Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology
Tech Info Library

My movie doesn't open in Logger Pro. What can I do?

A movie will not display in Logger Pro 3 if Logger Pro cannot read either the codec or the file type or neither. Instead, you will see a black or gray box, or you will not be able to choose the movie file to insert. The quick answer is that you need to convert the movie to a codec and/or file format that Logger Pro can read, and we recommend .mp4 as a readable file type.

Here is a deeper explanation followed by several file conversion options:

Digital video files have both a codec and a file format.

A codec (compression-decompression method) is a way to code and decode digital movies. This is necessary because movie files are very large, and codecs make the file size manageable.

A codec should not be confused with the media file format, which is the package type indicated by file extension, for example: .avi, .mov, .mp4, and m4v. The codec used to create a movie is independent of the media file format.

Logger Pro video on Windows, as of version 3.12, is based on Windows Media Foundation. Windows Media Foundation opens a wide variety of files, but not all formats and codecs.

Logger Pro video on macOS uses the macOS AV Foundation toolset. Like the Windows equivalent, it opens a wide variety of files, but not all formats and codecs.

Note that while many video files can be opened on both macOS and Windows, there will be some that open on only one platform or the other, or on neither.

You have several options:

1) Video conversion

Use a video conversion program to encode your movie with a different codec or file format. There are many free and paid options for software to do this. The best option for conversion is to use a .mp4 file format. Most codecs that use mp4 format can be opened on both macOS and Windows Logger Pro.

Here are some options for converting files that won't open on your platform.
This is a free online tool for light use. We have had no issues with it, but site is advertising supported.
Handbrake is a free conversion utility, but may be intimidating to new users. Use the default "normal" preset, which creates an .mp4 file with the H264 codec.

There are several other free and paid video compression and conversion applications.

2) Camera software export

Open the video in the application you used to create the video (often a webcam or movie maker application that came with the camera) and look for any video export options to save the video in a different format. Often this will force the application to use a different codec, which Logger Pro will then be able to open.

See also:
TIL 2176: How do I transfer a Logger Pro file containing a movie or image to another computer?
TIL 2498: Why does the movie player in Logger Pro show a blank panel?
TIL 4343: Logger Pro displays video as solid green
TIL 4298: A video captured on iOS device renders as gray box in Logger Pro

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