Hello. I am having a problem getting the Videos module to work with the FFmpeg binary. My specs are the following:

phpFox Ultimate version: 4.8.3
Videos module version: 4.7.8
FFmpeg version: 4.3.2
Operating System: macOS Big Sur 11.2.2

The path to the FFmpeg binary is set properly, because on the "FFMPEG Video Utilities" page it now shows the FFmpeg version information, as well as the supported video formats.

I have also verified that folder permissions are set properly on the "PF.Site/Apps/core-videos"; folder.

My cron job is also working fine.

Likewise, the "Enable Uploading of Videos" option is set to "Yes" on the Videos app's "Settings" page.

The "Allow posting on Main Feed" option is also set to "Yes".

Also, the "Can share/upload a video?" option on the "User Group Settings" for registered users is set to "Yes".

QUESTION:

On the "Settings" page for the Videos module, we are supposed to choose either "FFmpeg" OR "Zencoder + S3" but NOT both, correct?

Despite everything looking like it is set up properly, here is what is happening on my timeline/profile page:

1. I click on the "Videos" button.

2. I drag and drop a small video that is in mp4 format onto the blue area.

3. The blue area turns green and then says "Your video is being processed and will be available soon after shared."

4. I give the video a title.

5. I enter a description.

6. I verify that the audience is set to "Everyone".

7. I click on the blue "SHARE" button.

8. A new blue area appears below the green area and says "Your video has successfully been saved and will be published when we are done processing it."

9. In the same blue area, there is a white "Continue" button. If I click on it, it presents me with the opportunity to upload a new video.

Despite waiting, I don't see the uploaded video displayed anywhere: not on my timeline, not on the main news feed, and not in the videos section at https://csnet.live/index.php/video/.

On a positive note, if instead of uploading a video from my hard drive, I paste in a URL for one of my videos on YouTube, it DOES work properly. The video shows on my timeline, on the main news feed, and on the "Videos" page as well.

QUESTION:

When I upload videos from my hard drive, exactly where are they stored on my server machine's hard drive? What is the folder called? What permissions does it need? 755? 777?

SUGGESTION: One thing that would help is if a progress bar would appear in our web browser window which shows the progress of the video upload, and then an on-screen confirmation that it has been successfully uploaded.

Topics: videos, ffmpeg, upload, local, path
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I recently had a similar issue. My server said I needed to go with 777. I forget the exact file though as it has been a few months. However when I did user submitted videos are now no longer a problem. If unable to easily figure out keep te thread alive and I will try to go back and look at my support transcripts for a folllow-up. Also, issues like this make have a managed server with good support worth their weight in gold. 

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I recently had a similar issue. My server said I needed to go with 777. I forget the exact file though as it has been a few months. However when I did user submitted videos are now no longer a problem. If unable to easily figure out keep te thread alive and I will try to go back and look at my support transcripts for a folllow-up. Also, issues like this make have a managed server with good support worth their weight in gold. 

Lewis, are you possibly referring to the "PF.Site/Apps/core-videos"; folder?

If so, in their online instructions, phpFox says to set it to 777. However, they don't state if that is just the top folder, or if those permissions should be recursive all the way down:

https://store.phpfox.com/apps/videos

At any rate, even when I set that folder to 777 recursively, I am STILL not seeing any videos in my timeline, in the main news feed or on the videos page.

Last update on March 10, 2021 by Bill Kochman.
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I put this on my task sheet for tomrrow. About to head to bed. I will review my support logs with my server to see if I can run down their conversation I had. I will touch base tomorrow afternoon. I will check here first to see if you found a solution by then.

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Check to make sure your ffmpeg binary location is properly set. Also there could be a php conflict.

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Check to make sure your ffmpeg binary location is properly set. Also there could be a php conflict.

Lewis, as I stated previously, "The path to the FFmpeg binary is set properly, because on the "FFMPEG Video Utilities" page it now shows the FFmpeg version information, as well as the supported video formats."

I tried using just a downloaded binary via a link on the ff·Works -- formerly FFmpeg -- website, but it did not work, and I got the path error. So, I used Homebrew and did a full installation via the Terminal app.

