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A realtor has had videos created for a community she is selling homes for, the people who made the videos gave them to us in WMV format. I can play these videos without any problem in Windows Media Player, VLC, and Quicktime (via Flip4Mac). I can play the videos from their location at videohomeguide.com in my browser without any trouble. However when I upload the files to our server the video stops at about the 1 minute mark in Safari and FireFox on Mac OS X Snow Leopard. I'm not sure if Windows browsers have the same issue because they are loaded using Windows Media Player.

http://carolepaul.com/images/uploads/cottageslsjamestown.wmv <- our server, will fail at 1:09ish. http://www.videohomeguide.com/media/cottageslsjamestown.wmv <- should play to completion (3:27ish)

The files generate the same MD5 hash on my desktop and on our server. I used WGET to transfer the files, always downloading from videohomeguide.com.

Since the files are identical and are playable using VLC/WMP/Quicktime, and playable in the browsers from videohomeguide.com it seems to me that it is some sort of server config... maybe incorrect headers sent to the browsers? Here are the headers sent and received by FireFox on OS X:

http://carolepaul.com/images/uploads/cottageslsjamestown.wmv

GET /images/uploads/cottageslsjamestown.wmv HTTP/1.1
Host: carolepaul.com
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-US; rv:1.9.2.2) Gecko/20100316 Firefox/3.6.2
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 115
Connection: keep-alive

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 20:43:20 GMT
Server: Apache/1.3.41 (Unix) PHP/5.2.6 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 mod_psoft_traffic/0.2 mod_ssl/2.8.31 OpenSSL/0.9.8b
Last-Modified: Wed, 02 Dec 2009 18:08:46 GMT
Etag: "1e7919c-198eadc-4b16ad2e"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 26798812
Keep-Alive: timeout=10, max=200
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Type: video/x-ms-wmv
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2 Answers 2

I believe the problem you're running into is mod_psoft_traffic. With Apache1, there used to be an issue where some condition caused httpd to segfault which closed the connection. Have you checked your error logs?

What do the logs say on a failed versus a completed request?

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there is no entry in the error log on the failed request. the transfer log has three entries for the request: 1) HTTP/1.1" 200 150818 "http://carolepaul.com/lakeshore" "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_6_2; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.22.7 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Safari/531.22.7" 2) HTTP/1.1" 206 2 "-" "Apple Mac OS X v10.6.2 CoreMedia v1.0.0.10C540" 3) HTTP/1.1" 206 37043 "-" "Apple Mac OS X v10.6.2 CoreMedia v1.0.0.10C540" –  Ty W Apr 1 '10 at 14:01
    
Mine stops at 2:38 on both Firefox and Safari on Snow Leopard 10.6.3. However, using curl I am able to get the entire file. The fact that you're getting a 206 means that something is doing a ranged get. –  deleted Apr 2 '10 at 21:40
    
is this a known issue with Apache 1? any known solution other than upgrading to Apache 2? I'm told that it wouldn't be an easy upgrade due to how the server is set up. –  Ty W Apr 5 '10 at 13:16
    
I wouldn't recommend this for production, but try: BrowserMatch "Mozilla" downgrade-1.0 somewhere in your server config. It'll disable 1.1 support which should end the ranged gets. –  deleted Apr 5 '10 at 15:09
    
I gave it a try, got a HTTP/1.0 response, but the problem persisted. Didn't see any 206 status codes in the transfer log this time. Failed in the same place. –  Ty W Apr 5 '10 at 18:07

This is a support issue and as such more fitting for Superuser, IMHO. It works fine for me using Windows XP SP3, Firefox 3.6.2, and Windows Media Player 11.

I suspect the issue has to do either with the browser plugin or with the buffering being done in the client.

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This. Also, recommend converting the videos to .flv and serving with flash. Maybe even via an embedded youtube player. This is accessible to a broader audience than embedded WMV, and you'll pick up additional traffic via the youtube direct serving. –  Chris Thorpe Mar 29 '10 at 22:32
    
I think the evidence points to it being a problem with our server, since the same files hosted elsewhere work fine... that makes it a better question for Serverfault, right? Either way, I agree that the best solution is to convert to flash, but that's really just sidestepping the problem. –  Ty W Mar 30 '10 at 12:42
    
There is no evidence of that. If that were the case, the performance would be more consistent. You need to perform additional troubleshooting to properly isolate. –  Warner Mar 30 '10 at 14:29

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