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MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x

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Dave Gage
MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 20, 2014 at 10:31:31 pm

I started to get this problem last year. If I do an export of an .mp4 with the standard Apple encoder or use the x264 encoder from any of the Apple encoder capable products, it won't play on newer Android devices like v4.3. It used to play on early versions of Android, but no longer.

I can get the .mp4 file to play if I encode with MPEG Streamclip using the x264 encoder. My guess was that there must be something that's different in the settings for MPEG Streamclip, but I compared it to my Compressor 3.5.3 settings and I don't see anything obviously different. I figure it likely has something to do with baseline settings or something similar that I don't fully understand, but after many many searches, I haven't come up with anything.

I know the simple solution would be to just use MPEG Streamclip from this point on and move on with my life, but it would be nice to get the encoding to work with Compressor which I prefer.

Thanks,
Dave


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Shane Ross
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 21, 2014 at 12:41:56 am

Do what I do...compress with COMPRESSOR. Then open that with MPEG STREAMCLIP, and simply SAVE AS MP4. That will re-wrap the h.264 MOV as H.264 MP4. That should open on Android.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Dave Gage
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 21, 2014 at 1:09:56 am

No way dude!

As soon as I get home I'll give that a try. If it works, that will save me having to go back and re-export 75+ 40 min videos from FCX (see what I did there) and then have to completely re-encode them.

Do you see much or any generation loss doing it this way?

Thanks,
Dave


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Charlie Austin
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:03:53 am

[Dave Gage] "Do you see much or any generation loss doing it this way?"

have you tried simply changing the file extension to.mp4?

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Dave Gage
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:32:45 am

[Charlie Austin] "have you tried simply changing the file extension to.mp4?"

The extension is already .mp4 which was exported from Compressor using the x264 codec, so that can't be the problem. But, I just got home so I'll try Shane's idea and see how it goes.

Thanks,
Dave


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Dave Gage
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:51:40 am

I just did a Save as... in MPEG Screenclip and so far so good. The "save as" only took about 10 seconds for a 226 MB file. Now, I have to get my user to test on his Android device. If it works, Shane just saved me about 80 hours. (Now, I feel bad I never got around to buying Shane's tutorial video back in the FCP 7 days. I meant to, really.)

Thanks,
Dave


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Bret Williams
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:52:10 am

His idea was export as a QuickTime h264 mov, then save as a .mp4 . Which does beg the question, why can't you just change the extension? You can do that with h264 to flv. Just change the .mov to .flv.


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Dave Gage
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 21, 2014 at 3:11:05 am

[Bret Williams] "
His idea was export as a QuickTime h264 mov, then save as a .mp4 . Which does beg the question, why can't you just change the extension? You can do that with h264 to flv. Just change the .mov to .flv."


The problem is that my original exports from FCPX are Prores .mov masters (which are long gone) that I then take over to Compressor and encode with x264 to .mp4 and .m4v files which I use on my website members area to stream for a proprietary Flash player (the .mp4) and then use the .m4v for a HTML5 fallback for Apple products. It appears that I can take the .mp4s I've been using and just re-wrap them as Shane suggested in MPEG Streamclip. (I'll know for sure tomorrow.)

So, this will save me a lot of time if it does indeed work with these re-wrapped older .mp4s. In the future, I will take the Prores masters into MPEG Streamclip and export with x264 as .mp4 files. I've already tested this method and it does work fine on all the devices I've tried it on.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 21, 2014 at 1:42:16 pm

Handbrake has an android setting that uses x264.


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Andrew Richards
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 22, 2014 at 1:45:30 pm

Try doing an "Apple Devices" export to .m4v and just renaming the extension to .mp4. The .m4v extension is a technical synonym for .mp4 that can optionally support Apple's FairPlay DRM. Unprotected .m4v files are functionally identical to .mp4 save for the extension. Support for playback of .mp4 has much more to do with the hardware of the Android device than the software version since the decoding is handled by the SOC in hardware, just as it is on iOS devices. I'd expect any Android device of the last 3 or so years to be able to support the same level of 720p decoding that you will get with the 720p "Apple Devices" setting in Compressor. That same .mp4 will also be perfectly happy playing on iOS devices. 1080p support would just be limited to slightly newer, slightly higher-end 'droids.

