I have a digital camera that records nice 1080p H.264 format but unfortunately it uses the MOV container format. Basically I have nothing but the camera and VLC that play this format natively.

Is there a tool out there to convert the video to a format by just replacing the container format? That'd be a lot faster as the encoding is perfectly fine.

It'd be nice to select the folder and convert everything over to a more respectable container format like MP4.

I don't want to touch the actual quality of the video I want the conversion to be as fast as possible.


I don't want to touch the actual quality of the video I want the conversion to be as fast as possible.

Use FFmpeg with -c copy to just copy the contained data (video, audio, subtitles).

ffmpeg -i file.mov -c copy out.mp4
ffmpeg -i file.mov -c copy out.mkv

If there are more than one video / audio / subtitle stream, and you want to copy all, use:

ffmpeg -i file.mov -c copy -map 0 out.mp4

The MOV container is compatible to MP4 and it supports all video and audio bitstreams that MKV supports as well. You can simply copy the video and audio data to the output container without touching the raw bit streams.

This will be the fastest conversion, since it actually doesn't encode anything—and you'll retain the quality of the original.

Download and install FFmpeg:

  • For some reason it doesn't work on qtrle videos on Windows, Any idea?
    – Royi
    Mar 14 '17 at 11:20

VLC allows you to switch containers.

Select Media->Convert/Save, select files, Convert->Save, click "Create New Profile" icon, change container, mark keep original video and audio tracks.

  • The easiest way to remux to mp4. Thanks. Sep 30 '14 at 5:48
  • 2
    A caution. If the audio stream is not one allowed by the mp4 standard, then this won't work as I have found out and spent over an hour until finding out why.I was trying to use VLC to re-containerize some .mov files from a Rove dash cam and the audio would be lost. I couldn't figure out why until sleuthing and finding that the dash cam uses sowt (a pcm type of encoded audio) and this is not one of the supported audio stream types for mp4. OBS studio also failed to convert it and neither it nor VLC tells you why unless you know how to look. Sep 22 '19 at 6:14

You can re-pack MOV to MKV easily with mkvtoolnix. It has both command-line and GUI tools for Windows and Linux:

mkvmerge -o output.mkv input.mov

It just changes the container, without recoding anything. You said "more respecatble format like mp4, so I suppose MKV would work for you.

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