Why MP4 Files Play Slow on a Computer

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MP4 files are a proprietary video file from Apple. With the invention of the iPod, MP4s have become very popular. Because MP4 files are proprietary to Apple, they can only be played on Apple's media player, Quicktime. Sometimes MP4 files can play slow, though, for several reasons.

Version of Quicktime

  • Apple updates Quicktime pretty regularly. If you have an old or outdated version of Quicktime, your videos may play poorly. The reason for this is because, as new versions of the Quicktime software are released, people making MP4s encode the videos specifically for the newest software. Included in Resources is a link to the Quicktime website, where you can check if you have the most recent version.

Graphics Card Drivers

  • Outdated graphics card drivers can cause a whole host of video-related problems, including poor MP4 playback. Graphics card companies are always working the bugs out of their drivers for smoother playback. Check your manufacturer's website to make sure you have the most up-to-date drivers for your card.

Memory/CPU Consumption

  • If your computer's memory or CPU is overloaded, video playback will be slow and choppy. Make sure you are not running any programs while you are trying to play back your MP4, because a video file needs a lot of processing power to work. Likewise, check your taskbar for computer programs that may be running and using memory in the background. Remove any memory hogs that you do not need, to ensure a smoother video experience.

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