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VLC will not play certain mp4 files – Solved!

VLC will not play certain mp4 files – Solved!

Camille Wesley No Comment

Have you ever met the issue when playing MP4 files with VLC: "VLC will not play certain mp4 h264 files.  Some h264 files work, others don’t." VLC does play MP4 files, but it has strict limitations on video codec, video bitrate, etc. So sometimes, you maybe not able to play certain MP4 files on VLC.

play mp4 in vlc

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Solution 1: Try disabling hardware video acceleration in VLC.

You can try to remove the trouble by disabling hardware video acceleration in VLC if you watch videos with a low cpu usage. You can find it in Tools –> Preferences. Then in the lower left tell it to show all settings. Now navigate to “Input / Codecs” –> “Video Codecs” –> “FFmpeg”, in there you’ll want to uncheck the box that relates to “Hardware decoding“.

Then close VLC and open it up again, load up your video as see if that works.

Note there is also an option to accelerate video output (overlay).
That shouldn’t be an issue, but it might be, try turning it off:
Tools –> Preferences. Then in the lower left tell it to show simple settings.
Go to the Video button, and try unchecking “Accelerated video output (overlay)”, then restart vlc and try to load up a video.

Solution 2: Reduce MP4 file’s bitrate

10bit H264 MP4 does not work on any hardware accelerator, the video is too choppy to play on VLC due to high cpu usage. Are your MP4 files encoded like this? You can check by using mediainfo. If your video bitrate is too high, you can use some video converter to re-output the video with lower bitrate.

Solution 3: R-encode MP4 to VLC

VLC Media Player is only compatible with MPEG-4 ASP, DivX 4/5/6, XviD, 3ivX D4 and H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC. However, MP4 is a multimedia container format with many kinds of video and audio codecs. If your MP4 file contains a VLC unsupported audio or video codec, VLC won’t play it. In this case, you can re-encode MP4 to VLC supported MP4 files with suitable bitrate, codec, frame rate using video transcoder.

Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate (Mac version) is a great help. It allows you to convert MP4 to almost any popular audio and video ouput formats, even devices. And also, it lets you adjust some important video parameters like video encoder, resolution, bit rate and frame rate. The article here will mainly show you how to solve the MP4’s incompatibility in detail, so you can play MP4 on VLC without any trouble.

The Best MP4 to VLC Assistant, All-In-One Video Solution!

  • Converts SD/HD MP4 to VLC media player.
  • Convert to fast all Formats Including 4K/3D.
  • Commpress 4K MP4 to 1080p for VLC
  • NVIDIA CUDA acceleration when encoding HEVC, H.264.
  • Converts files 30x faster than other converters.
  • Burn & customize DVD with DVD menu templates.
  • Edit, Enhance & Personalize Your Videos File.

Note: Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate is a paid software but it deserves it. It has free trial version but the output video will have Pavtube logo watermark in the middle. If you want to remove the watermark, you need to get a full version.

Free Trial version | Full version

Start to Re-encode MP4 to VLC Playable Files

Step 1. Import MP4 files

Just drag and drop MP4 file to the main interface of the program to add MP4 file. If you have several MP4 files that you want to convert in batch, just drag the folder where the MP4 files are to the software.

load MP4

Step 2. Set output format

We would like to introduce you to select the “ HD Video” >> “ H.264 HD Video(*.mp4)”as your best choice. Surely you can choose H.264 MP4 other suitable ones as you like to fit VLC.

mp4 video format

Tips: Surely in the “Settings”button, you can adjust video and audio settings, including codec, bitrates, frame rate, sample rate, and audio channel. You can adjust video size to 1920*1080.

Step 3. Convert MP4 to VLC friendly format

Now, simply click the big Convert button to start and finish MP4 to VLC conversion with fast speed and high output quality.

Step 4. Import the converted MP4 files to VLC

After conversion, run the VLC media player and imported the converted MP4 videos to it by clicking “Media File…” > “Open File…” for smooth playback.

import converted mp4 to vlc

Apart from VLC, you also can play these MP4 files on iPads, Windows Media Player, QuickTime, etc.

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