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Old 05-03-10, 05:30 PM   #1
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Post The Top 5 Free Tools To Split Or Merge Video Files

There was a time when splitting a video file and sending it across was the only way to defeat the bottlenecks of low internet speeds. On the other side, you'd have to merge the video files. This was the preferred option to receiving the whole file in a trickle.

Speeds have leapfrogged, but split video files haven't disappeared. Split and merge tools remain because files are still being uploaded and downloaded in chunks.

Think of the many files you might be downloading (or uploading) from and to file sharing sites. Video files split and compressed in Zip or RAR format is common enough. But offline, splitting a file comes in handy when you want to clip a section from a large file, or you want to merge disparate video files into a combined file.


Splitting a video or clipping a section from a video file is the easier part of the two. Merging two videos into a single file has a lot to do with formats and codecs. As long as the files that need to be joined have the same codecs, merging two video files is a breeze. With two different files, re-encoding comes into the picture with some possible loss of quality and time (because re-encoding takes a share of time).

If I have to recommend one tool for the job, then it has to be the free and wonderful VirtualDub. Read all about the capabilities of this media editor if you decide to Merge Multiple Video Files With VirtualDub.

VirtualDub is not the last software standing. The choices of free video splitters/merge software are somewhat limited, but we still have them. Check out the five below :

Format Factory

Format Factory is a full featured video and audio converter with a subset of tools that handle file splitting and merging. Splitting a section from the video is as easy as selecting your video file, setting the clip range with a start time and end time and starting the process.



The merge process is also a simple select and merge process. Format Factory being a media converter offers a range of conversion options if you want to change the format and size of the output file.



Advanced features include a watermark option that lets you add a graphic in a defined position.

The formats supported by Format Factory include ' AVI, MPEG, MP4, MKV, WMV, FLV, SWF, and 3GP.

Format Factory ver.2.3 is a 37.7 MB download and is supported on Windows (all versions).

Movica (Beta)

Movica is an Open Source project. The movie editing software is basically a graphical user interface for three other tools (AsfBin, MpgTx, and flvtool) that handle the video editing at the backend. They are installed as part of the software.



Here's what you can do with this software:
  • Select or delete multiple portions from a video file.
  • Copy, paste and fine tune the selections.
  • Join multiple files together.
  • Split movies into smaller files.
  • Save and play selected scene without editing the movies.
  • Editing of some audio files (.wma and .mp3) is also supported.
Movica needs you to have .Net Framework and Windows Media Player (for video playback) to be installed on your system. The software is designed around the need to edit MPG, WMV, FLV, and RM video files.

Although it is a full fledged GUI tool, the developer's site gives emphasis to the use of keyboard shortcuts as some features are better handled. The shortcuts are similar to those in VirtualDub and Media Player Classic.

Movica allows you to split files according to duration's set, number of pieces, or by size of individual pieces. File join is much simpler, where you select the video files you want to join, change their order if needed and click on the join button. The operations are fairly quick depending on the size of the files.

Movica has a handy feature called Moviclips that lets you save selected portions from a video for editing. The other thing to like about this software is that it comes with an easy to understand help guide.

Movica 6.6 (Beta) is a 1.4MB free download.

MediaJoin

As the name suggests, MediaJoin is a video/audio joiner. This freeware and user friendly joiner supports WMA, WAV, OGG, AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, WMV, and MP3 formats.

The operation to merge video files is a few clicks affair ' you select the files that are to be joined and arrange them in sequence. Choose the media type and the output format from the dropdown.



The video and audio settings open up. Here, you can specify the compression codecs for the video and audio (for AVI), bitrates/frame rates (for MPEG), or video profiles (for WMV).



It seems that the software is not being developed further as the developers do not list it in their product lineup (the download is from Softpedia).

MediaJoin (ver.1.00) is a 4 MB download and is supported on Win XP/NT (No mention of Vista and 7).

HJSplit

If you are looking to quickly split a file and send it over the internet without any confusing thoughts of codecs and compressions, HJSplit is the tool. HJ Split splits a file into tinier chunks, which can be joined later using the same program. HJSplit can split files as large as 10GB into 640MB parts that can be fitted into a CD.



The best thing about this no-brainer freeware is that it does not require an installation, and its own tiny size (306KB). There are also versions available for different OS like Linux and Mac. So, a file split on a Windows machine can be easily merged together on a Mac. Alternatively, you can easily mail across the small sized executable along with the split parts.

HJSplit ver. 2.4 is a 344KB download and is supported on Windows 7, XP, Vista, 200x, NT, 9x, ME, and also on Windows 64 bit.

From our archives: Check out GSplit which is a similar splitter ' joiner tool.

Video Toolbox

We go online with Video Toolbox and its rich set of video tools. But like many online apps, Video Toolbox imposes a size restriction of 300MB for your video files. To use the site's set of video tools, you have to register (it's free). The menu on the left lists all the functions.

Files can be uploaded from the hard disk or linked via an URL. Selected files can be dropped into a timeline and merged using the command from a dropdown. The output format and resolution can be specified.



Cutting videos into smaller parts comes in two modes ' Simple and Advanced.



The Simple mode has a time slider to set the start and end time. You can split the video and also convert it into other preset media formats.

The Advanced mode follow similar first steps, but gives more options like choice of video codecs, bitrates, frame rates, and resolution.

Video Toolbox has a nice set of quick video tutorials which walk you through the entire feature sets.

Which is your favored tool for the split and merge job? Is it any of the ones here, or have we missed a mention of any good ones? Let us know.Follow MakeUseOf on Twitter. Includes cool extras.

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