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How To Quickly Edit, Combine, Transcode & Apply Filters to Videos with Avidemux

Avidemux is an easy-to-use, open-source video editor for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It’s ideal for basic video-editing tasks. Unlike more advanced programs, it doesn’t have a lot of complex features that get in the way.

We’ve covered using Avidemux to quickly cut clips from a video file in the past, but there’s a lot more you can do with this application. You can download it for free.

Getting Started

First, launch Avidemux and open your video file from the File menu. You can easily combine multiple video files by opening additional video files with the Append option. Each video you add is added to the end of the current video.

Basic Editing

To move, copy, or delete a section of the video, you must first select it with the controls at the bottom of the video. Use Drag the slider, click the seek buttons, or just plug an exact from or time in. You can also click the Play button and click Stop when you reach the desired point.

After navigating to a specific point, mark the current point in the video with the A or B buttons. The A button marks the point as the beginning of the selection, while the B button marks it as the end of the selection. Your selection will be indicated with a blue rectangle on the seek bar.

The options in the Edit menu work on the current selection. You can cut, copy and paste portions of the video — when you use Paste, Avidemux inserts the selection at the current point in the video. Delete removes a selection entirely.

Use the Reset Edits button if you want to revert your changes.

Transcoding

By default, Avidemux edits your video without transcoding it to another format, so you won’t lose quality — this is what the “Copy” setting means. To apply filters to the video or audio, it must be transcoded. You can select new formats from the Video or Audio boxes at the left side of the video.

The Configure button in each section allows you to customize the audio or video encoding settings, although the defaults will probably work fine.

Filters

Filters can modify the audio or video — click the Filters button in either section to get started. The Audio filters dialog allows you to shift the audio to synchronize it with the video, change its perceived loudness level, and perform other operations.

The Video Filters dialog has much more options. It contains everything from filters that can resize, crop, or fade the video to a “useless whirlwind effect.”

To use a filter, select it and click the plus-sign-shaped Add button. You’ll see the filter’s options.

Each filter you add will appear in the Active Filters section. If you want to apply a filter to only a specific section of the video, select the filter and click the Partial button. This will allow you to fade out certain section of the video for transitions, for example.

After selecting your filters, click Close. They won’t be applied immediately — they’ll be applied when you export your video.

Saving the Video

To export your edited video, use the Save -> Save Video option in the File menu.

Avidemux will encode the video and save it to your computer.


There’s a lot more you can do with Avidemux — for example, you can use the Auto menu to automatically apply the appropriate settings to convert a video for use on a DVD, iPhone, or other type of media.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 03/15/12

Comments (13)

  1. GeordieGoose

    Is that a beaver?

  2. onedeafeye

    I think it’s some variety of marmot.

  3. Anonymous

    Can anyone tell me why Avidemux seems to loose synchronization between audio and video when transcoding or even just cutting out sections as described here?

    I’ve used Avidemux on several different systems and under several different platforms. It’s great! However, lately I’ve been having problems.

    Regardless of whether or not I’m using Windows or Linux, or if it’s on a laptop or desktop I always seem to loose synchronization between audio tracks and the video stream when it comes time to outputting the final project (usually as a MP4 or AVI file). My projects usually start out fine but after about 5 minutes you begin to notice that the actors lips are no longer in sync with the what’s being said. And by the end of maybe a 30 minute show you think you’re watching another poorly English dubbed Godzilla movie or something.

    As near as I can tell, this has something to do with “B-Frames.” But how can I fix the problem if the timing synchronization isn’t by a constant offset? In other words, I can’t just set Avidemux to compensate for this problem by increasing or decreasing the timing since the offset itself isn’t consistent – it changes. This makes me think I either have a problem with hardware (which isn’t too likely since it happens on totally different machines) or that I have a Codec problem or possibly a virus (which nothing seems to detect).

