The files that seem to play correctly have the following settings.
Codex M-PEG-4 Video (XVID)
frame rate: 23.976043
Decoded format: Planar 4:2:0 YUV
Code: MPEG Audio Layer 1/2/3 (mpga)
Sample Rate: 48000 Hz
Bitrate: 128 kb/s
The files that don't play seem to have some sort of difference such as XVID video, but AC3 audio, or 640x428 res instead of 640x272, 44hz mp3 audio instead of 48000hz or I also tried to convert an AVI to MP4 with aac audio and that would not play either. I have watched these sort of files for years with no issue on windows based computers, ipad, set top media players etc. Any help is appreciated. I really don't want to have to convert video's every time. I will this time if that's the only way.