February 04, 2012

A Good Way To Solveig Your Problem

As you guys know, I occasionally will deal with techie stuff here. Usually, it's how to fix something, but today I have a software review and a recommendation.

For a while now, I was using the SolveigMM AVI Trimmer + MKV to edit my various video files. It's a great program, and to top it off, it's freeware! That alone is enough to make me recommend their products. It's a very fast (and lossless) way to trim unwanted scenes from your AVI or MKV files.

I recently, however, got a chance to try the full version of their paid program, the SolveigMM Video Splitter, and as much as I like the freebie, I'll never go back to it.

To begin with, the Splitter works with more formats than AVI/MKV, so you can easily edit those pesky WMVs or MP4s, among others. (The full list of compatible files can be found at the above link.) That gives me more options when editing recordings made with my TV tuner card, which have to be converted from the WTV format.

In addition, with the splitter, you have a number of options when saving your edited segments. You can save individual segments, save all selected segments as one file, or use the built-in batch processor to edit now, process later. There's also an included video joiner that can join separate segments, assuming that the two files have the same characteristics.

The best thing about the program, though, is that for certain formats (not AVI, sadly) you can edit with frame accuracy. That is, instead of having to cut the segment at a K-frame (key frame), which could leave you with extra frames in your segment, you can actually cut a segment at an individual frame. Okay, let me just say that although that probably sounded like I knew what I was talking about, I'm not quite sure I did. I DO know, however, that it works, and works well.

The GUI itself is fairly user friendly, and if you've used any kind of editing software, you should have no problem figuring it out. the program window is resizeable, and you can preview your file as you work. There's even an optional "storyboard" function, which will show frames of the file to aid in finding that exact spot you need. My second complaint (the first being the lack of frame accuracy with AVIs) is that, while the storyboard is a great feature, the images are too small. I'm on a 22" monitor, and have a little trouble making them out. I hope that a resizeable storyboard is something they'll consider adding in the future because I'd much rather give up a little preview window size for an increased storyboard.

One other thing I should mention is the support. The response time to my inquiry was a quick two days (and that, I'm assuming, would have been shorter if not for the weekend), and they even sent a follow up email. There is also a user forum, and from what I could tell, it was visited regularly by the administrators. 

I just can't stress how fast and easy using this program is. I managed to trim the commercials out of an hour-long program in a matter of minutes. (I recommend learning and using the key commands, as I've found them to be a lot faster overall.) I joined together two consecutive episodes of a show with no problem,as well. (Take that, cliffhangers!) The two minor issues I have with the program are simply that--minor. Ultimately, the SolveigMM Video Splitter is well worth the money if you do any kind of video editing.

Solveig also makes a number of other video-related programs, and if you go to their website, you can find descriptions, comparisons, screenshots, and some very clear "how-to" pages, to help you do exactly what you want to do. Very impressive.

UPDATE: While double-checking my info on the Solveig website, I saw that it looks like you can also re-index WMV files, as well. I haven't tried that yet, but if that's an available option, consider my thumbs up even higher.

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