Why is my quicktime video choppy?

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Why is my quicktime video choppy?
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QuickTime is Apple's proprietary media player. Although it is a native MacOSX application, it is also available in a Windows version. As a media player, QuickTime is especially developed to open and play digital audio and digital video files. Sometimes, videos can exhibit choppy playback when loaded into QuickTime. When this occurs, the problem is typically related to the media player's settings or the video's encoding.

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Playback Settings

QuickTime's default playback settings may have been recently adjusted. The audio and video tracks may have been modified to stream at different rates. It is also possible that a timing offset was programmed between the two tracks. Users can investigate QuickTime playback settings by going to "Window" and "Show A/V Controls."


The video may have been compressed with a codec that is not supported by the computer. A codec is an algorithm that codes and decodes streams of media like audio and video. When a media player is not equipped to stream a particular video codec, playback may be choppy. Users can identify a video's codecs by running the media through an analyzer like GSpot, VideoInspector or MediaInfo. Once users have identified the video's codecs, they can install free plug-ins to enable playback for the media.


QuickTime can also be used to stream embedded Web video. If online media appears choppy, it could be because the media player's streaming settings need to be tweaked. Users can stream QuickTime embedded video more smoothly by increasing buffering time. When media has more time to buffer, more of the content is downloaded before it is played. Users can increase buffering time in QuickTime by going to "Edit," "QuickTime," "Preferences" and "Streaming." Raise the marker on the "Play Streams" scale closer to "Short Delay."


When video playback is choppy, the media may not have been encoded properly. If this is the case, then the video cannot be corrected unless it is modified in an editing application.

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