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Important Update and Resolution

October 25, 2021

We see many inquiries about Fairplay content playback issues caused by the recent iOS 15 update.  The good news is that Apple is working on a 15.1 release, which addresses this issue.  The 15.1 update is currently in its fourth beta release and appears to be handling the 15.0 regression well.  However, if you need to act quicker, we have some tips that might help you overcome this for the iOS 15 users or users that might not upgrade to 15.1 when this becomes available.

Tip #1:

If you have the video player hidden by using ‘display: none’ style setting, try an alternative method of hiding it, e.g set ‘height: 0’.

Tip #2:

In some cases the video player returns an error: Unable to decode media. In most cases this can be overcome by retrying the playback.

Tip #3:

Also, some people have had success disabling GPU rendering in Safari settings:

  1. Open iOS Settings app
  2. Go to Safari
  3. Go to Advanced
  4. Go to Experimental WebKit Features
  5. Uncheck “GPU Process: Media”

Please note that this last tip must be performed by the end user.

One of my colleagues recently reminded me of how important trait persistence is in our line of work. As we previously blogged, there have been some changes in iOS 15 that have caused some playback issues for FairPlay content on Safari. And we came up with some workarounds which were helpful in some scenarios. The problem was pretty hard reproduce reliably, but we were fairly confident that Apple will address this issue in iOS 15.1.

However, one of our engineers went after this issue like a dog after a bone, and his persistence was rewarded when he made the discovery: iOS 15 is sensitive to the structure of the HLS-manifest and if we restructure the manifest, the problem can be circumvented. We have now modified our latest DRM-content packager to support this structure, and have also prepared a tool that allows our customers to post-process their existing manifests without the need to repackage the content.

If you are not a current customer of ours but need help with the iOS 15 FairPlay issue, contact us at info@ideanovatech.com to see how we can assist you.

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