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Cut, Edit, and Convert Your Videos For Free With Avidemux

Joel Lee 07-08-2013

When it comes to video editing, most programs currently available are extremely dense and packed with hundreds of options. And why shouldn’t they be? Video editing is all about control and that requires a lot of features. The downside is the huge inherent learning curve of such complex programs. What if you want to edit videos on a more basic level? I present to you: Avidemux.


Now, to be fair, there are a few basic video editors available if you need a quick cut or splice – I’m thinking Windows Movie Maker Make Quick & Professional Looking Videos with Windows Movie Maker (Part 1) Read More and VirtualDub 7 Video Editing Tasks VirtualDub Handles With Ease [Windows] Read More . However, those programs come with limitations and difficulties that may prove to be dealbreakers. On the other hand, Avidemux is new, simple, powerful, and entirely free. It’s the lean and lightweight video editor that you’ll use time and time again.



When you first open up Avidemux, you’ll see a plain and straightforward interface layout. Professional video editors bombard you with hundreds of buttons and menus, but Avidemux’s design is as easy as it gets.

Along the left side, there’s a panel with various settings and configuration options for the currently open video (no video was loaded in the screenshot above). Along the bottom panel, there are controls for seeking, volume change, setting repeat points, selecting a time range, and more. And lastly, along the top, there’s a small toolbar for quick loads, saves, and adjustments.

Even the menu options are easy to learn. In Sony Vegas, each menu has dozens of actions and submenus, making it hard to remember where each action and submenu is. The menus in Avidemux are organized well and intuitive.


Video Editing


Remember, Avidemux is all about simplicity. It can do three things easily and quickly: cutting, encoding, and filtering. If you’re looking for something more advanced, like timelines and multiple tracks, you won’t find it here. If you want that level of control, you’ll be better off learning how to use the more professional-grade alternatives.

Let’s take a look at Avidemux’s video editing tool set:

  • Cutting means you want to remove a chunk of video from a clip. If you record your own TV shows at home, this is great for cutting out the advertisements. If you have a long video and you want to isolate a portion of it, cutting will do the job. The best part is you can cut a clip without having to re-encode it.
  • Encoding is altering the format or codec of the video you’re editing. Converting between file formats is useful when the video isn’t supported by the player you want to use, so you change it to one that is supported. Encoding can also compress a video’s file size, which reduces overhead when you want to share or store it.
  • Filtering is a general term used to describe Avidemux’s actual editing processes. Filters are applied to the video and alter it in some way. For example, a resize filter can change the resolution of the clip. Other useful filters include: color correction, image sharpening, noise removal, rotation, cropping, subtitle and image overlays, and more. Be aware that filtering does require re-encoding the clip.

One thing to note is that Avidemux does not support the splicing of multiple video clips from various sources. It’s a pretty disappointing downside to this otherwise awesome program. If you planned on doing frequent splices, you’ll need to find a different video editor or supplement Avidemux with a separate splicing tool.


Advanced Features


The crux of your Avidemux usage will deal with the cutting, encoding, and filtering mentioned above, but there are some other processes and features that may interest you.

  • Joblist: Instead of processing individual video projects, you can queue them up in something called the joblist, which will process all of the queued projects in bulk.
  • Scripting: Using the SpiderMonkey ECMAScript scripting language, you can create project scripts to handle your videos in very specific ways. For example, if you have a series of videos that will all undergo the same exact filter process, you can create a script to handle that for you, saving you from a lot of repetition.
  • Multi-threading: Encoding is very intensive on the processor. In the latest version of Avidemux, you can enable multi-threading to spread out the load across multiple cores or CPUs. Of course, this requires that you have a multi-core processor. Also, multi-threading only works with supported codecs.
  • Command Line: If you’re a computer wizard and prefer to do everything by command line, you can! Avidemux has a sizable list of command line arguments that you can use for quick alteration of clips.
  • Portable: Avidemux comes in an installer package if you want but you can also download a portable version instead. Keep the installation clutter of your computer to a minimum and take Avidemux with you on-the-go if desired.


Avidemux is available on all of the major platforms – Windows, Mac, and Linux – so you can behold the power of quick video editing regardless of which operating system you have. Not only is Avidemux free, but it’s also open source in case you want to take a look at the inner workings of it. They also provide automated nightly builds.

Avidemux is so great that it’s part of our Best Portable Apps The Best Portable Apps That Require No Installation Portable apps don't need installation. You can run them from even a flash drive. Here are the best portable apps around. Read More page. Need some help getting started? Check out Jessica’s guide to embedding subtitles with Avidemux How to Embed Subtitles to MP4 & FLV Videos Using Avidemux Avidemux is an open-source video editor that satisfies your simple editing needs, such as cutting and encoding, and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Read More . If you want an even simpler alternative to Avidemux, you could try using an online video editing tool 4 Free Tools For Online Video Editing Video editing online has helped to turn everyone into armchair filmmakers. Here are the best five editors on the web. Read More instead.


What do you think of Avidemux? How does it compare to other lightweight video editors that you’ve used? Any similar recommendations? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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  1. marni
    January 20, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Nerdy, but with a little patience you'll find it simple. Its forum is buggy - i couldn't even register, but you may have better luck. One major shortcoming is that it supports only one set of edits: one in-point, and one out-point. So if you need to edit out 5 sections, you'll have to snip out one, save, close, reopen, edit out second, save close.... etc! A PITA. But even the more sophisticated Shotcut is like that.

  2. alsen
    April 6, 2016 at 4:48 am

    I used Gilisoft Video Editor - Easiest, Powerful, All-in-One Video Editing Software Anyone Can Use!

  3. Thintieguy
    August 18, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Unfortunately for me, I downloaded Avidemux to my mac (OS 10.7.5), and the software will not open up. Doesn't seem to be stable on my system.

  4. A&L
    August 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Freemake is another great tool, cut, join, resize, remove audio..lots more

  5. GF
    August 8, 2013 at 11:47 am

    > Cutting means you want to remove a chunk of video from a clip

    I beg you a little help. Yesterday I edited some videos by Avidemux (2.5.6).
    Those videos had some corrupted frames: for one second those videos showed images like a mosaic. So I removed those frames. However when I verified those videos looking at it by VLC, VLC still showed the frames I cutted!
    I repeated the editing many times, even considering "I" frames and "P" frames, even saving as Avi and Mp4, etc... but the result was almost always uncertain.
    What was wrong?

    • Joel Lee
      August 10, 2013 at 2:28 am

      I'd like to help you but I'm not really qualified to offer Avidemux support. Try posting your help requests to the Avidemux forum instead! Sorry.

  6. ReadandShare
    August 8, 2013 at 1:42 am

    Just the thing I've been looking for -- something simple to cut off a length of unwanted video. Thanks!

    • Joel Lee
      August 10, 2013 at 2:25 am

      No problem. Glad it works for you. :)

  7. A&L
    August 8, 2013 at 12:17 am

    The last time i tried it i was disappointed it can no longer 'reverse' a clip
    i switched to Virtualdub, can add a great deshake filter for shaky clips
    and now use Xvid4PSP 5 which has lots of filters including ability to add a reverse filter

    • Joel Lee
      August 10, 2013 at 2:26 am

      Virtualdub is a strong competitor with more power to it but something of a steeper learning curve. If it works for you, great! :)