Using Video on 64-bit Live (Win)

  • Live Versions: 8.4.1 - 9 (64-bit)
  • Operating System: Win

Video files

A digital video file (e.g. .mov, .mp4 or .avi) is basically a container that encapsulates one or more video and audio streams. Each of these streams again is encoded using an industry standard codec (e.g. mp3 or aac for audio, H.264/AVC or MPEG-2 for video).

To be able to play back such a video file on a computer, both a suitable demuxer for reading the container file and a matching decoder for each audio and video stream must be installed.

The most frequently used codec with acceptable performance and good quality is H.264 (also called AVC). As container file format, the best choice is .mov or .mp4. 

Recommended codecs

The 64-bit version of Live can use any DirectShow compatible demuxers and decoders that are available on the computer, but on a fresh Windows system, only a limited number of video codecs is installed by default. That's why you might need to install additional codecs.

In practice, some decoders are more suitable than others. Live has been tested with the following two solutions:

CCCP provides a wide ranging collection of free codecs here:

Matroska Splitter and FFDShow (both components need to be installed):

Mac exclusive formats

Although some Windows codec packs may claim to support them, certain Mac-only proprietary formats such as M4A or ALAC may not work on Windows. In these instances we recommend converting the file format first using Handbrake.

Encoding video

When it comes to encoding uncompressed video, it is recommended to use as many Keyframes as possible (optimally encoding with Keyframes exclusively), which will noticeably enhance responsiveness and lower CPU usage.

This can be enabled in the settings of the video encoder when rendering the video. In Live, you'll find these settings in the "Export Audio/Video" dialog accessible after enabling "Create Video". The options available depend on which encoding method you select.

How to make a video window fullscreen

Double click the video window. This will toggle fullscreen view on and off (when double clicking again). If the video window needs to be fullscreen on a 2nd monitor, simply drag the window there before double-clicking it.

Troubleshooting - Video cannot be imported

Check that you have installed the recommended codecs above. If the issues persists, make sure that you are running Live as Administrator. Running Live as Administrator will make sure than any Media File import access rights are correctly designated, so please follow this guide to run Live as Administrator. 

Troubleshooting - Live crashes while importing video

Make sure one of our recommended codecs are installed - if necessary try both. If the crashes persist, please contact support with the crash reports.

Troubleshooting - Video Screen remains black

If the video screen remains black after importing a video but the audio plays normally, this could be happening for one of the following reasons.

1. Using Two Monitors

It may occur in certain cases that video issues are caused by the use of two computer screens. For example, the video window stays black if it is positioned on the secondary monitor, but plays correctly from the primary screen. In case the monitors are used for Arrangement and Session View, it would be an easy workaround to use TAB in order to swap Arrangement / Session view and use the primary monitor to preview the video.

2. Switch from dedicated to integrated graphics

Please make sure that your graphic drivers are updated. If the problem persists, it might be worth trying to switch from the dedicated graphics card (e.g. NVIDIA) to the integrated card. This can be done via the NVIDIA control panel:

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3. iPhoto Slideshow Movies

Imported iPhoto slideshow movies play sound, but only show a black screen instead of video. To resolve this, slideshows have to be exported from iPhoto using the “Slideshow” tab instead of the “Quicktime” tab in the export window. More information in our dedicated article iPhoto movies don't play correctly in Live.

Troubleshooting - Video works only in the 32-bit version of Live on Windows 7

Quicktime is usually used to decode videos on the 32-bit version of Live on Windows 7. Quicktime is only available in 32-bit on Windows 7 (and not at all on any later versions of Windows). Install one of the recommended codecs above to work with video in the 64-bit version of Live. More info in our article about the use of Quicktime and Live.

Further Reading