Edit Movies – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 230Edit Movies

QuickTime Player is the Mac’s built-in movie player—you can find it on the Applications menu within Finder.

Trimming Movies

QuickTime Player is actually a trimmed-down version of the (not free) QuickTime Pro, but it’s pretty powerful in its own right. For example, you can edit movies within QuickTime Player, at least in a primitive way, as follows:

  1. Open the movie in QuickTime Player, and click EditTrim. The timeline will now change to a frame display of the movie, surrounded by a yellow boundary box—see Figure 39, Trimming a movie file.


    Figure 39. Trimming a movie file
  2. Click and drag the boundary box on the left and right sides to cut out any material at the beginning and end you want to lose (unfortunately, it’s not possible to cut sections out of the middle of the file—for that you’ll need a more sophisticated editor like iMovie,[23] although movie clips can be merged together—see the following section).

  3. If you want to view the audio track of the file, click ViewShow Audio Track. This switches the frame display to one showing the audio waveform, so you can edit perhaps based on quiet or loud episodes.

  4. Once you’re done, click the Trim button.

Merging Two or More Movies

You can combine two or more movies into one file. To do so, open the first of the movies in QuickTime Player, and then locate the next in Finder and drag and drop it onto the QuickTime Player window. It will appear in the timeline view at the bottom as a separate clip, and you can drag and drop it to the beginning or end of the existing movie file. You can add more clips in the same way and reposition them in the timeline view within QuickTime Player by clicking and dragging. When you’ve finished, click the Done button, and then close the file to bring up a Save dialog box.

Note that, prior to merging movie files, you should ensure they’re the same resolution (that is, both are 720p, for example). If you merge two or more movie files of differing resolutions, the smaller file(s) will be proportionally upscaled to fit the resolution and frame size of the larger movie.

Saving an Edited Movie

When you’ve finished trimming or merging movie files, click FileClose. This will bring up a prompt asking whether you want to save the file. Unfortunately, it’s not usually possible to simply save the file in its original format. Instead, it must be exported in an Apple-compatible format. The safest bet to retain as much of the movie’s quality as possible is to select the highest-resolution output choice you’re offered in the Format drop-down list: 1080p, 720p, or 480p, unless you know the movie has a smaller frame size.

Note that depending on the speed of your Mac, the export process might take several minutes and possibly even hours. A window will appear showing the export progress and will give a rough time estimate too.