Supported Video Codecs and Containers

Video CloudNew StudioExpress I, Express II, Express III, Professional, Enterprise

This document lists the supported containers and codecs you can use when you upload videos for Video Cloud to transcode into H.264 or FLV format. For more information about Video Cloud and H.264 see:

Understanding codecs, containers, and file extensions

Codecs, containers and file extensions are not equivalent but are often confused with one another. For example, H.264 video does not just mean a file with the extension .mp4. Video files contain both metadata (duration, dimensions, etc.) as well as the encoded and often compressed audio and video data.

  • The container format defines how the metadata is stored along with the audio and video data. It does not define the coding or compression of the data.
  • Codecs are responsible for encoding and decoding the video and audio streams in a video file. They can be lossy or lossless and are usually optimized for certain types of transmission. Note that there are some cases where the codec and container share a single definition, but these are uncommon.

Other terms that are often confused are encoding/decoding and muxing/demuxing.

  • Encoding and decoding refer to converting the encoded video and audio data to and from streams that can be played.
  • Muxing and demuxing refers to the writing and reading of audio and video streams into and from various container formats.

For more information see:

  • Containers are described in this article.
  • More details on codecs can be found in this article.
  • Additional references for codec IDs and codes can be found here and here.

Supported output formats

Video Cloud players can deliver video in one of these two classes of encoding:

  • H.263 (Sorenson Spark) video with MP3 audio in FLV
  • H.264 video with AAC audio in MP4 (base, main, and high profiles)

You can upload video files in a wide variety of containers and codecs, and Video Cloud can encode them into either FLV or H.264.

Supported container formats and codecs for H.264

These tables represent the supported list of container formats and codecs for uploaded source videos that Video Cloud can decode and then transcode into H.264 video:

Note: We have not tested each of these containers or codecs. If you run into problems uploading a video in one of the containers or codecs listed as supported, try renaming the file with a *.mov extension. You can also contact Brightcove customer support.

For H.264 encoding, we use ffmpeg, which depends on libavcodec for codec support. Through libavcodec, we offer support for reading and decoding the containers and codecs listed in the tables below.

Container support for H.264 output

Code Description
4xm 4X Technologies format
3gp QuickTime/MPEG-4/Motion JPEG 2000 format
3g2 QuickTime/MPEG-4/Motion JPEG 2000 format
IFF IFF format
ISS Funcom ISS format
MTV MTV format
RoQ raw id RoQ format
aac raw ADTS AAC
ac3 raw AC-3
aea MD STUDIO audio
aiff Audio IFF
alaw PCM A-law format
alsa ALSA audio output
amr 3GPP AMR file format
apc CRYO APC format
ape Monkey's Audio
asf ASF format
ass SSA/ASS format
au SUN AU format
avchd Advanced Video Coding High Definition - Sony/Panasonic HD camcorder format
avi AVI format
avs AVS format
