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Movavi Split Movie: Make quick work of cutting clips

Christopher Breen | May 22, 2014
While Apple's iMovie and--to a far greater extent--Final Cut Pro X allow you to edit video in wondrous ways, oftentimes all you really want to do is lop off the beginning and end of a clip, and possibly cut a few seconds from the middle. For such simple operations iMovie and Final Cut are overkill.

If you're interested in trimming your movie, place the playhead where you'd like the video to begin or end, and then click the appropriate border control, left (start) or right (end). This deselects the portion of the clip that appears before (in the case of the left border) or after (the right border) the playhead. As with any other selections you make, you can fine-tune where they begin or end by dragging on the left or right edge of a selection above the thumbnails area.

Once you've made all your edits you can export the results. The means for doing so are the Split and Join buttons that appear below the clips bin. Click Split, and any clips in the bin are exported, in their native format, as individual movies. Click Join, the clips are joined (minus the bits you've deselected and trimmed) and exported as a single movie. The app supports AVI, MOV, WMV, MP4, FLV, MKV, MPG, MTS, M2TS, TS, and TOD files — you edit and export files in their native formats, so no format conversion is required. On the other hand, while it's convenient that the app edits videos in their native formats, it would be terrific if you could choose to encode the results of your work in a different format when splitting or joining.

Split Movie lives up to its name, but its interface needs some work. One control is called Invert Scenes, which might lead you to believe that in addition to its other talents, it inverts the colors in any selected clips. But no, what it does is deselect selected clips and selects those clips that were previously deselected. I'm not entirely sure how that's helpful.

Keyboard shortcuts, such as they are, could also be improved. Assigning Command-S to do anything but save a file (here, to split a clip) is unintuitive. And although you can undo an action by clicking an Undo button, or redo an action using the Redo button, there are no keyboard shortcuts for these actions. I'm accustomed to using standard Mac keyboard shortcuts when editing video, and the lack of them in Split Movie is frustrating.

But the un-Mac-like stuff goes deeper. For example, the Edit menu, which should be found next to File, is instead located to the right of a Playback menu; and the Preferences command is in a separate Settings menu rather than in the application menu. Overall, the app looks like it was ported to the Mac and then not tweaked to better conform to OS X interface standards.

That's not to say that I don't appreciate the capabilities Split Movie has. Once you get the hang of the app, you can cut movies pretty quickly. I just think that those capabilities could be presented in a cleaner and more intuitive, Mac-like way.


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