How to easily extract start/end times of several clips within a video?

Video Production Asked by Jose Gómez on January 4, 2022

I very often get videos from which I need to extract about 1 to 5 clips.

Currently I watch those videos in VLC and take note of the start/end times that each of the clips span. I feed that into ffmpeg, which I use to extract the clips to separate video files.

Whereas this works fine, it’s kind of tedious to be playing the video and stopping, taking note of the start time, continuing, taking note of the end time, and so on.

I would like to find some tool where I can watch the video and when there is a span of interest, just move to the right frame, press a key and have the start/end time automatically saved for me. I don’t mind about the specific output; I can process it later with a script before feeding the start/end times to ffmpeg.

I know with VirtualDub, Avidemux, etc., you can extract the video directly (clip by clip), but what I want to extract is the times of these interesting clips and do the actual extraction all at once with ffmpeg.

Is there any tool, if possible for Linux, that I could use to easily extract these times? Maybe any functionality or plugin for VLC or other player? Or any tool normally used for creating subtitles or some other synchronisation task?

One Answer

As an initial approach, gnome-subtitles seems to be an interesting option.

sudo apt-get install gnome-subtitles

One can marking the beginning and end of each clip as one dialog entry in the subtitle file, which can be saved as srt and later transformed to be used with ffmpeg.

Answered by Jose Gómez on January 4, 2022

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