How to easily join multiple MP4 clips with MP4Box

Sometimes there are situations when the user must combine multiple video clips into a single video clip, one video item then utilized for various projects, demands, personal archive, etc.

Using a video editor (like for example, Lightworks, OpenShot, Pitivi, etc) allows the user to join multiple video clips into one singular clip, yet, the item-merge process performed via a video editor requires another processing of the clips, action that demands time (especially for high-resolution clips), computer resources, while not being necessary,--the user is interested only in merging (for example) five clips into one clip, without further time-consuming actions--.

In the above scenario MP4Box fits perfectly, presenting itself as a handy reliable command-line tool useful to easily and rapidly join MP4 video clips.

In order to join (for example) five MP4 clips, the user is to:

  • install MP4Box

    sudo apt-get install gpac

  • navigate with the terminal to the folder containing the clips (such as Videos)
  • type in a terminal

    MP4Box -cat 1.mp4 -cat 2.mp4 -cat 3.mp4 -cat 4.mp4 -cat 5.mp4 newcombinedfile.mp4

1.mp4 is the full name of the video clip from the mentioned folder, while 2.mp4, 3.mp4, etc, are the names of the rest of the clips.

Adding another clip to the above-presented command is as simple as adding the name of the new file preceded by a -cat, meaning, adding to the command -cat ubuntu.mp4, adds to the joining process the ubuntu.mp4 video clip.

The result: all clips have been combined into newcombinedfile.mp4, yet, all clips are retained in the folder.

The joining-clips process is very fast due to its concatenating nature, without touching the clips, essentially, the handy tool only unites the files, without encoding, transcoding, etc.

If the to-be-joined clips are in different formats (from MP4), the user is to convert the files to MP4 via HandBrake, powerful video converter with built-in support for MP4 and batch conversion (converting multiple files simultaneously).