Movies and Videos – Tips & Troubleshooting

How do I specify an HD derive?

At this time, we do not derive HD files and so it is not possible to specify it. Once we do, then the HD button will appear in the player.

How do I embed a movie?

Click the Share icon near the player.

A pop-up will appear with URLs for embedding, as well as Share options.

For more advanced options, click the Advanced embedding details, examples, and help! link at the bottom of the pop-up.  

To set a start time add: ?start=XXX (where XXX is the start time calculated in seconds) to the end of the URL. At this time there is not a way to specify the end time.

The example below shows where the user has specified the move to start at 60 seconds in. As can be seen in the URL, this matches with the time on the progress bar.

Where is the hi-res file?

If a hi-res source file was uploaded it will be available in the DOWNLOAD OPTIONS section or by clicking SEE ALL.

Can I change the static start image in the movie player?

That is not possible at this time.

How do I add closed captions?

You can upload a properly formatted .srt file for closed captioning.

The file should be named IDENTIFIER.srt.

If you have more than one language add the language to the file name e.g. IDENTIFIER_english.srt

Are there thumbnail images?

Yes. Once the video is started and file has sufficiently loaded you can see thumbnails by mousing over the play or progress bar. They should pop up above the bar.

What is an editable file?

An editable file is a file which can be downloaded and used in an editing program.

The MPEG-4 are the highest bitrate versions we could do with the linux mpeg-2 to mpeg-4 conversion tools we use. These files can be read directly into FinalCut-Pro from Apple, and can be converted to mov using Quicktime-pro and read directly into iMovie from Apple.

My movie doesn’t start fast or buffers a lot?

The in-browser player typically uses an mp4 file. Most encoding (codecs) that are used do not add a “fast start atom” to the file to get it to start without the file having to load.

If you are uploading an mp4 it is best to use .mpeg4 rather than .mp4 as the extension in the file name. That way our system will create an mp4 with the fast start atom.

Why is it that sometimes when I play a movie, the video is choppy or very pixelated?

Sometimes choppiness occurs when we can’t stream it to you quickly enough (because your connection is slow or our servers are overloaded). If this is the case, try downloading the movie to your computer and watching it locally, this will remedy the bandwidth problem.

If you’re watching an MPEG-4 that we derived from an original MPEG-2, we first reduce its size to 320 x 240 – a quarter of the resolution of NTSC video. We then translate it at 350 kbps, which is really borderline for that resolution. You see errors occasionally because there simply isn’t enough bandwidth available, so the MPEG-4 encoder either drops frames, resulting in jerky or choppy motion — or drops macroblocks, resulting in a blurred or pixelated video

That is the price we pay for the small file size – 80 MB for a 1/2-hour clip is really very small in the digital video world. If this is the case, download the original MPEG-2 to solve the problem.

Why do I get errors when I try to play a movie?

The best all-around, free player is VLC Media Player— it handles most of the movie files you will find on this site. If you’re seeing errors when you try to play movies, please try downloading VLC and using that instead. This clears up many people’s problems. You can download the player here.

Here are some other possible problems:

  1. Heavy Traffic – Our site might be experiencing heavy traffic. If you experience a delay, please try again later or at a different time of day.
  2. Firewall Interference – You’re behind a firewall and the firewall software is attempting to modify incoming bits. Contact your network or firewall administrator as they may be shaping your traffic.
  3. Network policies – Your Internet connection went down or timed out. Check with your ISP or network administrator to see if there’s a special policy about keeping a connection live.
  4. No more space – If your browser seems to hang after a “100% downloaded” message, check to see that you have sufficient hard-disk and TMP disk space. Rebooting the system sometimes helps.
  5. Operating System – You are trying to play an MPEG-2 file on a platform other than Windows or Linux. At present, you need VLC (http://www.videolan.org). Please contact us at info@archive.org if you have information about other players that work on platforms other than Windows.
  6. Player trying to stream – Your player might be trying to stream the movie, and it isn’t streamable. Download the movie first, and then play it. (Right-click > Save As)
  7. Conflicting computer configuration – Sometimes conflict exists between your computer’s configuration and the player you’re using. Unfortunately, because PCs can be set up in so many different ways and because different standards exist for playing video, finding a player that will work is a hit-and-miss process.

If you still have trouble, post your question to the moving images forum.

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