Making MP4 files stream

Mp4/H.264 files give great quality for online video in web players such as the free Flowplayer. But they must ‘stream’. In other words they need to start playing before the whole file has loaded (which may take several minutes).

Unfortunately many video encoders produce MP4 files which don’t stream. Files encoded in Sony Vegas, XMedia Recode (a favourite), WinFF, MediaCoder and other popular programs stubbornly refuse to play until the MP4 has loaded in its entirety.

The free Super encoder is an exception (click the Other Options button on the righthand side of the interface and tick Streamable H.264). But what can you do if you want to use other software?

Apparently it all comes down to where the metadata is located in the MP4 file. If it’s at the beginning of the file the video will stream. If it’s at the end it won’t. Guess where many programs put the metadata…?

MetadataMover is a simple free utility that will move the data to the beginning of the MP4 file.

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