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Looking for utility to play a snippet from a video file

Posted on 2014-09-24
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Last Modified: 2014-09-24
I'm looking for a utility (for Win 8) that will let me play a snippet from a video file based on time. Suppose  I have a long video file and I want to play just 3 minutes, beginning 15 minutes 10 seconds into the file. Doing this with a standard video player is hard. Is there an easy way to do it?
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Question by:BlearyEye
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by:Kimputer
Kimputer earned 250 total points
ID: 40341810
Use VLC player. Have a vbscript get the input, and then start vlc with these parameters

--start-time=<time in seconds>
--stop-time=<time in seconds>
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 250 total points
ID: 40341994
I agree with the VLC recommendation. It is an excellent (free!) product that I've been using for many years:
http://www.videolan.org/

It has all of the codecs built in. It runs fine on W8 (W7, too). Here's a one-line batch file that does what you want (call it PlayVideo.bat or whatever you prefer):

"C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" --start-time=910 --stop-time=1090 "file:///C:\temp\file to play.mp4"

The above shows start-time as 910 seconds (15:10) and stop-time as 1090 seconds, meaning it will play 180 seconds. Change the start and stop times to whatever you want. Likewise, change the file name to whatever file you want to play (beginning after the three slashes — and the quotes surrounding it are important in case the file name has spaces). You may also need to change the location of the VLC executable, depending on where you installed it (the above is the default for 64-bit W8 — default is "C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" on 32-bit W8). Regards, Joe
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Author Closing Comment

by:BlearyEye
ID: 40342071
Nice. Works well. Thanks for the recommendation. It would be nice if this could be done from the Windows interface but we can't have everything ...
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Author Comment

by:BlearyEye
ID: 40342079
A final note ... the installer doesn't put vlc.exe on the path. Had to do that myself.
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40342115
> It would be nice if this could be done from the Windows interface

Yes, that's a great idea. The GUI supports the start time via the Playback menu, then Jump To Specific Time (Ctrl-T), but it does not support the stop time. Would be an easy addition for the VLC devs to make.

> the installer doesn't put vlc.exe on the path

I didn't realize that. But if you put the fully qualified file name in the batch file (e.g., "C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe"), then it doesn't have to be in the Path variable.
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