    Avidemux isn’t the only utility that does this either. I’ve tried Microsoft’s Movie Editor (the one that was included with Vista and can download for free from Microsoft for use with Windows 7) and even the Windows version of Handbrake (which is not a Microsoft Product). And about the only thing that works for simple transcoding of .wtv or .dvr files (which is what I have since I use Microsoft Media Center) is MCE Buddy 1.1. I used to be able to edit the resulting .mp4 files with Avidemux or Handbrake but not any more. This happens even with my own personal content too so it’s doubtful that MMC has anything to do with it either. You might also want to suggest using Format Factory but that too does the same thing – I just end up with more bad Godzilla shows that have nothing to do with Godzilla. The audio and video streams are there, just way out of sync by the time you get to the end of the show.

    I really just want to know what could possibly cause this very weird audio sync problem so I can get back to using Avidemux. Any ideas?

  4. r

    Hmm?..no idea, perhaps you need a new Johnson rod …yes, that’s a beaver

  5. KnightB4

    @Anonymous-

    Did you check to see if the audio in your clip is VBR? When you add the file to avidemux it should detect if this is the case and offer to build a “VBR Time Map”. Do so. They claim this can be done post-edit, but I never tried.

    Hope this helps. (the time map should preserve the original sync.

  6. Chris Hoffman

    @Anonymous

    KnightB4 gives good advice. That should work. Otherwise it could be a bug

    @Everyone Else

    Looks like a beaver to me. It’s from the sample Wildlife video included with Windows 7.

  7. robert

    Thanks for giving the more information about the How To Quickly Edit, Combine, Transcode & Apply Filters to Videos with Avidemux.

  8. Anonymous

    I don’t know why we’re wondering what that animal is in the picture but here’s a link to what I think it is:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marmot

    Anyway, about VBR, I have checked and yes some do use VBR (Variable Bit Rate). I also do the time stamp thing with Avidemux but still end up with unsynchronized video to audio. I’m at a loss to figure out what is causing it since it did work in the past. My best guess was that it was a glitch with Windows 7 or a Microsoft update or something since all my other systems also use Windows 7. The only problem with that hypothesis is that I can also boot into Linux Mint (another Debian/Ubuntu derivative) where I still have the same problem using the Linux version of Avidemux. So I can only guess there’s a glitch with my hardware or I need to tweak the BIOS settings somehow. Either that or I have a buggy chipset, CPU or RAM somewhere. But on 3 different systems?! Hopefully, someone else had this problem and fixed it. Otherwise, I can only guess there’s something else I’m overlooking.

  9. Chris Hoffman

    @Anonymous

    Marmot looks more likely than a beaver. I’m not really an animal expert.

    It’s possible an update to Avidemux (or the backend software it uses) broke something. If it happens on all your systems, I doubt very much that it’s a hardware problem. This is the sort of thing that’s hard to pin down, though.

  10. Anonymous

    Thanks to all who tried to help me with the audio/video sync problems that I’ve had with Avidemux. It would seem my difficulties with Avidemux are somewhat isolated since most other people haven’t had the same problems. Therefore, I think the best thing for me to do is just wait until the next revision is ready and try again. At least I can transcode my huge DVR files into MP4′s. But to whittle them down any more will require something like Avidemux to get rid of video segments I don’t want/need. (Can we say “commercials”?)

    Anyway, that’s it for me. I’m sure this thread will be closing soon. See you at the next HTG article…

  11. nonosh

    @Anonymous

    I have some problems with synchronization as well, but usually when I transcode my videos to WMV after editing them Windows Live Movie Maker. I’ve been relying on YouTube’s Web-based editor to cut out portions I don’t need, and then re-download them as MP4s, since YouTube uses a good transcoder for their H.264 streams.

    What do you use for transcoding? I’ve been using Freemake Video Converter lately, but I’m still searching for the best of the best (and Freemake has been preserving colors really well so far!).

  12. Chris Hoffman

    @nonosh

    I’ve heard great things about Handbrake.

  13. nonosh

    @Chris

    Wow, Handbrake’s great reviews *and* open-source nature just made me an instant user. Many thanks!

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