My digital files look jumpy or choppy when I play them back in Quicktime. What should I do?

Great question! 

Don't panic! Your tapes and files are just fine. Quicktime has a lot of bugs that can result in choppy or jumpy video playback. While the video formats we use are very standard, some Mac computers may have issues with video playback.

There are several different solutions:

  1. Try playing the files on a different computer. We primarily see choppy and jumpy video on Apple computers made before 2012. If possible, try playing them on a newer Apple computer or Windows computer.
  2. If you do not have another computer, check for updates to your Apple computer. Most of the issues we see come from computers that work great, but haven't received an update in some time. Most issues seem to come from computers running MacOS X El Capitan and older. While it is not a guarantee, updating your computer to the latest macOS software possible can fix the issue. Updates to Quicktime are installed in conjunction to macOS, so keeping both up to date is key.
  3. You can also use a different program other than Quicktime to view video files. The most common alternative is VLC, a totally free, open-source platform dedicated to being the Swiss Army Knife of video programs. VLC is a program we highly recommend, and it's a program we know plays all video files just fine.

If you are still having difficulty, or if you’d like to speak with someone about this, feel free to contact our customer support team.

Can’t find your answer in our support center? Contact us directly.