Help and Frequently Asked Questions
What are the system requirements to view videos?
Adobe Flash Player 10.0 or higher. You can download it from the Adobe website here:
Microsoft Windows XP or higher including the latest updates, or Mac OS X 10.5 or higher
A broadband connection preferably with 700+ Kbps for continuous playback. Chances are that a dialup connection will be choppy and rebuffer quite frequently, or may not work at all.
Windows hardware requirements:
Intel Pentium 4 (or equivalent processor)
128MB of RAM
Macintosh hardware requirements:
128MB of RAM
What is the difference between Streaming and Progressive Download?
Progressive download allows for a video to be downloaded to a temporary file and stored on your hard drive. The video will play from that location, sometimes within a few seconds after the download begins. Progressive download is better suited to short videos.
Streaming involves sending a video from a server to a client over the Internet in packets. As the packets arrive, the player reassembles the packets in order to play the video. The video file is never downloaded, like with progressive download, because the packets are discarded after they have been decoded and viewed. Streaming is better suited to longer videos.
Can I use QuickTime or RealPlayer to watch videos?
The service does not currently support QuickTime or RealPlayer. You must use Flash Media Player 10.0 or higher to view these videos.
What is a Codec?
Codec is short for compressor/decompressor and refers to the type of compression used for the audio and video files. Viewers do not need to worry about about codecs, only the version of the Flash Player installed on their computer. Codec are the concern of those who are uploading videos for transcoding. Please refer to the section on file formats for a list of supported codecs.
Why am I being asked to download the Flash Player?
Websites that contain Flash content require the Flash Player. A message asking you to download Flash Player comes either from the website you are viewing or from your browser.
Most browsers come with a version of Flash Player already installed. You may need to update your version of the Flash Player to the latest if the website contains features that require the newer version. For best results, download and install the latest version from the
Flash Player Download Center.
If there is a Flash movie object on the page, Microsoft Internet Explorer users will see a window requesting a download of the Adobe Flash Player. This message is a default feature of the Windows version of Microsoft Internet Explorer called 'Install on Demand.' To keep the window from opening in the future, do one of two things:
When prompted, choose Yes and install the Flash Player.
Disable the Microsoft Install On Demand feature in your browser.
Why are there three different bit rates?
Three different bit rate video encodings are utilized in order to cater to a greater number of users. In turn, each user is served with the best quality video allowed by the speed of their connection.
How does the player know which bit rate video to deliver to each user?
All of our players detect the bandwidth when the player first loads. Once the player knows what bit rate is best for the user, it serves the user the appropriate bandwidth video. The quality of the video can be selected manually via the player menu.
What is the difference between the Permalink, the pop up and the embed code?
Permalink code is a direct link to the video player in its own window (not resized).
Embed code is the HTML code that places the video player directly into a webpage through the use of an iframe tag.
Why can I not see or hear videos even though I meet all of the system requirements?
1. If you launch Media Suite on Windows 98 while other audio applications -- including, but not limited to mp3 players -- are running, you may have trouble hearing a video's sound. If this is the case, please close your browser and all running audio applications. Restart your browser and return to the video.
2. If you are behind a firewall, please make sure that you can get to popular sites on the internet like
. If you have no problem getting to a site like Google, then certain ports may be locked down on your firewall. If you cannot connect to other popular websites, please verify that your firewall settings are configured correctly. If this does not solve the problem, there may be a problem with your connection to the internet. We recommend that you contact your service provider.
Can I use dial-up Internet access?
The quality of the video clip you are watching mainly depends on two factors: (a) the speed of your Internet connection and (b) the bit rate (speed) of the video clip. The faster the bit rate of the video clip, the better the quality. However, the speed of your Internet connection will limit which video clip bit rate you can watch. For example, if you only have a 56kbs (dial-up) connection to the Internet, the highest video clip bit rate that you will be able to watch will be 56kbs or less (most likely less, as the majority of dial-up connections only get speeds of 28kbs or less due to phone line issues).
It is important to note that even if you have a high-speed (DSL/ Cable Modem/ T1) connection, Internet traffic congestion affects your connection speed and/or video performance. You will get slower or faster speeds at different times depending on peak or off-peak use hours. You may also get slower speeds during the morning and afternoon, but faster speeds late at night when fewer people are online. Also, streaming quality decreases when multiple people share the same Internet connection (e.g. at work or on a home network).
A dial-up connection is not recommended because the Internet connection is only 56 kbps or slower. We recommend you have a minimum Internet connection of at least 700 kbps to enjoy our service.
How can I contact support?
You can contact our technical support staff at
. Our technical support staff will respond to emails within 24 hours. If you have a spam filter running (often enabled by default on AOL, Hotmail, EarthLink and Yahoo), please check your 'spam', 'bulk', or 'junk' mail folder in the event that your spam filter intercepts our reply to your email. If you email us and then also contact our toll free person to person support staff before we've replied to your email, please let our support staff know that you also have an email pending in the support queue.
What if I find a bug in the system?
Please send an email to support at
Why is my video choppy and has to rebuffer frequently?
Your internet connection is probably not fast enough to keep up with the bit rate of video you are watching. You can select a lower bit rate from the player's menu section. If you are already on the lowest possible bit rate, please close all other running applications.
Why is the video not displaying?
This usually means that you do not have the required version of Flash Player installed on your computer. Please
download the latest version, install it, restart your web browser and try it again.
Why is my video player stuck on 'Buffering 0%'?
This happens when a video is not yet propagated to the Akamai Content Delivery Network. Please try again in a few minutes.
