trimmed video with -ss start_time. Dates can be written in HH:MM:SS or as seconds, like 00:01:30 or 30.
How to Trim Video Using FFMpeg
  • Sets the point at which the trimmed video ends. Format it the same way you did with start_time.mp4: The name of the file that will be created from the trimmed video.

Cutting by setting the length of time from a starting point:

  • ffmpeg -i play.mp4 -ss start_time -t duration results.mp4 -t duration: Sets the video’s length in seconds.
  • -c copy: Copies audio and video streams without re-encoding them. This keeps the quality but might make them less compatible.
  • Choose the video codec to re-encode with -c:v codec. For H.264, use a codec that works with it, like libx264.
  • -c:a codec: Chooses the audio codec to use for re-encoding. For AAC, use a codec that works with it, like aac.

Advanced Techniques for Precise Trimming

Making Marks:

  • You can set markers in your video editor. If you edited your video in Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve, you can export marker data and use it with FFmpeg.
  • Using FFmpeg to make markers: You can also use the -marker option to make markers right in FFmpeg. But to do this, you need to know more about FFmpeg syntax.

How to Use Filters:

  • Choose specific video frames: Use filters like “select” or “trim” to pick out specific frames or groups of frames to trim. This can help with very precise trimming, but you need to know how to use filter expressions to do it.

Using scripts from outside sources:

  • Check out scripts made by the community: If you know how to use scripts, you might look for Python or Bash scripts that use FFmpeg to do more complex trimming tasks.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with FFMpeg Trimming

How the Trimming Process Works:

  • To be clear, make sure you understand FFMpeg’s syntax and the trimming options. For correct information, look at the official documents: [[invalid URL taken away]]([invalid URL taken down])
  • If you’re getting errors, you need to be specific about the commands you’re using, including the paths to the input and output files, the timecodes, and any other options you may have. This will help you figure out what’s wrong.
  • Tooling: You could use Avidemux or HandBrake, which are user-friendly GUI tools built around FFMpeg and have simpler interfaces for trimming without needing to know how to use the command line.

Typical Problems and How to Fix Them:

Timecodes that are wrong:

  • Format: Make sure your timecodes are formatted correctly a second time. In most cases, FFMpeg uses HH:MM:SS.SS or seconds, like -ss 00:01:00 -to 00:02:00.
  • To figure this out, make sure that the start and end timecodes are within the length of the video. You can find out how long a video is by using a media player or the -info flag in ffmpeg.

Trouble with encoding:

  • Compatible: Use the -c:v and -c:a options to choose output codecs that are compatible, for example, -c:v libx264 -c:a aac. Use copy to keep the original codecs if you’re not sure.
  • For faster processing, use options like -hwaccel cuda (NVIDIA) or -hwaccel vdpau (AMD) to turn on hardware acceleration if it’s available and supported by your codec.


How do you cut out parts of a video in FFmpeg?

FFmpeg lets us trim more than one part of a video with just one command. We can do this by using a number of -ss and -t options to set the start time and length of each segment. FFmpeg’s concat filter will join these segments together.

How can I trim parts of a video?

On your Android phone or tablet, open the Gallery app and pick out the video you want to cut. In the bottom left corner, tap the pencil icon. There will be sliders on the screen. Move them to the right lengths for the scene or movie clip you want to cut. You can only trim from the beginning or the end.

Is it possible to trim a video?

First, open the Photos app on Windows. Then, choose the video you want to trim. Finally, click Edit & Create. Next, click Trim and use the sliders to change where the start and end points are. Check out TechSmith’s Snagit if you want more advanced editing tools. It has more than just basic trimming tools.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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