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Thread: Windows Media Player problems

  1. #1

    Windows Media Player problems

    I am having some problems using MediaLab to play Windows Media Player files. I am using the "Movie" Item type to play several video files followed by questions. However playback of these files seems to be unreliable. Sometimes the video is shown correctly, but often the player starts but then the video cuts out and only a black screen is displayed.
    I have testing WMP separately and it works fine, it seems to only be a problem when the video is being played via the MediaLab program.
    Would you have any suggestions?
    Thank you.
    Last edited by jarvis24; 02-03-2009 at 10:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2005
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    A few questions:
    1. What format is the video and what program was used to create it?
    2. Are you playing the video full screen? If so, does the same thing happen if you play it at a smaller size?
    3. Does the same problem occur with other video clips or is it just these?
    4. When it cuts out can you hear the video playing?

  3. #3

    reply to questions

    Thanks for your help
    1) The videos are Windows Media Player Files, they were created by Windows Movie Maker.
    2) Yes I am playing the videos full screen, but I have tried small screen too and the problem persists.
    3) I have tried different WMP videos and the problem still occurs. Eg I have tried the sample video file that is provided with WMP.... same problem. The strange thing is that sometimes the files work and sometimes they don't - doesn't make sense to me!!
    4) Yes I can still hear the video playing. It shows the image briefly, then cuts out and I can only hear audio.
    Thanks!!!

  4. #4
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    When you say you tested them, safe to assume on the same machine?

    If so, send me a copy of your exp and que files (via support@...) and I'll take a look at them.

  5. #5

    sent files

    Hi,
    I have sent you an example questionnaire file (to support e-mail address), all individual files have the same problem so I have just sent one example.
    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Got it. Try this super-simple test questionnaire. 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.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  7. #7

    Ran test file

    Thanks..
    I ran the test file as you said to and the some problem occurred, intermittent play but audio intact.

  8. #8

    More Info

    Hi there,
    I have discovered some more clues to the problem that might help you work out what is going on!

    The first time I run a questionnaire after starting MediaLab the video file doesn't seem to work. However if I cancel out of the questionnaire (by pressing Alt right arrow), and then run the questionnaire again (without exiting MediaLab in between) the videos seems to work thereafter.

    BUT if I open MediaLab afresh, and try to run the questionnaire, the video won't play. If I let the questionnaire file run its course (without pressing Alt right arrow), and then play the questionnaire file again, the video still doesn't work.

    It seems as though the video will be able to play, but only after I have cancelled out of the questionnaire using Alt right arrow, and this needs to be done WHILE A VIDEO IS PLAYING.

    Anyway hopefully this might give a clue to what is going on, but I'm not sure, I have tested out this theory a few times, but it is also possible that playback is working randomly and I am just seeing patterns when there aren't really any!

    Also - another way to get the video to show up once it has started but the screen is black is to put another program window (ie internet browser) over the top of the MediaLab screen, and then take the other window away again. THis can only be done if Medialab is being played in a small screen (for my experiment I would prefer to have the MediaLab window at full size).

    Can you make any sense of all this?? Thanks.

  9. #9
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    A while back I think another user had a problem that sounded like this (i.e., trouble with the first video only). I think it turned out to be a problem using the "Enhanced Video" option on the Preferences Menu on their particular machine. Do you happen to have that option turned on? If so, try unchecking it and see if that makes a difference.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    3

    Movies (.mov & .mpg) in Direct RT & Media lab

    I have this problem that I can hear my movies but not see them.

    We have used these movies before, but now they won't work.

    When we play the movie in direct rt it's just one black screen with only sound. In Medialab it's a small screen without vision, but there is audio.

    When we just run the movies in Mediaplayer separate of your software, they work fine.

    In Direct RT we have used _d:\name of file.mpg (1024x768) in a stim list with position 0,0,1.

    Can anyone tell me why this is not working.
    OUr regional settings are ok (US) and we have Windows XP plus the movie file is in the same folder as the dierct rt file.......

    Thanks!

  11. #11
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    What version of Windows and what version of the Windows Media Player do you have? Do you know how to generate a dxdiag.txt file (see trouble shooting in the users guide)? If so, can you post it here as an attachment?

