How to Trim Videos With Stream

Clean Up the Start and End of Stream Videos

Often videos have some extraneous material at the start and finish. This is especially true of recordings of Teams meetings or self-produced videos where some time is consumed before the content starts to get things ready, check microphones, and so on. To improve the quality of a video stored in Microsoft Stream, you can remove content from the start or end of the file using the trim function in the […] menu (Figure 1). Stream currently doesn’t offer a method to remove information from the middle of videos.

Selecting a Stream video to trim
Figure 1: Selecting a Stream video to trim

Being able to trim videos is a feature commonly found in other video services (like YouTube or Facebook Live). Think of trimming as a form of primitive editing to improve the appearance of videos captured through informal sources.

Trim Points

When you trim a video, Stream loads a timeline of the content. You can then move two “trim points” by dragging them to where you want the video to start and end. When you’re happy that the content is right, click Apply (Figure 2).

Picking trim points for a Stream video
Figure 2: Picking trim points for a Stream video

Stream Trims in the Background

After you confirm that the trim should proceed, Stream processes the file in the background to permanently remove content up to the start trim point and from the end trim point. There’s no recovery from this operation; once Stream completes processing the video, a new file trimmed to the selected points replaces the old video and the trimmed content is irrecoverable (Figure 3). For this reason, it is wise to download a copy of a video before making any changes.

Trimming makes permanent and irreversible changes to videos
Figure 3: Trimming makes permanent and irreversible changes to videos

While trimming proceeds, users see that the video is being changed. They can refresh the page to see if the new version is available (Figure 4) or keep on watching the old version. Remember, it’s only the start and end of the video that changes, so the content in the middle stays the same.

Stream's busy trimming. Be patient!
Figure 4: Stream’s busy trimming. Be patient!

Any Owner Can Trim

Anyone with owner access (for instance, because they are a member of a group with owner access to the video) can trim a video. Stream doesn’t lock a video to stop multiple people selecting trim points but does when it is applying trims in the background (Figure 5). In other words, two people can’t trim a video at the same time.

Stream doesn't allow multiple concurrent trims of a video
Figure 5: Stream doesn’t allow multiple concurrent trims of a video

Depending on the load on the service and the length of the video, trimming can take from a few minutes to an hour or so to finish, including the generation of new captions/transcript and timeline. When the new video is available, Stream highlights the fact that the file was updated. If you’ve linked a form to a video, you’ll have to update it after trimming.

According to Microsoft, the trim feature is now being rolled out across Office 365 and deployment should be complete soon.

Need more information about Stream and its relationship with the rest of Office 365? Read Chapter 14 in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook!


3 Replies to “How to Trim Videos With Stream”

  1. This is very helpful. Thank you. I have another question. If the video was recorded as a meeting in Teams, will the video automatically update in Teams. If not, how do I replace it?

    1. Recordings of Teams meetings are stored in Stream, so if you edit the video there, that’s what the meeting participants will see.

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