Q: Why can't I Import some .avi and .mp4 video files into Vegas Pro or Vegas Movie Studio ?

Answer: Not all .avi and .mp4 videos are the same and some use Video Codecs that are not supported by Vegas Pro and Vegas Movie Studio software.

.avi or .mp4 video file is actually a generic Video Container for many possible Video Codecs.

.avi and .mp4 are two of the most generic video file extensions (video containers) used for saving videos to and are definitely not all the same.

An easy way to understand this, is to imagine that an .avi or .mp4 video file is like a book. If the book (video container) is printed in English, then English is the language (video codec) you need to know and understand in order to read the book. Because English (English video codec) is a common language understood by a many people, a large amount of publishers (software manufacturers) use it frequently in every book/product they make.

However, if the book (video container) is written in an exotic language (less common video codec) that not many people speak/understand, then most people wont be able to read it. Which means you will have to translate (convert the video codec) into a language/codec you can understand before you can use it and import into your video editing program. I hope my little story made sense?!

There are a lot of different video codecs in use and Sony Vegas cannot decode them all. Software companies need to pay a licensing fee to the makers of some Video Codecs, if they are included as part of a program. If every video codec known was included in Sony Vegas and Movie Studio, it would add greatly to the cost of buying the program, so that is why some videos cannot be imported.

Examples of some formats/codecs that Sony Vegas and Movie Studio cannot read are DivX and Xvid. Flash Video which ends in .flv will also not work in Sony programs.

Solution

Convert your video files into a more common video codec that Sony Vegas and Movie Studio can read easily or record your original video files using a codec/format that Vegas already likes.

Apple Quicktime

Another important thing to do before you start using Sony Vegas or Movie Studio for the first time, is to install Apple Quicktime for Windows. Vegas Pro and Movie Studio need Quicktime so that they can read and write particular sub-sets of video codecs.

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/

Important Update for Windows 10/8.1/8.0 users and Installing Apple Quicktime

Apple has decided to spoil the fun of upgrading to Windows 10 and have added some code to the latest Quicktime version, which makes it impossible to install on a Windows 10 or Windows 8/8.1 computer. This may change in the future, but for now you will have to install an older version of Quicktime.

My suggestion is that you download and install version 7.7.6 from this page on the Apple website.
https://support.apple.com/downloads/quicktime

File Formats/Codecs that Vegas Pro Likes

Imports: AAC, AA3, AVI, BMP, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV, HEVC, ProRes, AAC, AIFF, FLAC, LPEC, MP3, OGG, PCA, W64, WAV, WMA, BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, WDP, WMPhoto, DDS, DPX, EX, AAF, Premiere/After Effects (*.prproj), Final Cut Pro 7/ DaVinci Resolve (*.xml), Final Cut Pro X (*.fcpxml), EDL Text File (*.txt), Broadcast Wave Format, DVD Camcorder Disc, Closed Captioning

Exports: AAC, AA3, AVI, BMP, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV, HEVC, ProRes, AAC, AIFF, FLAC, LPEC, MP3, OGG, PCA, W64, WAV, WMA, BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, WDP, WMPhoto, DDS, DPX, EXR, VEGAS Project Archive (*.veg), Pro Tools AAF File (*.aaf), Media Composer AAF File (*.aaf), Premiere/After Effects (*.prproj), Final Cut Pro 7/DaVinci Resolve (*.xml), Final Cut Pro X (*.fcpxml), EDL Text File (*.txt), XDCAM Disc

File Formats/Codecs that Vegas Movie Studio Platinum Likes

Imports: AAC, AA3, AVI, BMP, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV, AIFF, FLAC, MP3, OGG, PCA, SND, W64, WAV, WMA, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WDP, CDA, SFA

Exports: AVC/AAC, AVI, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV, MOV, AVCHD, RM, MVC, XAVC S, AAC, AIFF, FLAC, LPEC, MP3, OGG, PCA, W64, WAV, WMA, BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, WDP, WMPhoto, DDS, DPX, EXR

USE ANY VIDEO CONVERTER "FREE EDITION" TO CONVERT YOUR VIDEOS

There are a large number of Video Conversion programs available today. Most of them do pretty much the same thing, however you may need to try a few different ones before finding the one that works best with your videos. The program I recommend is Any Video Converter free edition.

WARNING: Be very careful when you install any type of free software.
A lot of these companies will try to trick you into installing other programs as well, during the installation process. If you are not careful, you can end up with something really annoying that installs something into your web browser like a different search provider or the free trial for a "tune up program" you do not actually want. So go slowly when as you click through each window during the installation process! The extra programs will have a check box that asks if you want to install it or not. However they can trick you because they normally have the Accept box checked by default instead of the Decline box.

If you would like to learn more about how to convert videos into different formats/codecs, then please read this article here: How to Convert Video into Different Video Codecs and Formats

 

