Lightroom Classic: stuttering video

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  • Updated 5 months ago
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I have a brand new, high-end, custom built PC designed for video editing.  However; when I try to play video clips in Lightroom CC, they stutter so bad that it's very difficult to edit accurately.  Any way to fix this?
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chris sollart

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Posted 5 months ago

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Hi Chris, sorry to hear you're having trouble. First port of call, can I please get you to go to Help menu > System Info and paste the first chunk of text. That'll give us a bit more information about your install.

Also, if you look at the bottom of the info panel, where it says Sync Status, are the problem videos already showing as "original" for the local status. I'm wondering if they're having to download from the cloud as you're trying to play them.
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chris sollart

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Hi Victoria;  Thank you so much for replying!  The video clips that I am working with are definitely not downloading from the cloud.  I have them on an external harddrive.  Would it be better to have them on my internal HD?
And here is the first chunk of text:

Lightroom Classic version: 7.1 [ 1148620 ]
License: Creative Cloud
Language setting: en
Operating system: Windows 10 - Business Edition
Version: 10.0.17134
Application architecture: x64
System architecture: x64
Logical processor count: 12
Processor speed: 3.6 GHz
Built-in memory: 32706.1 MB
Real memory available to Lightroom: 32706.1 MB
Real memory used by Lightroom: 538.4 MB (1.6%)
Virtual memory used by Lightroom: 671.7 MB
GDI objects count: 603
USER objects count: 2300
Process handles count: 1389
Memory cache size: 95.1MB
Maximum thread count used by Camera Raw: 5
Camera Raw SIMD optimization: SSE2,AVX,AVX2
Camera Raw virtual memory: 109MB / 16353MB (0%)
Camera Raw real memory: 110MB / 32706MB (0%)
System DPI setting: 144 DPI (high DPI mode)
Desktop composition enabled: Yes
Displays: 1) 3840x2160
Input types: Multitouch: No, Integrated touch: No, Integrated pen: No, External touch: No, External pen: No, Keyboard: No
Graphics Processor Info:
DirectX: NVIDIA Quadro M2000 (23.21.13.9077)
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chris sollart

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I'm sorry to say, but I can't find "Sync Status".  Not sure which panel is the 'info panel'.  Can you tell me specifically which panel you are referring to?  I do not see a panel named info panel.  Thank you!

But, since I'm not using video clips from the cloud, does it still matter?  
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Ah, that's because you're using Lightroom Classic, not Lightroom CC. (Yes, I know the naming is confusing!!)

First port of call is an update - 7.4 is the latest, and there have been lots of bug fixes along the way.

Also, try going to Preferences > Performance and enlarging the video cache size. 

You're using a quite a high resolution monitor, so you could try reducing the window size and see if that helps too.

It might also help the engineers to know which camera the videos are from, and a rough file size too.
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chris sollart

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Victoria; I greatly appreciate your help!  OK; I manually updated (I also have auto update checked).  I tried both unchecking 'limit video cache size' and also increasing the size of the video cache to 100GB; neither made any difference.  I'm using Nikon D5, D4, D850 and a Panasonic HC-W580 camcorder to capture video which I download to an external 4TB Seagate hard drive and then import the videos from that HD.  An example of a file size is 200 MB.  I also tried reducing the window size.  Unfortunately, none of these actions made any difference; video is still 'stuttering' (stopping and starting, not playing smoothly).  Could it have anything to do with the video files being on the external HD?  
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"Could it have anything to do with the video files being on the external HD?"

Unlikely if the external drive is working correctly, though you could do a quick test from your internal drive to verify. Modern external drives can read data at 75 MB/s or faster (600 Mb/s), which is more than fast enough for any compressed video (e.g. MP4).  

What format is the video?
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chris sollart

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Thanks so much for hanging in to help me with this!  All of my computer gear that I am using is less than a year old and of high quality.  I don't know how to do a quick test from internal drive to verify, but I'm 'guessing' that there is nothing wrong with the HD (since it is quite new and 'seems' to be working fine).  Most of the video files are .MOV downloaded directly from my Nikon D5 to the external HD.  1920x1080, 59.94 frames/sec.  I'm also using files from a camcorder which are .MTS files.  Same problem with all files.  Thanks!
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chris sollart

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PS; if I simply open the video files (without Lightroom) they play perfectly.  
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Copy one of the videos to your desktop and import the copy into LR. To make a copy, select the video in LR, right-click it, and do Show In Explorer.  Then use Windows File Explorer to place a copy of that file on your desktop.  In LR, do File > Import and import that copy.

