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):
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?