MozillaZine

Talk:Windows Media Player

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

Any reason the first section is "Warnings"? I'd like to move it to the bottom. --asqueella

I'd go along with that. I also think that much of the content here about ActiveX should be moved to the ActiveX page ... Either that, or the title of this page should be changed to "Windows Media Player content and the ActiveX Plugin" or similar --Alice

Contents

Active X

I'm running Mozilla Suite and all I had to do was run the Registary patch, the active X plugin was... damaging and caused many errors. Maybe find a way to re-word that section to make the active x plugin an option if the registary patch does not work? --Stex 06:37, 22 Jul 2005 (PDT)


Keep it short and simple

Can we please try to keep this article shorter? The following section should be two sentences: "Make sure you install the correct plugin for your version of Firefox. After installation, restart Firefox." I took all this cruft out for a reason. Our articles barely support 1.0.7, so why are we even talking about 1.0.1, 1.0.2, and 1.0.3?--Np 15:12, 23 February 2006 (UTC)


Firefox 1.0.x and Firefox 1.5.x releases

Important: Make sure you install the correct plugin for your version of Firefox. Each version of the ActiveX plugin is only compatible with a small number of browser versions. If installed in an incompatible browser the ActiveX plugin it will not function properly and you may experience conflicts with the Flash plugin.

  • Firefox 1.5.0.1 users should install the plug-in for Firefox 1.5.
  • Firefox 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 users should install the plug-in for Firefox 1.0.

Note: Firefox 1.0.3 users should install the "respin" version of the plugin because by default, it will only allow the Windows Media Player activeX controls, same as the plugins for other Firefox versions. The "original" version will allow other activeX controls to run.

After installation, restart Firefox.


I agree that the article should be kept simple if you mean making the instructions as clear as possible. On keeping the article short, if that's an important goal (and that's arguable) why not remove all the ActiveX plugin information to a separate article and link to it? ActiveX isn't a requirement for WMP to work, it's an option for certain websites to work, as is the Greasemonkey extension with scripts like "IE Media Mimic" or "pkLaunch" added. There's already an ActiveX article that could be rewritten and expanded. On the specific matter you brought up, I see your point. We should be advising users to upgrade to the latest Firefox 1.0.x or 1.5 version, not telling them how to install the ActiveX plugins on old Firefox versions. I wouldn't have added the note about Firefox 1.0.3 except that information for 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 was already in the article. In the case of Firefox 1.0.3, it contains so many other security vulnerabilities that it makes no real sense to point out that the Firefox 1.0.3 "original" plugin allows other ActiveX controls to run. Firefox 1.5.0.1 users should still be advised to install the plug-in for Firefox 1.5, though, since the download page makes no mention of that. Alice Wyman 16:09, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
I believe that ActiveX is in this article because WMP is the only reason to have ActiveX. So you're fine if I take out the 1.0.1/2/3 stuff again?--Np 17:03, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
The 1.0.1/2/3 stuff is gone. Alice Wyman 17:41, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Missing plugin

Installing the Windows Media Player Plug-in for Netscape Navigator, available here is reported to work [1] while just copying the individual files fails [2] I added back the "WMP Plug-in for Netscape Navigator" install as a solution, if opying the individual .dll files to the Mozilla browser's plugins folder doesn't work... it seems that something that the "wmpplugin.exe" installer adds must be needed, and it's missing when you simply add the individual files to the Mozilla browser plugins folder. Alice Wyman 01:11, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

P.S. I also added that the more recent .dll file versions should be copied to the WMP program files directory after installing the Microsoft WMP plugin, as a final step, for security reasons and so that future browser installations can find the files through plugin scanning. Alice Wyman 02:58, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I removed the suggestion to copy the WMP plugin files to the Firefox or Mozilla Suite plugins folder since, as far as I know, that's only needed for WMP 6.4 (I had to do that in Windows 95!). Any WMP plugins since 7.0 will be found via plugin scanning, acccording to http://plugindoc.mozdev.org/notes.html#Scanning Alice Wyman 02:31, 10 October 2006 (UTC) .....On second thought, I added it back as a "last resort" step, for systems where plugin scanning may fail. Alice Wyman 14:00, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

ActiveX Plugin and Firefox 2.0

Is the ActiveX Plugin project dead? It hasn't been updated for 2.0 yet.--Np 19:28, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