Why can I hear the audio but not see the video?
This occurs when the speed of your Internet connection is slower than the bit rate of the video clip you are watching and can be caused by either (a) selecting a bit rate for the video clip that is too high for your Internet connection or (b) Internet traffic congestion reducing the speed of your connection below what it should be. For example, you have a high speed DSL or cable modem connection to the Internet, but due to Internet congestion or shared usage, the effective speed of your Internet connection is actually closer to a 56kbs dial up connection.
Preparing Videos for the Web
What is transcoding?
Transcoding is the act of converting digital content from one format to another. It involves first decoding/decompressing the original data to a raw intermediate format that mimics standard playback of the original content. This raw video content is then re-encoded into the best format for playing the video.
What is the maximum duration of my videos?
There is no maximum duration for any video!
Is there a file size limit for uploaded video files?
If you are uploading content through the Flash uploader, there is a limit of 100 MB. If you have a file larger then that, please use our FTP uploader which has a limit of 700 MB
What video file formats can I upload?
The transcoder will accept many popular video formats. These include AVI, ASF, QuickTime, Windows Media and MPEG formats. For example, .avi, .asf, .mov, .wmv, .mp4, .m4v, .mpeg4, and .3gp are all acceptable file extensions. Specific video codecs we accept include H.264, H.263, MPEG4, and Sorenson Video 3.
What video formats will yield the best quality?
In most situations, uploading the original source file is the best practice. However, because of file size, this is not always possible. The details below are the recommended settings to use for maximum quality and reasonable file size:
MPEG 4 or H.264 video at 2mbps data rate
mp3 or mp4 audio (16-bit, 48kHz, mono channel)
Source video frame rate (most often 29.97 or 30fps)
Video resolution should at least match the video window dimensions of the template you've chosen for your project
4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio depending on your video template
De-Interlaced video (Progressive Scan)
How long will my video take to upload?
This depends on both the size of the video and on your connection speed. If you are using the FTP applet for upload, the uploader will update you as to the status of your upload (remaining file size of total file size). It can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours to upload a video. If you are using a high-speed internet connection, generally it will take anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes per megabyte. However, as mentioned, speeds will vary for every user.
How are the thumbnails generated?
Our OVP uses mathematical algorithms to compile 5 still images taken at equal increments throughout the video, creating thumbnails that appear as a storyboard from the video. Sometimes, however, these images may appear black or unvailable due to transitions in the video. Any of these 5 images can be chosen as the primary thumbnail and custom thumbnails are also an option for upload.
How long will my video take to transcode?
Depending on the format settings of the original file, the transcoding process takes approximately 150% of the duration of the original video. This process can also vary depending on the load of the server at the time of transcoding.
Making and optimizing your videos
Our OVP is designed to make streaming videos as easy as possible. You probably have the tools to make a video already, even if you don't have a camcorder. Web cams, digital cameras, and even cell phones often have video recording features. Many digital cameras even have a simple switch to choose between stills and video.
So take a look at what you already have, you may be surprised! Most of these devices record in either the .AVI or .MPG formats, both of which can be directly uploaded. The video recorded with them can be uploaded directly from the device or after being copied to your computer.
Digital and analog camcorders
If you already have a digital camcorder (one that captures in Digital8, MiniDV, HDV, or any of the DVD formats), then you're ready to start shooting your masterpiece. Your camcorder will need some kind of direct connection to your computer, either to the USB or FireWire ports or by inserting the DVD you've recorded. Once you've downloaded the video from the camera, you can upload it or bring it into an editing program to play with it some more.
If you have an analog camcorder (one that uses VHS, VHS-C, SVHS-C, 8mm, or Hi8 tape), you can still use the videos. It will require an extra step and some additional equipment, though, since these camcorders are not usually equipped with computer connections. You will need to digitize the video with a converter box, which will convert the analog signal from the camcorder to a digital signal that the computer can understand. After the video has been digitized, you can manipulate it further or upload it.
Editing and improving your videos
If you want to be a bit more hands-on with your video, most new computers come with basic video-editing software installed (like Apple's iMovie or Windows MovieMaker). Once you have copied the video from your phone, camera, or camcorder to your computer, you can bring the video into these programs. Most allow you to not only edit the video, but add effects, titles, and music to make your video look and sound more interesting.
There are two options for the first step in this process. Option 1 allows you to upload a video directly to our transcoding servers to be placed into the correct format. Option 2 is for the advanced user who knows which encoding settings he or she would like to use and allows for media to be encoded locally into an FLV format.
You can upload multiple video files through our FTP applet by clicking the 'Upload Media' tab then selecting 'FTP Upload to Web Directory.' You may also create a video object and upload the FLV files via HTTP by selecting 'Upload Media' and then selecting 'Create Video Object.
All image files can be uploaded through the 'Upload images, swf's and slides' section.
Creating video objects
Depending on how you uploaded your video files, you may need to create 'Video Objects' from those files. First, make sure the videos have been transcoded into the FLV format (by processing them through the transcoder or manually uploading FLV videos). Next, select the 'Create Video Object From Files' link from the 'Upload Media' tab and complete this form. Your video objects should now be ready for use in the Project Manager.
When I add video objects from my Media Bin to a project, they do not work in HTML5. Why is that?
If the video object in your Media Bin is encoded in the FLV format, this format will not work in HTML5. You must encode the object into an H.264 MP4 format. To do this, select one of the Universal transcode profiles. These profiles transcode into the H.264 MP4 format.
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