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Thread: Video Playback Issues Summary

  1. #1
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    Video Playback Issues Summary

    Introduction

    This thread has been created as a summary of alternate strategies for integrating videos within MediaLab, as well as strategies for dealing with issues involving video playback within MediaLab, primarily versions 2008 and prior.

    Most versions of MediaLab (through v2008) can be persuaded to play just about any video file if one or more of the strategies below are applied. Note that MediaLab v2010 (due out by year end) has been modified to minimize the occasional need for the alternate strategies outlined below.

    Feel free of course to respond to this thread--especially if you have any additional information that might help other users.
    Last edited by Trevor Newell; 04-21-2010 at 01:13 AM.

  2. #2
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    Solutions [Sections]

    Before you begin, make sure you go through the following list:
    1. Be sure to check out our trouble shooting information manual in the MediaLab users guide, located here:
    www.empirisoft.com/medialab/help/trouble_shooting.htm
    2. If you're running a Dell Optiplex and have been experiencing weird 'freezing' issues that none of the suggestions below fix, be sure to contact us over at our support line at support <at> empirisoft.com .

    Before you begin, make sure that Windows Media Player can actually play the video file you have. If it cannot, skip to the 'Downloads' section.

    If you're in need of a solution -IMMEDIATELY- go to section 'C' or 'D'.

    -

    A. Enhanced Video
    B. Downloads
    C. HTML Embedded Video
    D. Youtube
    E. MediaLab and DirectRT 2010

    I. Related Links
    II. Attachments

    -

    If all else fails, you may want to consider converting your video to an alternate format that any of the solutions above can utilize. Video conversion can completed through a variety of programs. Feel free to send us an email if you would like further assistance with how to go about working with this alternative solution.

    You may also want to try taking a look at the following thread:
    www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=4801
    Last edited by Trevor Newell; 05-11-2010 at 09:51 AM.

  3. #3
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    A. Enhanced Video

    The enhanced video option can be accessed from the 'Preferences' menu within the main MediaLab window. Here's what the help manual notes about this option:
    "If you check the Use Enhanced Video option under Preferences, MediaLab will use an alternate custom engine that may provide playback for some formats that can not be handled by WMP (e.g., some QuickTime and Real video formats). In general, it is recommended to NOT use this option unless you have to. If you do choose to try this option, it is best to have the latest versions of QuickTime and/or Real Player also installed on your system."
    Quoted From: http://www.empirisoft.com/medialab/help/queitemtype.htm#movie

    It should first be noted that this option isn't necessarily an 'enhanced' option, rather it is 'another option' for video playback. The reason behind why we don't condone or rather advocate the use of this option is because it too has its own set of problems. Below is a list of known issues that will arise when utilizing this system over the base system:
    • Some video files simply won't play. Although this can be said for the regular video playback system as well, the files that both engines seem to have trouble playing differs from one another.
    • Occasionally the plugin has a problem which causes it to not play a video file correctly during its first attempt; however each attempt after plays the video without problem.
      "I ask because some users have trouble with the Enhanced Video option--e.g., hearing but not seeing the first video played in any given session."
      Quoted From: http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=413
    If you're able to play the video file and hear sound with the enhanced video option enabled, you may want to see if allowing the software to play through a file once allows for the file to properly display on the second run-through. A user notes the following:
    "I have found that the best thing is to run the clip once, I run mine as a questionnaire, in MediaLab, it won't show the visual but you will hear the sounds. Then without closing out of MediaLab when the clip is done immediately go to run your experiment. My clip plays every time visual and sound when I do this. I will usually just go back in and delete the file created from running the clip prior to the experiment when my subjects are done."
    Quoted From: http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=2833

    In a few cases running video files with this option enabled causes no problems at all, and can act as an immediate solution to the problem at hand. I would recommend trying the feature out; however if you do so, it would be wise to thoroughly test your experiment before beginning the data collection process.

    As a note: No damage can be done by simply enabling this plugin - to disable it, simply uncheck the menu item.
    Last edited by jarvis24; 11-10-2009 at 04:07 AM.

  4. #4
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    B. Downloads

    A common solution to this problem is to make sure that your machine has the right codecs to actually play the file. If you do not have the proper codecs installed, you must look for them and then install them. A codec is basically a deciphering tool that video files use to understand how the data a video file contains is to be properly parsed.

    QuickTime: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/
    This download allows for QuickTime to be installed on your machine. QuickTime comes with a variety of codecs and plugins that will make it more likely for specific video files to be usable on your machine. Installing QuickTime will also allow for QuickTime videos to be embedded and played back through HTML on your machine.

    QuickTime Codec: http://www.3ivx.com/download/index.html
    This codec should allow for Windows Media Player to play your QuickTime videos properly.

    Windows Media Player
    : http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...r/default.aspx
    This link will help you find the most recent version of Microsoft's Windows Media Player. The most recent version of the player will most likely contain updated codecs, fewer bugs, and have an overall higher chance of playing back your files. Installing Microsoft's Windows Media Player will also allow for embedded WMP files to be played back through HTML.

    Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin: http://port25.technet.com/pages/wind...-download.aspx
    The Windows Media Player Firefox plugin has been included so that users who have chosen to embed their video files inside of an HTML document can playback their files through Firefox as well as IE.

    Please feel free to offer advice on what should also be included within this section.
    Last edited by Trevor Newell; 11-06-2009 at 12:16 AM.

  5. #5
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    C. HTML Embedded Video

    The easiest solution to overcome the initial problem is to simply use an HTML embedded video. By embedding your video file into an HTML document, you're allowing for an exterior mechanism to play the file. If MediaLab can't play the file, another program may have more success. By embedding your video file into an HTML file, and then using this HTML file as a stimulus for your experiment, you're allowing for the video file to be played through your internet browser through MediaLab, rather than directly through MediaLab itself. The solution not only allows for the same effect to take place as simply running the video file through MediaLab's video playback mechanism - many more options are opened in the process.

    For example, if you choose to embed your video files, you could technically display multiple video files at once and have them all play at the same time. You can't do this with the normal Movie item-type that MediaLab supports.

    Embedding Manuals
    Quick Time: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/tutorials/embed.html
    Windows Media Player: http://www.mioplanet.com/rsc/embed_mediaplayer.htm

    Video Embedded HTML Tutorial / Examples
    [ copied directly from: http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=654 ]
    Another solution for playing video files, is to create an html file and play them as an HTML item in MediaLab rather than as a Movie item. A sample is attached as a zip file.

    The sample HTML can be modified in any text editor (like the Windows Notepad). Or you can create it from scratch using an empty text file.

    To create the HTML item from scratch:
    Copy the code below into the empty text file and change the name of the video file from "text.wmv" to whatever your video is called (note the name is used twice!). Also note that in this sample, the video should be located in the same folder as the HTML file.

    Code:
    <object type="video/x-ms-wmv" data="test.wmv" width="320" height="255">
      <param name="src" value="test.wmv">
      <param name="autoStart" value="1">
      <param name="showcontrols" value="false">
    </object>
    The above sample works with the Windows WMV format. For MPG and MOV file formats, you can use the following variations:

    MPG
    Code:
    <object data="test.mpg" type="video/mpeg" width="320" height="255">
      <param name="src" value="test.mpg">
      <param name="autoStart" value="1">
      <param name="showcontrols" value="false">
    </object>
    AVI
    Code:
    <object data="test.avi" type="video/x-msvideo" width="320" height="255">
      <param name="src" value="test.avi">
      <param name="autoStart" value="1">
      <param name="showcontrols" value="false">
    </object>
    MOV (QuickTime)
    Code:
    <object classid="clsid:02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B"
            codebase="http://www.apple.com/qtactivex/qtplugin.cab"
            width="320" height="255">
      <param name="src" value="test.mov" >
      <param name="controller" value="false" >
      <param name="autoplay" value="true">
    </object>
    -

    A variety of additional parameters that you can set on an embedded video can be found here: http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=236

    For an easier, all-purpose embedding code, you can also try:
    www.tizag.com/htmlT/htmlvideocodes.php
    e.g.,
    <embed src="movies\mymovie.mpeg" autostart="true" />
    or
    <a href="movies\mymovie.mpeg">click me to play</a>

    Please feel free to post any additional samples that you may have created that could assist others in working with embedded videos.
    Last edited by jarvis24; 11-10-2009 at 04:06 AM.

  6. #6
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    D. Youtube

    Youtube has a nifty feature that most don't know about. The text below best explains this feature:
    "If you go to a link on YouTube, the link is:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=[someid#].

    To get to just the video instead of the page, do you just put
    http://www.youtube.com/v/[someid#] for the url?"
    Quoted From: http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=475

    The answer is yes, as seen here: http://www.youtube.com/v/hh6eT_zhmRg
    Original link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh6eT_zhmRg

    If you've already logged into your own account on youtube, you may even be able to do this with private videos; however this has not yet been tested.

    The advantage to this functionality is that you can now simply use an HTML item within MediaLab to play your video file without even including the video file in your stim folder. The video should play back without a problem.

    You can also embed a youtube video into your own HTML document. Doing so allows for even more customization. Fore more information, try embedding your own youtube video, as well as reading up on the following information:
    http://www.google.com/support/youtub...n&answer=57788
    Last edited by jarvis24; 11-10-2009 at 04:01 AM.

  7. #7
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    E. MediaLab and DirectRT 2010

    Both MediaLab and DirectRT 2010 have eliminated most occurrences of the problem at hand. Upon receiving reports that this statement is not true, we will update this thread (or the software itself) with the appropriate changes.