The last news posted is dated December 2005. Since it won't work at all for 2.0 users, I suggest we move the ActiveX info to a separate article to keep this one shorter and less confusing. We would link to it from this article, and when the time comes that we decide to "drop support" for 1.5, we can remove the link and put the "obsolete" header on the new article.--Np 20:43, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the ActiveX portion of this article adds confusion. We should either create a new article or just move the information to the ActiveX article. Alice 23:14, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
I've removed the info. The TOC looks a lot less daunting now.--Np 04:58, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Testing WMP plugin links

The links in the "Testing WMP plugin" section lead to pages which have been taken down due to excessive bandwidth use. Moogle 17:40, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

(For the record) Those test pages are usually working but, in case they aren't, I added the sentence awhile ago, If the above pages are unavailable, the Testing plugins article links to other audio video and embedded sound test pages that include WMP plugin tests. Alice 23:45, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

New WMP plugin for firefox

There seems to be a better solution to linking of files from dlldump: - http://port25.technet.com/pages/windows-media-player-firefox-plugin-download.aspx

I was going to add this myself, but since i've not contributed anything to this kb and the wmp is big and scary, I decided not to :)
^ 16 April 2007 by Steve england

I found another page that contains a bit more information about the WMP11 plugin installer that is now available for Firefox: http://port25.technet.com/archive/2007/04/16/windows-media-player-plug-in-for-firefox.aspx which says:
It was put together by the Windows Media Player team, and special thanks go to Eric Anderson and Thobias Jones. (And all the other people in the Windows Media Player team). I also wanted to thank Mike Schroepfer and the Mozzilla foundation in helping us get this released.
From now on when you go to the plug-in site at Firefox, you will be automatically routed to Port25 to download and install the plug-in.
In other words, the WMP11 plugin installer should be offered at addons.mozilla.org in the Plugins section, and it is, under the Windows Media Player section, if you click the link, Windows Vers. 11 (XP, Vista). Based on that and the information on the download page, I guess it would be OK to add that link and specify that the plugin installer is for WMP11 only (Windows XPsp2 and Vista) but I'm not sure if it is just for Firefox or if it will also work in other Mozilla browsers. I'm going to wait for any other input first. Alice 23:16, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I have changed the title, because it is not WMP11-specific. I'm using XPsp2 & WMP10 and the plugin installed perfectly fine and works wonderfully. I'll try it on WMP9 as soon as I can. AMO may need to be clearer that this is not a WMP 11 plugin - it is just a WMP plugin. Nowhere on that download page does it say that this plugin is WMP11 only.

The page says XP & Vista only, but I am assuming that that is only what the installer requires. All it contains is the single plugin dll, a readme txt file and a licence rtf file, all of which are placed in the browser plugins folder. I would therefore assume that it can work in other browsers that use the NPAPI plugin architecture (Opera, Seamonkey, etc.), and in older versions of Windows (provided they have a sufficiently recent version of WMP) simply by copying the plugin dll manually.

If anyone out there uses WMP 9 on XP, we would appreciate feedback on if it works. If anyone uses older versions of Windows or other browsers, feedback on how it works there would also be appreciated. You can extract the msi installer from the exe and then the plugin dll from the msi using 7zip. Then just place the dll in Firefox's plugins folder, restart Firefox, and see what happens. Vectorspace 06:35, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

P.S. The plguin is scriptable!! Vectorspace 06:37, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I also have Windows XP Sp2 (upgraded from WinXPsp1) and WMP10. I downloaded wmpfirefoxplugin.exe from http://port25.technet.com/pages/windows-media-player-firefox-plugin-download.aspx and ran the installer, which completed with no errors. <snip> I used 7-zip to extract the files from the ffplugin.msi file but, although files named NPMSWMPdll (160kb) LicenseRtf (147kb) and RelNotesTxt (4kb) were extracted, I also got a 7-zip "Diagnostic messages" box showing a Data error "File is broken" in all three files. I did a Windows search on "NPMSWMP.dll" and "NPMSWMP*" just to make sure, and nada, nothing was copied anywhere. So, I uninstalled "Windows Media Player Firefox plugin" using the Windows Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs entry  :-( I tried re-downloading it two more times (clearing my %temp% folder first) but got the same 7-zip diagnostic message error when extracting the ffplugin.msi file contents. Maybe I'll try it some other time. Alice 13:09, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Ok, maybe you can't extract the msi with 7zip - I saw that it was able to open the msi as an archive and assumed it would be fine. I didn't look too closely or try myself, or I would have realised that the filenames looked wrong (the actual plugin name is np-mswmp.dll) and seen the extraction fail.

