University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Tips: Making Certain Movie Types Work

The question comes up frequently about whether both .mov and .m4v file types work with the media manager. This page explains the settings you need to make them work and also presents some tips for making videos download faster.

All problems described on this page can be addressed by using HandBrake Software (a free download) to transcode your source videos to MP4/H.264 format.   »View a short how-to video on HandBrake settings.

The basic rule:   Choose the H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec

Both .mov and .m4v files are identical to .mp4 files, so they are ok as long as the video track uses H.264 codec and audio uses AAC codec. How can you tell?
Open the file in Quicktime PLayer » Go to the Window menu » Choose Show Movie Inspector

  QuickTime Player Movie Inspector View:
What's wrong with this one?
Format is MPEG-4, not H.264: no good
Audio is AMR, not AAC: no good

What's wrong with this one?
Video is H.264 (good), but audio is PCM. It will play, but without sound: no good

This .mov is from an iPhone: good screenshot

Even when codecs are OK, you might experience simulated failure; i.e., movie doesn't seem to play, due to slow loading. Student gets impatient waiting, gives up, and claims it's "not working." Possible causes: The data rate (bitrate) is too high for student's internet connection or the movie is not formatted for "progressive download."

The data rate on this one is borderline: no good. Best to keep it closer to 1 or 1.5 Mbit/s.

Progressive download is harder to determine. You can try watching the progress bar. If it starts to play before the bar is all the way to the right, you're OK.


For more help about solving problems related to video file types and settings, write to the CTL Dr. Is In Program at

Last modified June 21 2013 03:03 PM

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