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19 April 2011

iPhone/iOS Video Playback Bug: No Video On Older Devices Running iOS 4.1 and Earlier

We had users reporting that the video playback wouldn’t work on their iPhones

and iPods. With a testers help we found out, that the video playback in our

Tricktionary iPhone app didn’t work on some iPod Touches and iPhones with 4.1

firmware (and probably older). The issue seemed also to be related to the

hardware as well, for instance 2nd generation iPods would not play the video.

The users were reporting that the video player would load, the controls would

appear, the progress bar would indicate playback, however the screen was blank

or black.

Was not easy to find out why exactly. Tests showed, that sample videos from

Apple worked when plugged in there, also the intro video was working most of the

time. We first changed the video encoding from H264 with MAIN 3.0 to Baseline

3.0 – this seemed to work at first, but we soon discovered that it would still

not work on iPhones or iPod Touches with FW 4.1 on. Scratching our heads, because

it was exactly the settings Apple suggested, we finally found out that the

problem was the encoder. Using Adobe Media Encoder CS4 before created the

not-working clips. Using Canopus Procoder with the same settings then helped the

issue, now the video features in our Windsurfing Tricktionary iPhone App are

working on all devices we could test them on (so far).