My video wont play properly - what is happening?

Android supports a wide variety of video formats and individual devices may well add support for additional formats. The list of “core” formats that Android supports is maintained on the Android Developer Site.

When Xibo encounters a video format that it does not recognise it will still attempt to play it. if this causes an internal error Xibo for Android will mark the video as incompatible and refrain from playing it in the future. This “mark” is cleared each time the Player contacts the Xibo CMS in case an updated video is available.

Storage Options

If your videos won’t play, the first setting to try changing is to use the External Storage option from the Player settings. Xibo for Android uses the Internal Storage option by default on the device to store videos and other media that arrive from the CMS. This option is defaulted as it is guaranteed that it will be available for the application to use. However, some devices have issues with the playback of video if these videos are stored on the internal storage. Using the External Storage option allows the library of local media to be saved to an SD card or some other removable device.

If the device is experiencing difficulty playing videos, then it may be due to the issue with the Internal Storage, it is worthwhile trying to switch to External Storage in the Player options.

Re-encoding Video

If the video still won’t play, the next best course of action is to re-encode the video to be in the standard Android format. This guarantees the best possible playback across all devices.

There are a number of 3rd party tools available that make re-encoding video simple and quick.

Handbrake is a GUI based tool for that can be downloaded for free. It has a simple to use User Interface and comes with pre-set profiles that can be modified for Android. The below settings have proved to work well in testing.

  • Select “iPhone & iPod Touch” preset
  • Check the “Web Optimized” option
  • Change the Average Bitrate in the Quality tab to ~1000kbps
  • Change the size of the output video to your desired width (keep the
    aspect ratio). Keep in mind that most devices are 720p.
  • Save your preset as “Android”.

If you are a libav user you can use the command line tool “avconv” to manage the encoding. The codec you want is passed in on the command line - the following settings yield the best results:

avconv -i source.mp4 -vcodec libx264 -profile:v baseline -b 500k -r 30 -vf "setsar=1:1" -acodec libvo_aacenc -ac 2 -ar 44100 -ab 128k converted.mp4

Win FF is a free tool that can convert between numerous video formats into Android compatible formats. It is a GUI based application and can be downloaded from

Updated Firmware

Device manufacturers may have bundled extra codecs with the later versions of their firmware. If re-encoding the videos it not a suitable option it might be possible to ask for the codec to be included in the device firmware. This would be at the manufacturers discretion. Updated firmware may also resolve issues in earlier firmware preventing good quality video playback.