What formats are supported for video?



  • I'm really not sure if this a bug or not, but I cannot get the media player to play anything... I've tried half the formats that VLC can export and nothing works so far. All I get is a message that 'this format is not supported'

    What formats are supported?



  • @Giiba (moved to Support).

    Yes, there are some issues with video playback nowadays, for example https://github.com/ubports/ubuntu-touch/issues/1092

    What device are you using and which UT channel are you running?



  • You can also try rebooting. Sometimes that error is persistent until a reboot.



  • This is on a Nexus 5 on RC channel updates with latest release updated this morning.

    I also have a 1+1 on stable (daily driver) that I will test too.

    I have tried .mp4 .avi .h264 .mkv, all with the same message. I've also tried different formats within the wrappers. I have a bit more time to test today, but thus far a reboot changed nothing 🤔



  • @Giiba have you tried to play videos with UTMedia (https://open-store.io/app/utmedia.nfsprodriver)?

    There are some issues with the default media player on Nexus 5 but UTMedia works for me.



  • UTMedia doesn't open files at all.

    I tried all of the same files on my 1+1 but didn't have time to try other formats. So far nothing will play on either device. I'm going to search for some reference video files for testing this evening.



  • @Giiba - something strange might be going on with those files because my OnePlus One can play mp4 with no problems with the core app Media Player - and can play webm using the UTmedia app. Perhaps you can post a public download link to those files so we can test them out as well?

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson



  • I found some h264 reference files and those play on my 1+1 but not my nexus 5. Seems reference spec is .mp4 wrapper, mpeg4/mov encoding, 48khz aac audio, and that works.

    See: http://www.dvdloc8.com/clip.php?movieid=12167&clipid=1

    Armed with that I was able to convert and play the files. Weird thing is the files are the same spec from above but in a .mkv wrapper, but that seems to be unsupported.

    I'm dreaming of VLC for Android ported to UT at this point 😉



  • Hello, I want to remind this topic as I face the same issue (no possibility to read mkv and some other formats). Please, is there any available codec plugin that I can install, even from terminal ?

    @Giiba has re-encoded his video, but I think you can easily understand why we cannot do it every time (for instance many videos > 1GB take too much time to re-encode). Thank you very much!



  • @prog-amateur You'll have to be more specific. The .mkv format is only a container, not the codec itself. Many proprietary codecs are accelerated via hardware, and there are some open codecs installed in the rootfs.

    But without knowing specifics of what the videos are, it's hard to say why they wouldn't play. If it's actually 100% Matroska/Vorbis, it should play fine with software codecs I think. If you have h264 inside a matroska container, it likely will have issues.



  • @dobey my experience was that I had to re-encode the mkv file to remove the wrapper for the video to play. Such that an .mp4 in an .mkv wrapper doesn't play, but that file re-encoded to .mp4 file extension plays... if it meets very specific conditions (which I do not understand) of file format.

    Most .mp4 files I tried did not work but a few downloaded format reference files did play. All in all I given up on playing videos on an UT device, I don't even try anymore.



  • @dobey thank you for your reply. I confirm the unreadable files are :

    • mp4 - Quicktime - H.264
    • mkv - Matroska - H.264

    And like @Giiba , I start to become pessimistic about watching any movie on UT (media player can't read those formats, while Uplayer is buggy and does not launch most of the time). It's a basic feature.



  • @prog-amateur said in What formats are supported for video?:

    It's a basic feature.

    Please can you avoid this kind of comment.

    What you as a end-user consider basic is not an easy task to perform.
    And video as you understand is not simple task.

    There are dozens of codecs and many containers, most phones rely on a hardware video decoding and those rarely come with open source drivers.
    So no it is not basic. Everyone is well aware that video player is an important feature so no need to wine about it, it won't change that it's not an easy task.

    I know it's frustrating, but you have to be patient or even better help like you did by making detailled bug reports.
    Or you can help contributing to the documentation trying to pin point what is working for each device so other like you might understand how hard it can be to fix it for everyone.

    Cheers



  • @AppLee I understand all what you say, but please, understand that the priority sometimes shall be done on basic features.

    What I call basic feature is call, camera (picture/video), movie/audio player, and browser. They shall be ready almost at start.

    Then you have the basic features which may not work at day 1 such as bluetooth, GPS, etc. but shall be important too.

    Rather than focusing on one feature or another, I think we already need to get the basic features working. After the new features are a very good thing, but they should not take priority over the essential things.

    If we just find it normal that Video player only works on certain videos (for 2 years), we risk saying "it works, pretty well, the rest we'll see later" and we leave it aside for another 2 years ?

    It would be better and more logical to prioritize this feature, and please, no offense don't take it personal, somebody have to raise this issue.



  • @prog-amateur It's hardware related too, software decoding of large full HD video requires more CPU power...
    And codec are not free so it's not something we can fix but don't want.
    A way to avoid that is to use hardware with the right codecs to play those videos.

    I don't know your exact situation (what phone, what kind of video) but there is no easy answer to something you consider basic.

    Basic for a phone is : call, SMS
    For a smartphone : photo, internet, media player
    Everything is there with restrictions due to the lack of open source drivers at least



  • @AppLee thank you for your explanation. On my side, my device is a Nexus 7, so this is why playing videos is very important for me (I don't call / use GPS / etc. just web browsing and watching videos with it).

    I understand the codecs are not free, but how did Debian do with their player (GNOME Videos = Totem) ? As far as I know, I am not sure they pay for codecs. Maybe we can port their player to Ubuntu Touch, do you think it is an easy task (I ask that because I am not a developer) ?



  • @prog-amateur
    I'll try to summarize that the best I can.

    To play a video you have to decode it.
    For that you have to use the codec (coder-decoder), that is the first problem : free codecs and large variety of codecs.

    But regardless of the codec issue there is the computing time.
    Hardware decoding is what is best, you buy the proprietary licenses with the chip, it's reliable and doesn't charge your CPU.
    When you cannot use hardware decoding due to proprietary drivers, you can try using the CPU and free codecs but the result on such devices is not nice.

    The video can lag or even freeze, you can have audio and no image, it has to be dealt with individually.

    At least this is my understanding of the problem. With a computer with enough power there is no problem. Plus almost any GPU for computers are available on Linux.

    You're right on this point : we can try to port something like VLC to use CPU power to get the best out of each device. It works with Libertine I think and if I'm right people thought about changing the skin to make it usable on phones or tablets.



  • @AppLee yes, and about VLC I have asked this question a few days ago, but the answer was that hardware acceleration is not supported by Libertine, therefore it can be limited.



  • @prog-amateur said in What formats are supported for video?:

    @AppLee thank you for your explanation. On my side, my device is a Nexus 7, so this is why playing videos is very important for me (I don't call / use GPS / etc. just web browsing and watching videos with it).

    I understand the codecs are not free, but how did Debian do with their player (GNOME Videos = Totem) ? As far as I know, I am not sure they pay for codecs. Maybe we can port their player to Ubuntu Touch, do you think it is an easy task (I ask that because I am not a developer) ?

    Debian doesn't ship non-free codecs by default. So you almost certainly installed them by yourself.



  • I posted the same question a while ago. What I discovered is that the default media player does not work on the Nexus 5 (which is particularly awkward for viewing videos that a user has taken with their camera, since the nonworking media player makes this impossible).

    Anyway, to view video files, UTmedia will work, provided you open videos as follows: 1.) open the file manager, select the video, and then copy it. 2.) Open UTmedia, select File To Open, and then paste the file into the slot. Enter this, and the video file should be cued up for play.


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