bethsoftvid Bethesda Softworks VID format
bdav Blu-ray transport stream
bfi Brute Force & Ignorance
c93 Interplay C93
caf Apple Core Audio Format
cavsvideo raw Chinese AVS video
daud D-Cinema audio format
dirac raw Dirac
dnxhd raw DNxHD (SMPTE VC-3); an alternative to Apple ProRes, used by Avid
dsicin Delphine Software International CIN format
dv DV video format
dv25 DVCPRO aka DVCPRO25
dv50 DVCPRO50
dv100 DVCPRO HD aka DVCPRO100, codec ids are dvh5, dvh6, dvhp
dxa DXA
ea Electronic Arts Multimedia Format
ea_cdata Electronic Arts cdata
eac3 raw E-AC-3
f32be PCM 32 bit floating-point big-endian format
f32le PCM 32 bit floating-point little-endian format
f4v Video for Adobe Flash Player
f64be PCM 64 bit floating-point big-endian format
f64le PCM 64 bit floating-point little-endian format
film_cpk Sega FILM/CPK format
flac raw FLAC
flic FLI/FLC/FLX animation format
gsm raw GSM
gxf GXF format
h261 raw H.261
h263 raw H.263
h264 raw H.264 video format
idcin id Cinematic format
image2 image2 sequence
ingenient raw Ingenient MJPEG
ipmovie Interplay MVE format
iv8 A format generated by IndigoVision 8000 video server
lmlm4 lmlm4 raw format
m4v raw MPEG-4 video format
matroska Matroska file format
mjpeg raw MJPEG video
mlp raw MLP
mm American Laser Games MM format
mmf Yamaha SMAF
mov QuickTime/MPEG-4/Motion JPEG 2000 format
mp4 QuickTime/MPEG-4/Motion JPEG 2000 format
m4a QuickTime/MPEG-4/Motion JPEG 2000 format
mj2 QuickTime/MPEG-4/Motion JPEG 2000 format
mp3 MPEG audio layer 3
mpc Musepack
mpc8 Musepack SV8
mpeg MPEG-1 System format
mpegts MPEG-2 transport stream format
mpegtsraw MPEG-2 raw transport stream format
mpegvideo raw MPEG video
mts,mt2s Advanced Video Coding High Definition - Sony/Panasonic HD camcorder format
mulaw PCM mu-law format
mvi Motion Pixels MVI format
nc NC camera feed format
nut NUT format
nuv NuppelVideo format
ogg Ogg
oma Sony OpenMG audio
oss Open Sound System playback
psxstr Sony Playstation STR format
pva TechnoTrend PVA file and stream format
qcp QCP format
rawvideo raw video format
rl2 RL2 format
rpl RPL/ARMovie format
rtsp RTSP input format
s16be PCM signed 16 bit big-endian format
s16le PCM signed 16 bit little-endian format
s24be PCM signed 24 bit big-endian format
s24le PCM signed 24 bit little-endian format
s32be PCM signed 32 bit big-endian format
s32le PCM signed 32 bit little-endian format
s8 PCM signed 8 bit format
sdp SDP
shn raw Shorten
siff Beam Software SIFF
smk Smacker video
sol Sierra SOL format
sox SoX native format
thp THP
tiertexseq Tiertex Limited SEQ format
tmv 8088flex TMV
truehd raw TrueHD
tta True Audio
txd Renderware TeXture Dictionary
u16be PCM unsigned 16 bit big-endian format
u16le PCM unsigned 16 bit little-endian format
u24be PCM unsigned 24 bit big-endian format
u24le PCM unsigned 24 bit little-endian format
u32be PCM unsigned 32 bit big-endian format
u32le PCM unsigned 32 bit little-endian format
u8 PCM unsigned 8 bit format
vc1 raw VC-1
vc1test VC-1 test bitstream format
vmd Sierra VMD format
voc Creative Voice file format
vqf Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (NTT) TwinVQ
w64 Sony Wave64 format
wav WAV format
wc3movie Wing Commander III movie format
webM webM video
wsaud Westwood Studios audio format
wsvqa Westwood Studios VQA format
wv WavPack
xa Maxis XA File Format


