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File won't play in Windows Media Player, can't figure out why

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Christopher Travis
File won't play in Windows Media Player, can't figure out why
on Sep 2, 2011 at 3:25:59 pm

Hello all,

I hope someone can help me because I'm baffled.

I deliver about 20 short clips to a web developer every week. I edit all of the clips in XDCAM EX 1080p25, get sign off, then export full res versions, then send the batch to compressor to spit out H.264 delivery versions.

Now the web developers have come back saying that 3 clips in a batch won't open in windows media player, they only play audio. I re-exported the clips twice, once from the hi-res version, and then when that didn't work, I went back and exported again from the project. Again, it only plays back audio in WMP.

I have placed one of the problem clips on the a timeline with a working clip and viewed the properties of both side-by-side and to my eye they are both the same:

25fps
1280x720 (downscaled from original 1080)
H.264
square pixels


the only difference I see is that one has a bitrate of 1.1MB and the other 998.4 but it's a variba;e bitrate codec so this makes sense.

I am stumped. Can anyone suggest something I'm not seeing? Please ask any questions you need to be of any help.

Thanks
Chris


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John Kaley
Re: File won't play in Windows Media Player, can't figure out why
on Sep 2, 2011 at 3:58:43 pm

Mp4 is more universal than straight up h.264. Try "wrapping" you h.264 in a mp4 container:

1. Open h.264 in QT 7 Pro
2. File/Export/Movie to MPEG-4
3. Options:Video Tab/ Select "Pass Through"
4. Same with audio.

This will wrap your h.264 in an Mpeg-4 container that is Windows Media player 10+ compatible.



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Christopher Travis
Re: File won't play in Windows Media Player, can't figure out why
on Sep 2, 2011 at 4:06:53 pm

Hi John,

Thanks for the reply, I will certainly try that to see if it makes a difference.

I know there are a number of workarounds to this problem, and once I have a proper chat with the tech people at the web developers I'll be able to find a solution.

The thing that's really getting me is that we've delivered some 800 clips to these guys in the same format, and we are suddenly having these problems. The weirdest thing is that we are getting just one or two clips in a batch sent back when, as I said before, all of the clips get converted at once as a batch job in compressor so I don't see how one or two of them can be coming out differently? This would suggest a problem when exporting from FCP but the sequence settings are the same for all of them.

It's not a great emergency, as I said , there are workarounds but from a technical point of view this is driving me a crazy.


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John Kaley
Re: File won't play in Windows Media Player, can't figure out why
on Sep 2, 2011 at 4:23:13 pm

I'd just blame "ghosts in the machines" as there really can be no definitive answer as to why some clips work and some don't with the same settings. My only though is to deliver a more compatible format, which is Mpeg-4 at this point.



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Adam Dunlop
Re: File won't play in Windows Media Player, can't figure out why
on Sep 4, 2011 at 12:38:19 pm

I imagine you have got this covered as you have done this previously so many times but might be useful for people searching through these forums in the future. On occasion (usually when batch exporting direct from FCP and forgetting to check the right preferences when naming exported files) new files can be exported without their file extensions in their name. FIne for anyone looking at them on a Mac but will result in a call from a producer at some point soon after saying "there something wrong with all the files. The client can't open any of them". Problem solved by getting client to type .mov at the end of every name and blaming the world of PC's but still a school boy error.



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