FFmpeg: How to split video efficiently

ffmpeg

I wish to split a large avi video into two smaller consecutive videos. I am using ffmpeg.

One way is to run ffmpeg two times:

ffmpeg -i input.avi -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:00:00 -t 00:30:00 output1.avi
ffmpeg -i input.avi -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:30:00 -t 00:30:00 output2.avi

But according to manpage of ffmpeg, I can make more than one ouput file from one input file using just one line:

ffmpeg -i input.avi -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:00:00 -t 00:30:00 output1.avi \
   -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:30:00 -t 00:30:00 output2.avi

My question is, does the later approach save computation time and memory?

Best Solution

The ffmpeg wiki links back to this page in reference to "How to split video efficiently". I'm not convinced this page answers that question, so I did as @AlcubierreDrive suggested…

echo "Two commands" 
time ffmpeg -v quiet -y -i input.ts -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:00:00 -t 00:30:00 -sn test1.mkv
time ffmpeg -v quiet -y -i input.ts -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:30:00 -t 01:00:00 -sn test2.mkv
echo "One command" 
time ffmpeg -v quiet -y -i input.ts -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:00:00 -t 00:30:00 \
  -sn test3.mkv -vcodec copy -acodec copy -ss 00:30:00 -t 01:00:00 -sn test4.mkv

Which outputs...

Two commands
real    0m16.201s
user    0m1.830s
sys 0m1.301s

real    0m43.621s
user    0m4.943s
sys 0m2.908s

One command
real    0m59.410s
user    0m5.577s
sys 0m3.939s

I tested a SD & HD file, after a few runs & a little maths.

Two commands SD 0m53.94 #2 wins  
One command  SD 0m49.63  

Two commands SD 0m55.00  
One command  SD 0m52.26 #1 wins 

Two commands SD 0m58.60 #2 wins  
One command  SD 0m58.61 

Two commands SD 0m54.60  
One command  SD 0m50.51 #1 wins 

Two commands SD 0m53.94  
One command  SD 0m49.63 #1 wins  

Two commands SD 0m55.00  
One command  SD 0m52.26 #1 wins 

Two commands SD 0m58.71  
One command  SD 0m58.61 #1 wins

Two commands SD 0m54.63  
One command  SD 0m50.51 #1 wins  

Two commands SD 1m6.67s #2 wins  
One command  SD 1m20.18  

Two commands SD 1m7.67  
One command  SD 1m6.72 #1 wins

Two commands SD 1m4.92  
One command  SD 1m2.24 #1 wins

Two commands SD 1m1.73  
One command  SD 0m59.72 #1 wins

Two commands HD 4m23.20  
One command  HD 3m40.02 #1 wins

Two commands SD 1m1.30  
One command  SD 0m59.59 #1 wins  

Two commands HD 3m47.89  
One command  HD 3m29.59 #1 wins  

Two commands SD 0m59.82  
One command  SD 0m59.41 #1 wins  

Two commands HD 3m51.18  
One command  HD 3m30.79 #1 wins  

SD file = 1.35GB DVB transport stream
HD file = 3.14GB DVB transport stream

Conclusion

The single command is better if you are handling HD, it agrees with the manuals comments on using -ss after the input file to do a 'slow seek'. SD files have a negligible difference.

The two command version should be quicker by adding another -ss before the input file for the a 'fast seek' followed by the more accurate slow seek.

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