Can't Play MP4  - Error message in Windows Media Player

Posted on 2014-07-17
Last Modified: 2014-07-29
I'm trying to play an MP4 and get the message below (see graphic)
Aren't all MP4's the same?
How can I fix?
Question by:brothertruffle880
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    Hey brothertruffle880
    which windows do you have?
    I have windows 7 with WMP version 12.07 !!!
    mp4 play just fine in my WMP 12.07.
    mp4 is a high compression that belongs to quicktime.
    Usually uses ac3 in audio.
    They should all be the same but often times they can be created from different tools hense changing the codecs used.
    If you want to know what codecs used install Gspot using the >>
    Download sites:
    Visit developer's site      
    Download GSpot 2.70a (direct link) (400kB) <<<

    drop an mp4 on and it will tell straight away what if any codecs used and if you have them.
    VLC and media player classic-be
    are open source will play these mp4 as they are built on ffdshow.
    If you don't have WMP 12 and windows 7
    either way you need to install two codecs
    ffdshow <<   choose x 64 or x 32  as per your windows version
    click on direct link and choose downloads and run it
    tick everything ok out of it.
    download direct link ffdshow for 64 or 32and ac3 filter
    click on direct link save .open downloads run it
    download direct linkClose everything when installing them
    They will run in the background.
    Now open WMP and  drop one of your mp4 onto the play now list, on the rightside where you see drag files here.

    Author Comment

    I'm using WMP - 12.0.7601 on Windows 7 Pro.
    Here's what gspot says.
    What do I do now?

    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    lol what happened there?
    Did someone rename the extension from flv to mp4?
    Which you can't of course.
    A flash is a flash mp4 is a mp4.
    rename the extension back to .flv
    A true flash on Gspot will produce that same result as Gspot doesn't really like flash analyses but other than the wrong file extension that's fine.
    To illustrate here is a a small FLV on Gspot called the passenger is a Blender animation in flash and below is a true mp4 on Gspot.
    True flash on Gspotmp4 on GspotInstalled the two codecs yet? you still need those  two codecs.
    Then test again.
    My FLV and MP4 both play in WMP 12.
    The Passenger flv on WMP
    The Passenger flv on WMPHave a look at your codecs installed.
    Open WMP then at the top HElp>click on about windows media player> then at the bottom of the panel click on Technical Support Information. It opens to a page showing your installed codecs, you can compare them if you like
    The main two you need a ffdshow and ac3. These will help cinema multimedia stuff.
    windows media codecs installed

    Author Comment

    I will install the Codecs today.
    What is AC3?
    Why would my MP4 files actually be FLV?   What would the logic be behind renaming them?
    (FYI:  I'm viewing tutorial files that someone else sent me. Those are the MP4 files I'm trying to watch.)
    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    They are not mp4 brothertruffle880,
    They are FLV.
    How the extension has been renamed I cannot answer that, but Gspot shows the name.mp4 but it is a flv.
    Gspot proves it.
    mp4 Gspot is flashIf these have been sent to you I'd ask them what's going on as they are not MP4.
    Are they on Youtube?
    Even though you say>
    I'm trying to play an MP4 and get the message below (see graphic)
    Aren't all MP4's the same?< absolutely yes when they are mp4 but these are FLV.
    Flash is part of Adobe/ mp4 is part of Quicktime/ WMV is part of Microsoft /Divx >avi, /mpeg mpeg 2 motion picture experts group who own the rights to DVD /all different types of video compression owned by different companies.
    You really need the ffdshow for mp4  and the AC3 to cover all .
    ffdshow is the direct draw used to push video playback into media players it is mainly used for decoding of video in the MPEG-4 ASP (e.g. encoded with DivX or Xvid) and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video formats, but it supports numerous other video and audio formats as well.
    It is free software released under GNU General Public License, runs on Windows, and is implemented as a VFW codec and a DirectShow filter.
    AC3Filter, is a DirectShow filter for real time audio decoding and processing.

    Windows Media player doesn't really like flash natively so we need to give it a helping hand to encode it using codecs.

    Try playing it in a flash player instead of windows media player since it's flash
    swiff player
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    Try installing the free Quicktime Player. Just google for it and install it on your machine. It should be able to play your file.

    Good Luck!
    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    Quicktime and flash??
    Quicktime has never natively played Flash files. For that you need Flash Player.
    Besides we have confirmed that they are not mp4 but rather are FLV
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    Thank you brothertruffle880

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