I have a bash script and a php script that function in concert to trim audio/video files using start/stop times.

PHP script:

// Create datetime objcects
$dt1 = new DateTime($argv[1]);
$dt2 = new DateTime($argv[2]);

// Conver difference to seconds
$dt3 = $dt2->format('U') - $dt1->format('U');

// echo $dt3."\n";
$h = (int)($dt3 / 3600);
$dt3 %= 3600;
$m = (int)($dt3 / 60);
$dt3 %= 60;
$s = $dt3;

// Dump as H:M:S
echo $h . ":" . $m . ":" . $s;


chopvideoaudio.sh script:


OFFSET=`php TimeDiff.php "$START" "$STOP"`

echo "Disecting $INFILE starting from $START to $STOP (duration $OFFSET)"
ffmpeg -ss "$START" -t "$OFFSET" -i "$INFILE" "$OUTFILE"


./chopvideoaudio.sh [input.mp4] [startchop] [stopchop] [output.mp4]

Where [startchop] and [stopchop] are both absolute timestamps from the beginning of the track.

Example command to run this script:

./chopvideoaudio.sh input.mp4 00:01:20 00:01:45 output.mp4

I want a YAD (yet another dialog) script that will open up a dialog box(es) containing an input field to enter a custom file type (e.g. mp3, mp4, avi). Then input fields for the two timestamps, in which I can enter two custom timestamps. After pressing OK the script will run and extract the section from between the two timestamps.

I would also be interested in a solution using Zenity, but I prefer YAD.

  • You want to enter two timestamps and then extract 25 seconds of AV. If you were to enter 00:00 and 10:00 (i.e. a 10 minute interval) how should we identify which 25 seconds of that 10 minutes to extract?
    – roaima
    Feb 21, 2015 at 22:25
  • @roaima Not sure I understand your question. If I was to enter 00:00:00 in the first timestamp field and in the second timestamp field enter 00:10:00, then 10 minutes would be extracted from the audio or video starting at the beginning of the audio or video file.
    – whitewings
    Feb 21, 2015 at 22:38
  • that's what I would have expected but you mentioned 25 seconds in your question, seemingly out of nowhere. Ah I see - it refers to your example command line.
    – roaima
    Feb 22, 2015 at 8:26
  • @user8547 Have you found any solution?
    – Pandya
    Feb 26, 2015 at 9:30

2 Answers 2


Here is a solution using yad, bash only (no php), with one dialog:

eval $(yad --width=400 --form --field=input:FL --field=start --field=end --field=output:SFL "" "00:00:00" "00:00:00" "" | awk -F'|' '{printf "INPUT=\"%s\"\nSTART=%s\nEND=%s\nOUTPUT=\"%s\"\n", $1, $2, $3, $4}')
[[ -z $INPUT || -z $START || -z $END || -z $OUTPUT ]] && exit 1

DIFF=$(($(date +%s --date="$END")-$(date +%s --date="$START")))
OFFSET=""$(($DIFF / 3600)):$(($DIFF / 60 % 60)):$(($DIFF % 60))
ffmpeg -ss "$START" -t "$OFFSET" -i "$INPUT" "$OUTPUT"

Here is a screenshot of what it will look like. Please note that the text of the buttons will be automatically adapted to your choosen language. I'm French speaker obviously!

![screenshots of the dialog

The drawback of this one dialog only is that with yad, you cannot pre-select file extension for file input. If this is mandatory, here is two steps/dialogs solution:

INPUT=$(yad --width=600 --height=400 --file-selection --file-filter='*.mp3 *.mp4 *.avi')

eval $(yad --width=400 --form --field=start --field=end --field=output:SFL "00:00:00" "00:00:00" "${INPUT/%.*}-out.${INPUT##*.}" | awk -F'|' '{printf "START=%s\nEND=%s\nOUTPUT=\"%s\"\n", $1, $2, $3}')
[[ -z $START || -z $END || -z $OUTPUT ]] && exit 1

DIFF=$(($(date +%s --date="$END")-$(date +%s --date="$START")))
OFFSET=""$(($DIFF / 3600)):$(($DIFF / 60 % 60)):$(($DIFF % 60))
ffmpeg -ss "$START" -t "$OFFSET" -i "$INPUT" "$OUTPUT"

