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Thread: Long FLV files hang after playing 30-60 min

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Long FLV files hang after playing 30-60 min

    I have a lot of long FLV files in my web.
    They are 40 to 120 min long (150 to 500 MBs)

    Problem looks like this:
    Files play well for some time (this time is very random, ranging from 20 to 60 min) and then, playing stops and player loading sign (rotating wheel) remains moving with no loading activity at all (like if the player is waiting for something that never comes)...

    I found problem can be worked arround by user doing this: if play slider is moved a little forward from where playing stoped, loading and playing activity starts again... and if then playing slider is moved a little before the point where the playing stops, loading and playing activity restarts from that point with no problem for another long time.

    In a movie 90 min long, this¨"hanging" problem may hapend 2 o 3 times...

    I use Long Tail Video JW Player with Xmoov.php (pseudo streaming video server).
    Files are encoded with Bit Rate of 500 Kbps or lower...

    Any ideas on how to eliminate this problem...???
    Videos can be found in www.vidaplena.net

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Seems like the memory of your computer is full that causes the delay. I'm not a flash expert, but maybe there's a way to compress the flv a bit more. Or make it a streaming vid.
    What desert?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Hi Priss, thanks for your replay...
    Do you have any idea about how to test if the problem is memory due to memory full...???
    Or how to fix it...??
    What do you mean by "make it a streaming video"... as fal as I know, flv files are streming, and I am using a Xmoov.php script that works as a pseudo streaming server

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Did you get to see the problem in your computer...???
    Is there a way to diagnose the hanging of the playing...???

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    Not sure that I can fix the problem but here are a few things to test/try:
    First try to diagnose what is hanging and then you might determine why.
    A 120 min video is a very long Web video...lots of time for things to go wrong. To monitor your memory open up Task Manager, click the Performance tab, then Resource Monitor and watch as the video progresses. Look for big changes in CPU or Memory.
    The problem may be on your machine but maybe not, so test using another computer.
    If they both have trouble, suspect the server.
    As for streaming video, streaming is a server process not a video file type...flv files are not streaming... flv files, just like wmv files CAN be streamed or not streamed, depending on the server. So test the server. Download one of the long problem videos using plain old progressive downloading. If it downloads OK, then you have isolated the problem to your streaming method. Xmoov.php may just run out of gas on that long of a video.
    Test it by concurrently downloading the same video at the same time on at least 2 machines, more if possible. Does this change the time before the streaming problem develops. So if one machine runs out after 60 minutes, will 3 machine downloading the same video at the same time make the server have problems sooner?
    If so. is it the script, Xmoov or the physical machine running the script that's the problem? Check the server logs for the time and date when problems occured. Anything unusual?
    As I said earlier, I don't know what the problem is but in my opinion, a 2 hr video is more than most people would ever want to watch in one sitting. Break it into chapters, separate, shorter videos.
    Xmoov, since it's not real streaming but pseudo streaming, may have problems processing that much video straight thru. I'd suggest you check that real close to see if it's really up to the job.
    Best wishes,
    Eye for Video

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Hi Eye For Video and thanks for your replay...
    It is a great one...!!!
    I have been traying to work this problem for more than a year and there are some things I have already find out.

    1.- The problem hapends in any computer, so it has nothing to do with the client but with the server end or both.

    2.- The movies never fail to times in the same place, so it does not seem to be a problem of computer memory size.

    3.- I you play the movie in two machines at the same time, they hang in diferent times of the video... I have to test if multiple simultaneous playing generates the hanging more often than if video is downloded one at the time.

    But if so... what conclusions can you get from there...???

    4.- When I started adding long videos to my web, I did it using "plain old progressive downloading" and the problem was the same. After some time, the player hangs and download wheel remains turning with no dowload activity.

    But with progresive, the problem was worst than with pasudo streaming because there was no way to "un-hang" the player... the only thing to do then was to reload the video playing web page and start from the begining... The final result was that you can never see the whole movie.

    With pseudo streaming, at least you can move the playing slyder fordward and the hanging goes away and the loading of the movie starts again... then, as I explained when posting the issue, if you move the slyder a little before the hangging point, you can see the movie without missing anything... and it goes on, until the hanging hapends again.

