Why do videos from the Internet quit halfway through?

I sometimes try to view certain “free sample” videos on the Internet. I never attempt to make permanent copies; I just download them as temporary Internet files.

When I select some of these vidieos, they pop up in the Windows Media Center viewer. Most of the time, those work fairly well. But some videos appear in windows belonging to the site where I selected the video. For many of these sites, the video will quit downloading when it is almost exactly half as long as the stated length of the video.

At the right-hand end of the progress bar at the bottom of the window, there will be a pair of numbers that usually start out as 00:00/00:00. After the download starts, the first number tells you how far the download has gotten; the second tells the total length. When the download quits, the numbers might be 02:30/05:00, for example.

The download doesn’t just stop; the big play button appears in the middle of the screen so that you can play it again.

Since I am not making permanent copies, I have no idea what format these videos are in. Some of them use a player that has a fullscreen button shaped like a square, four-petaled flower. Others have a little white rectangle with little corner lines at each corner.

I am running MS Internet Explorer 9 under MS Windows 7. I use a dial-up connection to the Internet.

What am I doing wrong (outside of looking at stuff I probably shouldn’t be wasting time with)?

It has to do with the size of your buffer: the amount of memory allocated for the task. I don’t use Microslop Internet Exploder 9 so I can’t tell you exactly how to do it, but the solution is to increase your buffer size. Installing more memory could also work, again, depending on the vagaries of your browser/operating system.

Of course, part of the problem could be that along with the videos, the websites are downloading malware that is turning your computer into a zombie. I understand this is quite HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAPUNYHUMANYOURCOMPUTERISMYSERVANTNOW

Size of buffer was my first thought, but if that’s the problem, why do I get half the file, no matter how long the file is?

Sounds like the files have been truncated. This can be due to an unreliable connection when you’re downloading it (dialup? that’s likely) or possibly the person who made them available intentionally cut them off improperly. In many file formats the total size is stored at the beginning of the file so your total time counter will say 5;00 even through the file was physically truncated at 2:30.

Well, I certainly have had files truncated by failures of my dial-up connection. But when that happens the length of the resulting file is more or less random.

What I am talking about is a consistent tendency for files to be cut off at exactly (or almost exactly) halfway through the file. I doubt if this is intentional, first, because it is happening in files from what appear to be unrelated companies (mind you, I have made no attempt to trace ownership of the companies), and second, because these files are meant to be advertisements for the companies, and delivering only half of what was promised sounds like a bad way to demonstrate the reliability of a product that you are trying to sell.

I have suspected that my problem might be that my default program for opening these files may not be completely compatible with the file type (whatever that is). I should be able to reset the default, but I don’t know what to set it to. Should I be using Windows Media Center, Adobe Flash, or some other well-known FREE software?

If the videos are specifically marketed as free samples, then there’s nothing wrong with downloading them.

My suggestion would be to try downloading one or two, and see if it makes a difference.

I’d rather not have permanent copies of the videos in question on my machine. If I were to croak, it would be better if my heirs didn’t find out that I was a dirty old man.

Anyhow, the sites I am having problems with don’t seem to offer a way to make a permanent copy of the samples.