Lightroom Classic: Is anyone else seeing horrible video playback problems with h.264 files on High Sierra / 10.13?

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 6 months ago
  • (Edited)
Can't play back any h.264 video files in Lightroom CC 2015.12 smoothly in High Sierra - sound plays fine, but video pauses frequently, jerkily catches up, then pauses again, over and over with every video file. Worked fine on this machine (2017 4k iMac 3GHz) under Sierra.
Photo of Rick Baumhauer

Rick Baumhauer

  • 39 Posts
  • 22 Reply Likes

Posted 1 year ago

  • 1
Photo of Rick Baumhauer

Rick Baumhauer

  • 39 Posts
  • 22 Reply Likes
This is still an issue with the latest updates. It's so bad that, while I still keep videos in my LR catalog to associate them with photos I took around the same time, I've exported all of my videos to Apple Photos so I can reliably watch them.
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 3816 Posts
  • 996 Reply Likes
In general, LR's support for video is mediocre at best.  Over the years, lots of people have reported in the forums problems with playback, without authoritative solutions posted.  

An alternative to using Apple Photos to play your cataloged videos: Right-click the video thumbnail in the catalog and do Show In Finder. Then double-click the video file in the Finder to play it in the QuickTime player.

You can make that more convenient with the Any File plugin, which provides an Open menu command that will open any cataloged item in the default application assigned to that item. You can assign a keyboard shortcut to Open, e.g. Ctrl + O, to let you more quickly open any cataloged video within QuickTime.
Photo of Rick Baumhauer

Rick Baumhauer

  • 39 Posts
  • 22 Reply Likes
Thanks for the pointers - appreciate you taking the time.

Unfortunately, that really doesn't get me past the reality that there's just no reason to keep video in LR except to remind me that I shot a particular video on a particular date at a particular location, along with some photos.

It's really odd that, at a time when everybody is telling photographers that they have to get into video to keep their business viable, Adobe has really dropped the ball on giving us anything resembling a tool to help with that process. Even if I was using Premier (not worth it when I already own FCPX and DaVinci is free), LR really doesn't integrate with it at all, with the inability to play even a short clip reliably just icing on a really bad cake. I guess Bridge was supposed to do this once-upon-a-time, but it really seems more directed at designers than photographers who do some video.

Having my clips in Photos actually works decently for getting footage into FCPX or DaVinci - just go to the Videos album and everything is there, with the ability to play any video with no hiccups in the file dialog (essentially just a Finder window). Add in the recent issue with flipped iPhone video in LR (still not fixed) and inability to deal with HEVC formats, and it's really hard to see why the feature exists in Lightroom any more.
Photo of John R. Ellis

John R. Ellis, Champion

  • 3816 Posts
  • 996 Reply Likes
I agree with all your observations. 

I continue to catalog my small number of videos in the LR catalog so all my photos and videos are accessible in the same place next to each other, with similar keywords, captions, etc.