  12. #12
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    Hi,

    We have Windows XP and Windows Mediaplayer 11.
    I have attached the dxdiag.txt file.
    Hope you can find something........

    Thanks Yvette
    Attached Files Attached Files

  13. #13
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    If you try playing the video as a background to another item (e.g., an basic instruction item) does the same thing happen?

  14. #14
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    Sep 2007
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    Inconsistency with AVI files

    1) I created several AVI files using Blaze Media Pro editor and used the XVID mpeg codec.
    2) I installed the experiment on 8 computers and it worked perfectly.
    3) I moved the experiment to a new 8 computers and the video works on all of them but the full screen only on 3.
    4) XVID codec is installed on all these computers.
    5) Initially when I installed the experiment Symantec antivirus software was interrupting the videos.
    6) They play but not in full screen now, even after I have disabled symantec completely.
    7) I am using the movie option, I get sound, enhanced video is off.
    8) We are using MediaLab 2006.

    How can I approach this?
    Last edited by adavis11; 10-25-2007 at 12:37 PM.

  15. #15
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    Workaround

    [edited from related support email]
    Hi there, I am having a problem that is noted on the knowledge base but no
    solution. I am attempting to run a "movie" .wmv file, and the first time I run it through Medialab a black box appears where the video should be. If I leave Medialab open and rerun the experiment file, the video plays as it should. If I close the Medialab program and reopen it, I get the black box again the first time through. I have "enhanced video" enabled, and if I uncheck it then nothing plays at all.

    This problem is not occurring on my laptop with windows XP, only the ones in the lab. I am running Medialab 2008 on both, but the lab machines use Office 2007 and WMP 11. Have you figured out the source of this problem?
    [edited from support email followup]

    I found a workaround and would like to share it with you: Instead of treating it as a "movie file", we instead embedded the 180-second video on the background of an Instruction screen that we gave a parameter of (d180). It now plays just fine every time, and automatically moves forward after 180 seconds is up.
    Last edited by jarvis24; 01-30-2009 at 01:46 PM.

  16. #16
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    Apr 2009
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    I'm having the same problem. I'm trying to get Medialab to play some short .wmv files (tv ads). I've inserted them as movie items in questionnaires. But when I try to run the questionnaire, a black rectangle appears, turns to white, then Medialab just freezes - video doesn't present and I have to use windows task manager to get out of Medialab. I've checked and the videos do play in Windows Media Player with no problem. I tried the workaround mentioned above and it doesn't make any difference. I'm running Medialab 2006.2.40

    Please help! Thanks.

  17. #17
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    Was this ever fixed?

    I'm having the same problem as mac was, only on one computer in our lab. The other three seem to work fine.

    With Enhanced Video on, sometimes it plays fine, and sometimes it plays only the audio. With Enhanced Video off, it plays nothing at all.

    The way our experiment is structured provides ample little test files- questionnaires with an instruction page, then the video- and it performs the same on each of these. It performs the same with every video I try, all 5 of our stimuli and WMV test videos. All of these are in WMV format.

    We're running Vista, WMP11 and MediaLab 2008.1.33. Also, I find that if I hit ctrl-alt-del while the video is running, then cancel, the video displays where there once was a black screen.

    Any help?

  18. #18
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    Mar 2009
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    When using the enhanced video feature, does the video file play properly during the first launch of the software? For instance, if you launch the software, does the experiment run properly on its first run-through? Occasionally some users have found that the first run-through works; however subsequent cycles through the same experiment tend to cause the video functionality to randomly stop. It may be worth seeing if re-opening the software between each execution of the experiment helps solve the problem.

    If not, it may be best to try re-encoding the videos as .AVI's . Some encoders just don't seem to work. As bizarre as it is, a good portion of the time .WMV files just won't work with MediaLab.

    Getting the video files to run properly without the enhanced video functionality is better than having to resort to using the enhanced video option. Mostly due to the fact that the enhanced video feature tends to be a bit buggy. It has been left in the software as it occasionally seems to work properly for users every once and a while.

    Our 2010 copy of MediaLab fixes all of our previous video display problems, unfortunately it would seem that you may need to try the above work-arounds before the video files will properly display and render as needed.

  19. #19
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