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  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    K · 00:05 13/08/2018
    Very nice little article on avi containers.
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 12:15 13/08/2018
      Cheers
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Keith · 09:10 26/04/2018
    I cannot save on my hard drive in MP4 format. I get error 0x8066000A (missing Message). All other formats are fine. I have the latest Quick Time installed
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      DoctorZen
      • Member
      • Moderator
      · 14:30 27/04/2018
      Hi Keith
      I see you have also posted the same question in the MSZ Forum.
      I will answer you on the forum.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Tim · 12:23 20/09/2017
    If MOVIE STUDIO is the entry level and MOVIE STUDIO PLATINUM is the next step up then why is it that the "FILE FORMATS/CODECS THAT MOVIE STUDIO PLATINUM LIKES" has less listed in the artificial above that the ones listed under "FILE FORMATS/CODECS THAT VEGAS PRO AND MOVIE STUDIO LIKES"?
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 13:55 20/09/2017
      Hi Tim
      Thank you for your message.
      There was an error on this page which I have now fixed and I have also updated all formats for the latest versions of Vegas Pro and Vegas Movie Studio. The first group is for VEGAS PRO only and the second group is for VEGAS MOVIE STUDIO PLATINUM only.
      Sorry for the confusion.
      Regards
      Derek
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    ken · 23:50 07/04/2017
    How do I get Movie Studio to open the many .mp4 files I have that use Apple Lossless Audio codec for audio. The video works but the audio does not.
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 15:37 08/04/2017
      Do you have Apple Quicktime installed ?
      There are lots of problems with Apple Quicktime, so I recommend you read this FAQ on the topic.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Jan Schrander · 18:21 16/02/2017
    My experience with Vegas 14 pro version (incl latest v201) was that I couldn't edit some avi files, including captured DV tapes for which I used an older Vegas version!
    Only the Sony Vegas 13 versions allowed me to edit those files, really strange...
    Even copying the aviplug files from vegas 13 to vegas 14 changed nothing. So Magix changed something in their vegas version.
    Now I have sony vegas 13 AND magix vegas 14 installed, both 64bit versions, All installed plugins work with both versions.
    Also, converting captured avi files to other formats made them look worse, probably something I didn't do right (?)
    Hope this info helps
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 18:49 16/02/2017
      Hi Jan
      I would actually recommend you post this problem on the official Vegas Pro Forum here:
      https://www.vegascreativesoftware.info/us/vegas-pro-forum/
      This type of problem needs more people to view and offer suggestions.
      The users on this forum will probably ask you to upload a screen shot, showing the [b]media properties[/b] for video files that are not working properly. Download Media Info and then open problem files. Media Info is safe to use.
      https://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo
      When you get an answer back from the official Vegas Pro forum, it would be great if you could post a link back here if you find a solution.
      Regards
      Derek
      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        Jan Schrander · 19:26 16/02/2017
        Derek, according to G-spot, the codec used was dvsd.
        I also installed the lagarith lossless codec in vegas 14, but to no avail.
        Also, i installed no codec packs whatsoever.
        For me, i can work with this option of having 2 versions of vegas installed, but i can understand that it's not the ideal situation.
        I will see if i can find a thread on the vegas forum and post my experience there.
        thankf for your reply!
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    bluenetmarketing · 03:47 03/07/2016
    Derek - What do you think of using http://www.movavi.com/videoconverter/ to convert from .avi to something Movie Studio can use? Will Movavi also mess up the Movie Studio and Vegas codecs too like some of the free codec packs will do? Thanks, Doug
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 11:00 03/07/2016
      There is nothing wrong with installing Video Conversion programs - they will not affect Vegas.
      It's "codec packs" that do damage - this is not a codec pack.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Ricardo · 02:32 04/03/2016
    I used to import .avi files just fine into Sony Vegas before I formatted my computer. Now I can't do it as I used to, simply by dragging the clips into the timeline. I've installed a bunch of codecs already, but the issue remains, even after a reboot on the PC. Converting files to a different format is out of question, since I didn't have to do that before and it would take me forever to convert each and every single clip from .avi to a different format. Also, I record my videos in .avi because I hate how dark the .mp4 format makes my videos and in .avi there is no quality loss.

    What should I do? This is driving me crazy.
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 03:45 04/03/2016
      Hi Ricardo
      A similar thing happened to myself a few days ago, except I couldn't drag anything into the Vegas.
      The first solution that worked was to start Vegas [b]As the Administrator[/b], by right-clicking the Vegas Shortcut on my Desktop and selecting Run As Administrator. This worked and seemed to indicate I had a Windows files permissions problem, however I still did not like this solution. I then remembered that the day before I had installed some Video FX plugins. I un-installed these Video FX and then discovered that my original file import problem was now fixed. So something about the Video FX had caused a conflict in Vegas.
      However on top of all this, there were still a small number of files that refused to import. So I opened the folder that the video files lived in. From old Vegas projects, I could see that my videos folder was filled with garbage temporary Vegas files that look like "sheets of paper". I deleted all these files. Then I was finally able to import ALL my different video file types.

      [i]Did you know that you should never install 3rd party Video Codecs like "K-Lite Codec Pack" ?[/i]
      This destroys the good quality Video Codecs that come with Vegas and screws up the Windows Registry values for Sony Vegas. Speak to any long time professional user of Vegas, and they will tell you the same thing.
      If this is what you have done, you need to un-install the Codec Packs and also Sony Vegas. Then re-boot and only install Sony Vegas.
      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        Derek
        • Moderator
        · 03:47 04/03/2016
        Something I forgot to say in my first reply.
        The other thing I always do if Vegas starts acting up, is a full reset by doing this:
        Turn Vegas Off.
        Hold down CONTROL and SHIFT keys at the same time AND ALSO AT THE SAME TIME double click program icon on Desktop to Boot program.
        Window will pop up.
        Select Delete Cache and Yes.
        This will restore program to Factory Default Settings.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Gavin · 02:37 18/12/2015
    Darn, I used to use a very very very stupid burthurt way, that is upload the footage to youtube, download it through converters and then I can import it {huge facepalm}
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 08:26 18/12/2015
      That sounds complicated :silly:
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Michele · 08:24 10/10/2015
    Love the book / language analogy - Thank you so much for that!
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 11:50 10/10/2015
      Cheers
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    30phil1 · 16:16 04/09/2015
    Wow, you are amazing at explaining things. Great article
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Moderator
      · 18:48 04/09/2015
      Cheers

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