Best,
Andy


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Dave Gage
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 22, 2014 at 5:09:19 pm
Last Edited By Dave Gage on Mar 22, 2014 at 5:20:29 pm

"I just did a Save as... in MPEG Screenclip and so far so good. The "save as" only took about 10 seconds for a 226 MB file. Now, I have to get my user to test on his Android device. If it works, Shane just saved me about 80 hours."

[Andrew Richards] "Try doing an "Apple Devices" export to .m4v and just renaming the extension to .mp4."

Andrew, Jeremy, as I mentioned above, the re-wrapping Shane recommended worked great! I got a chance yesterday to test the 360p file on just about everything I could think of and it was fine. The longest part of this process will be uploading the 75 or so files and many are as large as 250 MBs. The bonus is that this one file works on all devices where before I needed to create two separate files for the Flash player and another for iDevices (my hosting company will be happy when I free up server space).
--

So the question remains,

...why does this process work? Why can't I get an MP4 out of any Apple encoding program that works with Android 4.x? I did re-test yesterday on Android 2.x and my original files played fine as well as the new one out of MPEG StreamClip. Google broke (changed) something in Android 4.x. It's not a big deal, I'm happy for this simple solution, but I am curious. It might have something to do with "baseline", but I still really don't understand what that means. Here's the post that originally led me to try MPEG StreamClip-
https://discussions.apple.com/message/23260996#23260996

Thanks,
Dave


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Dave Gage
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 25, 2014 at 4:31:25 am

[Dave Gage] "
So the question remains,

...why does this process work? Why can't I get an MP4 out of any Apple encoding program that works with Android 4.x? I did re-test yesterday on Android 2.x and my original files played fine as well as the new one out of MPEG StreamClip. Google broke (changed) something in Android 4.x. It's not a big deal, I'm happy for this simple solution, but I am curious. It might have something to do with "baseline", but I still really don't understand what that means. Here's the post that originally led me to try MPEG StreamClip-
https://discussions.apple.com/message/23260996#23260996"


Anybody? What is MPEG StreamClip doing different so that it works with Android devices 4.x but Apple encodes do not?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 25, 2014 at 12:09:07 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on Mar 25, 2014 at 12:14:39 pm

It could be a huge number of variables from video profile to audio sample rate and compression.

There's an App on the AppStore that lists the contents of file structures.

Try this and see what is different between the two: http://mediainspector.massanti.com/

Jeremy


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Dave Gage
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 25, 2014 at 8:28:05 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "There's an App on the AppStore that lists the contents of file structures.

Try this and see what is different between the two: http://mediainspector.massanti.com/"


Okay, it cost me a whole $2.99, but it's done. I don't see any difference except for the last line of the Compressor export - "Encoding Library Apple Quicktime". Here's the screenshot of the side-by-side:



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 25, 2014 at 8:43:11 pm

It seems like you might want to ask an Android support site.

Perhaps this is a bug,


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Dave Gage
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 25, 2014 at 9:31:10 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "t seems like you might want to ask an Android support site."

Nah, I need to stop here and move on to real work. I'd like to know the reason out of curiosity, but now that I know the workaround, that's all that really matters. My guess is that Google can't stand Apple (and vice-versa of course) and this is intentional. Yes, it's a conspiracy theory, but that's all I got at the moment.

Dave


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 25, 2014 at 10:09:25 pm

Some may call it a bug.


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Dave Gage
Re: MP4 Export from FCPX, Compressor, QT7 won't work with Android 4.x
on Mar 25, 2014 at 10:12:31 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Some may call it a bug."

Where's the fun in that. Besides, this bug has been around for quite some time now. I've had problems with all versions of Android 4.x and they are up to 4.4 something or other. Android 2.x worked fine. Never tested v3.x.


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