Is there any way to provide navigation in a video file like a DVD or Blu-Ray?

I know that QuickTime supports Chapter Markers, but the codecs you can use with QuickTime result in very large files. As far as I know, you can't use H.264 with QuickTime (for example).

I create a lot of training videos and I need a way to provide a way to navigate though complex material.

So I am looking for 2 things:

  1. Reasonable file size (like H.264).
  2. Content navigation.
  • Your assumption about quicktime is incorrect. You can indeed use h.264, the quicktime container is pretty much synonymous with the mp4 container. – stib Jun 18 '18 at 5:42

MKV/MP4 container support chapters too, it also supports h264 and almost any other codec. MP4 container based on MOV container, so you can try to include h264 in MOV too.

  • Can you elaborate a bit on how to add the chapters so the OP and others have some place to start? – Michael Liebman Oct 20 '17 at 0:37
  • Yes I did initially use h264 with the .mov container, and it will work 9in that the encoding will proceed, but was informed by someone who knows way more than I do that h264 and .mov don't play well together and putting h264 in a .mov container affects quality and is a no-no for professional work. My experience so far confirms this. Also these files mostly go to Windows machines for distribution and I don't really want to give the clients quicktime files. – clarkland Oct 22 '17 at 21:17
  • 2
    @clarkland Just rename "mov" files to "mp4" and your clients will be happy. If you can patch 4 bytes in header, after 8th byte to "mp42" no one can distinguish from the mp4. Files "mov" and "mp4" almost SAME files and have SAME structure. It can't affect quality in any way. Only one case, when it can affect quality, it's broken software. I don't have mac, so I don't know how common mac software works. Just render same clip in both containers and compare quality. It must be same. – bukkojot Oct 23 '17 at 14:57

On a mac, subler is likely the easiest tool to use to add chapters, https://subler.org

I would make a H.264 MP4 file as your output (it will be the most broadly compatible format to use), and use subler to add the chapters to that.

Note that not all devices will support the chapters for playback, most common players (VLC, iTunes, etc) will be fine, but various TVs and other devices won't necessarily understand the chapter marks. Not much you can do about it, just be aware that this will happen.

Also try to keep your files under 4GB, lots of things you plug a USB into will only support FAT32, if your files go >4GB, you'll be making them unplayable to various devices.

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