In this tutorial I explain why you sometimes need to convert video into different codecs and formats and I also show how to do a conversion.
Today there are a large number of different Video Codecs and Formats being used to record video to. In simple terms it means that many different languages are being used. So if you are doing video editing with Sony Movie Studio Platinum or Sony Vegas Pro, you may find that sometimes you cannot import a video into the program or it may not work properly at all. The reason this occurs is that not all programs can read and understand every single video codec (language) and format in use today. When this happens it means you will have to Convert your Video file into a different Video Codec/Format that Movie Studio or Vegas can read - a friendly codec that the program can understand.
Common Errors that Indicate a Video Codec or Format is not Compatible
- Movie Studio or Vegas brings up an error message saying that the file format is not supported.
- The program just crashes when you attempt to Import your video.
- You can Import the video file, but when you drag the video onto the timeline the Video track is there, but the Audio track is missing.
- You can Import the video file, but when you drag the video onto the timeline the Audio track is there, but the Video track is missing.
- When you start to play back the video, you may see crazy coloured pixelation jumping all over the video in the Preview Window.
- When you start to play the video, the audio is distorted or it keeps cutting in and out
Do you have Apple Quicktime installed ?
Apple Quicktime must be installed on the same computer you have Movie Studio or Vegas Pro installed on. This is a prerequisite of both programs and is listed in the minimum requirements. Apple Quicktime is needed in case you are working with Apple Video Codecs and Formats. This applies to all versions of Movie Studio 13 an older and Vegas Pro 13 and older. Vegas Pro 14 no longer requires Quicktime and hopefully the same will be true when Movie Studio 14 is released.
Important update about Apple Quicktime
Apple has dropped support for Quicktime on Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 computers. If you try to install the latest version of Quicktime 7.7.9 on Windows 10/8.1, it will not work. The solution is to install Quicktime 7.6, which will work.
If you are still using Windows Vista or Windows 7, Quicktime 7.7.9 should work OK for you. If you experience any problems at all, the best solution is to install Quicktime 7.6.
April 2016 - Security vulnerability announced about Quicktime
In April 2016, some security vulnerabilities were discovered in Apple Quicktime.
There is no need to panic about this development. From all the available information that I have read, the problem is only with the actual Quicktime player and not with the codecs that get installed with QT. The security flaws can only be activated if you tried to play a .mov video file in QT that is infected. Editing with .mov video files in Vegas Pro and Movie Studio will not infect your computer. All you have to do is STOP playing videos with Quicktime and use a different media player. If you are super worried, delete the quicktimeplayer.exe file from your computer and then nothing bad can happen.
Supported File Formats for Sony Movie Studio Platinum
Opens: AAC, AA3, AIFF, AVI, BMP, CDA, FLAC, GIF, JPEG, MP3, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MVC, OGG, OMA, PCA, PNG, QuickTime®, SND, SFA, W64, WAV, WDP, WMA, WMV, XAVC S
Saves: AAC, AC3, AA3, AIFF, AVC, AVI, BMP, FLAC, JPEG, LPEC, MP3, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MVC, OGG, PCA, PNG, TIFF, QuickTime, W64, WAV, WDP, WMA, WMV, XAVC S
Supported File Formats for Sony Vegas Pro
Opens: AA3, AAF, AIF, ASF, AU, AVC, AVCHD, AVI, BMP, BWF, CDA, DIG, DLX, DPX, DV, EXR, FLAC, GIF, H.264, HDP, IVC, JPEG, M2T, M2TS, MVC, MOV, Sony MXF (XDCAM and HDCAM SR), MP3, MP4, M4A, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video, MPO, OGG, OMA, Panasonic MXF (DVCPRO, AVC-Intra) PCA, PNG, PSD, QT, R3D, SFA, SND, TIFF, TGA, VOX, W64, WAV, WDP, WMA, WMV
Saves: AA3, AC3, AIF, ATRAC, AVC, AVCHD, AVI, DPX, EXR, FLAC, H.264, HDP, MOV, MP3, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video, MP4, M2T, Sony MXF (XDCAM and HDCAM SR), MVC, OGG, PCA, W64, WAV, WMA, WMV
Solutions: How to Convert a Video
Now this is where it can get very interesting and frustrating at times.
There are a large number of Video Converting programs available - some are free and some cost money. Many of the free versions can be very dodgy and inconsistant. The only way to find out what is a good converter is to do lots of experiments. If you have ever used Google Translate, then you will know that it can sometimes create hilarious and non-sensical translations from one language into another. So keep this in mind when you convert your videos. Your results may vary quite a bit depending on the quality of the original source video and how the converter interprets the file.
Video Converters I am currently using
- Media Converter by Arcsoft - this program is no longer available !
- Nero Recode which is part of Nero 12 Platinum
- Any Video Converter - free version
- GoPro Studio
In the video tutorial below, I use Any Video Converter to show two different formats I often use to convert my videos to. However I must stress that many times I am forced to use the other programs above, when a conversion does not work properly.
Common Errors after Conversion and a BIG tip !
The most common error I see that indicates the video has not converted properly, is Audio Sync issues. Which means the converted video has fallen out of synchronization with the Audio Track. When this happens, the converted video is useless and means that you should then try an alternate video converter OR try a different Video Codec/Format to convert to.
If you watch the video tutorial right to the end, you will see another example of a strange error that can occur to a converted video. Sometimes it will repeat the video track twice on the top layer. If this happens you can just trim off the duplication in your video editor.
The most important thing to take note of before you start a conversion, is to find the frame rate of the original video and make sure the profile you are about to convert to has the same identical frame rate set in the controls. I have found that doing this reduces the chances of audio sync issues.