2007-05-02

FileMaker+QuickTime+Windows=Argh!

Normally I enjoy working with FileMaker, but on a recent project struck a number of serious issues with QuickTime container fields in a database.

Crash with Audio File

If you insert a QuickTime music file into a container field (or have a calculated container field pointing to an external file), then FileMaker will crash. Sometimes when you insert the file, sometimes when you start playing, and sometimes when you stop—but consistently crashing.

Error signature: AppName: filemaker pro advanced.exe AppVer: 8.5.2.378 ModName: quicktime.qts ModVer: 7.1.5.120 Offset: 00057ff6

We experimented with .avi files, .mp3 files, .mov files, and more. The only consistent factor was every file without a video track would crash, and every file with a video track wouldn’t.

It was hard to believe there was such a fundamental problem. We took one of the .mp3 files which was crashing and wrapped it inside a .mov with a video track (a single frame): no crash. We disabled the video track: crash. We removed the video track: crash.

Workaround: add a video track or text track. The movie controller can be resized and the border made invisible such that you can’t tell a video track is present.

A longish session with Google told us this problem had been around a long time, yet FileMaker Inc. said they’d never heard of it.

Special thanks to Allan for quickly putting a set of test files together; also Brendon, Tim @ FileMaker Inc Au, Ivan, and Patrick for their thoughts.

QuickTime Controller Jumps Ⅰ

If you have the status area showing and start playing a movie the QuickTime controller will jump to the left.

Speculation: somebody forgot to include the width of the status area when sending the ‘place to draw the controller’ to QuickTime…

Workaround: hide the status area.

QuickTime Controller Jumps Ⅱ

Set up: A layout in list mode and a QuickTime container in the header or footer.

If you start the movie playing and then scroll while the movie is still playing, the QuickTime controller will jump vertically (to a different position each time you scroll). The amount of the jump is related to the height of the body section.

No realistic workaround found 8-(

Sound Stutters

Set up: A layout in list mode and a QuickTime container in the header or footer.

If you start the movie playing and then scroll while the movie is still playing, the sound will stutter every time the layout is scrolled.

No realistic workaround found 8-(

Misc

All bugs reported… None happen on a Mac.

QuickTime 7.1.3, FileMaker Advanced 8.5v2, Windows 2000 SP2 (happens under other configurations too)

4 comments:

Denis said...

Thanks for the heads up on this annoying bug. I'm seriously tempted to put some pro-mac joke in the comment but that would be idiotic. Is there an intermediary conversion utility that you could use or possibly a batch file to have Windows execute some kind of conversion natively before import?

Just a thought

Bare Foot Guru said...

Denis: Yeah, there were flippant comments about a certain platform's superiority! In our case it's a solution being distributed on DVD-ROM with 101 mp3 files (literally). Because the content isn't changing we were able to perform a one-of exercise of wrapping all the mp3 files inside .mov containers with a text track. We hired HONEYcom to do the work, and they AppleScripted QuickTime Player Pro to add the text track.

Anonymous said...

The bug is annoying. But there is a workaround:

- open quicktime
- go to prefs -> quicktime settings
- go to advanced tab
- Video -> switch to GDI only

the same setting resolves Quicktime related Firefox crashes

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