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ffmpeg -ss 5:09 -i foo.mkv -to 5:10 -c copy bar.mkv

works exactly like

ffmpeg -ss 5:09 -i foo.mkv -t 5:10 -c copy bar.mkv

Is it a bug?

Using Zeranoe git-bd75651 for Windows 64-bit

>ffmpeg -version
ffmpeg version N-57906-gbd75651
built on Nov  4 2013 18:09:19 with gcc 4.8.2 (GCC)
configuration: --disable-static --enable-shared --enable-gpl --enable-version3 -
-disable-w32threads --enable-avisynth --enable-bzlib --enable-fontconfig --enabl
e-frei0r --enable-gnutls --enable-iconv --enable-libass --enable-libbluray --ena
ble-libcaca --enable-libfreetype --enable-libgsm --enable-libilbc --enable-libmo
dplug --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb
--enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libopus --enable-librtmp --enable-libschroedinger
--enable-libsoxr --enable-libspeex --enable-libtheora --enable-libtwolame --enab
le-libvidstab --enable-libvo-aacenc --enable-libvo-amrwbenc --enable-libvorbis -
-enable-libvpx --enable-libwavpack --enable-libx264 --enable-libxavs --enable-li
bxvid --enable-zlib
libavutil      52. 51.100 / 52. 51.100
libavcodec     55. 41.100 / 55. 41.100
libavformat    55. 21.100 / 55. 21.100
libavdevice    55.  5.100 / 55.  5.100
libavfilter     3. 90.101 /  3. 90.101
libswscale      2.  5.101 /  2.  5.101
libswresample   0. 17.104 /  0. 17.104
libpostproc    52.  3.100 / 52.  3.100
share|improve this question
surprisingly, the man page does not list a -to option. – Frank Thomas Nov 6 '13 at 20:51
@FrankThomas Absolutely outdated manpage.. – slhck Nov 6 '13 at 21:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The real answer is that it works as expected. The -ss option specified before the input lets ffmpeg seek to that position first and then start encoding at 00:00:00 as a time stamp.

This means that it does not matter if you encode for 5 minutes with -t or encode up to 00:05:00 with -to – because you started at 00:00:00.

If you want to start at a later timestamp, cut the file by using -ss after -i. That way, ffmpeg will encode, but start outputting at the specified time stamp, which makes the options work as you expect them to.

share|improve this answer

From ffmpeg documentation

‘-t duration (output)’ Stop writing the output after its duration reaches duration. duration may be a number in seconds, or in hh:mm:ss[.xxx] form.

-to and -t are mutually exclusive and -t has priority.

‘-to position (output)’ Stop writing the output at position. position may be a number in seconds, or in hh:mm:ss[.xxx] form.

-to and -t are mutually exclusive and -t has priority.

share|improve this answer
I still don't get it as both this options give the same result: 5:12 length video – Vantuz Nov 6 '13 at 20:57
@Vantuz No it is not a bug, they work similarly but the difference -t stops writing the output after the duration provided, while -to will stop at a postion given – meda Nov 6 '13 at 21:03
-to gets position relatively output file? So, is there a way i can specify as stop point position relatively input file? So as i could get 1 min video specifying 5:00 as start point and 6:00 as end? – Vantuz Nov 6 '13 at 21:08

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