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Best QuickTime Supported Video/Audio Formats for Limitless Playback

Quicktime Supported video audio formats

In the matter of movies, almost everyone is an expert. But what will you choose to play them with? For Mac-owned users, Apple's QuickTime is just the veteran player you'll find little to quibble about, whether you're experiencing an amazing World Cup match feast or watching streaming movie trailers online. But even an omnipotent media player will have to be yield to video/audio format incompatibility, and the veteran QuickTime is no exception. For a flawless video playback, knowing the best video and audio format supported plays a decisive role. So what video files can Mac's default QuickTime can play? Read the guide below and find the best answer.

Part 1: Compatible Video/Audio Formats for QuickTime Player

QuickTime supports a lot of media formats and codecs, with many more coming all the time. Take a look at the following video and audio formats and codecs list according to Apple official page.

Media Type

File Formats



QuickTime Movie (.mov), MPEG-4(.mp4, .m4v), MPEG-2 (OS X Lion or later), MPEG-1, 3GPP, 3GPP2, AVCHD (OS X Mountain Lion or later), AVI (Motion JPEG only), DV

MPEG-2 (OS X Lion or later), MPEG-4 (Part 2), H.264, H.263, H.261


iTunes Audio (.m4a, .m4b, .m4p), MP3, Core Audio (.caf), AIFF, AU, SD2, WAV, SND, AMR 

AAC (MPEG-4 Audio), HE-AAC, Apple Lossless, MP3

Note: QuickTime plays Motion JPEG-based AVIs created by many digital cameras. But for other forms of AVI media, you are suggested to resort to third-party software like MacX Video Converter Pro to convert the video file to MP4, M4V or MOV for a faultless playback on the media player.

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Part 2: Recommended Audio/Video Settings

There are still many other factors that may result in playback failure, with the resolution, frame rate settings being the typical example. To help you out, the following rules of thumb are just the recommended parameter settings that QuickTime supports for playback flawlessly.

Video Codec Settings

H.264, Photo-JPEG

Audio Codec Settings

AAC, IMA 4:1


Media Resolution Quality: H264 (640x480)
High Resolution Quality: H264 (1280x720)

Frame Rate

Use a frame rate of 10 fps or 15 fps
(With this pop-up menu, you can reduce the frame rate of your original file to reduce the size of the compressed file. Higher frame rates make for smoother motion but require more bandwidth.)

Bit Rate

Don't forget to provide good video/audio quality - 2-5 Mbps and 196 kbps, stereo

Part 3: Solution to Play Video/Audio Format Files Unsupported by QuickTime

For the video and audio files beyond the above-mentioned list, QuickTime will go on strike. Fortunately Apple users may call for its plugin for help, like the popular Perian that is known as a free, open-source QuickTime component, letting you play any media file type you want once it is installed. Unfortunately, a great number of people complained that perian is incompatible with Mac Mavericks, let along the Yosemite, and want an alternative solution. In request for this, we have screened out some useful third-party video converter software to solve the problem - MacX Video Converter Pro is the most remarkable one to change the file into QuickTime video format, or convert QuickTime to MP4.

Video Converter for QuickTime Player

It is the Swiss-army knife, letting you convert any videos like MKV, WMV, 3GP, MTS, AVCHD, FLV, AVI, etc to MOV, MP4, MP3, etc. You just load the unreadable video, choose the MP4 or MOV format from "Mac General Video" and then click "RUN" button to start the video conversion. Just three steps, you can finish the video conversion and therefore playback any video in QuickTime. What's more, you can also DIY your converted video file like crop, trim, add watermark or add subtitle to better suit your QuickTime player.

Author: Candice Liu | Updated on Dec 6, 2018

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