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iPhone, iPod compression

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Chris Blair
iPhone, iPod compression
on Sep 26, 2009 at 4:48:17 pm

We've been doing a lot more ipod/iphone compression for web sites and we've run into a problem where H264 files using either the m4v or mp4 extensions won't play (via a web link) on the iphone via safari, but if you simply change the extension to .mov on the file, iphone's play them fine.

We have the correct mime types setup on the various webservers so that's not the problem, and the mp4/m4v extensions play fine from any desktop or laptop computer browser (including safari on the Mac).

The encoding is correct because we're using iPhone or iPod presets from encoding apps and the exact same file plays fine by just changing the extension to .mov. We've tried using different encoding apps, including Quicktime, Handbrake, MPEG Streamclip, Carbon Coder and Procoder, and we cannot get the m4v or mp4 files to play from these various websites on iPhones.

We've checked all the preset specs and the settings on the resulting files against Apple's specs for both devices, which are found here:

I've found numerous posts on various Mac forums with others having the same problems since the iPhone update to version 3.x this summer, and there doesn't seem to be a definitive cause or solution. Many, if not all of these video files worked before this update. We only noticed it when my wife recently bought an iPhone and I went to show her a video file from our website and we got the error message "Cannot Play Movie, movie could not be played" within the mobile safari browser.

Ultimately, it's not a huge deal since they work by simply changing the extension. But it's a pain to go back and change extensions and recode links in websites.

Anyone on here have a solution for this issue?

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN

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