Best codec to use on Mac M2 in 2024? HAP? HVEC/H265? H264? ProRes?

Hi I wanted to revisit the best codec recommendation for VDMX running on a MacBook Pro M2? I have avoided HAP for years because the major inconvience of not being able to preview videos in Mac Finder. Has that problem been solved?

I’d like to be able to run multiple layers with a 4k output. Should I consider encoding my clips in HVEC, H264, HAP, or ProRes?

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H264 with a keyframe for each frame. It’s been my goto for some years now.

There’s more info about this in the docs: Video Codecs and VDMX | VIDVOX Documentation

I use HAP when I need a specific level of performance out of the media, but I would avoid HVEC and H.265 because they require more CPU power to decode on the fly.


use h264 with a keyframe for each frame too.
in ffmepg, use: -x264-params keyint=1
crf set to 19 for FHD
maybe around 15 for 4K


and you get better performance with h264 than hap or prores?

At the moment, HAP will give you the best performance, but ProRes will give you better quality. H.264 is the smallest file size, but comes at a cost of quality and performance. If you are on a machine with limited resources, HAP would be the best use.

Hard to say about M3 and M4 processors, but there are a number of things in the works related to codecs. At the moment, the ^ above is the current mindset.

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I’m assuming you are using H.264 (GOP = 1) for straight playback at the encoded frame rate without any rate manipulation. The reason I highlight this is that codecs are confusing for new users and hardly anyone reads the docs (my students!) :roll_eyes:

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