Does the copy play any better?
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chris sollart

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I copied a clip onto my desktop and then imported it to LR and the exact same thing happens when I play it in LR; choppy.  No difference.  Just for the heck of it, I then Exported that clip back to a different folder on my desktop and when I open it (on desktop) it plays perfectly.  We must be getting close to the solution!  Thanks!  
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I think exporting may have changed the format of the video, either the resolution, the frame rate, or the internal codec (or all three).
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chris sollart

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OK, something new!  Yes; exporting the clip changed the format from .MOV to .mp4, also the frame rate changed from 59.94 to 30.0.  (However; I just realized that I had the video export set to H.264 rather than original).  The file size is almost exactly the same.  So now I Imported that .mp4 back into LR and now it does play smoothly in LR!  So now it appears that LR will play .mp4 files smoothly but not .MOV files.  Glad we're making progress!  So now the question is, how do I get .MOV (and .MTS) files to play or do I have to somehow convert all of them to .mp4 files first?  Thanks!  
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It could also be the frame rate that's the culprit.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Upload a sample .mov that stutters on your system, upload it to Dropbox or similar, and post the sharing link here.  We can see if it stutters on other people's systems or just yours.

In general, there have been many complaints about poor playback of video in LR, with no general solutions posted.  I gave up years ago relying on LR for playback, and instead use the QuickTime player.  In LR, you can right-click the video, do Show In Finder / Explorer, and then double-click the video.  To make that go faster, you could use my Any File plugin and assign a keyboard shortcut to its Open command (which opens any cataloged file in its default application).
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chris sollart

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Here is the dropbox link to a sample video:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/y2v0r7qs80iz2lt/AAD0t1t0nhhB7m1AtIffyYZQa?dl=0

I was hoping I could use LR for video editing because my video editing needs are very simple and I'd like to be able to just trim clips and make adjustments to color, etc.  I used to use Premiere Pro but it wasn't worth the subscription fee for my simple needs.  I also just started using Premiere Elements, but I'm not totally satisfied with it.  If I can't get LR to work the way I want, I may have to try to get what I want from Pre. Elements.  It's difficult for me to understand why Adobe would offer video editing in LR but then not address the problems with it, especially since it's considered a professional program. ???
 My video clips play perfectly in Explorer.  It's not a matter of just being able to view them, that's not a problem.  It's that I want to be able to trim and adjust them.  
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chris sollart

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PS;  While I have your attention, I have another question.  I usually download about 1000 still image RAW files to LR at a time.  When viewing the images for the first time, it usually takes several seconds for each image to Load.  1000 x several seconds is annoying.  When I first starting using my new high-end PC workstation, 5 months ago, they seemed to load much faster.  What would slow down the loading process?  
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I don't know what might account for the slowth. Have you tried building previews with Library > Previews > Build Standard-Size Previews while you're not at your computer?  Is loading still slow?  If it is, you're probably better off starting a new topic on that, where people more knowledgeable about that issue will see it.
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chris sollart

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Thanks; I'll try that and if it doesn't work, I'll try starting a new topic.  
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That sample video stutters slightly on my Macbook Pro Retina Mid-2015 (2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB, SSD, Macos 10.13.5). But it plays smoothly in the Quick Time player.

I'm guessing that LR isn't able to keep up with 60 FPS.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"It's difficult for me to understand why Adobe would offer video editing in LR but then not address the problems with it"

Video has always been LR's stepchild since its introduction in LR 3.  Many people have long had issues with importing, metadata, and playback, and LR is missing basic features, such as the ability to rotate and to write metadata back to the video files or sidecars.
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chris sollart

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Thanks for all your help!  I really do appreciate it.  
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chris sollart

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Well; at least now I know it's 'clearly' a problem with LR and not that I'm doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with my PC.  
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chris sollart

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I found out that if I shoot at 30 frames/sec. it does play smoothly in LR!
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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It's unfortunate that LR can't always handle 60 FPS.
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chris sollart

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It would be great if they let users know that up front.