We spotted a question online recently that we had the exact problem with a while ago. Searching didn't find an answer on Google, but we did eventually find out why the trim option wasn't available on YouTube.

Live broadcasting to YouTube is fantastic. A few years ago, broadcasting around the world would have cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now you can do it from your home with a laptop.

The start of live broadcasts on YouTube are not as easy as you think. You'll have to wait whilst checking everything is working and possibly post the video on websites and social media to entice more views. There are two ways of getting around this false start.

The first is to run a countdown, which seems like a good idea, but is annoying as it leaves people waiting for the show to start. The second is to go live, but only start the subject once ready and checked. Both can leave minutes at the top of the YouTube video and that doesn't lead to a very good viewer experience for people watching later. They need to be engaged once they have clicked.

YouTube has a handy trim tool in YouTube Studio - You will find it under the Editor heading on the left hand side of the web page. Perfect you would think to trim the front and end of a live recording?

In the image below (click for larger version) you can see our recent FCP.co Live show where we talked to Larry O'Connor from OWC about Thunderbolt 4. The video needs a trim at the top and end, but YouTube is only offering a 'Save as New' option in the top right corner.

trim youtube video 01

Saving as new will make a new YouTube video ID and listing, which you really don't want to do as the video has already been embedded on websites and linked & retweeted many times on Twitter.  

The giveaway for the trimming restriction here is the blue bar. Quite simply, YouTube hasn't finished processing the recording! Sometimes I have to wait overnight for the timeline to be populated with images.

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When that happens, you can trim away to produce a video on the same YouTube video ID. In the image below you can see I've slid the front trim marker up to the point where I want the new beginning of the video. The slider on the right gives you access to enlarge the timeline to see the waveforms for greater accuracy. This enables you to start right before a word like 'Hello" for example..

trim youtube video 03

But the Save button is greyed out! You have to hit the Preview button at the bottom of the frame, then then the Save button will become clickable.

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The Save button will turn blue and once pressed will trim the video or take any snips, blurs or audio muting you've done on the timeline. If you've had any copyright strikes, you are probably very familiar with this process.

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This trim can take some time, I have had to wait for up to 24 hours for it to be processed. Although YouTube's dialogue box says the untrimmed video will still be available, I have had occasions where the whole video has gone offline. My advice would be do the trim when you expect low traffic for the video.

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If you watch the trimmed & processed video back and spot a mistake, you can revert to the original length and start the process again. The 'Revert to Original' option becomes available if you click on the three dots on the right hand side.

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One gotcha here. If you do a trim and save, you will lose all the live comments from the original stream. That might be bad, but having a video start at exactly the right place when somebody clicks is a price worth paying.



Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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