Wistia

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Troubleshooting

Nobody likes it when their video's askew. Maybe you're seeing a black screen, maybe you've got a loading block, maybe you just can't seem to embed it. Fear not, video friend! We've got some down and dirty tips to get things sorted. You've got this. :)

Uploading

Video not uploading? Bummer! There's a quick checklist we like to run through if you're experiencing uploading issues.

Clear your Cache

First, clear your browser's cache. It seems silly, but it's saved us in a number of tough situations, so we always recommend it to start. The cache (or temporary internet files) can be cleared in the following locations:

  • Chrome Chrome --> Clear Browsing Data or History --> Show Full History --> Clear Browsing Data...
  • Safari Preferences --> Privacy --> Remove All Browsing Data
  • Firefox History --> Clear recent history
  • Internet Explorer Tools --> Internet Options --> Browsing History

Update Your Browser

Next, make sure your browser is up-to-date. Again, this might seem a bit trivial, but since we use an HTML5 uploader, we want to make sure you can access the good stuff. Check your browser's status here.

Try the Backup Uploader

Third, try the backup uploader. (Just a heads up, this upload process doesn't show a progress bar.)

The Backup Uploader can be accessed by adding ?backup_uploader to a project URL.

So from a project URL like https://support.wistia.com/projects/qdybaq78y0, you'd navigate to https://support.wistia.com/projects/qdybaq78y0?backup_uploader to get to the backup uploader.

From there just select Upload from the Project Actions menu, and you're good to go!

Reset Your Internet Connection

Finally, try resetting your internet connection. Some say it's the oldest trick in the book, but when it comes to connection issues it can be a lifesaver. Try resetting your router and making sure you have a secure connection; a shaky connection can be a nightmare when trying to upload (especially for larger files).

Export Settings and HandBrake

If you're still unable to upload the video, check out our Optimal Export Settings, and make sure your video is within our suggestions.

Wistia plays best with MP4 files with an h.264 codec, a bitrate between 5,000 - 10,000 kbps, and a maximum file size of 8 GB. If your file doesn't fit within these guidelines, try running the file through HandBrake (a free transcoding software) to see if that resolves the problem. Check out our suggested HandBrake settings.

Still struggling? Bummer! Give us a shout and we'll be happy to dive in deeper with you.

Tip

To expedite the support process, please send along the file that's giving you trouble via DropBox, Google Drive, or another file sharing system.

Unable to Process

So you've successfully uploaded your video, and it's queued for processing. But then the processing fails. That's the pits!

Don't panic, there are a few easy fixes.

Most of the time when a video fails to process, it means Wistia was not able to create the correct derivatives for smooth playback. This is often caused by an error in the initial exporting process.

First, we recommend exporting the file from your video editor again. If there's any error in the file, this is the easiest place to scrub it out. Check out our exporting guide for a quick overview of our suggested settings. Then try uploading the video to Wistia again.

If you don't have access to the original file export, we suggest running the file through HandBrake. This will often clear out any corruptions in the file, and get it ready for upload to Wistia. Check out our suggested HandBrake settings.

Still no dice? Time to call for backup.

Leave the file in the failed state (don't delete it!), and send us a link to the video. We'll get it cleaned up in no time. :)

No Video (Black Screen)

Is your video all bark and no bite - all audio, no video?

This is likely caused by a very low frame rate associated with your video. Usually webinars and screencasts suffer from this problem.

The good news is that there is a fix! And that's bumping up that frame rate.

If you can do this from your video exporter, it's easiest to make that change right in the original file. Bump up the frame rate to 24 fps, and then replace that video.

Otherwise, we've got the old standby - HandBrake.

You'll want to run the file through HandBrake and increase the frames per second to 24 fps at a Constant frame rate.

 

Then you can replace that video!

