How to Get Rid of Slow Streaming MP4 Video Files

6 minutes read

Streaming a video involves a continuous transfer of small files from the server to the user. It allows the user to smoothly watch the videos without waiting for the download. It also offers the end user to spend less bandwidth and time playing videos. This is the basic reason behind the popularity of video streaming. Sometimes we will face issues while streaming MP4 video files not to worry, this article helps you in resolving the slow streaming problems.

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With the introduction of MP4 videos, the process of streaming and enjoying audio-visual media has become remarkably convenient for users. MP4 videos, which are essentially HTML5-encoded videos stored within an MP4 container file, have gained immense popularity among content creators looking to publish videos online. However, despite their widespread use, several issues arise during the streaming of MP4 files. 

Some of the most common problems include choppy video playback, audio stuttering, missing frames, unsynchronized subtitles, long buffering times, video lag in VLC or any other media player, and other frustrating playback difficulties. In this article, we will delve into the underlying reasons behind the slow streaming of MP4 videos and present effective solutions to ensure smooth playback.

Reasons for Slow Streaming of MP4 Videos:

  1. Slow processing speed: The computer's processing speed affects its ability to decode and render video data, leading to slow streaming.
  2. Less memory availability: Insufficient memory can cause buffering issues as the system struggles to handle video data.
  3. Low bandwidth: Slow internet connection or limited bandwidth can result in buffering and slow playback experiences when streaming HD videos due to increased demand for data. This can lead to errors like "This video file cannot be played." 
  4. Loosely optimized MP4 video file: Poorly optimized MP4 files can lead to inefficient data retrieval and slow playback.
  5. Incompatibility Issues: The inability of a computer to receive the video file or outdated software may struggle to handle MP4 video files efficiently.

Unveiling the Mysteries Behind MP4 Video Slow Streaming:

MP4 files are constructed with small data files termed atoms, which hold all kinds of audio and visual information related to the video. These bits of data are transmitted in a stream to the user while watching the video file. But there are some more special atoms that are called moov files. These moov atoms have all the information related to the video and atoms that hold the data.

When the streaming is requested, the player or browser starts gathering the file information and looking for these moov files. The basic demerit of using this format is the scattering of the atoms, which means scattered information.

When trying to stream the atoms, the player would look for moov atoms at first to gather the information of all other atoms and start playing the video. This is the buffer time that you experience every time you stream a video. So if the moov file is easily found, it will initiate the flow of all the atoms. Otherwise, the player would be continuously looking for moov files and download all the atoms meanwhile, without playing the video.

How to Fix Slow Streaming MP4 Videos?

1. Optimize Encoding: While creating an MP4 file, you can optimize the video file for better streaming. This will reorganize all the atoms of your video along with the moov files, making it better for streaming.

This can be done during the encoding of the video. The encoding platform offers an option to 'optimize for streaming' or 'optimize for the web.' This helps in arranging the moov files at the start, and hence the player finds it convenient during streaming to retrieve other atoms smoothly and serially.

2. Choose the Right Player/Browser: Streaming the video with a relevant player or browser is a crucial part of video playback. Most browsers and players are equipped with this streaming function, but all of them are designed for different codec efficiency. There is also a dissimilarity in the size of the software of the browser.

The use of light players is recommended with an adequate codec; similarly, a light browser would encourage smooth playback of the MP4 file.

3. Resource Optimization: With the help of cleaning software and a little effort from your end, you can free up a lot of space. This would lead to generating space for streaming operations.

There are some methods that are helpful in optimizing resources for our purpose.

  • Close all running applications.
  • Close all windows that are not required.
  • Disable add-ons and other toolbars.
  • Shut down unnecessary programs.
  • Remove all startup programs from the startup window.

4. Internet Enhancement: There are some ways you can lighten the load of your internet connection, hence helping in MP4 playback.

  • Make sure to stop background updates.
  • Improve cable connection.
  • Stop antivirus blocking.
  • Use DNS servers.

5. Delete browser history: Delete all offline content and browser history: Control Panel > Internet Options > General tab > Delete files > Delete all offline content.

There is a huge streaming of MP4 video minutes around the globe on the internet. So many MP4 videos suffer heavy streaming, which makes them slow sometimes. But most of the time, the suggestions above will help you get rid of slow MP4 files.


Streaming MP4 videos should be a seamless experience for all users. By understanding the reasons behind slow streaming and implementing the suggested solutions, you can optimize MP4 files for smoother playback. Whether it's optimizing video encoding, choosing the right player/browser, or enhancing system resources and internet connection, these practices will ensure you enjoy an uninterrupted audio-visual experience online.

About the Author: Molly Owen

Molly is the Lead Technical Specialist with distinguished knowledge and understanding of Mac computers and operating systems. Being a veteran photographer and video recovery specialist, Molly’s expertise in video formats and file repair has helped restore a lot of videos and cherished memories of users. As a technical specialist, she also believes in learning and…