    The fact that with psudo streaming the hanging can be "reset" by moving the slyder a little fordward, tells me that the hanging most be due to a lost of comunication between client and server. As far as I know, in pseudo streaming, the client receives something like an Index Table before playing starts (Part of my encoding process is to add that Meta data to the flv files before uploading them to the web host). That Index Table has a list of the File Position where every second of the video starts. When playing starts, the client request data of second number 1, a the Xmoov Pseudo Streaming Server Script runing in the server, gets that data and sends it to the client. The client requests data for second nunber 2, and so on.

    When hanging happends, it looks like client request data but pseudo server never responds... This can be due to two situations... Or the data request never gets to the server (it get lost in the Internet) or the server does not know how to respond.

    Now, if the hanging goes away when I move the slyder fordward, it seems to me that what happends is that when I move the slyder, the client stops waiting for the server to respond, and send another request for another diferent second than the one he was waiting for. That new request, gets to the server and then, the server sends the data and playing starts again from that new point.

    Does this interpretation makes sense for you...???

    If it is correct, maybe with a simple addition of a non-response time out within the client, the problem can be fix... Unfortunatelly I have no knowledgen at all about PHP programing or how to modify JWPlayer client. Do you...???

    I know that I dont get this hanging problems with videos under 15 min... but due to the fact that most of the videos are movies, brake them in parts as short as 15 min does not seems like a good idea...

    On the other hand, there are lots of web pages where you can see videos 120 min long or greater with no problem. Google Videos, Camelot Proyect, Vimeo, Movies On Line, etc, etc... How do they do that with no problem...???

    Now that I am reviewing all the details of this issue with you, I remenber I have also notice that when I download long videos from other web pages like the ones I just mention (I use Real Player free version with the option of direct video download) I get the videos properlly, but when I use the same feature with the videos in my web page, they do not download totally but just partially...

    It seems that with that method, the hanging also happends and the file download gets suspended before ending properly. This seems to imply that the download also fail even when no playin is going on.

    Thanks a lot for the help you are giving me...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    On your web page can you point out one or two vidoes that always give trouble? Where exactly can I find them on the page, name and location.
    Perhaps I can test under a couple other methods.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Hi EfV, thanks for your quick replay...
    You can pick any of the long ones...
    Open www.vidaplena.net and click for example on the second video...
    The name is "La estafa del Calentamiento Global"
    or the third one, "Fast Walkers"
    All of them fail the same... the time it takes for them to fail is totally random, but all of them fail at least once before ending.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Thanks a lot for this help... I have been facing this issue since I started puting the videos there... but so far, with my limited knowledge on web tools and videos, I have not found any way to eliminate the problem. The best I could do was to upgrade to pseudo streaming and at least give my users a way to skip the hanging issue.

    Thanks a lot againg for your help

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Hummm... another thing I just remenber having notice about the hanging situation, is this:

    Lets say you access the video, and when it start, you press pause, so it will get loaded before you start playing it, in order to avoid the start-stop situation you get when the Internet conection is saturated.

    When you do this, you can see that downloading indicator bar starts changing color slowly, as the video is being downloaded... but then, at some point before the bar has made its way to the end, the bar gets tottally fill, like if the player gets information from the server saying that it has get to the end of the file and that the download has been completed.

    I think that this is another sintom of the download-hanging situation. When the transmission get to the point where the problem shows up, the client (and/or the server) behaves like if the file has already downloaded fully, even if it has not been so.

    Does this rings some bell to you...???

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    The problem seems to be related to x-moov.


    See this for alternatives:
    Last edited by criterion9; 07-08-2010 at 09:02 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Hi Criterion9 for your response to my issue...
    I check my Xmoov.php script. I had the $fh parameter set to 16384, because I remenber that when I started using it, I could not play videos longer than 10 min and the cause was that the $fs parameter was set too low.

    However, I change it again and raised to 64554...
    Videos still stop halve way, but I have to compare results to see if the raising changes the amont of time it takes the video to fail.

    I will let you know my findings.

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