How VideoPress Bit Me

VideoPress LogoRecently, I’ve been uploading video files to When uploading the files, I’ve generally kept the default naming scheme provided by the Flip Camera. On my machine, there were two different video files with a similar name but different extensions, video-4.mp4 and The .mov file was the interview with Jane Wells while the .MP4 file was the interview with Brad Williams. I discovered today that the reason why the Jane Wells interview started showing Brad Williams was because of the way VideoPress renames files.

When videos are uploaded to VideoPress, the service renames the file using the original name. So what ended up happening is that Video-4.MP4 and both turned into video-4_fmt1.ogv. Since Brad’s video was uploaded first, the second uploaded file pointed to Brad’s video. This is what caused the confusion and why Jane’s interview switched from her, to Brad. What I ended up doing was downloading the Jane Wells interview .mov file, renaming the file and then re uploading it to VideoPress to resolve the conflict. This is a lesson that before you upload your videos to VideoPress, you should give them a unique file name.


15 responses to “How VideoPress Bit Me”

  1. Sounds like a simple bug that the guys at Automattic can fix pretty quick. Just need to make sure all videopaths are unique.

  2. @Blake Helms – What’s interesting is that even if the files have the same name and different extensions, it still happens because VideoPress converts them into a new format.

  3. So VideoPress saves videos in Ogg, eh? Interesting, but not surprising. Open file formats FTW!

    (Oh, and file naming conventions FTW, too! ;) )

  4. @Chip Bennett – Yep. However, i wonder when or if the guys behind VideoPress will make it so that those without Flash aka iPads and iPhones will also be able to see the videos.

  5. Honestly, videos on suck majorly. I can’t believe someone actually dared to code something where you cannot skip frames and fast forward into the video ??!

  6. @Ozh – Do you mean fast forward into the video before that part of the video has loaded? The videos load pretty fast and I can click ahead in the time line to see that part of the video. As for skipping frames, what does that mean?

  7. If they had gone with H.264 MP4 instead of Ogg they could be serving up videos for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad *right now*.

    So while i’m all for open, this is an instance where I would have went the other way. As it is they will have to make H.264 MP4 versions of the videos anyway in order to support these devices unless Apple adds Ogg support.

    But as was pointed out, this looks like a relatively easy fix for the guys at VideoPress to make. They just need to implement better duplicate filename handling.

    VideoPress is a cool service so I imagine it’s only going to continue getting better as the guys at Automattic continue working on it.

  8. I actually tried to use videopress, but when I found out that they do not support rtmp, rtmpe, it was a no starter from the get go. As all of my video’s are between 1-2hrs long, there is no way I would ever go back to progressive download. Simply switching to rtmp cut my server bw bills by over 60%. Rtmp only sends what the customer requests, and allows ff/rw instantly without having to wait for the load.

    With systems like wowza being so incredibly inexpensive now, I was actually shocked that videopress didn’t utilize it. It’s much more efficient both on cpu cycles and bw usage.

    I can say that their system is so integrated, that if they ever did offer rtmp/rtmpe at reasonable rates, I’d jump over there in a second.

    It’s really sad that the videopress ‘open’ framework pretty much died on the vine. I have not seen an update to it in over a year now.

  9. @Carl Hancock – VideoPress outputs videos in an MP4 file container with H.264 High and AAC-LC as well as an Ogg file container with Theora video and Vorbis audio.

    Codecs such as H.264 are actually a family of standards grouped into Profiles and Levels. The current iPod touch and iPhone 3GS hardware supports H.264 Basic Profile video. The iPad supports H.264 Main Profile video.

  10. Hey Jeffro —

    Sorry to hear that you and others here are running into issues with VideoPress.

    Let me try to address each item:

    – The problem with overwriting files is due to a basename bug that has ben logged and a fix is being worked on right now.

    – Fast forward / skipping frames in a buffered video is fixed in an internal build that we are testing and hope to have out very soon. General seeking / skipping around the video should also be much improved in the coming weeks as we resolve an issue with how our CDNs work. This item in particular has been very frustrating to me as well as a heavy VideoPress user.

    – In terms of iPhone/iPad playback — on the list as well and being worked on. No ETA, but shouldn’t be too much longer.

    Bottom line — we hear you about some of these annoying bugs, and a couple of missing features, and we are putting lots of energy into getting all the bugs squashed and new features launched asap.

    If anyone has any other questions or concerns about their VideoPress service, feel free to contact me directly, or via our 24/7 support desk:

  11. @Carl Hancock – they will play in H.264 (they just haven’t enabled HTML5 yet so it doesn’t work on mobile devices period — unless you happen to use a Nexus One with Android 2.2 and Flash 10.1 beta), but I agree, defaulting to OGG as a video format for any capacity is just asking for shitty quality. As I’ve said on many occasions, “I would use Ogg if it didn’t completely suck.” It completely sucks ass. Fortunately WebM sucks considerably less.

  12. @Ozh I too am bothered about not being able to skip forward and backward but i think IE8 offers a certain amount of support in this area if that helps you. One video I was watching on firefox wouldnt skip forward or back at all but the same video played on IE worked fine. However I am trying a longer one (1.5hrs) and it only allows me to move the cursor once ( which is better than nothing ) … but i wonder will it work better when the entire video is loaded

    in general the fast forward rewind capability of online video players is pretty low IMO

  13. Do any of you folks know why VideoPress no longer displays thumbnails in your media library?
    I’m using a theme that uses them for the front page, and I had been able to download the image from my media library before I embedded the video on self-hosted site.
    It’s weird because I still get thumbs for images but not videos.
    Thanks for any help…I’ve been tearing my hair for months!

  14. Following this discussion I’m not sure what the status is on “viewing videos on the iPad”: Is it possible to use Videopress and show videos on mobile devices like iPad?


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