FAQ Play Now

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Stream as you download

If you purchased Vuze Plus and entered your activation code into Vuze you will have a Play Now feature that allows you to stream your files while you are downloading them. If you are using the Play Now feature for the first time you will see that the Plug-in for the HD Player will be installed and once the install completed the file will start playing back.

Before buying Vuze considers whether the PlayNow function is the main reason for buying, because few video formats it accepts the function. MKV is not supported by PlayNow.

When you go to the downloading tab in the sidebar and select a file while its downloading you will see that the play button on the top bar shows a green play now button (example 1) and completed files show the blue play button (example 2).


When you select to play a file while it is downloading, you will see the video player analyzing the video for playback.


Once it s analyzed and buffered you will see that the file starts playing back.


NOTE: Some optimizations occur when using the stream as you download feature. All your downloads will be paused and it will download the beginning of the file that you are attempting to playback. Streaming is based on your internet connection/strength and if you are running slow speeds you might not be able to use this feature. Once the video has been analyzed the player shows the video rate and the download rate. To play back with minimal buffering you need your download rate to be higher than the video rate. The lower your download rate is the longer the buffering period. Also, once you start playback, if your download rate drops significantly this may result in re-buffering.

Why do my files not playback while they are downloading?

The Play Now feature allows you to start watching a movie as soon as possible without encountering a stall during playback (something we all like to avoid!). To do so this can require some up-front buffering, it all depends on the bit-rate of the movie and your download speed.

Consider a 600MB movie file that takes an hour to watch. This means that on average the movie is 10MB a minute, or around 170KB/sec. If you can download the movie at 170KB/sec or more then you will be able to watch the movie almost immediately. However, if you can't do so (you have a slow internet connection or the movie has insufficient seeds to allow you to download that fast) then you will need to buffer an amount of the movie before playback can commence. For example, say you can only download at 100KB/sec. In this case the whole file will take 6000 seconds, or 1 hour 40 minutes to download. As it takes an hour to watch the movie this means you can start watching an hour before it completes downloading - therefore you will need to wait 40 minutes before playback can start. The closer you are to 170KB/sec, the less time you will need to wait.

One caveat is that when playback starts the assumption is that you will continue to download at, on average, the same rate. If for some reason your download speed drops, and doesn't recover sufficiently, then there is a chance of rebuffering being required. If this happens then the calculation is re-performed on the remaining part of the movie to provide a new estimated start time that avoids rebuffering.

Yes, I know that, but my movie is still buffering...

Some files can result in multiple-buffering phases at the start of playback due to the organisation of the movie content in the file. Sometimes indexing information is stored at the end of the file and this needs to be downloaded before playback can continue. Vuze will therefore typically download some bytes at the start of the file, then jump to the end of the file to access the index data and then skip back to the start to commence playback. As this behaviour can't be predicted in advance you will see an initial buffering phase, an attempt to start playback followed by further buffering. Please be patient!

If you still get a buffering message while seemingly downloading at a fast enough speed then it may be the case that a part of the file isn't available, or being made available by peers, in a timely manner. You can investigate this by right-clicking on the download and selecting 'detailed view'. Then select the 'Pieces' tab - this shows which parts of the file have been downloaded and which parts are actively being requested and downloaded. Look to see if a piece is stuck. While this may explain buffering there is no easy way to fix the issue other than waiting for the piece to become available. Vuze will do its best to prioritise pieces that are lagging but unfortunately it is not always possible avoid occasional buffering.