Tools to trim AVCHD videos
I use two free tools to trim my AVCHD videos. The first is called tsMuxeR and the second is called Media Player Classic.
tsMuxeR is a free tool developed by SmartLabs that can trim AVCHD files. The tsMuxeR package has a graphical user interface (GUI) and a command line interface. I use the GUI to trim my AVCHD files. The processing speed is very fast. It usually takes just seconds to trim a video file on my computer with an Intel dual-core T9500 processor. In addition, as far as I can tell, there is no change in video and audio quality after trimming. However, tsMuxeR does not have a video preview function. Therefore, in order for me to determine precisely where to trim an AVCHD video, I use Media Player Classic.
Media Player Classic (MPC) is a very popular and free video player. More importantly, it has a feature that allows me to determine the time that corresponds to a particular frame in a video. Therefore, by knowing such times, I can then use tsMuxeR to trim an AVCHD video very accurately. To run MPC under Windows XP, which does not have an AVCHD codec, I need to install ffdshow which is a free AVCHD codec. To run MPC under Windows 7, which does have the AVCHD codec, I don't need to install ffdshow.
Setting up the tools
I do the following to set up tsMuxeR and MPC.
- Create an AVCHD working directory in, e.g., the "My Document" folder.
- Download tsMuxeR from here.
- Extract the downloaded zip file and copy the entire tsMuxeR folder to the AVCHD working directory. If the name of the extracted folder is not "tsMuxeR", rename it to "tsMuxeR".
- Download MPC from here.
- Extract the downloaded zip file and copy the mplayerc.exe file in the extracted folder to the AVCHD working directory.
- For my PC running Windows XP, download ffdshow from here and run the installation program to install the codec.
Trimming an AVCHD video file
I follow these steps to trim an AVCHD file:
- Run MPC by clicking the mplayerc.exe file in the working directory.
- Drag and drop an AVCHD file to the MPC GUI.
- Pause the video.
- Use the Seek Bar to go near the start time to trim the video.
Press Ctrl-G (hold down the Ctrl key and press G)
to bring up the "Go To" dialog box.
- Set the frame number to the desired frame and click Go!. MPC will now pause at the frame just specified.
- Press Ctrl-G to bring up the "Go To" dialog box again and record the start time (hh:mm:ss.xxx) to trim the video. This is the time corresponding to the frame specified in the previous step.
- Repeat Steps 4 to 7 to record the end time to trim the video.
- Run the tsMuxeR GUI by clicking the tsMuxerGUI.exe file in the tsMuxeR directory.
- Drag and drop the same AVCHD file to the tsMuxeR GUI.
Click the "Split and Cut" tab from the tsMuxeR GUI.
- Check the "Enable cutting" box.
- Set the start time unit and the end time unit to "ms" (millisecond).
- Calculate the recorded start and end times in ms using this simple formula: (hh*3600+mm*60+ss.xxx)*1000.
- Enter the start and end times in ms in the tsMuxeR GUI.
- Click the "M2TS Muxing" radio button.
- Enter an output file name for the trimmed video.
- Click "Start Muxing" to trim the video.
- Play the trimmed video file.
Here is a video showing the above procedure: