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How to restore a trimmed QuickTime movie

QuickTime Player 7 can be very useful for quickly trimming a clip or outputting different sections of a movie to separate files. This can be accomplished by setting the in and out points, going to Edit > Trim to Selection and then exporting the file or doing a Save As.

However, if you accidentally hit Save instead of Save As and then close the movie (this happens more often than you'd think), the movie will be permanently trimmed.

Luckily QT Repair in Pro Maintenance Tools can fix this. The repair assumes that the trimmed data still exists in the file and that the movie is capable of being opened in QuickTime Player and played back, albeit at a shorter length.

1. First of all, check that the trimmed data is still in the file. Open the file in QuickTime Player and press Cmd+I to view the Info window. Compare the Data Size section to the size listed by the Finder - if the size on disk is significantly larger, that means the data is still within the file.

(Note that the size listed in the Info window will never exactly match that of the Finder because it does not include extra data like the QuickTime structure and Finder is using a slightly different method to calculate file sizes as of OS X 10.6.)

2. Launch QT Repair and open the movie clip.

3. In the Quick Start dialog, choose the option to restore trimmed edits.

4. QT Repair will now create a copy so that the original file is safe. This can take a while depending on how big the file is. You can disable this in preferences if you already have a backup of the file elsewhere.

Once the backup is complete, processing should be very quick.

5. When QT Repair says it has finished processing, click OK and it will launch the restored movie in QuickTime Player. The movie should now be its full length. Look at the Data Size field in the Info window and scrub the playhead to check that everything has been restored correctly.

As you can see from the screenshot, QT Repair successfully restored the length of the video and the Data Size field is much closer to the value in the Finder now.
Posted by Jon Chappell on Mar 5 2012 to Tutorials, QuickTime, Software