As I said, the Homebrew installation does indeed work, and phpFox recognizes it. Yet still, dragging and dropping a local video from my computer is still not working for some reason. phpFox allows me to add the file, and says that it will now process it, but then nothing shows up anywhere on my site.

Let me ask you again. When you drag and drop local video files from your computer, do you know WHERE they are actually stored on the web server? In this case, the web server is another iMac on my residential LAN.

BTW, I do NOT use a version of PHP that is stored in the usual place on macOS. I use a customized version that the web server folks told me to download. This version -- 7.4.8 -- runs both my WordPress blog, as well as phpFox, and it works just fine.

But, because this customized version of PHP is not installed in the typical place on macOS, for both my blog's "wp-cron.php" file, as well as for phpFox's "cron.php" file, I have to add a shebang line at the top of each file to point to the right PHP binary. I would think that this would be sufficient to make the Videos app work.

One other thing. Being as I did a full FFmpeg installation via Homebrew, I would think that all of the dependent libraries are present on my web server machine, including the ones that the phpFox folks specifically mention on their Videos app instructions page. In other words:

libmp3lame, libvpx, libtheora, libfdk-aac, libass, libfaac, libx264 and libvorbis.

As a last resort, I am going to use the "brew install" terminal command with each of those and see what happens. I suspect that the Terminal app will report that they are all already installed.

Anyway, if you -- or anyone else here -- have any other ideas how I might get this working, please let me know.

To reiterate, video links -- such as from YouTube -- DO work. It is just local video uploads which are NOT working.

Last update on March 10, 2021 by Bill Kochman.
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Why am I not surprised? As I mentioned in my previous post, just now, I attempted to install, or re-install, the eight libraries which phpFox states in their manual for the Videos app installation instructions, are necessary in order for FFmpeg to process locally uploaded videos in phpFox. In other words, libmp3lame, libvpx, libtheora, libfdk-aac, libass, libfaac, libx264 and libvorbis.

But guess what? Of those eight, FIVE of them are no longer available, which means that they were probably deprecated some time ago. The other three of the eight were ALREADY installed -- as I suspected -- and were already linked. For the five which could not be found, the Terminal app reported this:

Error: No available formula or cask with the name "libmp3lame".
Error: No available formula or cask with the name "libtheora".
Error: No available formula or cask with the name "libfdk-aac".
Error: No available formula or cask with the name "libfaac".
Error: No available formula or cask with the name "libx264".

In fact, it automatically checked the github repository and couldn't find those five there either.

I really wish that phpFox would keep their online manual up-to-date. A number of times now, I have referred to it for assistance, only to discover that the graphics they use in their manual are outdated and don't match what Apple shows on their website, or else their instructions don't match what Apple says on their website, or else their instructions are simply not clear enough. Being a person who is prone to efficiency and details, it really causes me frustration. Folks, please work on updating your manual. Thanks!

Last update on March 10, 2021 by Bill Kochman.
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Bill, I wish I could help but dealing with Mac I am lost. My observations is that it does take videos a little while to process. Not sure how powerful your server is but that could dramatically effect it I imagine, especially if dealing with large videos. YouTube linking is basically just a window into YouTube so there is no processing there, which is why that feedback happens so quickly. 

 

A run down of my support basically said this when I had asimilar issue: We installed FFmpeg PHP extension for PHP 5.6, We are unable to install the said PHP extension for PHP 7.x due to conflicts with Zend. Makes me wonder what is going to happen when I have a nice big vcoomunity on it and the server says time to upgrade to PHP 7.x or higher. Sounds like a lurking issue already.