Codec Support for H.264 Output

Code Description
4xm 4X Movie
8bps QuickTime 8BPS video
8svx_exp 8SVX exponential
8svx_fib 8SVX fibonacci
FRWU Forward Uncompressed
aac Advanced Audio Coding
aasc Autodesk RLE
ac3 ATSC A/52A (AC-3)
adpcm_4xm ADPCM 4X Movie
adpcm_ct ADPCM Creative Technology
adpcm_ea ADPCM Electronic Arts
adpcm_ea_maxis_xa ADPCM Electronic Arts Maxis CDROM XA
adpcm_ea_r1 ADPCM Electronic Arts R1
adpcm_ea_r2 ADPCM Electronic Arts R2
adpcm_ea_r3 ADPCM Electronic Arts R3
adpcm_ea_xas ADPCM Electronic Arts XAS
adpcm_ima_amv ADPCM IMA AMV
adpcm_ima_dk3 ADPCM IMA Duck DK3
adpcm_ima_dk4 ADPCM IMA Duck DK4
adpcm_ima_ea_eacs ADPCM IMA Electronic Arts EACS
adpcm_ima_ea_sead ADPCM IMA Electronic Arts SEAD
adpcm_ima_iss ADPCM IMA Funcom ISS
adpcm_ima_qt ADPCM IMA QuickTime
adpcm_ima_smjpeg ADPCM IMA Loki SDL MJPEG
adpcm_ima_wav ADPCM IMA WAV
adpcm_ima_ws ADPCM IMA Westwood
adpcm_ms ADPCM Microsoft
adpcm_sbpro_2 ADPCM Sound Blaster Pro 2-bit
adpcm_sbpro_3 ADPCM Sound Blaster Pro 2.6-bit
adpcm_sbpro_4 ADPCM Sound Blaster Pro 4-bit
adpcm_swf ADPCM Shockwave Flash
adpcm_thp ADPCM Nintendo Gamecube THP
adpcm_yamaha ADPCM Yamaha
alac ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec)
als MPEG-4 Audio Lossless Coding (ALS)
amv AMV Video
ap4h Apple ProRes 4444
apch Apple ProRes 422 HD
apcn Apple ProRes 422 SD
apcs Apple ProRes 422 LT
apco Apple ProRes 422 Proxy
ape Monkey's Audio
asv1 ASUS V1
asv2 ASUS V2
atrac1 Atrac 1 (Adaptive TRansform Acoustic Coding)
atrac3 Atrac 3 (Adaptive TRansform Acoustic Coding 3)
avs AVS (Audio Video Standard) video
bethsoftvid Bethesda VID video
bfi Brute Force & Ignorance
bmp BMP image
c93 Interplay C93
camstudio CamStudio
camtasia TechSmith Screen Capture Codec
cavs Chinese AVS video (AVS1-P2, JiZhun profile)
cinepak Cinepak
cljr Cirrus Logic AccuPak
cook COOK
cyuv Creative YUV (CYUV)
dnxhd VC3/DNxHD
dpx DPX image
dsicinaudio Delphine Software International CIN audio
dsicinvideo Delphine Software International CIN video
dvbsub DVB subtitles
dvdsub DVD subtitles
dvvideo DV (Digital Video)
dxa Feeble Files/ScummVM DXA
eac3 ATSC A/52B (AC-3, E-AC-3)
eacmv Electronic Arts CMV video
eamad Electronic Arts Madcow Video
eatgq Electronic Arts TGQ video
eatgv Electronic Arts TGV video
eatqi Electronic Arts TQI Video
escape124 Escape 124
ffv1 FFmpeg video codec #1
ffvhuff Huffyuv FFmpeg variant
flac FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec)
flashsv Flash Screen Video
flic Autodesk Animator Flic video
fraps Fraps
g726 G.726 ADPCM
gif GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
h261 H.261
h263 H.263 / H.263-1996
h263i Intel H.263
h264 H.264 / AVC / MPEG-4 AVC / MPEG-4 part 10
huffyuv Huffyuv / HuffYUV
idcinvideo id Quake II CIN video
imc IMC (Intel Music Coder)
indeo2 Intel Indeo 2
indeo3 Intel Indeo 3
interplay_dpcm DPCM Interplay
interplayvideo Interplay MVE video
jpegls JPEG-LS
kmvc Karl Morton's video codec
libfaad libfaad AAC (Advanced Audio Codec)
loco LOCO
mace3 MACE (Macintosh Audio Compression/Expansion) 3:1
mace6 MACE (Macintosh Audio Compression/Expansion) 6:1
mdec Sony PlayStation MDEC (Motion DECoder)
mimic Mimic
mjpeg MJPEG (Motion JPEG)
mjpegb Apple MJPEG-B
mlp MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing)
mmvideo American Laser Games MM Video
motionpixels Motion Pixels video
mp1 MP1 (MPEG audio layer 1)
mp2 MP2 (MPEG audio layer 2)
mp3 MP3 (MPEG audio layer 3)
mp3adu ADU (Application Data Unit) MP3 (MPEG audio layer 3)
mp3on4 MP3onMP4
mpc7 Musepack SV7
mpc8 Musepack SV8
mpeg1video MPEG-1 video
mpeg2video MPEG-2 video
mpeg4 MPEG-4 part 2
mpegvideo MPEG-1 video
msmpeg4 MPEG-4 part 2 Microsoft variant version 3
msmpeg4v1 MPEG-4 part 2 Microsoft variant version 1
msmpeg4v2 MPEG-4 part 2 Microsoft variant version 2
msrle Microsoft RLE
msvideo1 Microsoft Video 1
mszh LCL (LossLess Codec Library) MSZH
