Our glorious and fearless leader Dane recently put out a survey to gauge interest in user-submitted video compilations. At time of writing, that survey has been met with unanimous and overwhelming approval, and all of you unwashed masses kind-hearted readers seem eager for this. Most video recorders or media share functions record in chunks of 15 minutes or so by default, but the cool part is usually in the last 30-odd seconds. And if Dane has to sit through thousands of videos featuring 14 mimutes and 30 seconds of fluff, captioned with “watch it ’til the end, you’ll know the good part when you see it”, then he will likely feel a spot of bother. So, in the interest of making Dane’s job easier (#makeDanesjobeasier), hit the jump and learn the easiest way to cut a video down to just the good part.

First off, you need to download the latest version of VLC. Yes, the media player. No, not a dedicated video editing program. VLC suits our purposes because it’s free, accessible, and nearly instant. See, if you dump 15 minutes of footage into Windows Movie Maker, it’s going to need a few minutes to process the footage and allow you to edit. VLC, on the other hand, just uses a few tools. So, open your video file in VLC, and you should see this:

This is your standard media player screen. Go click on “View”, and then on “Advanced Controls”.

That will add a few extra buttons to your lower bar.

From left to right, those buttons are record, snapshot, loop, and frame-by-frame. They’re all useful in their own contexts, and I use the snapshot button for any review screenshots I need. What you want to do is get your video to the good part, pause it, click on record, and then unpause. VLC will now record whatever section of the video is playing. You don’t specifically need to pause, but it helps get you in the perfect location. Once you’ve recorded the good part, click on record again to save a new clip.

Now, find where your PC saves video. You should have a folder in My Computer > This PC called “Videos”, and that’s likely where the clip will be. All that remains is to rename your newly-made clip to something descriptive. If the user-submitted compilations project gets off the ground, then official naming guidelines will likely be revealed. But for the purposes of this tutorial, I’ve renamed my video to include the game title, what the clip entails, and my name.

And presto! Now you have a much smaller and shorter video clip, that includes just the good stuff, and will be far easier for Dane to edit. And that’s what we all want, because the easier these compilations are to make, the more of them NAG can produce.