link to .mp4 video file

Discussion in 'Android Audio and Video' started by johnnyreb, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. johnnyreb
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    johnnyreb New Member

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    I'm using Touchdown to access my work e-mail on Exchange.

    I get e-mails that have links to .mp4 files that are hosted on our corporate web server. I click on the link and it starts downloading for a few seconds, but then it just quits with no explanation or error.

    The link in the email would look like this - Click HERE to view video file.

    The "HERE" part would be the link to the .mp4 file.

    Is there a setting on my phone that I need to adjust that will allow me to view these .mp4 files?

    With my BlackBerry, I have to select the link and I get an option to save the .mp4 file rather then viewing it directly. The file then downloads and I can open it in the default BlackBerry media player. I'm wondering if there's a similar option on the Droid that would allow me to download the .mp4 file first and then open it.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  2. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    In order for the files to play, they have to be compatible. Try downloading one on your computer and then transfer it to your phone to see if it plays.
    For streaming to work, the files have to have a streaming flag enabled. For more info on that, check the trailer-link in my signature (the mp4 links in there do stream)

    based on your description, my guess is that the files are in an incompatible video format for your phone. The first few seconds download and then quit sounds like the streaming flag is enabled, but after the buffering when it actually starts to play the file, it runs into an incompatible video format and crashes.

    The Blackberry is a lot less picky in terms of video file playback, which is why it works on that.
  3. johnnyreb
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    johnnyreb New Member

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    I transferred my .mp4 file to my phone and it does play. The audio and video aren't synched up very well, but it does play.

    When I try to view one of the .mp4 links in your signature I get the same result as my .mp4 link. When I click on the link, it goes to my phone web browser, it then says that it's loading, then after a few seconds it just stops.

    Maybe it's something in Touchdown that doesn't know how to interact with the link?
  4. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    It is possible, but I think its the webbrowser that doesn't know how to interact with the mp4 link.
    It should start Gallery for playing the file after it connects, or if you have multiple video players installed, it should ask what you want to use.

    Are you overclocked/using a different video player app?
  5. johnnyreb
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    johnnyreb New Member

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    As soon as I click the .mp4 link it opens Browser. Browser say's it's loading, then it just quits. It never opens Gallery. Not overclocked and using all defaults.
  6. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    Based on that, it could be that you installed one or more videoplayer apps that connected to the file extension (.mp4) and when you click the link, it tries to start that application. Either the application set for that was removed, and didnt clear its settings correctly, or the application doesn't accept files that way.

    If the program is still installed,

    source: OMG!!! How to change the file association on Android phones

    Otherwise, I would suggest to install either Astro File Manager, which supposedly lets you change associations, or to download and install the video players you tried again, and then clear its settings after running it once.
  7. ProphetZarquon
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    ProphetZarquon New Member

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    Can't DOWNLOAD mp4 video files!

    No! This is wrong! It should NOT open with Gallery directly from the link, that is exactly why it isn't working.

    I'm having the same issue.

    When opening a direct download link to an .mp4 file, the browser opens (doesn't matter which I choose) and it immediately tries to Play the file in a Media player (doesn't matter which I choose), WITHOUT DOWNLOADING IT FIRST.

    Correct behaviour (like ALL other file downloads) would be: Click the link, browser opens, download begins, browser asks for filename confirmation to save file, file downloads to sdcard/download, download complete notification appears, tap on download notification, Player opens, file plays.

    Instead the browser is launching the Player with a web path instead of a local (SD) one, so the player returns "File cannot be played".

    I can make them stream, but I can't find any way to make them download.

    For instance, try this DropBox link on a PC and it works, on an Android phone, it tries to stream instead of opening a Download dialog:

    http://db.tt/sheJ8yL
    :icon_ banana:
  8. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    That part is controlled by a flag in the file.

    My MP4 links have the streaming-flag enabled, so when you tap on them, it will play while downloading.
    If you do not have this flag set, it will still start the player, but it will download the full clip before it starts playing.

