ClipGlue: A utility to join video files for OS X.


Image via Wikipedia

I’ve found myself needing to splice together some bird videos that I had laying around on the hard drive, because when I got them they were segmented into multiple pieces. The task is extremely frustrating on OS X, because it involves a bunch of command line work using a tool like ffmpeg, using a heavy-weight tool like iMovie, or paying a bunch of money for a one-use utility. So, I decided to write up a quick wrapper for ffmpeg that would make the process easier, and I’m releasing it into the wild as ClipGlue.

Warning: this is a program I whipped up in a day, and it’s not fully baked. It’s ugly as hell, for one thing, and I haven’t done a bunch of testing on it;  I decided to release it because I thought it might be of use to others, but it’s not production-quality code.  Use it at your own risk, because I’m not taking any responsibility for damage it does.

Usage is simple:  download the program from Github (look for the “Downloads” button on the right;  this is also where you can also get the source code for the project) and unzip it.  When you open the program, it presents a target onto which you can drag the video files that you want joined;  press the “Glue” button and go get a coffee.

Problems you are likely to face:

  • The program is only built for Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6), because Xcode 4 doesn’t come with the 10.5 SDK.  If someone out there downloads and builds it for Leopard or earlier, let me know and I’ll post the binary.
  • If you try to glue together files which are of different sizes (or bit rates, etc), ffmpeg is going to die a nasty death.  This is meant for files which are basically a whole video cut up into pieces, not for more serious editing work.
  • Similarly, I haven’t tested it with multiple encodings in the sources files (mixing .avi with .mov, for example), but that may throw a wrench in.
  • There may be a couple of UI bugs I haven’t caught yet.

Like I said, I hope it’s useful to people, but please don’t complain to me that it doesn’t do x, y, or z.  If you have a simple feature request I’ll entertain it, but I’m not turning this into much more than it is now.

And with the “rowr, rowr, rowr, I’m a meanie!” out of the way, enjoy the program!

UPDATE: If you’re looking for a low-cost but more professional alternative, SplitFuse looks like a likely candidate.  I haven’t tried it myself, though, so your mileage may vary.

Also, I’ve been using the program today and I’ve noticed that for many files, especially .avi, the file size after gluing is significantly larger than the combined file size of the parts.  For some reason, the conversion back and forth balloons the file size;  I’ll look into the problem and see if I can find a combination of ffmpeg flags that will handle the issue without degrading quality.

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