Frame.io’s Friendly Files feature allows the native playback of compatible files without having to wait for a transcode. Once a compatible file is uploaded, it will immediately be ready for playback.
Friendly Files works by leveraging the codec compatibility built into your web browser. Frame.io will still generate all the transcodes it usually does in the background, but the originally uploaded file will be available for playback right away. When selecting playback streams in the player, select Original to view the original, un-transcoded file.
In short, if your browser supports the codec, Friendly Files will support the codec. Different browsers support different codecs and filetypes and that support is constantly changing as browsers get updated. Most web-based codecs are supported by most browsers. H.264 files, for example, are universally compatible.
You can check browser compatibility with specific codecs and file types by using the matrix below.
Q: How do I know if I am viewing a Friendly File?
A: The Frame.io player will say “Original” when playing back a Friendly File. If “Original” is not available in the drop-down menu, that codec is not supported in your current browser.
Q: Why can’t I see an option for “Original” on my file, even if it is listed in the compatibility chart above?
A: Different browsers support different codecs, so make sure your browser supports the codec and that it is up to date. If your account has WatermarkID enabled, Friendly Files will be unavailable.
Q: How do I know if a codec is compatible with Friendly Files?
A: If “Original” is available in the Frame.io player drop-down, then the asset is a Friendly File. You can check codec compatibility using a tool like caniuse.com to see if your file will be compatible. H.264s are universally compatible.
Q: How can I make a Friendly File?
A: You can make a Friendly File in your favorite NLE. While H.264s are universally compatible, you can check to see if your favorite codec is compatible in your browser by using a tool like caniuse.com. Since Friendly Files streams the original file, it will stream it at the file’s native bitrate, so it is recommended that the file is generated at a web-friendly bitrate.
Q: Does Friendly Files support 4K?
A: Yes! If your Frame.io plan supports 4K playback, 4K Friendly Files will also be supported.
Click here to learn more about Frame.io plans.
Q: Can I share Friendly Files with other users?
A: Yes! Friendly Files can be shared just like any other asset on Frame.io. However, different browsers support different codecs natively. A codec supported in Safari might not be supported in Chrome. However, Frame.io will still make transcodes of the uploaded file. If a codec is not supported on a recipient’s browser, they will still be able to playback the transcodes or download the original as usual.