That shows a file picker and then a timestamp window like this:

screenshots of the dialog

  • Tx! One thing that could improve this is if the script was modified so that the 00:00:00's appear in the timestamp dialog boxes by default. That way I would only have to type in some of the numbers. But it's no big deal either way.
    – whitewings
    Feb 26, 2015 at 13:31
  • 2
    @user8547, I've edited my answer to pre-fill with "00:00:00" for start/end field, and pre-fill with output filename as basenamee-out.ext.
    – thdox
    Feb 27, 2015 at 17:04
  • The second script is so nice! More extensions can be added to the line that starts with INPUT= in order to access more file-types, for example *.m4a *.ogg *.flac *.aac
    – cipricus
    Feb 11, 2020 at 15:45
  • I use the last script with videos too, but for that the last line should be then changed to ffmpeg -ss "$START" -t "$OFFSET" -i "$INPUT" -c copy -map 0 "$OUTPUT". (Otherwise it is re-encoding the video instead of just copying it, taking time and memory, and giving a smaller size and 1/2 reduced bitrate.)
    – cipricus
    Feb 8, 2021 at 10:46

You can Use Zenity as follows:-

  1. For File-selection:

    file=$(zenity --file-selection --file-filter='*.mp4 *.mp3 *.avi')


    file=$(zenity --file-selection --title="Select Input File" --file-filter='*.mp4' --file-filter='*.mp3' --file-filter=*.avi)
  2. For Text-Entry:

    startchop=$(zenity --entry --text=startchop)
    stopchop=$(zenity --entry --text=stopchop)

    or Zenity-Forms:-

    zenity --forms --text="Time-stamps" --add-entry=startchop --add-entry=stopchop

Now: echo $file $startchop $stopchop gives you output like: input.mp4 00:01:20 00:01:45

i.e you can use variables $file, $startchop and $stopchop. Customize the command as you wish!


Suggested chopvideoaudio.sh script:

INFILE=$(zenity --title="Select Input File" --file-selection --file-filter='*.mp4' --file-filter='*.mp3' --file-filter=*.avi)
$TIMESTAMPS=$(zenity --forms --text="Time-stamps" --add-entry=startchop --add-entry=stopchop)
START=$(echo $TIMESTAMPS | cut -d '|' -f 1)
STOP=$(echo $TIMESTAMPS | cut -d '|' -f 2)
OUTFILENAME=$(zenity --entry --text=filename)
OUTFILETYPE=$(zenity --list --titile="Select File Type" --text="file types\ selection" --column="Select" --column="File Type" --radiolist false avi true mp4 false mp3)

OFFSET=`php TimeDiff.php "$START" "$STOP"`

echo "Disecting $INFILE starting from $START to $STOP (duration $OFFSET)"
ffmpeg -ss "$START" -t "$OFFSET" -i "$INFILE" "$OUTFILE"

Usage: only run ./chopvideoaudio.sh


  • INFILE=$(zenity --title="Select Input File" --file-selection --file-filter='*.mp4' --file-filter='*.mp3' --file-filter=*.avi) will display GUI File selection window by Zenity:


  • $TIMESTAMPS=$(zenity --forms --text="Time-stamps" --add-entry=startchop --add-entry=stopchop) will display GUI Tex entry box in which you have to enter timestamps:


    And from above $START and $STOP get both values respectively.

  • OUTFILE="$OUTFILENAME".$OUTFILETYPE is the combination of (A text entry for output file-name) OUTFILENAME=$(zenity --entry --text=filename)

    And The GUI file-type selection dialogue by OUTFILETYPE=$(zenity --list --title="Select File Type" --text="file type selection" --column="Select" --column="File Type" --radiolist false avi true mp4 false mp3):


Hence By means of this example:-

  • $INFILE returns selected file for input (e.g input.mp4)
  • $START & $STOP returns 00:01:20 and 00:01:45 respectively.
  • $OUTFILE returns output file-name with file-type (e.g output.mp4)
  • Could you give me the full code based on the code in my original post? I'm not familiar enough with Zenity to take what you've given me and make it work.
    – whitewings
    Feb 22, 2015 at 18:21
  • @user8547 Do you want to select file (browse via GUI window) input.mp4 and output.mp4 and what do you mean by entering custom file type? Caan you Explain Input & Output File (and it's type) procedure?
    – Pandya
    Feb 24, 2015 at 11:55
  • I've added suggested script in my post.
    – Pandya
    Feb 24, 2015 at 12:13
  • Tx Pandya, but I went with thdox's answer instead, as I prefer his two-step dialog solution without the need for the php script.
    – whitewings
    Feb 26, 2015 at 13:29
  • 1
    OK, No problem. BTW that is simple calculation for time difference like this.
    – Pandya
    Feb 26, 2015 at 13:55

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