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date 30.Jun.2013

■ Merging video files in chronological order (Part I)

When you are working with lots of pictures or movies, e.g. compiling a slideshow or merging small video clips to a large movie, you will import many media files to the handling program, e.g. windows live movie maker. It is easy enough to add the files using drag-drop from xplorer², but you will discover that more often than not the other program is very poor handling the order of your pictures or movies. Some only allow sorting by name, others require you to individually arrange the files using drag-drop or move up/down buttons. Such methods are unpractical if you are working with large collections of media files.

The other day I asked the family's artistic director (hi bro!) to make a big video out of all the small videos we took over the years featuring the kids, a few hundred files in total. The idea was to merge the clips in chronological order, however the program he used (I forget the name) would just arrange the files by name. As a number of different devices were used over the years, the filenames were mixed, e.g. some were called MOV01874.MP4 and others FUJI1234.MP4 and so on. The sequence of names didn't match the times these clips were shot.

This kind of obstacle is easily surpassed using xplorer² superior sorting and managing tools. There are many ways to choose but as he was working with copies of the video clips anyway, we thought of just renaming all the files. The idea was to sort all videos in ascending date modified in xplorer² then use an automatic counter $0001.$E as a rename template, thereby changing the names to match the order of dates. Then he drag-dropped the renamed files in the said video merging tool and the deed was done.

Here is a demo video explaining the basic idea with a small set of files: play

In a forthcoming post I will present a less invasive alternative method, as renaming the files is kind of irreversible.

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