A Note about Screencasts

There's some magic behind-the-scenes on the Wistia side where we can detect screencasts and encode them differently. Our system will create a different set of derivatives for screencasts to help maintain visual quality. Those three derivatives are:

  • iPhone (mobile) asset - 640 px wide MP4 at 800 kbps
  • HD Flash asset at 1200 kbps (size is determined by the original file)
  • HD MP4 asset at 1200 kbps (size is determined by the original file)

The key thing to know with screencasts is that they'll be encoded with screencast logic if the bitrate is lower than 1200 kbps. This way Wistia will deliver an HD asset in-line (usually 1080p), so your content is crisper and easier to watch. If you'd like your videos encoded with screencast logic, we recommend keeping your bitrate below 1200 kbps (this is total bitrate - including both audio and video).

If you don't have control over this in your video editor, you can always run the file through HandBrake (it's our best friend). Just make sure to set the bitrate to 1200 kbps.

Note

HandBrake controls can be a bit finnicky (since it's factoring in both audio and video bitrate), so if you're still not seeing the correct assets, drop down the bitrate a touch lower. Usually the safest place is 1000 kbps, but you can always check out the final bitrate by inspecting the file.

Embedding

Someday we'll live in an embed-less world, but until then, things can get a little wonky when you're pasting in that embed code. Luckily, lots of issues can be fixed with a few quick tweaks.

Here are some common challenges, and how to overcome them. Never give up. Never surrender.

Fallback Embed

The Standard inline embed, while awesome, doesn't work in every situation. We plan for a lot, but we can't plan for everything. If you're not seeing your embed, or something is funky, try using the Fallback (iframe) Embed.

Then, give us a holler, so we can improve the Standard Embed! You'll get our undying love for making Wistia better. 💙

Black Bars on the Top and Bottom or Sides of the Video

Does your video look sort of like this one?

 

Those lines on the left and right sides of your video (or perhaps top and bottom) are the worst! That can happen if the dimensions of your embed code don't match the dimensions of your video.

You'll want to make sure your videos are embedded responsively in this case. Otherwise, be sure that you're not manually adjusting the size of the video in the embed code outside of the Wistia environment. Feel free to give us a shout if you need help on this front!

This Video is Not Authorized to Be Embedded Here

Do you see this big white box when you embed your video?

This means you have Domain Restrictions turned on. To change the domains where your video can be embedded, you'll need to be the Account Owner. This can be done from the Account Settings menu.

Video Not Resizing Correctly

There are generally two ways in which a video might not display at the size you'd expect.

The first, you're embedding in WordPress with oEmbed, but your video is displaying at smaller dimensions than what you set on the Embed & Share screen. If that's happening, it's possible that your WordPress theme specifies a maximum width for content embedded with oEmbed. See this tip in the Wistia WordPress help page for details on fixing that.

Alternatively, you'd like your video to be responsive, but it's not changing size when it should. First things first, make sure you're using the Responsive option. If you're using that already but your video is not responding correctly, check to make sure that the parent container (that's the HTML element surrounding your video, like a set of <div> tags) is set to the width you'd like. That's what the embed code will use to determine how wide the video should be.

If you're having a problem with the size of your video and the tips above don't do the trick, send us a link to the video and we'll help you get it looking great!

Playback

Lots of things can cause playback issues, and at Wistia we're always working on improving your viewer's experience. If you think something might be up site-wide, the best place to look is our Status Page. Here we'll report any outages as soon as they happen, and let you know as soon as they're resolved.

If nothing is amiss there, it's time to start troubleshooting.

Loading...

Got loading problems? The video just isn't playing? Let's figure this out, and rule out the easy things first.

Check Your Internet Speed

Are you (or your customers) experiencing slow loading, or seeing a "Loading..." message on your videos? The most common cause of this problem is that the viewer's Internet connection speed is not fast enough to support video playback reliably. While we take many steps to optimize the playback experience for each viewer, there are some minimum requirements for a smooth playback experience.

