Making iPhone Compatible Video

My internet .mov videos compressed in H.264 played fine in most desktop browsers but not on my iphone. My objective is to find a single format to use for both desktop/laptop and iPhone browsing.

The original video was converted in Apple’s Compressor. I first tried several streaming options, i.e., hinting, fast start, and etc, yet it still didn’t work. Then, I used the iPhone output setting, and it worked; however, manual compression features are limited on this option; cropping is a specific feature desired.

I then did some testing from Final Cut Pro’s Quicktime export option. I tested the videos by uploading them to my server and accessing them directly via a browser url, e.g., Following are several of the test files:

  1. Quicktime Export from Final Cut Pro in iPhone mode:
    It works and plays back on the iPhone, but no customizable options are available. Reference file: iphonetest1.m4v
  2. Output through FCP quicktime using mpeg-4:
    I used the settings from Steven Gulie’s article, Preparing Video for the iPhone, and they didn’t work. Safari gives me this error, “Safari can’t download this file.” Here are images of my settings – image1, image2. Reference file: iphonetest2.mpv
  3. Output through Compressor to H.264 .mov file:
    I used a .mov option very similar to the iPhone output preset, and I couldn’t get it to work. Safari gives me this error, “This movie is not supported.” Here is a text file with the settings, Compressor Quicktime settings summary. Reference file: iphonetest3.m4v

I can’t get Steven’s technique to work. I followed Steven’s article very closely; is there a small setting or feature I’m missing?

I tried additional routes; but the ones above were the main directions. I could use Javascript to give different files depending on the browser or provide a link for iPhone viewing, but I would rather stick to a single file that works across the board. Solution to be continued.

Resources and links:

Steven Gulie’s article, Preparing Video for the iPhone
Jesse David Hollington article, The Complete Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats

3 Comments to “Making iPhone Compatible Video”

  1. Joel Simone

    I posted this article, Custom iPhone Compression, on Apple’s support forums sometime ago, and I still haven’t received a reply. When I get the time and find a solution, I will post it in this article and on the forum.

  2. Jonas


    I just wanted to let you know that I have the same problem. Let me know if you come up with a solution :)

  3. Joel Simone

    Jonas, I certainly will. If you come across a solution, please feel free to post a link or info in the reply, thanks!

Leave a Reply