CNN Relaunch

CNN Relaunched with a slightly tweaked site (nothing to major, some xhtml, and slight code clean up apparently). The big feature is now the video (which was subscription only since 2002) is now free. The downside is that it’s no longer Real Player, but Windows Media. The quality isn’t at all bad. It didn’t detect WMP in Firefox, but it has a button to override detection, so I could still view the video just fine, but not good for Mac and Linux users. I wish they would have stuck with Real Media. At least they are relatively decent at being cross platform, even if their player is extremely bloated. If you want to support all platforms, and use one of the big 3, Real Media is still the best. If Mac and Windows is your target, Apple wins by a longshot (the player is essentially identical on both platforms). Real is a bit lacking on non-windows platforms, but does appear to cover the most with a player.

At least there’s free video now. Finally catching up to MSNBC and FoxNews. MSNBC obviously uses Windows Media, while FoxNews uses Flash, which is slightly lower in quality, but cross platform, and loads relatively quickly.

Update: I reinstalled WindowsMedia for OS X, and it did detect just as it did with Firefox on Windows. But it for some reason never got past my Firewall (unlike the windows version). Both systems are behind the extact same firewall with the exact same settings. So it didn’t work, but it’s progress. Perhaps with the next update it will work, or there’s a work around. I’m open to any comments/suggestions on getting it to work in Firefox and/or Safari on OS X.

11 thoughts on “CNN Relaunch

  1. «but not good for Mac and Linux users.»

    It works just fine in Firefox for Mac with Windows Media Player 9.
    I have not yet tested in Safari.

  2. Check out the bbc [http://news.bbc.co.uk]. They have free video that uses Real Media and pretty good coverage. Their site isn’t littered with with ads either.

  3. There is a special feedback form on CNN for video:
    http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form9.html?1
    So maybe we can get back the Real Video format or at least they could provide it as an addition to WMV.

    Oh and I hate it also that they require the use of Flash to display video, And there isn’t even a Flash player plugin for 64-bit browser (not even for Windows x64).

    It is handled much better on BBC. And they are even developing some new video format that will be completely free and open.

  4. What is with with Windows Media Player all of a sudden being shoved down your throat by so many major companies that used to use other products.? Is Bill Gates dumping and making sweet deals for companies to switch? In the last two years every local TV station around here dropped RealPlayer, Quicktime for Media Player 9. But to make matters worse the local do not give you a chance to try with Wine and 6.5 on Linux or Apple OSX with Media Player 9. The one station is so pathetic that they check you browser and OS. You have to be running Windows 2000 or newer on I.E. 5.5 or newer to watch. So again I have to explain to family and friends that have had me straighten or build them a computer and other than my dad who at the time 71 I got to build and switch him over to Linux everyone else went with the XP. But I did get everyone to start using Firefox/Thunderbird or Mozilla Application Suite. Sure enough I have all ready had them call or e-mail why they can’t get Video on certain sites. In fact on My aunts and cousins I hid the I.E. so the kids would stop using it and going to all these sites getting spyware on the computer. I really thought as Mozilla browsers started to eat away at I.E. Share more and more websites would stop the being one browser brand only. I have notice that getting better but now we seem to be going to 95% brand specific media player. As far as I read no group or government seems to be worried about it.

  5. «But it for some reason never got past my Firewall (unlike the windows version).»

    It is surprising. I can see CNN videos on my Mac using Safari 2 and Firefox without any problem, even if my machine is protected by Mac OS’s Firewall and a Linksys router.

    My advice is to go in Windows Media Player’s Preference window. On the Network Settings tab, uncheck Multicast, TCP and UDP. This should force WMP to use the HTTP protocol, which is probably not blocked by any firewall.

  6. “I have notice that getting better but now we seem to be going to 95% brand specific media player. As far as I read no group or government seems to be worried about it.”

    Than you should follow the european politics more thoroughly. Last year the comission fined Microsoft a record of 500 million euro (ca. $600 million) for exactly that.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3563697.stm
    Among other things they were obligated to sell a version of Windows without any media player, it’s called “Windows edition N”. Google a bit about it, the case is rather interesting.

  7. Abdulkadir Topal, I do read the news paper and internet news and technology sites. Where as my goverment gave Microsoft a slap on the wrist the EU used a ruler and they still came out smelling like roses. The money is a drop in the bucket for them as a fine and what do you think will happen when some one does buy a new computer without MediaPlayer and starts hitting sites requiring it? With most commercial sites using WMP having a link right there for those who don’t to go to for their free version. Like I said I can’t say for everyplace in the world, but in my little corner I am seeing more and more websites using WMP and dumping all the other media players. But what really stinks is when it works best with I.E. and 2000 or XP only. I do read MS is making deals and going out of his way to have the recording and motion picture industry use WMP codecs and DRM as the industry standard.That is something to worry about.

  8. Mathieu, I have searched the web far and wide for a solution to my problem. Yours is the only answer in the billions and billions of web content that works. I opted to “force” the HTTP protocol just as you suggested, and viola, for the first time ever I was able to play CNN’s video. I am going to post this solution at Battle Blog and reference the link here. Thanks again!

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