Quicktime Pro vs. Cineform Studio (GoPro Studio)

For GoPro users, converting videos taken by the amazing little GoPro camera can be a nightmare. Using the supplied Cineform Studio software may not always work out. The alternative is Quicktime Pro.

I’ve had numerous problems with Cineform Studio when converting videos taken by the GoPro camera:

  • Lock-up of the software during conversion.
  • Conversion looks like it is taking place, but doesn’t.
  • Long convert times.
  • “Out of disk space” issues.
  • Truncated videos after conversion (missing time at beginning or end)

High definition (HD) videos take a lot of disk space, and the job of converting the video format from the native MP4 file produced in the GoPro camera to the common formats of MOV and AVI cause the file sizes to greatly increase in size.

Cineform Studio first asks you to convert the file from MP4 to MOV or AVI. Then it allows you to export the file to MP4. This is because the MP4 file straight out of the camera has lots of information in it and the conversion process allows that data to be extracted and applied to the file. Then the conversion back to MP4 places all that data back into an MP4 file format.

This seems weird to me. To go “out” just to come back “in”? So, I tried it for myself and found that it is true that the MP4 exported version plays better than the native MP4 file. However, the interim “converted” AVI or MOV is not necessary.

I tried just jumping from the GoPro MP4 file, straight to the exported MP4 file, but this is not possible in Cineform Studio. It is possible in Quicktime Pro though, so that is what I used.

I found that the video produced by Quicktime Pro was consistently better:

  • It was possible to complete the export without locking up or truncation issues.
  • The output file format could be tailored to the application or web service that it was meant to be uploaded to (YouTube, Facebook, etc.).
  • The Quicktime program is more stable than Cineform Studio.
  • There was nothing I couldn’t do in Quicktime that I could do in Cineform Studio.

I now will use Quicktime Pro for all my GoPro video file export and conversion needs. The hassle of the multiple Cineform Studio software issues does not make that software a viable choice for processing GoPro files. Maybe in the future they will improve the software, but for now it is just not ready.

Update: GoPro has released version 2.0 or their GoPro Studio (formerly Cineform Studio). This may correct some issues.

One notable exception to use Cineform may be the deflicker option that is available in the Windows version of Cineform. It is not available elsewhere except as a paid software add-on like LRTimelapse.

Also, GoPro has released an updated GoPro Studio 2.0 that made improvements but that I have yet to fully test.

Thank you for reading what I wrote — I hope you enjoyed it.