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Q: mpeg2 video editing software (saving to DIVX) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: mpeg2 video editing software (saving to DIVX)
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: mxnmatch-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 20 Dec 2004 12:40 PST
Expires: 19 Jan 2005 12:40 PST
Question ID: 445210
I have a ton of mpeg2 files copied from my ReplayTV. I want some
software that will allow me to edit those files, clip off the bits I
don't want, and then save the result in DIVX (avi) format.

Specifically, I want to be able to open an mpeg2 file, select a
position in the timeline, click play to watch the movie and then click
a button to indicate that this point is the start of a cut then then
move to another place and click something else to select the end of
the cut and then click apply to cut that bit out. Basically, I want to
clip the ends off and the commercials out.

I know there are tons of mpeg splitters and whatnot out there, but I
don't want software that requires that I figure out the specific times
to start and stop the cut or which only work from the command line. I
want something that just allows me to navigate the video and edit it.

I don't care anything about saving videos to DVDs or VCDs or anything like that.

Being able to save to DIVX format would be preferable due to its
higher compression than mpeg2.

Clarification of Question by mxnmatch-ga on 24 Dec 2004 13:03 PST
Doesn't anyone know about software like this? I would think there must
be lots of software out there like this.

At the very least, how about dropping the saving to divx requirement.
I just want to edit an mpeg2 file in the manner described above.
Subject: Re: mpeg2 video editing software (saving to DIVX)
Answered By: endo-ga on 26 Dec 2004 08:49 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

VirtualDubMod allows you to do what you require.

You can download VirtualDubMod from:


1. Editing your file

Once you've installed it and run it. You need to open the file using
VirtualDubMod. Either drag and drop the file, or use the File->Open
menu. It needs to do some conversion process for MPEG2 files, so that
might take some time.

Once the file is open, use the slider at the bottom to move around the
file. Go to the start of the clip you want to cut. Then click on the
button that looks like a "P" turned left by 90 degrees. It's the
second button from the right in this picture:

Then go the the end of the clip and click on the button on the right.
You should now have a highlighted section in blue. Using the Edit->Cut
menu, you cut out that part of the clip.

2. Saving your file as DivX

Go to the Video menu and make sure that "Full Processing Mode" is
selected. If you then go to Video->Compression, you can choose DivX
and configure the codec for bitrate, resolution etc.

By default the audio is copied over as-is. If you want to recompress
the audio. Go the Streams->Stream list. Right click on the audio
stream and change "Direct Stream Copy" to "Full Processing Mode".
Right click on compression, and choose the new codec.

Clicking on File->Save as Avi, will save your file to the specified
location with the specified codecs. Depending on the DivX settings you
chose, and the speed of your computer, it can take anything from "half
real-time" to "twice as long as real-time" to convert and save the

If you need anymore help or advice, please do not hesitate to ask.


Request for Answer Clarification by mxnmatch-ga on 26 Dec 2004 17:45 PST
I am clearly doing something wrong. I opened up a 443k mpeg2 in
VirtualDubMod, cut out about a quarter of it, then reencoded it in
divx with the same bit rate as the original mpeg2 file (1815 kbps
(that's bits)). I didn't modify the audio settings, so that should
just copy it unchanged.

The result is a 598k file (1/3 larger than the original even though I
cut out 1/4 of the file before encoding it) with a different aspect
ratio and substantially lower video and audio quality.

Shouldn't it figure out the aspect ratio itself from the original file?

If reencoding it is going to substantially lower the quality of the
video and audio then perhaps I should just cut out the parts of the
file that I don't want and then save it in mpeg2 format again? Is that

Clarification of Answer by endo-ga on 27 Dec 2004 05:53 PST

The DivX codec is a bit weird in that way. On the compression settings
in VirtualDub, you need to click on the profile, and change/configure
the profile. In there you can change the resolution/size of the video
and the FPS. I don't think it automatically figures out the
resolution/FPS, which could explain why you get lower picture quality.
You shouldn't be getting lower audio quality though.

I wouldn't worry about the changes in bitrate/filesize, since bitrate
is always an approximation. 1850kbps is a lot for DivX. 900-1200kbps
is DVD quality. Quality is not going to get better via reencoding,
however there shouldn't be a substantial loss.

If you don't want to modify the video, you can try choosing "Direct
Stream Copy" instead of "Full Processing Mode" for the video, however
I'm not sure VirtualDub can save to MPEG2. You can let it save to a
.avi using that setting, then rename the file.

There's a list here of other software you could use just for
joining/splitting, look for those that support MPEG:

Cutting and Joining Tools

If you need anymore help, please do not hesitate to ask.

mxnmatch-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Thanks! After going to the links you mentioned I wandered around and
eventually found which turned out to edit mpeg2
files very well. Thanks!

Subject: Re: mpeg2 video editing software (saving to DIVX)
From: endo-ga on 15 Jan 2005 09:18 PST
Thank you for the great rating and generous tip.

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