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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old June 3 2012, 03:02 AM   #1
chardman
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Suddenly, can't play many mp4s & FLVs

Today, I was watching a video that I've watched many times before, using VLC, and it suddenly became erratic (alternately speeding up and slowing down). Figuring it was a resource issue of some kind, I closed the app, rebooted the machine, and tried again.

And there was no video at all. The sound was just fine, but no picture whatsoever.

So I tried another playing video, and it had no picture either.

Tried a whole bunch of videos, and while all of my avis, movs, mpgs, etc played just fine, better than half of the my MP4s and flvs no longer produced a picture, even though these same files had played without difficulty countless times before prior to this morning.

I deleted VLC fearing it, or one if its codecs had become corrupt, and downloaded and installed a fresh copy, but with the very same results. Also tried playing the affected videos with other video players I have, with exactly the same result. Which makes me think the problem is with the video files themselves. Only, what would suddenly corrupt just the MP4s and FLVs on my hard disk, yet not affect any other video formats?

Anyone know what might cause such a problem? Is there some new virus that specifically targets these video formats?
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Old June 3 2012, 04:59 AM   #2
JustAFriend
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Re: Suddenly, can't play many mp4s & FLVs

Is you hard drive full or fragmented?

If the drive arm has to go seeking all over the place to pick up bits here and there it could do that.

Defrag your drive and if it has less than 20% free space left, consider adding another just for data.
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Old June 3 2012, 06:43 AM   #3
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Re: Suddenly, can't play many mp4s & FLVs

Nah, better than 10% free space on the drive, and defragged fairly recently. Nothing of any significance has changed on my computer in weeks. No new programs added, nor old ones deleted, nor moved many files around, but still, files that played just fine mere days ago, suddenly don't anymore.
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Old June 3 2012, 01:19 PM   #4
RobertVA
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Re: Suddenly, can't play many mp4s & FLVs

I've been having problems playing some videos with VLC Media Player since I upgraded to version 2.0.1, but I haven't made any efforts to discover a cure. I don't think it has affected other media playing applications.

Problem seems to affect MP4 and other mpg videos.

Last edited by RobertVA; June 3 2012 at 01:42 PM.
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Old June 3 2012, 02:10 PM   #5
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Re: Suddenly, can't play many mp4s & FLVs

I use RealPlayer for FLV's, never had a problem playing them.
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Old June 3 2012, 06:56 PM   #6
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Re: Suddenly, can't play many mp4s & FLVs

Neither have I... until yesterday.

I use vlc because I've never found a video format it won't play.

Never had anything but trouble w/ RealPlayer. One of the reasons I first downloaded vlc in the first place.
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Old June 4 2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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Re: Suddenly, can't play many mp4s & FLVs

See if you can play any of them with Windows Media Player or another video player.

Make sure your video card drivers are up-to-date.

It's possible you have a virus of some kind, so definitely scan for those.

Also do a disk integrity check--it's possible the video files are corrupted due to ongoing disk failure.

Since the symptoms are fairly vague and you don't know if they are limited to just one application, it is hard to say exactly what is causing it, so try some of the above.
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Old June 4 2012, 07:08 PM   #8
Ar-Pharazon
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Re: Suddenly, can't play many mp4s & FLVs

Did you install any new apps recently?

I installed Cyberlink PowerDVD once and it put a file somewhere that caused WinMediaPlayer to mess up playing certain file types.
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Old June 5 2012, 11:31 PM   #9
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Re: Suddenly, can't play many mp4s & FLVs

RM wrote:
See if you can play any of them with Windows Media Player or another video player.
Tried that. Said so in my original post... "Also tried playing the affected videos with other video players I have, with exactly the same result. " When VLC wouldn't play them, WMP and WMP classic were my first tries, followed by the latest DIVX player, and several others. Even stooped to trying to see if Windows Movie Maker might be able to open any of the files.

Make sure your video card drivers are up-to-date.
As up to date as they were the day before the problem existed, and the files in question played just fine. Have since updated them but no change.

It's possible you have a virus of some kind, so definitely scan for those.
Did so almost immediately, running Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and about a half-dozen others. No viruses or malicious programs found.

Also do a disk integrity check--it's possible the video files are corrupted due to ongoing disk failure.
Regularly maintain my disks. The disk in question was ever so slightly fragmented, but nothing remotely problematic.


Ar-Pharazon wrote:
Did you install any new apps recently?
No, I didn't install any new apps, prior to the problem's first appearance. Since then, of course, I've reinstall/updated a bunch in an effort to correct the problem.

Thankfully, I've had time to go through a bunch of files to see just how widespread the problem is, and it isn't as bad as I first feared. Still, I'm curious as to why files that have played just fine for months, even years, suddenly became unplayable.
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Old June 8 2012, 07:27 AM   #10
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Re: Suddenly, can't play many mp4s & FLVs

Well, something has corrupted the files themselves then it would seem. You may just have to give up and delete them.
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