Challenges with High Frame Rate (120 FPS) Video Files in OpenAI's Whisper API

OpenAI’s Whisper API has been a game-changer in the field of automatic speech recognition (ASR). It allows developers to transcribe spoken words from audio and video files with impressive accuracy. However, users have recently encountered an issue when dealing with video files that have a high frame rate, such as 120 FPS, as opposed to the more common 30 FPS. In this blog post, we will explore this challenge and suggest potential workarounds.

The Issue

When attempting to transcribe a high frame rate video file (e.g., 120 FPS) using the Whisper API, users have reported receiving an error message indicating that the file format is not valid. This can be frustrating, especially when you have high-quality video content that you want to transcribe accurately.
The error message from whipser api looks like this:

"Invalid file format. Supported formats: ['flac', 'm4a', 'mp3', 'mp4', 'mpeg', 'mpga', 'oga', 'ogg', 'wav', 'webm']"

Understanding the Challenge

The Whisper API, like many ASR systems, may not be optimized to handle video files with extremely high frame rates. ASR models are typically trained on a wide range of audio and video data, but they may be more accustomed to processing content at common frame rates like 30 FPS. Higher frame rates can introduce additional complexities in terms of data processing and synchronization, which can pose challenges for ASR systems.

Potential Workarounds

While the issue of high frame rate videos with the Whisper API may persist, there are several potential workarounds that you can explore:

  1. Video Preprocessing: Before sending your video for transcription, consider preprocessing it to reduce the frame rate. Tools like FFmpeg can help you convert the video to a more common frame rate like 30 FPS. This should make it more compatible with the Whisper API.

  2. Extract Audio: Alternatively, you can extract the audio track from the high frame rate video file and submit only the audio for transcription. This eliminates the need to deal with the video frame rate issue altogether.

  3. Contact OpenAI Support: If you believe that high frame rate video support is essential for your project, consider reaching out to OpenAI’s support team. They may be able to provide guidance on potential updates or workarounds specific to your needs.


While the Whisper API has proven to be a powerful tool for transcription, it may encounter challenges when handling video files with exceptionally high frame rates. By understanding the issue and exploring potential workarounds, you can continue to leverage the API’s capabilities effectively. Whether through video preprocessing, audio extraction, or support assistance, there are options available to help you transcribe your content accurately and efficiently.

Author: robot learner
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