Resolume supports loads of movie formats. 

Can Resolume play my videos?

That's a simple question. The answer gets complex real quick, depending on how technical you want to get.

Let's start with the simple answer: 

On Mac and Windows, Resolume supports 

  • .MOV files
  • .AVI files
  • .GIF files
  • .MP4 files.
  • .MPG and .MPEG files

So if your movie ends in one of those extensions, you're in good shape.

Of course, with computers things are never as easy as that. The file extension says a little, but not everything about that file. It doesn't say anything about which 'codec' is used. And it turns out the codec is actually the most important part about playing video.

So let's make it a bit more complex. 

  • If your system's video player can play it, so can Resolume. 

The rule of thumb is this: If your file opens and plays in Windows' Movies & TV app or Apple's Quicktime X, it's going to play in Resolume. This means it supports most common codecs, like h264.

If you need to use VLC or some weird codec pack to see your file, chances are Resolume can't play your file. If Resolume can't play your file, it'll display it with a big yellow X in its preview.

Tip! If you have trouble playing a file, converting it to DXV is always, always, always the answer to your problem. Need help with that? Read all about converting your content.

#Nerd alert!

Now if you're a bit technical minded, you probably want to know the nitty gritty about which codecs are supported. If you're just here for playing cool videos and actually have a social life, skip ahead.

When Resolume opens a file, we first try to open it ourselves. When we see it's DXV or PhotoJPEG encoded, we use our own player. This means you get hardware accelerated lightning fast playback with DXV, and turbo fast playback on Photo-JPEG. Also GIFs are played back by our own engine.

If we don't recognise the format or codec, we pass it to the big boss, your computer's operating system. On Windows, we ask MediaFoundation. On Mac, we ask AVFoundation. We ask them kindly if they can play the file. If they can, we let them handle it for us and just display the frames we get back. Letting the system handle things means you get some cool benefits like hardware accelerated h264 on OSX.

If all that fails, we finally ask FFMPEG if they recognise what's going on and if they can make sense of it. 

Unfortunately this doesn't mean that we support the full range of codecs that VLC supports. The licensing for FFMPEG is actually very complex, and unless you're an open source product like VLC, you are not allowed to just play all the codecs. When you stick to these rules, there are definite limits to FFMPEG. And we like to play by the rules.


Resolume provides loads of ways to control how videos behave.

The Transport section of the Clip tab is where we can change the speed and direction that clips play at.


The first thing we will look at in the Transport section is the timeline itself. We can manipulate this directly by grabbing the blue pointer that moves along it and sliding it around. This gives an effect similar to DJ scratching.

The smaller bar below the timeline is also useful. Grab and move the small blue pointers at its end to set the In and Out points of the clip. This is great for selecting parts of longer clips to use.

Tip! After setting in and out points, hold down Shift while dragging the range. This will let you move the range around, while keeping the length the same.

In the top right, you can see the current time of the clip. Clicking on this number will switch to show you the remaining time.

You have direct control over the Speed of the clip. You simply use the Speed slider to speed the clip up or slow it down.

BPM Sync

There is another very powerful way to control the speed of a clip. You can switch to it by the drop down at the top right of the Transport section. It's called BPM Sync and it's awesome.

By switching the transport mode to BPM Sync, Resolume will use the global BPM to control the speed of the clip. You can read all about BPM in its own chapter. For now, let's assume you have Resolume running at the perfect BPM, perfectly in time with the DJ. Now all clips that have their transport mode set to BPM Sync will play at a speed that synchronises them with that BPM.

In order for BPM Synced clips to work right, you will need to set the number of beats that the clip spans in the Transport section. By default, Resolume will guess the right amount of beats for you based on the length of the clip. It will guess to the nearest power of 2, so it will set the clip to 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 etc beats for you. Of course, you can click the number and change it, use the + and - buttons or use the *2 and /2 buttons to quickly multiply or divide the value by 2.


On Arena, videos can also be set to SMPTE. That rabbit hole is so deep, it's got its very own page.

Playback Options

The Transport section also provides some additional options:

Use these buttons to set the clip to play forwards or backwards, or pause the clip.

The Random button can be used to jump to random frames in your video. When in timeline mode, the Speed slider now controls how often the clip will jump to a new frame. When in BPM sync mode, the clip will randomly jump to a random beat and continue playing from there. Such random. Much wow.

Use these buttons to control what happens when the clip reaches the end. 

The default mode is to loop, which will just start the clip from the beginning and continue playing for ever and ever and ever. The second option is to ping pong, which means it plays alternately forwards and backwards. Ping pong is a cheap way to avoid a visible cut on footage that doesn't actually loop.

Next is play-once-and-eject. You can use this for 'one shot' samples that you want to drop into the mix. The play-once-and-hold mode will hold the last frame of the clip when it's done playing, very useful for stuff like logo reveals and DJ intros.

These buttons decide what happens when a clip is triggered. The first (default) option plays the clip from the start. The second option, "pick-up", starts the clip from wherever it was when it was last played. 

The third option, "relative pick-up", will start the clip at the same relative position the previously played clip was at. I don't really know what you would use this playmode for. Bart really loves it because Resolume 2 had it and he used it with crash test footage of different cars, and he could change cars mid crash or something. I guess that must have been like pretty cool. Back in 2002. Like, whatever.

Tip! So, people smarter than myself have figured out that this relative pick-up is actually really useful as a backup during SMPTE playback. The idea is you have two copies of the clip. One is set to SMPTE playback, the other to regular timeline and relative pick-up. Should the SMPTE signal unexpectedly drop out, you can switch to the copy. It will pick up where the SMPTE clip was and nobody will have noticed what happened.


You can tell the Beatloopr is special because we've written it without an "e". You know, like products from the nineties that were down with the hip lingo of the kids these days.

When a video is set to 'BPM Sync', the BeatLoopr section is displayed. This enables you to have Resolume automatically loop sections of the clip. This is great for adding climaxes, creating weird vocal combinations or all kinds of other effects.

To use it, just select one of the options - the clip will loop over the relevant number of beats. When you are done, just click the selected option again or the Off button. It's really that simple!

With 'Catch Up' active, turning the Beatloopr off will continue playback where the playhead would have been if you hadn't used the Beatloopr. Otherwise, it will just continue wherever the playhead was. 

Cue Points

You can use the Cue Points section to quickly jump to any part of the clip that you like.

To set a cue point, click the smaller part to the left of one of the cue point buttons. The part you click will turn blue and the letter on the main button will turn white - this means the cue point is ready for use.

Now you can click the main button (or press the relevant keyboard key) to jump straight to the point where you set the cue point.

If you want to set cue points precisely, a good way to do it is to pause the clip, drag the Transport timeline marker to where you want the cue point and then set it.

You can reset an existing cue point in exactly the same way as setting it for the first time.

Tip! The Beatloopr will automatically turn off if you jump to a cue point. This way you can very easily build a climax using the Beatloopr and Cue Points. During a climax moment in the music, simply keep choosing shorter and shorter loops until the beat drops again, and then jump to the cue point you want to resume normal playback at. Reach for the lasers!

Related Articles