Check your internet speed. If you're not up-to-par, contact your Internet provider. If so, let's move on.

Clear Your Cache

Like with video uploading problems, it may seem silly, but it's an amazing fix in a number of situations. Try clearing your browser's cache and restarting your web browser.

  • Chrome Chrome --> Clear Browsing Data or History --> Show Full History --> Clear Browsing Data...
  • Safari Preferences --> Privacy ---> Remove All Browsing Data
  • Firefox History --> Clear recent history
  • Internet Explorer Tools --> Internet Options --> Browsing History

Reset Your Internet Connection

Just like uploading, internet connection can affect playback. Try resetting your router and make sure you have a secure connection. All set? It's time to start investigating.

Try a Different Browser

Sometimes different browsers can cause problems. If you're using Firefox and your video doesn't play, but things are hunky-dory in Chrome, let us know! We'll be happy to dig deeper with you.

Opening a Playback Support Ticket

Sometimes you pull out all the stops, and still nothing works. It's time to call for backup. To help expedite your troubleshooting playback experience, we'd love it if you:

  • Send along the link that's provided from What's My Browser -- this way we can try to mimic the environment. When we can reproduce the problem, we can usually fix it! 🔧
  • Let us know if this is browser-specific. If you try a different browser, does it work? Which browsers?
  • What about the video quality? Are you seeing a problem when it's set to Auto? Is there one specific quality that doesn't look the same as the others?
  • Is it happening for a specific group of users? Are they in a specific country? Telling us where you're located could help us pinpoint the issue faster.
  • Send us a link to where the problem is happening. Does it happen on both your embedded page, and your Wistia media page? If it's one and not the other, we want to know!

All of this information will help us to narrow down where your issue is coming from. The more information you give us, the faster we can work to solve your problem. 🚀

Account

Sometimes things might look a little funny within your account. Maybe you can't see the right menus, or access certain credentials. Let's check out some common account issues.

I Can't See Settings Menu!

Do your account settings look something like this?

That's because you're a user on your Wistia account. Only the Account Owner has access to the full Account Settings menu. A Wistia account is only allowed one Account Owner.

We recommend contacting whoever invited you to your Wistia account if you believe you should have more access. If you think you should be the Account Owner, or would like to know who your Account Owner is, give us a holler. We'll be happy to walk you through the steps to transfer account ownership.

My Video Actions Options Aren't the Same

In most of our help pages, we show a Video Actions menu that looks something like this.

But you might see something like this.

Or even no menu at all!

This is because your permissions don't allow you access to everything within this menu. If you believe you should have different rights, contact whoever initially invited you to the Wistia account.

If you need more clarity around what permissions you have, check out our help pages on permissions and private sharing.

Still confused? We'll be happy to help.

Stats

Something strange with your stats? Maybe your heatmaps aren't showing up? We've got you covered.

Unable to see heatmaps!

So you've uploaded your video to Wistia, and you're ready to watch it and start pulling in stats. But they don't appear in your engagement graph, or the Viewer Stream!

This is because Wistia separates any logged in views (Account Owner, Manager, User) from audience views. If you're logged into your Wistia account (and watching your video within your Wistia account) your views will be logged as Private User Sessions.

Note

Heads up - this is different from IP Filtering. IP Filtering will ignore any views from designated IP addresses - these will not be logged as Private User Sessions.

Still can't see your heatmaps? They should show up pretty immediately. First check out our status page (we'll tell you if heatmaps are at all behind real time). If everything is good, feel free to reach out to us. We'll get to the bottom of it!

Why are total plays and play rate plays different numbers?

Sometimes on your video stats page you'll see a variation between Total Plays and the amount of people who played the video as calculated in Play Rate. Kind of like this:

This is because the first number is actually the total plays. The second number is individual plays. So you might have a few people who watched your video more than once without clearing their cookies or using a different browser.

So in the case of the above stats, two people watched that video twice on two separate visits.