IMA: how to watch video files?

Started by Jingo, December 19, 2017, 11:58:38 PM

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Just started to play around with IMA on my Win10 miniPC hooked up to my HD Tv.. a great combo!  However, when I browse my database, I see many .MOV thumbnails come up on the screen.. but when I click them, they do not play but instead just show a pixelated image (thumbnail I guess).  Is there no support for MOV files via the browser for IMA or am I doing something incorrectly?  Thx!

EDIT: So... just figured out that MOV files I guess are not playable easily from the browser.. but when I converted one of them to MP4 and chose the VIDEO display layout - it allows me to play the video.  I am not sure why we need to switch to a specific layout in order to play the video files... shouldn't IMA recognize the video format and simply overlay the controls no matter the display layout you are on?  That would enable simple clicking through a family gathering much easier than having to identify by filename those items that are videos and then switching layouts back and forth. 

Guess I'll now need to convert my MOV files to MP4 on import as well... I wonder if a simple rename will work since MOV files are typically MP4 just with a wrapper... off to try.


Browsers support only certain standard video formats. The Apple MOV format is not part od the HTML video standard.

In the special video layout IMatch WebViewer creates and uses a standard HTML5 video player.

See the MDN topic (at the bottom) to learn about which video formats are supported by browsers, and which browsers in which version and on which platform support which video formats. Videos are a patent mess and large sums of money need to be paid to the patent holders and the MPEG in order to be allowed to play video files.


Thx Mario... seems like I was able to get MP4 to work and renaming the file from MOV to MP4 does work.  However, I am having trouble with the renamer in IMatch... shouldn't this work to remove the MOV and replace it with MP4?

As you can see - instead, the source and destination are the same... does Original File Name not including the suffix?  If so - is there something else that I can use?  The Help file seems to indicate that the original file name includes the suffix...  Thx!


According to the help: (just below the "Step Types" headline):
QuoteThe file extension is protected and never changed.
See also this topic for a very similar question:

Win 10 / 64, IMatch 2018, IMA


The Renamer does not change file extensions.

You can do it on the Windows command line easily using:

ren *.mov *.mp4

Note: This must not work for all your files. MOV is a container format and may contain an MP4 data stream. Or something entirely different. Or a MP4 encoded data stream with an encoder that is not supported by your browser on whatever platform you use. Video formats are a great mess, and that everything is patented up to the roots does not help spreading video support across all platforms and software products.


Thx Mario... guess it makes sense that the renamer wouldn't do extensions... not many cases where you would want to just change it wholesale like that.  Oh well... just figured it would be easier to do in IMatch so the files wouldn't need to be re-scanned.  I can do it easily by folder in XYPlorer as well... of course - I just whipped up a quick app to do it as well.  Having trouble getting the final rename to work - but I'm sure I'm just doing something wrong.  Will share once complete.  Thx again - Andy.

EDIT: Ha!  I just realized that my code might be legit.. but the v1/files/rename endpoint might ALSO block renaming a file extension?  I'll hold off on pulling my hair out editing this thing until Mario can confirm...  DOH!   :o


No, this endpoint does not do anything special about the extension. Except from looking for and renaming buddy files as well.


So.. then I should be able to rename the extension using the endpoint?


I have never tried. And you did not be very precise about what you do in your code, what happens, what IMWS returns, ...


Got it to work... was missing an element["id"].. coding oversight... what I get for trying to bang this out in 10 minutes before work!  Very nice... now I can select all my MOV files (from the same camera so I know they are wrappers for MP4) and convert them with a click... then, copy my Imatch DB to IMADB and voila - videos on the big screen!  Still wish there was a way IMA could "sense" the file type and auto-switch the file view to "video" instead of just showing the thumbnail... but I can always create a saved start point "filter" for the videos...   I will post the app over in the app section for those interested... will probably expand it to allow you to rename the extension to anything you would like as well... for those times you may wish to do so since the renamer doesn't allow it.


There is a dedicated IMA feature request list. Feel free to post your requests there.


Thx Mario.. I will add a feature request in and see if anyone else thinks it is worth the programming time... thx!


Hmm.. tried to expand the program to allow you to choose the old and new extension to replace.. and the Post is sending a 500 status... request headers look okay:


Code is basically the same as the MOV to MP4 button... am I missing something obvious here?  Code attached.. thx - Andy.


IMWS never returns a plain 500 result. What did the returned message say? Did you check the IMatch log file for additional error messages / warnings?
Please understand that I don't currently have the time to download, install and debug apps written by users.


No worries Mario... I figured it out this morning after a fresh cup of coffee!  The code is just fine... the system was returning a 500 error but when I looked further (as you suggested) to see the network results - I noticed that it failed because another file with that name and new extension already exists in the DB (I had done that the day before while testing to see if I could simply rename these files).  If I had added in some fail logic - I would have seen that immediately... but the browser debug did show it - I just didn't look deep enough.

Anyway.. problem solved!


In such cases, always remember to check the additional data returned by IMWS. The 500 is only the HTTP status code, telling you something went wrong. What went wrong is contained in the HTTP body/status record. IMWS should have mentioned that the file already exists there.


And it did indeed tell me... I just didn't think to look into the further detail the developer tool provides!  Now I know....  :P


Just make it a habit to do

then(response => {
},error => {

You can then see the returned data in the browser console or in the IMatch Output Panel (Apps).


Hey Mario,

i am not using IMA yet, but i just saw this thread.

Would it be possible to create an app, which runs inside iMatch and uses the integrated chrome browser to show movies?
If it's a legal issue, but technically possibly how would I have to do it? ;-)



This is no problem.

Use the <video> tag in your app's HTML. Specify the URL of the video your app's JavaScript code. Probably you will use the file name of the focused file in the file window for that.

Chrome will play all supported video formats (The video tag supports several formats). For a list and the documentation of the <video> tag, see