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I have a video editing software which current supports only MP4/H264 as the videos that can be imported into the system. I wanted to expand this and was investigating into the different popular formats out there.

My tool is meant to make video authoring simpler and tries to achieves that with a doing away with pro-level features. I have basic editing features like trimming, filters, annotations etc. My target audience are everyday consumers like teachers, entrepreneurs, trainers etc. who might have a video creation need and can't afford time to learn or money to pay for a pro software.

So, in your opinion, which are the video formats I should definitely support for importing over and above MP4/H26 given my customer base? I personally felt that MP4 is very restrictive and wanted to expand over it.

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To be frank, beginners and semi-pros will be capturing their videos on smartphones or consumer-level camcorders. And contemporary ones all record their videos as H264 in MP4 or MOV. The only other candidate is MJPEG in AVI for videos taken with older devices

If it's legally possible, I'd suggest bundling Avisynth along with your software and coding AVS/AVI import into your tool. There are plugins for Avisynth which handle many other formats. To make it somewhat transparent and simple for users, your menu should contain two entries: 'Open MP4' which handles native import of MP4, as it presumably does right now, and something like 'Open other formats', which when presented with a heterogeneous format, constructs a simple Avisynth script on the fly and executes it, without the knowledge of the user. This way your users don't need to know scripting and your app now accepts many other formats.

  • I understand that recorded videos from devices are mostly H264 in MP4/MOV and hence we went ahead with MP4, but sometimes I might want to import videos others created which could be in various formats. Hence I was working on deciding the set of formats I want to import. – TheBlueNotebook Oct 30 '15 at 6:44
  • Videos are generated via recording or rendering or transcoding. We already agree on the de facto format (MP4/MOV) fior the first case. Most NLE render output is the same. Maybe WMV for Windows Movie Maker. Professional intermediate codecs like ProRes, DNxHD, Cineform or MXF Op1a aren't relevant for your target userbase. And I doubt most amateurs transcode to anything other than MP4/MOV or AVI. – Gyan Oct 30 '15 at 6:56
  • WMV, AVI, MP4/MOV were what I had in mind when I asked this question. Now that you put it in terms of the source of video generation, these formats make more sense to me as well. I wanted to ensure I am not missing out on any format which are popularly used and I am not aware of. – TheBlueNotebook Oct 30 '15 at 7:09

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