Video Playback not Smooth

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Today’s Question: In Lightroom the videos I’ve imported along with my still photos often don’t play very smoothly. Is there something I can do to improve the playback within Lightroom?

Tim’s Quick Answer: As you can imagine, upgrading your computer could certainly help. But short of that, I recommend revealing the video file in your operating system and then playing the video from there, outside of Lightroom.

More Detail: Video playback in Lightroom is not always smooth, especially if there are background tasks being performed (such as an import or rendering of previews for images you’ve just imported). Increasing the amount of memory (RAM) in your computer and otherwise upgrading performance can certainly help. But when you’re not able to get smooth playback from within Lightroom, I find you can achieve much better results by going to your operating system instead.

Once you’ve found a video you want to review in Lightroom, right-click on that video and from the popup menu that appears choose “Show in Finder” (for Macintosh users) or “Show in Explorer” (for Windows users). This will bring up a window in your operating system reflecting the folder location of the video file you right-clicked on, and that video file will be highlighted.

You can then double-click on the video file to open it in the default player for your operating system, and at that point you should expect improved video playback performance.