Best workflow for .mp4 files?

Can a codec or configuration step be done so that Ardour can natively use mp4 files?

Is there a way to have Ardour extract the stereo audio track from an mp4 while it transcodes to AVI?

Assuming you’ve got an audio track that seems to align with the AVI file in question, are there steps to getting it to line up with the video track?


Short answer to this… yes.


Hi Seablade,
I had found that section of the manual, unfortunately the options listed there were not available. Specifically “Do Not Import Video”, and “Extract Audio” are some of the options in the manual you link, but not in the current runtime.

I’m running the latest 8.04 on Ubuntu 22.04.4 LTS and importing an .mp4 video. It seems Ardour can’t hold an .mp4 video so it transcodes to AVI, but the AVI has no sound.

Coming from Windows, I used to just drag a video file into Vegas (10+ years ago) and the audio would be on another track perfectly aligned.

I was able to work around the problem by extract the audio using Audacity, and then import the audio file. The audio & video are not perfectly aligned despite starting at the “same” point.

Was hoping there was a straightforward method to use the video import feature, ideally within Ardour. For my purposes, this is a central need.

By default Ardour transcodes to a file format where every frame is a key-frame. This significantly reduces CPU load for frame accurate seeking. Note that this is only a proxy, and indeed the audio is also stripped from the proxy.

When later exporting the video, Ardour uses the original .mp4 video as source.

But you can pick “Reference from Current Location”, and mp4 loads fine (Ignore the “(transcoded files only)” at your own risk. It may or may not significantly increase CPU load).

Odd. Nothing has changed there since ages. You can extract audio from a video file, which will then be placed on the timeline.


1 Like

Working now, and very well. In case it helps any other new user:

  1. The default import of a video will ingnore the audio track
  2. if you select an audio codec at the “Extract Audio:” dropdown box, do NOT check “Extract LTC from audio and align video” because that will also cause the audio track to be ignored.