nellymoser Nellymoser Asao
nuv NuppelVideo/RTJPEG
pam PAM (Portable AnyMap) image
pbm PBM (Portable BitMap) image
pcm_alaw PCM A-law
pcm_bluray PCM signed 16,20,24-bit big-endian for Blu-ray media
pcm_dvd PCM signed 20,24-bit big-endian
pcm_f32be PCM 32-bit floating point big-endian
pcm_f32le PCM 32-bit floating point little-endian
pcm_f64be PCM 64-bit floating point big-endian
pcm_f64le PCM 64-bit floating point little-endian
pcm_mulaw PCM mu-law
pcm_s16be PCM signed 16-bit big-endian
pcm_s16le PCM signed 16-bit little-endian
pcm_s16le_planar PCM 16-bit little-endian planar
pcm_s24be PCM signed 24-bit big-endian
pcm_s24daud PCM D-Cinema audio signed 24-bit
pcm_s24le PCM signed 24-bit little-endian
pcm_s32be PCM signed 32-bit big-endian
pcm_s32le PCM signed 32-bit little-endian
pcm_s8 PCM signed 8-bit
pcm_u16be PCM unsigned 16-bit big-endian
pcm_u16le PCM unsigned 16-bit little-endian
pcm_u24be PCM unsigned 24-bit big-endian
pcm_u24le PCM unsigned 24-bit little-endian
pcm_u32be PCM unsigned 32-bit big-endian
pcm_u32le PCM unsigned 32-bit little-endian
pcm_u8 PCM unsigned 8-bit
pcm_zork PCM Zork
pcx PC Paintbrush PCX image
pgm PGM (Portable GrayMap) image
pgmyuv PGMYUV (Portable GrayMap YUV) image
pgssub HDMV Presentation Graphic Stream subtitles
png PNG image
ppm PPM (Portable PixelMap) image
ptx V.Flash PTX image
qcelp QCELP / PureVoice
qdm2 QDesign Music Codec 2
qdraw Apple QuickDraw
qpeg Q-team QPEG
rawvideo raw video
real_144 RealAudio 1.0 (14.4K)
real_288 RealAudio 2.0 (28.8K)
rl2 RL2 video
roq_dpcm id RoQ DPCM
roqvideo id RoQ video
rpza QuickTime video (RPZA)
rv10 RealVideo 1.0
rv20 RealVideo 2.0
rv30 RealVideo 3.0
rv40 RealVideo 4.0
sgi SGI image
shorten Shorten
smackaud Smacker audio
smackvid Smacker video
smc QuickTime Graphics (SMC)
snow Snow
sol_dpcm DPCM Sol
sonic Sonic
sp5x Sunplus JPEG (SP5X)
sunrast Sun Rasterfile image
svq1 Sorenson Vector Quantizer 1 / Sorenson Video 1 / SVQ1
svq3 Sorenson Vector Quantizer 3 / Sorenson Video 3 / SVQ3
Not supported in mov containers.
targa Truevision Targa image
theora Theora
thp Nintendo Gamecube THP video
tiertexseqvideo Tiertex Limited SEQ video
tiff TIFF image
tmv 8088flex TMV
truehd TrueHD
truemotion1 Duck TrueMotion 1.0
truemotion2 Duck TrueMotion 2.0
truespeech DSP Group TrueSpeech
tta True Audio (TTA)
twinvq VQF TwinVQ
txd Renderware TXD (TeXture Dictionary) image
ultimotion IBM UltiMotion
v210 Uncompressed 4:2:2 10-bit
vb Beam Software VB
vc1 SMPTE VC-1
vcr1 ATI VCR1
vmdaudio Sierra VMD audio
vmdvideo Sierra VMD video
vmnc VMware Screen Codec / VMware Video
vorbis Vorbis
vp3 On2 VP3
vp5 On2 VP5
vp6 On2 VP6
vp6a On2 VP6 (Flash version, with alpha channel)
vp6f On2 VP6 (Flash version)
VP8 VP8 (webM)
vqavideo Westwood Studios VQA (Vector Quantized Animation) video
wavpack WavPack
wmapro Windows Media Audio 9 Professional
wmav1 Windows Media Audio 1
wmav2 Windows Media Audio 2
wmv1 Windows Media Video 7
wmv2 Windows Media Video 8
wmv3 Windows Media Video 9
wnv1 Winnov WNV1
ws_snd1 Westwood Audio (SND1)
xan_dpcm DPCM Xan
xan_wc3 Wing Commander III / Xan
xl Miro VideoXL
xsub DivX subtitles (XSUB)
zlib LCL (LossLess Codec Library) ZLIB
zmbv Zip Motion Blocks Video


Codecs Not Supported for H.264 Output

Code Description
WMA Windows Media Audio 9 Lossless
WVP2 Windows Media Video 9.1 Image
MSS2 Windows Media 9 Video Screen
IV50 Intel Indeo 5
MSS1 Windows Screen Video
WMAV3 Windows Media Audio Pro
IV41 Intel Indeo Video 4.1
qtrle QuickTime Animation (RLE) video
IndeoÆ video 5.1  
r3d REDCODE R3D format
icod Apple Intermediate Codec
ap4x Apple Pro Res 444 XQ
JPEG 2000  
Component Video  
Intel Indeo® Video 5.0  
Animation JPEG OpenDML  
3ivx Delta 3.5  
Intel Indeo Video 4.4  
Streambox ACT-L2  
Apple Pixlet Video  
FLIC Animation  
3ivx Delta 3.5 Personal  
Avid ABVB NuVista  
Motion JPEG OpenDML  
ZyGoVideo Pro  
Shr3 BitJazz SheerVideo