But do not despair! Try searching for the true name - np-mswmp.dll - in case it did work. Also, a quick Google search on msi extractor allowed me to find this nifty utility, which successfully extracted the files from the msi installer: http://www.legroom.net/software/uniextract

What I did was copy my FF folder prior to installation, and then compare the number of files between the original and the copy after installation. It added np-mswmp.dll, WMP Firefox Plugin RelNotes.txt, and WMP Firefox Plugin License.rtf to the Firefox plugins folder Vectorspace 17:45, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I reinstalled the "Windows Media Player Firefox plugin" using the original download and it DID work. I guess I was too quick to assume it didn't after getting the 7-zip extraction error message. I did what I should have done to start with, and checked my Firefox about: plugins list after the install. It now shows, at the top if the list: Microsoft® Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin File name: C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins\np-mswmp.dll. ..... I'm planning to copy the "np-mswmp.dll" file to my SeaMonkey plugins folder and test it but I'm pressed for time right now. Alice 18:35, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I was not able to make the plugin work in Windows 2K with WMP9. The installer failed due to wrong version of Windows, and adding the plugin dll manually did nothing. Either it requires Windows XP or up, WMP10 or up, or must be installed using the installer - the latter is quite unlikely IMHO. I uninstalled the plugin through add/remove programs and manually copied just the dll, and that worked. However, that could have just been because the plugin was previously installed. We really need an XP with WMP9 user to test it - that would all but confirm if it needs WMP10+ or XP+ Vectorspace 18:54, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Works fine on my SeaMonkey 1.0.8 installation and on my BonEcho 2.0.0.4pre nightly zipped build when "np-mswmp.dll" is copied to those plugins folders. My zipped GranParadiso 3.0a3 gave me problems with embedded WMP content so I removed the new plugin, then found that it didn't work that well with the old plugin either, which I never noticed since I don't use GranParadiso very often. Alice 19:45, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
We really need an XP with WMP9 user to test it - I just saw a WMP 9 WinXPsp2 user report success here. Oh, and I've updated this article as well as Firefox issues on Vista to add the new plugin information. Alice 19:45, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I was able under Win 2000 SP4 with WMP9 to install the new WMP plugin for firefox without any problem. I just put the file "np-mswmp.dll" manually in the plugin folder of the firefox directory. After this, the following WMP(11) stream website was fully functional: http://mediathek.zdf.de This website does not work with the old WMP plugin. I was also able to recognizes the new plugin under Win ME with WMP9 in Firefox, unfortunately with no effort. I will test this again if I have more time... lion10 10:05, 2 September 2007 (CEST)

Installation?

When users come to this article, they'll likely have one of the following questions:

  • How do I install the WMP plugin?
  • How do I fix my non-functioning WMP plugin?

Can we orient the article around those two questions? Specifically, the article doesn't give directions on how to install the plugin. It sounds like it doesn't need installing because it usually comes with Windows - can we explicitly mention that fact under an "Installation" header, and then under the same heading discuss the cases when it isn't installed?--Np 20:34, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

How do I install the WMP plugin? - The "Missing plugin" subsection, "Install the new WMP plugin", probably should include a sentence about saving the wmpfirefoxplugin.exe installer first, since since the download page doesn't, even though most users will probably figure that out. The other section, "Restore the standard WMP plugin" basically covers restoring the old plugin .dll files, which seems fine to me. How do I fix my non-functioning WMP plugin?is covered in the "Troubleshooting WMP plugin" section, which seems clear enough as a section title. Alice 23:27, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
The install info is there, it's just not being presented correctly. Rather than describing to a user how they can install the correct plugin, it's a jumble of information. It should say fairly plainly: "If you're on Windows XP or Vista, go here, download this, install that. If you're on Windows pre-XP, go here, download this, install that. If you have trouble, do this." The missing plugin error message could be put under troubleshooting, and simply say "If it tells you you're missing the plugin, go install it as described above".--Np 04:58, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Just to clarify, the download page for the new WMP plugin specifies that it requires at least Windows XP SP2. I disagree that the information is not presented correctly. I think it's fine the way it is. Alice 12:47, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
As a knowledgeable user, I've read it over a few times and it's still not crystal clear in my head what I'd have to do. Here's what I suggest:

--Installing--

A version of the Windows Media plug-in is included on many Windows systems and will automatically be detected and used by Mozilla applications; however, some versions of Windows do not include it and some content requires a version other than the one provided.

---Firefox plugin---

The Firefox plugin for Windows Media is provided by Microsoft and requires

  • Firefox 1.5 or later or SeaMonkey 1.0 or later
  • Windows XP SP2 or Vista.

Install the Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin. If you installed your Firefox to a custom directory or if you're using SeaMonkey, the plugin may be placed in another location such as "C:\PFiles\Plugins\np-mswmp.dll" [3] [4] and you will need to copy it to the appropriate app's plugins folder.

