While searching through U&L I noticed a fair amount of questions asking how to script the generation of ffmpeg command lines like these:

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -ss 00:00:00 -t 00:10:00 -c copy 01.mp4
ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -ss 00:10:00 -t 00:10:00 -c copy 02.mp4
ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -ss 00:20:00 -t 00:10:00 -c copy 03.mp4

In researching solutions for this I stumbled across this ticket in the ffmpeg issue tracker, titled: Split an input video into multiple output video chunks.

This ticket highlights a patch that would allow you to finally be able to provide a list of time points to cut a video into smaller sections with a single command line like this:

$ ffmpeg -i input.avi -f segment -segment_times 10,20,40,50,90,120,180 \
      -vcodec copy output02%d.avi

The patch appears to have been released in this revision of the code repository:

commit 2058b52cf8a4eea9bf046f72b98e89fe9b36d3e3
Author: Stefano Sabatini <stefasab@gmail.com>
Date:   Sat Jan 28 22:36:38 2012 +0100

    lavf/segment: add -segment_times option

    Address trac ticket #1504.

I downloaded this statically built version of ffmpeg, ffmpeg.static.64bit.2013-10-05.tar.gz from the ffmpeg site, but it apparently didn't include that switch.

$ ./ffmpeg --help |& grep segment

Has anyone been able to get this new switch working?

  • Not for ffmpeg version 0.8.16-6:0.8.16-1 built on Sep 16 2014 23:10:48 with gcc 4.7.2 obtained from http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy/main ffmpeg amd64 6:0.8.16-1. It fails with Unrecognized option 'segment_times'. – Luis Antolín Cano Nov 13 '14 at 11:38
  • I found this. Is it what you're describing? – Justin Coffi Nov 29 '14 at 2:03

Is it because the missing -map option, which designates the input streams as a source for the output file. I'm using ffmpeg 2.6.1 and is able to split the video with -segment_times:

ffmpeg -i foo.mp4 -segment_times 10,20,30,40 -c copy -map 0 -f segment  %03d.mp4

If you need more elaborate splitting, you can use OpenCV to read the original video and write desired frame to the new split. Check these out: "Creating a video with OpenCV" and "Split a video to multiple chunks according to multiple starting and ending frame indices"

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