    Our 2010 lineup is current in its beta form, and is available upon request. An official release will be made sometime next month. More information about our 2010 lineup can be found here:

    DirectRT - http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=2562
    MediaLab - <Not Yet Available>

  8. #8
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    I. Related Links (Some are not listed above.)

    http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=4801
    How to use the VLC media player to play video files within MediaLab.

    http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=552 [Solution Found]
    A very helpful, lengthy thread that acts as a previous version of the current thread.

    http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=728 [Solution Found]
    Video problems in Windows on an Intel Mac

    http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=739
    MPG videos not playing in MediaLab

    http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=1146 [Solution Found]
    How to control video within a scale response item?

    http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=236 [Solution Found]
    A comprehensive list of parameters that can be used to control video files.

    http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=1389 [Solution Found]
    Make video stop with a key press, record RT? - It should be noted that you can accomplish this using HTML as well.

    http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=241 [Solution Found]
    Bizarre QuickTime codec error?

    To find more related links, use the search function on our forums ( http://www.empirisoft.com/support/search.php ) and make a search for what you're looking for. Typically being vague can help you find the best results, for example; searching for 'Video' will come up with more results than searching for 'Video Errors'.
    Last edited by Trevor Newell; 05-11-2010 at 09:50 AM.

  9. #9
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    II. Attachments

    - clipTest (http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=552)
    "It's basically an instruction screen followed by a movie with no parameters at all. That's it. This will simply help us rule out any explanations that have to do with the content of your experiment.
    To test it, rename one of your .wmv clips "test.wmv" and put it in the same folder with this que file (after unzipping it!). Run the clipTest.que questionnaire and see if the test clip plays ok or if you get the same problem as before."
    - playVideo (http://www.empirisoft.com/support/showthread.php?t=654)
    This file contains an example of a video file being embedded within an HTML file. If you choose to head in this route, this sample can be a good starting location to understand how the solution works.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by jarvis24; 11-10-2009 at 04:00 AM.

  10. #10
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    video not playing

    I installed MediaLab (version 2004) on a new computer and copied a file from another computer with the same version of MediaLab. The files work fine on the old computer, but the videos do not play on the new computer. I downloaded the newest version of Windows Media Player (11) and DirectX, and still nothing. I get a brief flash, but no video or sound. I ran diagnostics and no problems were found. The video plays in WMP when I only open the video and do not try to access through MediaLab. I have Windows XP. I converted a video file to .avi (they are in .wmv now) and that didn't work. Any other suggestions?

  11. #11
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    Strange for XP. What exactly happens when the video should be playing? Can you get ML to play any video on this machine? Also, are you using any parameters, and how are you implementing the video--e.g., what item type, as a backvideo?, as a que item vs an exp item? Also, v2004 is going back a bit in terms of current support knowledge--by chance if you play the same video a second time with the same questionnaire--does it appear and play ok?

  12. #12
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    When it gets to where the video is supposed to be, the screen flashes and then goes to the light blue screen. I just upgraded my realPlayer to SP, and now I get sound but no picture. I am not using any special parameters, and the video is in a que item that is then read into an exp item. But I have the same problem for both the exp and the que files. I also noticed that the version I am running is 2006, but the video still doesn't play when I try it a second time. The first time I tried to open the RealPlayer program, it told me that I wasn't connected to the internet (even though I was) so I couldn't complete the registration. Might this be causing a problem?

  13. #13
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    Upcoming v2010 Video Format Compatibility?

    "Most versions of MediaLab (through v2008) can be persuaded to play just about any video file if one or more of the strategies below are applied. Note that MediaLab v2010 (due out by year end) has been modified to minimize the occasional need for the alternate strategies outlined below"

    I currently use MediaLab 2008 and I was wondering if it would be possible to find out a list of supported video formats in v2010? Specifically, I have recently made some videos in MP4 format and 2008 version does not support this format in the "Movie" Item Type. I was wondering if the upcoming version will allow for the playing of MP4s without the need for alternate strategies mentioned in this thread?

    Thanks very much.

  14. #14
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    MediaLab v2010 which due for imminent release will use the most recent version of the Windows Media Player as its default video playing engine. So if the latest version of the WMP on your machine can play the video then it should play fine in MediaLab. That may depend on whether or not you have the proper codecs installed--the easiest way to tell will be to simply see if it plays in the newest WMP on any given machine.

  15. #15
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    Thanks very much for that information.

    Regards,

    S

  16. #16

    Medialab movie problem - visuals but no sound

    I'm having problems getting Medialab (version 10) to play the sound to my movie file.

    The movie file is an .avi (but I have tried .mpg and .vob files as well) and plays perfectly in Windows Media Player (version 7) but when I run it through medialab there is no sound at all. I have unchecked the enhanced video setting and would prefer not to have to run it as an html file. I have also tried to run it using an Inquisit script, and again the picture is fine but there is no sound. I'm using Windows 7, have tried the movie file on various machines, and have re-burned the film clip I'm using to make sure the problem isn't with the film but rather when I play it through Medialab.

    If anyone has any suggestions on how to fix this I would be very grateful.

  17. #17
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    What version exactly are you running? As of v2010.2.19 (recommended version) there should actually be no enhanced video option--it should be grayed out.

  18. #18
    Thanks for your reply.

    To get around this issue, changing the movie file from an MPG to a WMV file has fixed the problem.

  19. #19
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    Video Playback Issues Summary

    Thanks for sharing.

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