In my .mp4 file the audio delay is -3840 ms. I synced it in KMplayer, and I don't want to use MKVGUI to make a .mkv file. I just need to delay the audio by 3840 ms, everything else should be left intact.
What would be the right command to accomplish this using ffmpeg?
I would appreciate your help.

  • How did you find the audio delay?
    – Zimba
    Feb 13, 2020 at 16:19
  • 1
    In my .mp4 file the audio delay is -3840 ms. ... I just need to delay the audio by -3840 ms, it's a bit contradictory: between the number of the present delay and the number of the needed delay, one and only one of them has to be negative.
    – cipricus
    Mar 21, 2020 at 11:35
  • 1
    You are right @cipricus, I removed the minus sign in front of the second delay amount.
    – Weaver
    Mar 22, 2020 at 16:19

5 Answers 5


If you need to delay video by 3.84 seconds, use a command like this:

ffmpeg -i "movie.mp4" -itsoffset 3.84 -i "movie.mp4" -map 1:v -map 0:a -c copy "movie-video-delayed.mp4"

If you need to delay audio by 3.84 seconds, use a command like this:

ffmpeg -i "movie.mp4" -itsoffset 3.84 -i "movie.mp4" -map 0:v -map 1:a -c copy "movie-audio-delayed.mp4"

Make sure, that your ffmpeg build is not too old, newer than 2012 will suffice.


-itsoffset 3.84 -i "movie.mp4"

Offsets timestamps of all streams by 3.84 seconds in the input file that follows the option (movie.mp4). itsoffset is documented in the Main options section

-map 1:v -map 0:a

Takes video stream from the second (delayed) input and audio stream from the first input - both inputs may of course be the same file. map is documented in the Advanced options section

A more verbose explanation can be found here:

  • 3
    How do you choose one specific audio track instead of delaying all audio tracks?
    – Freedo
    Oct 20, 2017 at 6:41
  • 1
    Using the capabilities of map option. You first need to find the index of the desired audio stream in the input file using any of these commands: ffprobe.exe "input_file.mp4" or ffmpeg.exe -i "input_file.mp4" Let's suppose that the index of the audio stream to be delayed is 2 (i.e. the third stream) and that the delayed input is the second one (as in my example). To delay only the third stream, take all other streams from the first input and only the one audio stream from the second (delayed) input: -map 0:0 -map 0:1 -map 1:2
    – Weaver
    Oct 22, 2017 at 15:03
  • 2
    AFAIK -c copy can be used instead of -vcodec copy -acodec copy, and itsoffset only affects video, so maybe this would work the same?: ffmpeg -i "movie.mp4" -itsoffset 3.84 -c copy "movie-video-delayed.mp4" and to delay the audio instead simply add a negative sign to the duration: -3.84.
    – miyalys
    Mar 16, 2018 at 14:35
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    @miyalys, you are right, I have shortened the codec options in the answer. However I am not sure whether the -itsoffset option affecting only video is a bug or a feature. If it is a bug, it might get fixed in a future version.
    – Weaver
    Mar 18, 2018 at 13:33
  • 1
    Because we need a non-delayed input video stream and another delayed input audio stream, @shevy
    – Weaver
    Apr 7, 2018 at 19:12

Make first silence audio:

ffmpeg -f lavfi -i anullsrc=channel_layout=5.1:sample_rate=48000 -t 3 silence_3_sec.mp3

Then concat files:

ffmpeg -i "concat:silence_3_sec.mp3|input.mp3" -acodec copy out.mp3

As stated in the currently top voted answer, you can use ffmpeg's -itsoffset. According to the ffmpeg wiki, if you do not want to offset all streams, all you have to do is to specify the input file twice. Once for the streams you want to keep as they are and once again for the streams you want to offset. Then you simply map the streams you want to the final output file. This way there is no need to extract streams and them remux them together later.

For instance (copied from the wiki), if you want all audio streams to be offset by 5 seconds

ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -itsoffset 5 -i video.mp4 -map 0:v -map 1:a out.mp4
  • -map 0:v will copy the video from the first input file (video.mp4)
  • -map 0:a will copy the audio from the second input file. Which happens to be video.mp4 too, but delayed 5 seconds by the use of -itsoffset right before the corresponding -i option

I extracted audio with Audacity, then cut some silence (equal to delay) from end of video, and added to beginning of audio.

After doing any other adjustments to audio eg. normalization, I exported audio, and replaced audio in original via ffmpeg:

ffmpeg-i "in.mp4" -i "synced.m4a" -vcodec copy -acodec copy -map 0:0 -map 1:0 out.mp4
  • 1
    For future reference, Audacity has a Generate > Silence menu item that will allow you to insert silence at the cursor down to the millisecond.
    – Eric
    Apr 16, 2021 at 20:51

Newer versions of ffmpeg require the -map options to be located just before the output options. For example:

ffmpeg.exe %InputOpts% -i %1 -itsoffset 1.00 -i %1  %CodecsOpts% %MapOpts% %OutputOpts%

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