How do I enable MP4 streaming on my website?

Before you can use MP4 streaming video on your website using ePublishing, you must take several steps that services such as YouTube or Vimeo typically take care of for you. It is important to note that using video hosted on services such as YouTube or Vimeo is a viable alternative when choosing to use streaming video on your website.

Explanation of what's required to stream an MP4 video:

MP4 files consist of chunks of data called atoms. There are atoms to store things like subtitles or chapters, as well as obvious things like the video and audio data. Metadata about where the video and audio atoms are, as well as information about how to play the video like the dimensions and frames per second, is all stored in a special atom called the moov atom. You can think of the moov atom as a kind of table of contents for the MP4 file.

When you play a video, the program looks through the MP4 file, locates the moov atom, and then uses that to find the start of the audio and video data and begin playing. Unfortunately, atoms can appear in any order, so the program doesn’t know where the moov atom will be ahead of time. Searching to find the moov works fine if you already have the entire video file. However another option is needed when you don’t have the entire video yet, such as when you are streaming HTML5 video. That’s the whole point of streaming a video! You can start watching it without having to download the entire video first.

When streaming, your browser requests the video and starts receiving the beginning of the file. It looks to see if the moov atom is near the start. If the moov atom is not near the start, it must either download the entire file to try and find the moov, or the browser can download small different pieces of the video file, starting with data from the very end, in an attempt to find the moov atom.

All this seeking around trying to find the moov wastes time and bandwidth. Unfortunately, the video cannot play until the moov is located. In order to stream a video the moov atom needs to be located at the beginning of the file.

Explanation courtesy of rigor.com/blog

Steps to convert video for streaming before uploading to ePublishing:

Please note that the video converter program you use to convert the video for streaming may differ, but in general the steps are:

  1. Add video files to the Video Converter.
  2. Select MP4 or MOV format in the profile list.
  3. Within the settings (may be considered an Advanced Setting) set "Fast Start" to "True."
  4. Select Start button to start the conversion.
  5. Upload your file to the Media Manager

Please click here to learn more about uploading video files to our Media Manager.

Questions? Contact your ePublishing Solutions Manager.