Twitter videos fail with “The media could not be played.”

one of the first things I do when installing the Firefox on Fedora usually involves twitter so its quickly apparent on Fedora that videos and animated gifs (they convert animated gif’s to videos) dont play and show an error “The media could not be played.”

A while ago Cisco come to the worlds rescue regarding H.264 licensing with their opensource version of H264 (www.openh264.org), unfortunately on Firefox this is only used for webRTC and doesnt cover html’s video tag :/ (see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1057646). Its worth installing anyway, so pop over to https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/OpenH264 for more info and how to install it.

Back to our original problem, Twitter videos, the solution is a simple one, we need to install a H.264 codec that will be used by html’s video tag. Firefox uses ffmpeg codecs if available so we can get up an running by installing that library

dnf install ffmpeg-libs

if you (re)start Firefox now you should be good to go. you cant test the codes are installed correctly by popping over to https://www.youtube.com/html5 and it will tell you if there are any issues.

As a side note, you can “solve” this problem by installing VLC, you should do this anyway. VLC installs ffmpeg as a dependency so you can solve your H.264 issue and get a better media player in one go 🙂

sudo dnf install vlc mozilla-vlc

Tags: , , , , ,

Enough of me, let me know your thoughts below...

  1. cinnamon cinnamon says:

    HI Gavin –

    I have the same problem but with IE11 . My twitter vid plays fine in firefox, but I just get ‘the media cannot be played’ in IE11. I’ve tried several things – compatibility view, updated my flash. No luck. Your suggested codec download was for firefox. Would there be a good one for IE11 or any other ideas? Thanks!

    BTW, when entering details, I tried putting in my twitter address, but it wouldn’t take it —- so I did put in my blog’s url. 🙂

    • Gavin Gavin says:

      Hi,

      Ive not got access to Windows with IE11 to test for you but I imagine its the same issue, IE not being able to play the video due to a missing codec. Do you have VLC installed? it installs additional codecs so should help. otherwise all I could suggest would be try another browser.

  2. broken_twitter_videos broken_twitter_videos says:

    There’s no date on your post 🙁 so I can’t tell how old or out of date it is. I have VLC installed and still get the error in Firefox. 🙁

    • Gavin Gavin says:

      Hi,

      thanks for the comment, the date the blog was posted is under the post, but admittedly not easy to see.
      Im currently playing with a redesign for my site as this is looking quite tired now, I’ll tweak the bog posts so the date is clearer.

      you mention you have VLC installed, do you have the firefox plugin as well?