Picture of David Lockwood
MP4 videos not playing on safari browser on ipad
by David Lockwood - Wednesday, 7 January 2015, 5:54 AM


I've added video to a course. They work fine on desktop (ie and chrome) and on chrome on an ipad. On safari on the ipad they won't play. Just a black screen and a loading icon when play is clicked.

I've made sure the videos are encoded specifically for ipads using ffmpeg and handbrake but no type of encoding seems to work on safari.

Has anyone come across this issue?


Picture of Matt Leathes
Re: MP4 videos not playing on safari browser on ipad
by Matt Leathes - Friday, 9 January 2015, 7:42 PM

Hi David

Does the 'big buck bunny' mp4 file that comes with Adapt work in this situation? If so, and the mp4 file you have created does not, then that certainly suggests it's something to do with video encoding.

If the big buck bunny video doesn't play either, that suggests it might be a server problem - the first thing I usually check for is the mp4 mime-type being correctly set on the server.

Video is one of those things that seems like it should be simple but actually frequently ends up being a massive pain in the wotsit.

Although HTML5 video has greatly simplified how you actually add video into a page, it has generated plenty of other issues to go along with it - starting from the most basic problem of some browsers needing different video formats (Firefox on most non-Windows platforms doesn't support MP4 for example) to all kinds of small things, such as:

  • the 'moov atom' being in the wrong place in the video file (https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5058917/mediaelement-js-flash-video-wont-play-until-fully-loaded)
  • security/authentication applied at the server level stopping videos loading in iOS (but only for our client, not for us!!)
  • a client's network blocking playback of videos via IE's standard HTML video player (yet same file would load fine using Flash-based video player)
  • Firefox suddenly not loading .ogv files for videos served through Moodle, and then several days later suddenly working again... (possibly caused by a bug in a release of Firefox although the release notes claim there were no changes to video handling)
  • Videos not playing in Android when served via Moodle because you have the Moodle setting 'only http cookies' enabled (https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-44849)

And plenty more which I can't recall offhand!


Picture of David Lockwood
Re: MP4 videos not playing on safari browser on ipad
by David Lockwood - Sunday, 11 January 2015, 11:43 PM

Thanks, Matt. I tried it with the Big Buck Bunny mp4 and it isn't working on ipad safari. It does work with ipad chrome though so I assume that means the correct mime type is in place server side.

When I look at the HTTP response the content type is video/mp4.

Looking at stackoverflow I can see some known issues. For example, some people have found the same issue when the controls="true" is not set in the video element. I tried to modify the media.hbs file to include that but it gets removed during the build.

Anyway, not found a solution to this yet but it isn't a showstopper. I may look at serving video content from something like youtube and let them handle all the browser/device issues.


Picture of Kathaegul Kathaegul
Re: MP4 videos not playing on safari browser on ipad
by Kathaegul Kathaegul - Friday, 25 August 2017, 7:50 AM

Sorry man, but this seems to be a related thread about mp4 video playback issues. I have a question and would you guys mind my asking here and I really need an answer right now? Recently I download a software as you can see "http://www.videoconverterfactory.com/tips/repair-mp4-file.html" (I hope somebody can help me check it when it's at your convenience) to fix one of my broken MP4 file. The file did not have audio output so I tried fixing it by converting it to another format. The conversion was successful and there was audio output again. But I could not figure why after conversion, the video size got much bigger, did you ever meet such a kind of issue or anyone ever heard about it?