I'm managing our company's collection of recorded webinars which currently exist as plain old wmv files served by IIS. Virtually all users are playing from a modern generation of Windows Media Player. File size is typically close to 100mg and most users will prefer to start at the beginning and stick with the production until play is finished without having downloaded the full file.

Given those facts, this question:

Some users report problems (or complete inability to) force the playhead to jump ahead in a given production. Which factors impact that ability; LAN settings within that user's organization, player version, how my .wvm is encoded, how my IIS is configured, other?

  • Can you please provide us with version #s? Is this something new? – wizlog Jul 26 '11 at 20:17
  • Not new and my users will be using a range of different players. The wvm files are recorded via GoToWebinar using their native codec. It's very, very rare (like twice in six years) that the end users report a problem related to the codec - the point is to gain a overview of what factors effect the users's ability to 'skip ahead', vs. stream vs. downloading the full file before playback. – justSteve Jul 26 '11 at 20:57
  • I'm no expert, but could it be that those people have a Windows Media problem, and everyone else is OK because the files really are sound (100% fine)? Or is that your real question – wizlog Jul 26 '11 at 21:00
  • Are you doing streaming, or just accessing the files thru a network share ? – harrymc Jul 27 '11 at 15:20

I've experienced this issue on random files that are local on the filesystem when the only other app running is firefox with a large number of tabs. Playing the same file a day later and there were no issues skipping forward and back as desired. My best guess regarding the cause is that there was low memory at the point I initially attempted jumping around in the file.

UPDATE adding possible alternatives:

I don't know what your office software requirements are, but some media players are more efficient in their network resource usage. Using very large movie file sizes, test several different players such as VLC and Media Player Classic and see if they have similar issues or not. Even if you can't run them in production, if they work they would at least indicate the source of the problem: a poorly written Windows Media Player.

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