    If you tap and hold on an mp4 link, depending on the browser you use, you might be able to download it instead though.
  9. ProphetZarquon
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    ProphetZarquon New Member

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    Any flag actually set within the file is irrelevant since the file never gets downloaded.
    If the link had a streaming tag, that might make a difference but ALL links to MP4 files attempt to stream instead of downloading the file.

    The Player DOES NOT handle download requests. That happens in the browser before the file is handed to the Player. The player should not be called by default for a file link. The file link should open a Download dialog in the browser.

    Long press works on other links but not on mp4 links. The browser is handling this link type incorrectly.

    Does this make sense? Basically the Player should not even be a consideration, since the file has not been acquired yet. If the link contained a tag specifying streaming playback it would be different, but at the moment, even file downloading apps are no longer associated with mp4 files and I cannot find a fix. Shortened links (bit.ly, DropBox, etc) make it totally impossible to download the files. As far as I can tell, this is currently a system issue.
  10. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

  11. ProphetZarquon
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    ProphetZarquon New Member

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    The Gallery has no Default associations set. I've cleared it, also checked RockPlayer and it had no defaults set.

    Once again, mp4 SHOULD be associated with the media Player. There is nothing else to set it to. Even with no default set you should not be prompted how to open the file, you should be prompted how to download it.

    The browser should not launch the media Player. The browser should launch Downloads and when the downloaded file is tapped, Downloads should launch the Player.

    I've read all over and I'm now convinced that this is an Android issue, not an app or settings issue. Even apps designed to download files never get a chance to download .mp4 files, they are sent straight to the Player apps as a web path instead of being allowed to download as with any other file.

    Basically mp4 links are broken under Android and they need to be treated as discrete file for downloading. Anything that the browser itself cannot open should be offered as a download, with other Players / Viewers as secondary options.
  12. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    What issue?

    Ok, I tried it.

    1. went to Index of /xoom using the stock browser on my x
    [​IMG]

    2. Tap and hold on an MP4 link
    [​IMG]

    3. Select save link:
    [​IMG]

    and its downloading to SD card

    nothing special, no weird changes, just visit site, tap&hold, and save link.
  13. ProphetZarquon
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    ProphetZarquon New Member

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    My point is that long press should not be required. Mp3 files are handled correctly, mp4 should be handled the same way. Default should be Download, not stream.

    How would you handle bit.ly or DropBox links, like this?
    http://db.tt/sheJ8yL

    For instance, try pasting that link into a text message and open it. How would you download the file? I can send ANY other file from my phone using DropBox or other links this way, but mp4 files try to stream instead of downloading.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  14. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    Personally I prefer to have a movie play when I tap the link, but everyone is different.

    The thing is, you can play the files directly or you can download them.
    The process is identical to that of a PC. If you left-click (= tap) on an MP4 link, a PC will try and play the file as well. Rightclick on the link (=longpress) will bring up a context menu that gices you additional options, including a download.

    For shortened links, its different. The links themselves need to be resolved by the service that was used to create them. They are not actual MP4 links. If you copy&paste the shortened url on the actual service website and have it give you the long-link, and you use that to access the file, you will be able to save the file. This is not a limitation of Android or the webbrowser.
  15. ProphetZarquon
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    ProphetZarquon New Member

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    Actually, my PC downloads the file.
    I'm on cell, not WiFi, so streaming is sporadic at best.
    Again, my issue is how to send these links by text message. This IS an android issue, since ALL other file types are handled differently than mp4 and the MIME defaults in the apps settings have no effect on the behaviour.

    Just because a file CAN be streamed does not mean the system should treat that file type differently than all others. Compare to mp3 file handling (which also supports streaming).
  16. dvdcatalyst
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    dvdcatalyst Guest

    send a link to where the file is located rather than a direct link to the file, that way the receiver can just visit the location and if they want to download the file they just long-press on it.

    You can try this though:
    http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/entry?template=Feature request

    other than that, I just gave you a few ideas on how to work around your issue. For me it works as it should.
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