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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.
    Hml · 18:25 05/07/2019
    Hello anyone Know Why sony Vegas turns Down everytime i try to import video files ? I just bought The New Vegas platinium ???
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Member
      • Moderator
      · 19:26 05/07/2019
      What do you mean by "Vegas turns down" ?
      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        HML · 08:56 08/07/2019
        that sony Vegas shuts down by itself...

        Every time I Try to import Video files...
        • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
          Derek
          • Member
          • Moderator
          · 11:00 08/07/2019
          If you would like help in fixing this problem, please copy and paste into the MSZ Forum.
          There is more room on the forum for bigger replies.
          https://www.moviestudiozen.com/forum/index
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Niko · 02:58 09/06/2019
    So I used to use Vegas Pro 10 a few years back. Now I have gotten Vegas Pro 15, and I open some of my unfinished projects from 10.
    I still have the same videos used on said projects, which some of them 15 handles just fine, but others it can't read.

    So question now is why is 15 unable to read those same videos that 10 used to read just fine?
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Member
      • Moderator
      · 11:44 09/06/2019
      If you would like help with this, please post your question on the MSZ Forum.
      You need to tell us what type of video codec you are talking about.
      Use MediaInfo app to find data. I will explain more on the forum.
      https://www.moviestudiozen.com/forum/index
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    Prescott · 05:20 17/04/2019
    So I spent $600 on a program that cant open a f*c*ing avi??????????? what a waste
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Member
      • Moderator
      · 15:34 17/04/2019
      There is nothing unusual about this.
      .AVI is only a generic video container that could contain any Video Codec.
      All major Video Editing programs work the same with .avi videos.
      If Vegas cannot open it, all you have to do is convert it before you import.
      There is no problem.
  • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
    BarefooterRob
    • Member
    · 01:33 25/09/2018
    I had something go wrong for me. I have been doing post production edits on our weekly church videos, in Movie Studio 14 Platinum, from files saved as MP4's, from a Blackmagic Design Studio's ATEM TV Studio. The OS (Windows 10) died on my laptop, at the same time a new update came in for the ATEM. Since that time, I haven't been able to open the MP4 files from the ATEM. I'm not sure if the Movie Studio 14 is missing a CODEC or if something changed in the ATEM software, but in anycase, I can no longer open the files on a machine that I never had previous issues with.

    Any thoughts, or suggestions? I currently need to convert the file in VLC, which is an extra step, and a slow one at that, that I don't want to take.

    Thanks!
    • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
      Derek
      • Member
      • Moderator
      · 07:56 25/09/2018
      Please Copy and Paste your question into the MSZ Forum.
      The forum is a better place to ask technical questions like this.
      https://www.moviestudiozen.com/forum/index
      • Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator before it is published on the site.
        BarefooterRob
        • Member
        · 21:38 25/09/2018
        Done.

        Thanks Derek!
  • 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
      • Member
      • 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
      • Member
      • 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
      • Member
      • 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
      • Member
      • 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
      • Member
      • 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.

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