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. Please note: Quicktime is only available in the 32bit version of Windows. In order to play .mov files you will need to install one of the following recommended codecs.

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

Only with properly encoded video footage, fluent high quality playback is possible.

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. If you do this with Live, you'll find these settings in the "Export Audio/Video" dialog accessible after enabling "Create Video".

Integrated vs dedicated graphics card

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:


Using two computer screens

It occurs 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 a easy workaround to use TAB in order to swap Arrangement / Session view and use the primary monitor to preview the video.

Administrative Privileges

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. 

Learn more about Supported Audio Formats on Live

Learn more about the 64-bit version of Live