I want to create something like Apples Mac Pro product page http://www.apple.com/de/mac-pro/ where html5 video playback is being controlled via javascript (by manually setting the currentTime attribute of the video). It works perfectly when I use their video but not at all with my own videos. How can I convert my videos so that they play back nicely?

Using ffmpeg I tried everything I could think of like

  • removing the audio track
  • decreasing the videos dimensions
  • decreasing the framerate
  • setting the framerate to 30fps (like in apples video)
  • converting their video to jpgs and create a video from those frames (i thought maybe the color-spectrum made a difference (mainly black))
  • different options for quality (-crf [18-30] -preset [veryslow-veryfast])
  • decreasing the length of the video (apple’s video is 47s long)

I also tried some different options of handbrake but nothing helped.


ffmpeg -i macpro_main_desktop.mp4 


Input #0, mov,mp4,m4a,3gp,3g2,mj2, from 'macpro_main_desktop.mp4':
    major_brand     : mp42
    minor_version   : 1
    compatible_brands: mp42mp41
    creation_time   : 2013-10-16 22:55:31
  Duration: 00:00:47.03, start: 0.000000, bitrate: d kb/s
    Stream #0:0(eng): Video: h264 (Main) (avc1 / 0x31637661), yuv420p(tv, bt709), 1120x840, 2797 kb/s, 30 fps, 30 tbr, 30 tbn, 60 tbc (default)
      creation_time   : 2013-10-16 22:55:31
      handler_name    : Apple Video Media Handler
    Stream #0:1(eng): Data: none (rtp  / 0x20707472), 139 kb/s
      creation_time   : 2013-10-16 22:55:31
      handler_name    : hint media handler

here is an example of the videos I encoded via ffmpeg:

Input #0, mov,mp4,m4a,3gp,3g2,mj2, from 'video-720-main-30fps.mp4':
    major_brand     : isom
    minor_version   : 512
    compatible_brands: isomiso2avc1mp41
    encoder         : Lavf56.15.102
  Duration: 00:05:00.49, start: 0.033333, bitrate: 420 kb/s
    Stream #0:0(eng): Video: h264 (High) (avc1 / 0x31637661), yuv420p, 1280x720 [SAR 1:1 DAR 16:9], 284 kb/s, 30 fps, 30 tbr, 15360 tbn, 60 tbc (default)
      handler_name    : VideoHandler
    Stream #0:1(eng): Audio: aac (LC) (mp4a / 0x6134706D), 48000 Hz, stereo, fltp, 128 kb/s (default)
      handler_name    : SoundHandler
  • I doubt the presence of an audio track or frame size or rate has anything to do with it. Try adding a hint track, like in the Apple video, so "-movflags faststart+rtphint"
    – Gyan
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 14:53
  • Are you sure that the problem is not your HTML or Javasript code? Embedding videos in HTML5 is kinda tricky, especially if you want to control it using custom controls/Javascript
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 15:42
  • Hi. @Mulvya thanks for the hint with the hint track. It really helped but playback is still really slow. @ MoritzLost I am quite sure that the video is the problem because when I use apples video I can scrub through without any lag. The code is extremely simple atm. I just update the video's currentTime property on scroll.
    – gang
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 15:51
  • Can you link to your and Apple's videos?
    – Gyan
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 15:54
  • @Mulvya I added the links.
    – gang
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


The Apple video uses a profile with fewer reference frames and also carries a streaming hint track.

The following ffmpeg command template should create a quick seeking MP4 file:

ffmpeg -i input -c:v libx264 -profile:v baseline -x264opts keyint=3:min-keyint=2 -{other video encoding parameters} -{audio encoding parameters} -movflags +faststart+rtphint output.mp4

Given the profile and GOP sizes set, compression effiency won't be great.

  • @gang Did this solve your problem? I tried this but am still stuck with a slow scrub :-(
    – bennlich
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 23:29
  • Show the full console output of the command you ran. You can upload it to pastebin or the like.
    – Gyan
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 5:21
  • @bennlich yes this solved my problem.
    – gang
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 7:40
  • @Mulvya thar she blows: pastebin.com/tiSDPAVZ
    – bennlich
    Commented May 19, 2016 at 21:43
  • Add -r 25. What I can see is that you have a variable frame rate input with an incorrectly flagged FPS value stored in the container and that's leading FFmpeg to use very large timebase values.
    – Gyan
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 5:20

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