MP4 streaming video: can preview, can never play

So I'm working on an e-learning that is heavily video-based. Storage limitations mean that we can't embed the video directly in the Lectora package. (We use AICC). It has to be externally hosted and used as streaming video.

However, the streaming server is behind schedule. (You knew this would be complicated.) For the time being the file is on a Windows share, and I load it via a file:// url. I can preview it in the Add Streaming Video dialog--it plays just fine. However, when I actually click OK, the resulting Lectora file can't play the video either in preview or run mode, nor can it play during browser preview.

Interestingly, the player itself refuses to appear. Just a blank black rectangle, even if rollover is turned off.

Double-clicking the space where the player should be results in highlighting invisible (black-on-black) text reading "Error loading this resource". This seems to be a uselessly generic error, including http 503, wrong codec, and several other possibilities.

I tried several skins, no behavior change.

I also tried URLs of the form:


as well as


Lectora Publisher version 17.0.6.


Discussion (3)

I think it's normal browser security to not allow direct access to the file system (otherwise you could read any file on a user's system) which is what you're trying to do by using file://

Hosting on a non-corporate-approved server would be forbidden, or I'd just use my personal VPS on a temporary basis.

However, our team finally got our own server configured correctly.

I had suspected the problem was the file:// protocol, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. Interestingly, Internet Explorer 11 did work with the file protocol(!).

The preview is not browser based. The previous reply is correct you cannot use the file:// protocol under normal conditions in an internet browser.

You can sign up for a free Amazon account and host your video in a S3 (free 5GBs of storage) bucket here are a few links:

Simple S3 how to video

More involved S3 website how to video showing how to setup a domain etc.


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