Observation: MP4 files take longer to start playing then mkv


#1

My vero4k and vero4k+ have been pretty much rock solid when it comes to playback.

Just a few nights ago I wanted to play an mp4 file ( usually I only play mkv ) while mkv always start playing just a second after starting the playback the mp4 file was loading for almost 20-30 sec and then the playback started. Fist I thought that maybe Kodi had to install some codecs or something similar in the background and that that was the reason for the long loading time ( it was the first time I played an mp4 file)

So I stopped the movie and started it again just to check and to my surprise, the loading took very long again and when the movie started there was sound but the screen stayed black.

I then again stopped the playback and started it again the loading took just as long as the previous times but the picture was back.

I than tested with other mp4 files and it always takes long for the playback to start.

If I mux the mp4 file into a mkv the problem goes away.

Before you ask: Files were played back from a USB stick formated to NTFS


#2

Matroska (.mkv) files have much better metadata included in the file, so playback software doesn’t have to scan the streams in the file to find out details like frame rate, etc.

Also, a lot of .mp4 files actually lack metadata that is required by the standard (especially ones with AAC audio), but player software has evolved to deal with this. Muxing to Matroska also fixes this problem.


#3

If you use exFAT or ext4 (preferred); you’ll notice much better startup time on MP4 files.

Sam


#4

I considered formating the usb into ext4 but I googled it and it seems moving the files from a win10 machine with ntfs drives to the ext4 usb is a huge hassle.

I considered setting up network sharing so I could stream files over the network but I don’t know where to start and in the end the 2 minutes it takes to copy files to the 3.0 usb isnt a big deal.

@sam_nazarko is there a way to move data from NTFS drive to ext4 usb on win10 machine ?


#5

There is no good free way for windows to read ext4 formatted drives. You could use exFat instead. It will perform better than NTFS.

In the long run, setting up sharing is the best way to go.


#6

The thing is though my PC is at the same time my “file server” so when I set up sharing I will still share files from a NTFS drive to vero 4k+ wont this be a problem ? Sadly I don’t have a NAS yet because my apartement is just one very big room and I’m still trying to figure out where to put the NAS.

I have also read some comments that turning off the PC is not ideal if the drives are network connected to the vero… Is that true ?


#7

autofs is the best solution if you want to turn the PC on and off without interruption.

Sam


#8

No, the problem with NTFS is that the linux drivers run in userspace, so are slow. When reading over the network the windows system is reading the drive, not OSMC so the linux NTFS drivers are not used.


#9

VMware Workstation is a non-free way that allows you to set up a VM, and a USB drive formatted for ext4 plugged into the PC can be connect to the VM. The VM can also access the local host disks, so you can use that to copy the files.

The question is: does any free VM software allow you to do this same thing?


#10

I hadn’t thought of doing a VM, but that’s a bit of overkill and probably to complex for most casual users.


#11

Well question is what you consider as “free” but surely VirtualBox can do the same. But again it’s an overkill to the problem and proper network sharing would be the easiest approach as the network sharing would overcoem the filesystem differences.