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Compressor MP4 won't play in IE?

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Nikke Landa
Compressor MP4 won't play in IE?
on Sep 19, 2012 at 3:16:45 pm

Has anyone ever run into an issue where MP4 video files won't play on IE? If so, what was your workaround?

I produced video that was then embedded onto a website that we created, videos are hosted on the same server as the website.

We shot the footage on the RED, edited in FCP as Apple ProRes, exported the videos from FCP timeline and from that file created the versions needed to access the video cross platform (Mac, PC, iPads, mobile, etc): MP4, WebM and ogv. The MP4's were created using Compressor (Exact path: FCP Export using QuickTime file>Open in Compressor to create MP4 at required size 640x360. I also exported MP4 at size direct from FCP using QuickTime Conversion as well).
In testing we discovered that these files would not play in IE 7, 8 or 9...in fact, after a variety of setting adjustments and alternative conversion software we were largely unsuccessful. MpegStreamclip, among a small handful of other software) would produce files that played on IE, but the quality was awful.

Why wouldn't IE recognize files produced by Compressor - I would just get a black screen with an 'x'. I've never run across this issue in previous work producing content for the web, and searching online gave me limited results of others in the same boat. I ended up running dozens and dozens of tests - with different software, adjusting settings...each time paying attention to frame rate, and making sure things like ensuring it was the Mpeg-4 codec not just H264 codec with MP4 extension...and so on and so forth. I would either get a file that wouldn't play at all, or the quality was so bad that it might as well have not been able to play.

In the end, I had to go through a third party vendor who encoded the ProRes files to MP4 using a software called Episode. He claims to never have had any reported issues producing files using this software.

I'm hoping someone can help with:
-any thoughts as to why IE wouldn't play MP4's (and especially why it wouldn't play files produced by Compressor)
-how I can avoid it in the future, if there are any steps to take before I'm ready to convert to other formats
-any steps to take or software to use to ensure a high quality file that will play across all platforms.

Thanks so much, in advance, for your help.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor MP4 won't play in IE?
on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:30:29 pm

Telestream Episode is my encoder of choice. Blows the doors off compressor.

Compressor 4.0.4 can encode H.264 .mp4
Compressor 3.x can not. It only does H.264 .mov

WMP12 on Windows 7 can play H.264 files.
WMP11 on Vista or XP can not and would require Quicktime.

What's not clear is how you're embedding the file in the web page.

As to quality that really depends on the encoder.
MPEG4 .mp4 (non H.264) tends to be very poor quality by modern standards relative to the same data rates. Apple's H.264 tends to be poor quality at lower data rates compared to MainConcept and x264 which Episode uses (the latter a paid add on).



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