Video Content not playing

The video content in “TED Talks-Business,” “TED Talks-Ed” and “Crash Course” isn’t playing beyond the first image. The content appears to load, but it’s frozen.

“TED Talks” is playing just fine, but the other three modules aren’t playing beyond the title screens.

Hello @TBKittel,

Can you please tell me you RACHEL version and Kiwix version from the RACHEL admin page?

You can get there by doing the following steps

  1. Navigate to the home page of RACHEL
  2. Click “admin” in the banner on the top right
  3. Log in with your admin login/pass. By default this is admin/Rachel+1
  4. Navigate to the version page
  5. Here you will see a RACHEL and Kiwix version.


Thank you for the quick reply, James! This particular unit is used in a jail, and I will be back in the facility on Wednesday afternoon. I will reply with this information then.

Happy to help! There are a few possibilities that might help to check while you’re there.

  1. The modules are newer and have the name “_2021” but the device hasn’t been updated to use the latest Kiwix that supports them. The Kiwix version should be 3.1.2 on the version page to support those modules.

  2. The browser being used doesn’t have the codecs installed to support the video format. This can happen if you’re using Chromium instead of Chrome and don’t have the extra codecs installed. It might be worth trying in multiple browsers if possible.

  3. The full module wasn’t downloaded so not all of the content is there.

  4. The WIFI is slow due to many connections.


1, The RACHEL unit is 4.0.0. The Kiwix version is 3.1.2. The unit we are using is brand new, having just been replaced in October, 2022. It seems this isn’t the issue.

  1. The unit is being used in a corrections setting, and our ipads are connected to the WiFi signal from the RACHEL unit a few feet away. The ipads are not connected to any content via an internet browser, they’re just talking to the RACHEL unit. Our internet access is carefully restricted in the corrections setting, and no internet browser is involved. Or am I misunderstanding the technical aspects of using RACHEL?

  2. I can’t speak to the downloading of the content, but the modules in the library menu do have _2021 at the end of their names. However, the videos do play on my home laptop (see below)

  3. At the time we discovered the issue, there was only one ipad in use with RACHEL.

I brought the RACHEL unit and one of the ipads home. When I used my laptop to access the RACHEL menu, I was able to play the video content on my computer. However, I’m still getting frozen images for TED-Ed, TED-Business and Crash Course on the ipad. Perhaps I need to speak to my campus IT guys about the ipads. Can you recommend a solution that might apply to the Apple ipad hardware? I’m thinking that if the problem was #3 (full module not downloaded), then the videos wouldn’t play on the laptop.

Hi @TBKittel,

It sounds like the iPads are having issues playing Google’s .webm video format that Kiwix use to encode videos to smaller sizes. This looks to be an issue before recent versions of iOS that have a newer version of Safari with support for webm. The iPads may need to be updated to a newer iOS. If they can’t be updated some of the options I’ve seen so far are

  • Try a different browser app that supports webm
  • Download the videos to the device and use the VLC media player app to play them
  • Try installing a plugin for Safari that provides webm support.

It may be worth discussing with your IT team in case there are security issues around those options. If you want to test using the internet to be sure it’s not the connection this is a direct link to one of the TED Business videos

This worked in Safari on my iPhone so it should work on an iPad running a newer iOS.