There are many reasons for which you may want to extract clips from videos. You may, for example, want to use some of your favorite scenes from movies to use as extra material that will spice up your YouTube videos. Using a full-featured video editor would be overkill. LosslessCut can extract clips from a video quickly and with zero loss in quality.
LosslessCut is available for macOS, Windows and Linux. Head over to its Github page to download the installer for your platform of choice.
For Ubuntu, the easiest way to install it is through snap:
sudo snap install losslesscut
Unfortunately, LosslessCut doesn’t seem to be available in the repositories of most major Linux distributions. This means that your best alternative is directly downloading it from its official page at GitHub and installing it manually.
After installation, launch LosslessCut from its location in your Applications menu.
The first step is to import a video that has a section you would like to extract. You can do this by either selecting “File -> Open” or by pressing Ctrl + O on your keyboard.
You can also import your files by dragging and dropping them from your favorite file manager into the program’s window.
Videos come in many forms and formats. The file you are importing may not fall among the application’s natively supported formats. In that case, you could miss audio or see a low-quality preview. It wouldn’t affect the final result, though, which will be identical to the original file.
Note that although LosslessCut supports importing multiple files at once, due to its very nature, they should be encoded the same way. That’s because the program doesn’t recode its output but extracts the parts you are interested in as they are.
Export Some Clips
Since you don’t want to clone your whole video but only want to export some clips from it, the next step is defining those parts.
You can move forward and backward in your video “across its timeline” by left-clicking and dragging in the horizontal bar under the video preview. You can also use the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard to move in smaller steps.
Locate the beginning of the clip you want to export. You can try fine-tuning the position using the left and right arrow keys, but it doesn’t matter much. To extract clips from the original video without having to re-encode them, LosslessCut automatically selects the closest keyframe to the frame you selected and uses that instead as the beginning or end of your clip.
To mark your clip’s beginning, click on the little icon with the finger pointing to the left, the fourth one in the controls section under the timeline.
Do the same for the end of your clip by first locating it using the timeline. Mark it by clicking the button with the finger pointing to the right (fourth from the end in the same controls section).
On the top right, in your segments list, you’ll see the duration of the clip you’re going to export, in seconds, milliseconds, and frames. If you wish to export more clips from the same video source, you can do it in one batch by adding more segments and repeating the previous steps.
When you’ve defined one or more segments, click on the blue Export button on the bottom right of the window to start the process. It’s worth mentioning that the process is almost as quick as a file copy since there’s no re-encoding involved.
When the process completes, you will find the extracted clips in the same folder as your original file, with details about the selected time range combined with the original file name. You can play them with any media player you’d use to play the original file.
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