I have figured out so far that you can cut a section from a video with avconv with a command like this (cuts from 1:00-3:00):

avconv -ss 00:01:00 -i "input.avi" -t 00:02:00 -c:v libx264 -crf 23 "output.mp4"

But how would I cut two (or more) sections from the video and combine them into one video? For example, taking 1:00-3:00 as above, plus 8:00-10:00, making a final 4 minute video.

I guess I can do them separately then concatenate them, but is there a simpler way?

  • Did you ever figure this out? I'm interested in doing exactly the same
    – Benoir
    Jul 3, 2015 at 4:12
  • @Benoir nope, sorry. But as per Janus' comment you may be able to first convert both videos to MPEG (at 100% quality), concatenate them, then re-encode in your desired format. I never bothered though... Jul 4, 2015 at 22:08

3 Answers 3


I believe you will have to cut separate chunks, then concatenate them. Don't use cat for that, as timecodes will be all over the place.

If the video chunks are mp4, use mp4box (from the gpac package) for concatenation:

mp4box -cat vid1.mp4 -cat vid2.mp4 ... -cat vidN.mp4 -new vid1-N.mp4

ffmpeg already has an option called concatenate. It works with most formats, not just for mpg files.

You can find instructions in the ffmpeg wiki.


For combining videos use:

cat video1 video2 > video3

Click here for more info.

If you would like to use the combined video in website, you could try a new technology, called popcorn.js. You should see this video to understand how to combine multiple videos without any software and to start any video from wanted seconds. It's very interesting.

For the whole process of cutting and combining videos maybe you need a script like this:

#! /bin/bash

cd $folder

avconv -ss 00:01:00 -t 00:02:00 -i $input -c:v libx264 -crf 23 $out1
avconv -ss 00:08:00 -t 00:10:00 -i $input -c:v libx264 -crf 23 $out2
# add as many lines as you like

cat $out1 $out2 > $combine

You only have to change the names of variables at the start of the script.

Also You could try MENCODER for joining videos:

mencoder -oac copy -ovc copy -idx -o output.avi video1.avi video2.avi video3.avi
  • 3
    Simply concatenating files doesn't work for most video formats AFAIK... Nov 20, 2012 at 0:16
  • 1
    @DisgruntledGoat: Correct. Only works for MPEG-1, MPEG-2 PS, DV: ffmpeg.org/faq.html#How-can-I-concatenate-video-files_003f Jul 25, 2013 at 11:40
  • Hardcoding file and directory names into a script is not necessary since positional parameters (and mktemp for temporary files created by the script) have been invented.
    – peterph
    Oct 10, 2014 at 18:46

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