 

As for where my videos get stored it is: PF.Base/file/pic/video

 

Based on your rundown your skillset is far above that of mine. At some point I would love to learn more about a home based server, so I could have more control of the environment. I have several sites and am dealing with a php upgrade now on one they say I have no choice in but when they ran their initial test it broke my site. I am having problems with the upgradee and may have to go with phpFox to help, which I am not real excited about as they are a little less forthcoming on questions I have asked and do not seem to place much priority on support servcies. This is a huge concern as the website in quesiton is my main income earner.  I like the version of the site as it is now and if I was in control of the server upgrades would be on my timeline. I have a philosophy however of if it is not broke don't fix it. I hate upgrades for the the simple purpose of upgrading. Always ful of gotchas, snags, unwanted fetaures, unnecessary changes and lots of troubleshooting on things noone seems to have a clear answer on.

 

There are a lot of pluses with phpfox but they could definitely use help with their communications, support and documentation. As an owner of several small businesses myself I understand the challenges that go along with administration tasks, as a client I understand the frustration many of us face when we are dependent and need the help and it comes slowly or not at all. When you find the answer to your issue please do take the time to post it. I have found out through experience that the forum here can be better in many cases than seeking direct support.  Chances are if you are having the problem so are others. Having great minds on the forum is nice. I would love to see it progress to the point where it was a top tier support network.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello again Lewis. Thank you for your response. I appreciate it.

For the record, the video I tried to upload from my iMac to my server machine was only 6.1 MB in size. So I would think that it would be processed very quickly.

My server is an iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017) with a 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM, so I don't think that is the issue. There is usually 7 or 8 GB of free RAM, and sometimes more. I am relatively certain that something else is going on with regards to my problems with the Videos app.

Your remarks regarding the FFmpeg PHP extension are troubling. In the online phpFox instructions for the Videos app, there is no specific mention of needing a FFmpeg extension installed in PHP. It does, however mention needing a FFmpeg installation on the server machine, or else using the other method with Zencoder and Amazon S3. I can't afford the latter, so in my Videos app setup, as I mentioned earlier, I point it to my FFmpeg installation instead, which phpFox seems to accept as a valid FFmpeg installation.

Out of curiosity, I did check my PHP installation, and I did NOT find a FFmpeg binary in the "bin" folder. I am going to write to the developers of the web server software that I use, and ask them to include it in their next release of PHP 7.

Thanks for pointing me to the location of uploaded videos. That is really helpful, because it will help me to determine if videos are actually being uploaded to my server, or if that is failing to occur.

This story gets even weirder.

I assumed that video links -- such as to YouTube -- were working fine. So, I set up a new page on my phpFox site where I could add links to my small collection of about 30 Christian-oriented YouTube videos, which I made about 2.5 years ago. I was really happy with the new ability to offer videos on my site ... until I hit the aforementioned snags. But now there is new weirdness.

After setting up my new videos page, aside from trying to upload videos from my computer, I also added a new post with a link to one of my YouTube videos. It worked fine, so I assumed everything was okay. Yay, me! But, my excitement was short-lived.

After adding one post to my new videos page with a YouTube video link included in it, I was going to make a number of other new posts on my video page with one video link per post. But you will never guess what happened, and I still don't understand it.

Even though I am absolutely certain that I used a different YouTube link in my second post, it displayed the very same video as in my first post. In fact, I tried several times, and the very same thing kept happening, and continues to happen. Even if I delete all video links and posts on my new video page, and make a brand new post with a YouTube video link in it, and then make another new post after the first one, the same thing just keeps on happening. In other words, despite the YouTube URLs clearly being different, all links display the very SAME video. I just don't know what to think at this point. I don't know if it is something that YouTube is doing to restrict us, or if it has something to do with the phpFox Videos app itself. I am even beginning to wonder if it might have something to do with the YouNetCo Facebook template that I am using.

At any rate, this is yet another issue I need to now write to the phpFox support staff about. It just seems that the Videos app is not working right for me at all, even though I appear to have everything set up properly, as far as I know.

Yes, having total control over your own web server and website is a HUGE plus. Nobody can mess with it, or dictate to you what you can or cannot do on it. Plus you have direct access to it when problems occur, without the need to wait for third party tech support to help you out. Of course, it can also be VERY frustrating when problems occur which you do not understand. Trust me when I say that I have learned a lot over the years through much research and trial and error.

Anyway, if I do eventually work out these Videos app problems, I will try to remember to post something here.

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