My GH3 camera produces 50Mbps mov files with the h264 codec (and according to VLC player, a PCM audio stream).
Vegas plays the files just fine, but since I’ve in the past run into all sorts of problems when editing quicktimes (like crashes during renders, memory problems etc) I would much prefer to edit the material in an mp4 wrapper.
I tried batch converting the movs to mp4 with mpeg streamclip using Save As Mp4. This goes pretty fast, but the resulting mp4’s show no audio stream in Vegas.
Next I tried simply renaming the .mov to .mp4 (using a batch renaming progam, it doesn’t get much faster than that), and Vegas reads the renamed files just fine.
What I’m not sure about though, is whether this means the files, after renaming, are treated by Vegas as mp4 files, or if Vegas is treating them exactly the same as when the extension would have been .mov. Is renaming enough to keep Vegas from processing as quicktime?
Also I’m not sure if fooling Vegas into thinking the wrapper is mp4 while it’s not, can produce any other problems later on.
Does anyone know?
Vegas special cases Quicktime files which have AVC video and PCM audio. AKA stuff from DSLRs and digicams.
It uses its own internal decoders. You can verify this by right clicking a file in the project media pane and look at the general tab. If the qt7plug plug-in is used the Quicktime is decoding. If compoundplug is used the Vegas is handling directly.
Renaming a file from MOV to MP4 does not do anything. Vegas really identifies the file type from its internal file header. Even though MP4 and MOV are nearly identical file containers, their signature does uniquely identify them.
Since the MP4 container is a proper subset of the QuickTime container, renaming QuickTime files that contain AVC/H.264 to MP4 should have no ill affect. As Norman points out, newer versions of Vegas Pro have gotten smarter about handling DSLR footage even if the file extension is MOV.
Thank you Norman and John.
I have had nightmare experiences with large projects with quicktime media, but not since I useVegas 12.
I did some tests and indeed couldn’t find any differences after the extension is changed. The graphics card works just as hard, and a transcode to sony mxf with a color curves effect takes the same time, no matter if I do a graphics card or a CPU render. So I’ll risk native movs for the next project.