I am trying to play a .m4v video file in VLC media player and it comes out grey, with only a few moving parts (only way I can explain it). Admittedly I am using an oldish version of VLC, since it's been the most stable for me up until now (version 0.8.6i).

Anyone else have this problem, or know how to resolve it?

  • 1
    What is the operating system? This information is usually vital to answering any software question. Also, is it only that one m4v file, or can you replicate the issue with another m4v file? If so, it could be a corrupt m4v file. try remaking it or re-downloading it.
    – David
    Jun 2 '11 at 22:33
  • I agree with @David esp. re: replication with other files. Also try that file with another media player. I will say this though: There have been times when quite large files (DVD .iso files) would play in the way you describe. Is the file in question very large (i.e. >2 GB)?
    – boehj
    Jun 2 '11 at 23:09
  • @David: Apologies, it's Windows XP. It was a batch of about 12 m4v files, all of which did the same thing. However, I just downloaded a sample m4v file from Apple's website and that seems to work fine on VLC, so I agree something might be wrong with the original 12 files. Funnily enough, I don't think the files are corrupted as they play fine on iTunes and Quicktime(?). I'd rather not use those players though -- they're unbelievably slow on this machine.
    – Sputnik
    Jun 2 '11 at 23:26
  • @boehj: Thanks, I tried with iTunes and Quicktime (see above). No, the files are only about 280MB each.
    – Sputnik
    Jun 2 '11 at 23:28
  • @Fahad: Do they work in the latest version of VLC? There might have been a problem in the codec your video files use that has been fixed. (MP4/M4V is a container format that could contain video encoded in any number of codecs, so the fact that other MP4 files work doesn't really say too much.)
    – Patches
    Jun 3 '11 at 1:23

It is true, you are using an outdated version that had issues with this. As noted in the changelog:

Changes between 0.9.2 and 0.9.3:

  • Various crashes fixed > in PS, SSA, **mkv, xspf, freetype

You may also want to take a look at CCCP - Combined Community Codec Pack. It helped me to correct many issues with .m4v playback, especially with subtitles.


Versions 0.9.2 upwards have resolved this issue with .m4v files.

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