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Swiss File Knife

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Cut or extract parts from Mpeg2 video files on the command line

, by specifing byte positions, with free open source tools for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Raspberry Pi. Mark sections interactively by VLC media player and use exported bookmarks directly for cutting in SFK. Also find an article about PVR example hardware here.
- download the free Swiss File Knife Base from Sourceforge.
- open the Windows CMD command line, Mac OS X Terminal or Linux shell.
- OS X : type mv sfk-mac-64.exe sfk and chmod +x sfk then ./sfk
- Linux: type mv sfk-linux-64.exe sfk    and chmod +x sfk then ./sfk
  OS X and Linux syntax may differ, check the help within the tool.
sfk media infile.mpg -keep n1-n2 -cut n3-n4 -tofile out.mpg
sfk media infile.m3u -keepbook -tofile out.mpg
sfk list mydir .m3u +media -keepbook -to outdir\$base.mpg

cuts mpeg2 video or other binary file(s), by keeping or
dropping parts given as absolute byte positions in the file.

this command is deprecated. use instead: sfk video

sfk media does not interpret, decode or encode any video data,
and knows nothing about the file format. it simply copies
blocks of bytes, which may or may not work, depending on the
file format (mpeg2 is best), media player (VLC is best) and
installed codecs of the operating system. This command is
not suitable for mpeg4 or any format using file headers.

Splitting or reducing an mpeg2 file usually keeps the result
playable in media players. Joining multiple mpeg2 files into
one file strictly requires post processing by ffmpeg,
to recalculate PCR time stamps required for playback.

parameters for cutting and post processing
  -keep n1-n2   keep this part of the file, from byte offset n1
                until before n2 (excluding offset n2), and cut
                everything before and after. keep must be given
                before any "cut" parameters.
                n1 means an absolute byte position like 12345.
                one "keep" can be followed by multiple n-n.
  -cut n1-n2    cut this part. multiple cut parameters can be
                given, and they can refer to an area within
                a "keep" range.
  infile.m3u    use a VLC player bookmark file instead of
                specifying file and positions manually.
                takes only the last entry in that file.
                file must contain an even number of start/end
                positions of sections to keep.
  -keepbook     only with .m3u files: keep all parts
                marked by a bookmark at start and end of part
  -joinraw      join all input files or parts into one output.
                with mpeg video, the output file will NOT work
                correctly in players due to wrong timestamps
                and therefore requires post processing like:
                ffmpeg -i in.mpg -target pal-dvd -c copy out.mpg
                (without -target, the output will have no sound)
  -fix parm     create a temporary file (with -tmp in filename)
                then run ffmpeg to fix the output file by re-
                rendering timestamps. "parm" is passed to ffmpeg
                as is, except for two special values which are
                extended like:
                   pal-dvd  = -target pal-dvd  (for pal output)
                   ntsc-dvd = -target ntsc-dvd (for ntsc output)
                use -fix "" to pass no extra parameters.
                requires ffmpeg 1.2 in the PATH.
  -keeptmp      keep temporary files produced by option -fix.
                default is to clean them up.
  -joinfull p   run joinraw and -fix p in one go. required to
                produce mpeg2 video suitable for playback.
  -tmpdir d     specify a folder to use for temporary files,
                and create unique filenames within.
  -keepall      keep whole content of input file(s). used only
                with -joinraw.

   - all output files are overwritten without asking back,
     including temporary files. check the simulation output.
   - check free disk space by "sfk space" before processing.
     options -fix or -joinfull will use double disk space.

general options
   -tofile f     write output to a single file with name f
   -to outmask   write multiple input files to output names
                 given by a mask, like -to outdir\$file
                 "sfk help opt" for details.
   -movesrcto x  after processing, move every video input file
                 to an output folder x. move is done by rename,
                 so x must be on same file system as input.
                 if an output file of same name exists already
                 then add option -force to overwrite.
   -yes          really create or overwrite output file
   -quiet        do not print part and progress infos
   -verbose[=2]  tell more details about what is done

recommended process for video cutting
   1. download the VLC media player installer,
      run the tool and open an mpeg2 .mpg file.
   2. select Playback / Custom bookmarks / manage (CTRL+B).
      for every section to keep, create a bookmark
      at the start and end of that section.
   3. make sure there is an even number of bookmarks.
   4. select Media / Save Playlist (CTRL+Y), select file type
      M3U (not m3u8) and save, e.g., to cut01.m3u
      (if you used the VLC installer, it will remember M3U
       as the preferred export type.)
   5. sfk media cut01.m3u -keepbook -tofile out.mpg
      with .mts files and ffmpeg in your path, try instead:
      sfk media cut01.m3u -keepbook -tofile out.mts -fix ""
   6. if you process further files in the same VLC session,
      the M3U files may contain references to many files,
      but only the last (newest) entry is used.

see also
   sfk partcopy  - copy a single part of a file
   sfk space [d] - tell free disk space available
                   in current or given directory d

web reference

   sfk media in.mpg -keep 100000-200000 -cut 150000-160000
    -tofile out.mpg
      keep area from offset 100000 to 200000 (with a length
      of 100000 bytes) except for 10000 bytes inbetween.

   sfk media in.mpg -keep 120578-301436 518297-783591
    -tofile out.mpg
      keep the two sections and drop the rest.

   sfk media in.m3u -keepbook -tofile out.mpg
      keep areas listed in the bookmark M3U file.

   sfk select mydir .m3u +media -keepbook -to out\$base.mpg
      execute all .m3u files from mydir, write output
      files to a folder out, with the same relative name
      as the input .M3U, but with an .mpg output extension.

   sfk select n:\dvd1\part1.vob n:\dvd1\part2.vob
    +media -joinraw -tofile out.mpg
      join two .vob files into one out.mpg without any
      modifications. out.mpg will need post processing
      before it can be used in a media player.

   sfk sel -sort d:\ .vob +media -joinfull pal-dvd
    -tofile out.mpg -tmpdir c:\tmp
      join all .vob files of a PAL dvd, sorted by name,
      into one out.mpg and call ffmpeg to fix timestamps.
      uses a temporary file in c:\tmp.

   sfk sel -sort d:\ .vob +media -joinfull
    "-target pal-dvd -map 0:0 -map 0:2"
    -tofile out.mpg -tmpdir e:\tmp -keeptmp
      similar to above, but explicitely passing several
      parameters to ffmpeg, selecting dvd output and to
      mix channels 0:0 (e.g. video) and 0:2 (e.g. an
      audio track with alternative language). temporary
      file is stored on another drive and kept, in case
      post processing fails and must be done manually.

sfk is a free open-source tool, running instantly without installation efforts. no DLL's,
no registry changes - just get sfk.exe from the zip package and use it (binaries for
windows, linux and mac are included).

read more about all sfk functions here.

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