Unable to play H264 AVC .mp4 in Quicktime Player 10

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by richard.mac, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. richard.mac, Jun 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2014

    richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    I am wondering why I can't play an H264 AVC .mp4 in Quicktime Player 10. Upon opening Quicktime just says 'Converting'.

    I mean, I just assumed Quicktime was very good at playing H264 in mp4, and it would just play fine.

    The video plays fine in VLC understandably, here are the codec details.

    Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 7.30.55 pm.png

    I was able to play this in Quicktime Player after following http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=14725614#post14725614 and running the below command with ffmpeg from http://ffmpegmac.net

    ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vcodec copy -acodec copy test.mp4
    When playing 'test.mp4' in VLC player it has exactly the same codecs as the screenshot above, which is puzzling me.

    Why can't Quicktime play this file natively?
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Your video is MPEG-4 AVC Part 10, commonly known as AVCHD. It is a highly compressed format that has been traditionally used in applications of limited storage capacity.

    Old MPEG-4 and the newer H.264/AAC are supported by the QuickTime frameworks out of the box. AFAIK, AVCHD has always required an optional codec. Quicktime 7 supports optional codecs; QuickTime X does not. I can only speculate about Apple's reasons for this decision. However, it does give you reason to keep a copy of the QuickTime Player [7].
  3. richard.mac thread starter macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    Ah, thanks for the information MisterMe. Are you able to brief me on what exactly the command did? Convert from H.264 AVC to just H.264? Confusing.

    I see now Quicktime X player lists the Format as H.264/AAC. But I wonder why VLC still lists it as MPEG-4 AVC Part 10?
  4. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    It will play after it's converted, and then you can save the converted version and then it will play straight off next time.

Share This Page