Windows Media Player 11 And Firefox

Windows Media Player 11 has been out for a while now. I just recently installed it since I like to wait until some others have tried Microsoft’s larger updates first. Since the upgrade I went around several sites to see how it performs while using Firefox. It does indeed look as if the busy bees at Microsoft have been hard at work improving Windows Media Player support for Firefox (using Firefox 2.0).

The most noticeable difference is that when clicking on a link to a Windows media file such as a .wmv it correctly launches Windows Media Player and plays without involving the download manager. This is a big usability win right here. It makes the process of watching video much more fluent. In my opinion this alone is worth the upgrade.

Browsing around sites, I couldn’t find any major problems, so the upgrade seems pretty safe regarding compatibility.

I did note that on CNN.com, which nests the player with native controls in a UI that butts right up against the bottom of the player it can get cut off on the bottom by a few pixels. I personally haven’t seen this in Windows Media Player prior, so I presume this is new. It seems like it happens mostly if the window is refreshed, or if it’s toggled back and forth between fullscreen a few times. A screenshot is below (click for full sized):

Windows Media Player on CNN

I couldn’t find any other site with a design similar to that using Windows Media Player, so I couldn’t reproduce it. Either sites are using custom controls (such as CBSNews.com), don’t have anything so close to the bottom of the player, or don’t use Windows Media. If anyone can think of a similar site, or finds one with this quirk leave a comment.

This isn’t a serious issue since the player is still usable, and it’s not something that happens very often (it took several minutes of playing around to reproduce it more than once).

Has anyone else seen issues with Windows Media Player 11? How has site compatibility been since upgrading with Firefox 1.5 and 2.0?

13 thoughts on “Windows Media Player 11 And Firefox

  1. I like the way wmv files bypass the download manager too, but it only happens when they’re served up as video/x-ms-wmv (which is a good thing) but unfotunately a lot of websites don’t do that.

    As for cut off controls, I see that on a few sites and it doesn’t occur in IE7. http://www.whatson.com/kiss100/ is one example I’ve come across.

  2. I have a membership to watch highlights of football (soccer) over the internet but it has never and still doesn’t work in Firefox.

    I’m guessing its (as usual) just the fault of the page designers making the page only compatible with IE because its easier.

    well, thanks to IE tab at least I don’t have to open a new browser anyway.

  3. I’m having problem with embedded WMP 11. Looked into WMP install folder for a plugin to copy into FF plugin subfolder but couldn’t find any that would fit. Any suggestions how to make WMP 11 plugin working inside FF2?

  4. Pingback: Browser Security News » Robert Accettura: Windows Media Player 11 and Firefox

  5. I have observed the problem you describe with WMP 11 plugin getting cut off at the end of the screen on several sites, it is not a one off.

    I thought it was something to do with Firefox as IE and the same WMP11 plugin on the same page would display fine.

    I will try to dig up some more examples of where it happens generally a lot of gaming sites are the best place as they will often have WMV videos.

    Yahoo GamesDomain is the first example I can remember that does this, try the Bioshock Spike TV trailer, click on Watch;
    http://videogames.yahoo.com/videos?page=0

    Yahoo also apply some sort of custom skin to the WMP player controls that doesn’t work in Firefox but does in IE.

  6. Embedded WMP11 doesn’t work with Firefox. I’ve had WMP11 for many weeks now, and it is frustrating to have to keep going back and forth between IE7 and Firefox just for those sites with embedded files. I guess this is all a part of the uber big secret meeting months ago between Firefox and Microsoft. Firefox is letting Microsoft introduce WMP without Firefox compatibility for a period of time to encourage use of IE7.

  7. IE Tab will let you use IE7 inside Firefox. WMP11 uses an Active X controlled DLL in Windows system folder. For now, Firefox cannot use it unless Firefox uses Active X. It’s no longer a plugin or extension that can be placed in the Firefox plugin folder.

  8. I have the same issue with CNN and a few other sites that embed MP3s on their pages. It seems to me that Media Player WILL work on some embedded media player content … I think it depends on HOW the embedded object is declared … as I have 2 different <embed …> commands on the pages that I am programming … so that it works correctly in Firefox.

    Here is a page that WILL work with Media Player embedded in Firefox:

    http://members.aol.com/jrzycri.....st-HS.html

  9. Jibboo.. This works fine for Firefox but does not work in IE6. I need something that works cross browser.

  10. OK, to some who might be interested in a simpler approach in opening local or streamed media, you can play your files by letting your default media player handle it using:

    Play me

    The problem is that it will open a new blank window. To prevent this, put a “target=’_top'” at the end of the tag, that is if you are not using frames (which I a assume you will not if you know SEO). Your new code will be:

    Play me

    Saves you time and headache.

    let me know what you think.

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