File size limitations

Technically, there is no limit to the size (MB) or length (in seconds) of the files that can be played through Flash. We've successfully played files as large as 10MB without a hitch. We actually had a 10MB file running through on the home page for quite some time, but decided to take it off to curb our bandwidth usage. Other folks have run 20-40MB files that were 30-60 minutes in length without any problems.

Limitations are usually due to a setting on the server. Check the configuration of the server for any kind of file size or execution time limitation that may exist. There are literally millions of ways to configure a server, so it is difficult to pin-point an exact solution to the problem, should it arise.

If you are experiencing problems with the options listed below, check with your hosting provider to see if there are any limitations set up with PHP, ASP or ColdFusion which limit either the amount of time that a script can execute, or if there is a limit for the size of files that PHP, ASP or ColdFusion is allowed to handle.

- Prevent files from caching
- Startup folder
- Display download button - force

You may want to consider not using these options until the exact issue on the server can be determined.

Possible solutions for PHP - based servers (Unix / Linux / And Some Windows Servers)

Check the following settings in the php.ini file:
The 30 second execution time could be problematic for users who have a slow internet connection, or if there is high network traffic, either on the server's or client's network.

Possible solutions for ASP /  IIS (Windows-based servers)

Some Windows servers may "cap" files at 2MB or 4MB, which may cause issues when using the following options:

- Prevent files from caching
- Startup folder
- Force download

The issue is that the Windows server is configured to limit files that are downloaded based on the configuration settings for AspBufferingLimit in Metabase.xml.

Change the AspBufferingLimit setting in Metabase.xml to a larger size. The default value is 4194304, which is about 4 MB. Change this to whatever limit is reasonable for the types of files your users will be attaching.

This change does not require stopping IIS, but to make the Metabase.xml file write-able, you need to go to the IIS control panel, right click the server, select properties, and check off the box that says “allow changes to MetaBase configuration while IIS is running".

NOTE: If you are not responsible for administrating your server, usually contacting your server admin with a specific request such as "Can you please edit the following configuration setting on my IIS (Windows Server) for the following: AspBufferingLimit, which is found in the Metabase.xml file so that larger files can be downloaded? Right now, the server / ASP is limiting download streams ot 4MB."

Click here for information on how to adjust your server settings to accomodate larger files.

Click here for a Google search on this topic.


There are a number of other factors that can play a role with this issue, such as:

  • The end-users system capabilities, RAM, CPU, HD space and firewall or router settings, service limitations, internet connection speeds, network traffic or server CPU, RAM and bandwidth capacities.
  • Upload / download / bandwidth constrains on the server.
  • If you are using a web-interface (a web page / script) to upload files, often times, the script that handles the upload puts a limit on the size of the file that the script can upload. If the file limit is exceeded a number of things can happen that will cause the file to become corrupted.

As you can see there are many variables to consider with this issue.

The best thing to do would be to "be reasonable" with the size of the files you are attempting to use. We recommend keeping your file sizes to a maximum of 10 megs. File sizes larger than 50-60 MB will take quite some time to download -- even for faster connections. If you split the files into smaller increments you will probably run into less problems for yourself and for those who use your site.







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