I've just bought my first Mac (Snow Leopard) and installed Pro Tools 9.

I have imported a mp4 video, the sound works but the video doesn't appear. I have done some research and it seems .mp4 and .AAC formats don't agree with PT, I've installed Perian which hasn't helped.

I have looked into converting the .mp4 file to something like a .mov or .avi. I have tried MPEG Streamclip to convert it but all I get is 'error can't prepare movie'.

Members have recommended QT 7 Pro to convert files but with research it doesn't function with the QT 10 player? (Thread: Working with video: What tools can’t you live without?)

Has anyone got any ideas, I have no video editing software is it worth buying something to help with these issues?


Edit: Would buying something like Premiere, Final Cut Pro or Vegas be easier to deal with? Can they export and handle high bit rate audio 192khz?

  • This one works for me... aimersoft-mac.com/video-converter-mac.html
    – Andy Lewis
    Dec 19, 2010 at 18:26
  • QuickTime X is better than the old regular QuickTime but then QuickTime 7 Pro is more functional. Only you have to pay an extra 30 bucks to make QT7 the Pro version. Also, in my experience on its 7 and 8 versions, Pro Tools doesn't like compressed video/audio - 9 is certainly no exception. Dec 19, 2010 at 20:20
  • @Justin I have tried to use QTX to re save the video but it only exports the audio and not the video any ideas? Dec 19, 2010 at 20:45
  • have you tried another clip with MPEG Streamclip to see if the problem is with the clip?
    – Hector Lee
    Dec 20, 2010 at 3:13
  • You need to convert with Quicktime 7 Pro, then it works perfectly. Not Quicktime X. If you don't want to spend money: convert with VLC. You will need to fiddle with the settings though. @ Robbie: this has nothing to do with windows media components or the wmv codec, so flip 4 mac won't help here.
    – EMV
    Dec 20, 2010 at 8:43

5 Answers 5


You could try MPEG Streamclip and convert your video to DV, it's a format that works fine with Pro Tools and requires a rather little amount of processing for playback.

EDIT: two more pieces of software discussed in the comments to this post are FFmpeg and ffmpegX.

  • @Justin I have tried this but it comes up with 'error can't prepare movie'? Dec 19, 2010 at 20:44
  • @Adrian Once you have found a way to convert the video, I would definitely recommend converting to DV for PT playback, rather than trying to use an MPEG4/H264 format in your session, as Justin suggests. Dec 19, 2010 at 20:59
  • Are you familiar with Unix command line? FFmpeg is a very powerful tool if you can use it and it may be able to straighten out your bloody media file ;) You can get a version of it with a GUI but the FFmpeg version it uses is like 2 or 3 years old. Dec 20, 2010 at 21:06
  • Here it is ffmpegx.com ;) It should get you somewhere... Dec 20, 2010 at 21:39

Try also installing flip 4 mac windows media components. Usually that with pertain and mpeg streamclip will work. Remember pt only likes motion jpeg a or h264.

  • As I noted in my post below, ProTools does not like H.264. Yes, it will run it, but it's not that reliable for sync puprposes in your sessions. Dec 20, 2010 at 16:10

This doesn't exactly help your immediate problem, but I'm going to post this here to share with other people who don't know this yet.

The word, straight from the mouth of an Avid Post product manager: "Stay away from H.264 with Pro Tools. It's just a mess."

I'll echo other people's sentiments here, in that you should convert to a standard def video format for most of your projects. If you're concerned about frame rate issues, don't be. If you're in HD 24p and scale down to SD 24p, you're still in 24p. Whereas 59.94 and 50 are essentially 29.97 and 25 as well. Yes there are some differences between those latter formats, but it has more to do with the actual video scan lines than it does the frame rate. You can feed an SD reference to an HD deck and it will work fine as far as time and position reference. The same thing goes with your Pro Tools session. You can work in a 29.97 session for a 59.94 piece, and you will have little, IF ANY, issues.

  • @Shaun Do you use QT7P for your conversions? Which program do you use to sync your video and audio afterwards? Dec 20, 2010 at 16:02
  • @Adrian - I don't. I send the final audio back to our editors. We use time code stamping for sync, as well as the standard old sync pops as a back up. If any conversion of video needs to be done, they usually handle it. For stuff I work on at home, I use MPEG Streamclip, and my wife has FCP if I need some heavier conversion done. Dec 20, 2010 at 16:07
  • @Shaun Shame me being new to all this I don't have editors :). I may have to get FCP to sync my things up, does PT 9 not have an export video function? Dec 20, 2010 at 18:29
  • @Adrian - I have to imagine it does, since most of the previous versions do, but it was always SLOOOOOOOOOOWWW. I'd avoid if possible. Dec 20, 2010 at 19:50
  • @Shaun Seems like a problem that Avid will surely have to address. H.264 is one of the video standards and with web video is becoming big business this looks like an issue that will cause considerable problems. What do you think? Dec 21, 2010 at 16:20

hint: unless you need firewire video out, use Photojpeg.


I had the same problem and found a solution. All you have to do is change the end portion of your file name from .mp4 to .mov. When you import the file into your Pro Tools, you'll be able to view your video file normally.

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