---Default plug-in---

The default plug-in will work for most versions and combinations of Windows, Firefox, and SeaMonkey but may be missing functionality that some sites require.

(current instructions under "Restore the standard WMP plugin")

---Using an external player---

(current instructions under "Alternative solution")


Excuse any inaccuracies, but I believe this format retains the information requires and makes it easier for users to understand which plug-in to pick and how to install each one. Additionally, as I said, the error messages ("Unknown plugin") can be moved under troubleshooting with a link that points back up to the installation info.--Np 16:05, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I can't see changing the article since the current version works. Additionally, the Firefox 2.0.0.3 release notes link to the Missing plugin section, so I would rather keep the information as is, for now. Alice 18:26, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
The current version doesn't work because it took about five reads before I understand what it was trying to tell me. The general process of getting plug-ins to work (Download, install, restart) is different for this plug-in, and this fact should be stated explicitly, and especially before telling people to install a different plug-in. In any case, the question is not whether the current version "works" or not; the question is whether the proposed version is better than the current version. I've put forward quite a few reasons why the proposal is better, can you put forward some reasons why the current version is better so we can discuss this?--Np 20:07, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
OK, then. I changed the article to work in some of what you suggested, to make the section on installing the plugin easier for users to understand (I hope). I kept the information underneath the "Missing plugin" section which, as I said before is linked from the release notes. You really do need a "Missing plugin" section here, anyway (and not under troubleshooting as you suggested) since it describes certain "clues" that point to a missing WMP plugin such as an alert mentioning the "application/x-mplayer2" MIME type that many users report. I changed some of the content you wrote, particularly that the new plugin does not require SM1.0 or Firefox 1.5 or greater, in the sense that it will install regardless of the browser.... it just does not work with some browsers. I also removed the phrase, some content requires a version other than the one provided since it will be confusing to users and I doubt that there will be any sites that require the new plugin right now. Alice 13:25, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, it's better now. What are the "cases where the Firefox installation directory cannot be located". Is this when a custom directory was chosen? If so, could we say that instead? Also, the caveat that the new plugin requires Firefox 1.5+ and Seamonkey 1.0+ - can we add that in italics at the start of the section so it's more visible and we don't have to repeat it in the current first paragraph?--Np 15:21, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

What are the "cases where the Firefox installation directory cannot be located". I'm not 100% sure but it looks like only the "default" Firefox plugins directory, "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins" is recognized. I edited the section to mention that you'll need to copy the plugin in a custom Firefox installation. I also added (Firefox 1.5+ and Seamonkey 1.0+) to the front of the "Installing the new plugin" section. Alice 18:40, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

New plugin and ActiveX

What does the new WMP plugin mean for the ActiveX plugin? Do sites that previously required the ActiveX plugin work automatically with the new plugin? Will the ActiveX plugin even work with the new plugin?--Np 20:34, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

The new WMP plugin np-mswmp.dll takes over the same MIME types (plus an additional one, application/x-ms-wmp) that the the old WMP plugin npdsplay.dll handles. Sites that are coded to require the WMP ActiveX control will still require the Mozilla ActiveX plugin, npmozax.dll. Yes, the Mozilla ActiveX plugin does work with the new WMP plugin. I tested it on Windows XP SP2 with Firefox 1.5 and the new plugin plus the ActiveX plugin, using the Testing ActiveX plugin test page linked in this article. Alice 00:10, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Security alert

The security alert section is pretty out of date now. Rather than talk about specific vulnerabilities, can we simply mention that WMP vulnerabilities are not patched by Firefox upgrades and that Windows users should make sure they're up-to-date with their Windows patches to ensure that browsing with Firefox is the safest possible?--Np 20:36, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

I'd rather keep the security alert since it links to the security bulletin and gives the secure version of npdsplay.dll. Alice 00:25, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
But why? Telling the user "stay up to date with your Windows Updates" will work now and in the future, it's the recommended course of action, and it's understandable to all users. --Np 04:18, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Because this article is specifically about the WMP plugin and some users think that using Firefox or SeaMonkey is always safer than using IE and, in this instance, it isn't, if the old WMP plugin file "npdsplay.dll" hasn't been updated or if an older version is restored. As an example, I'm totally up-to-date on my Windows updates but, experimenting, I deleted my secure copy of npdsplay.dll from the C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player folder and Windows immediately restored an older, insecure copy. Maybe Windows Update (which I usually do once a month) would have detected the change and offered the update again, I'm not sure. There may be other cases where users have restored an older copy. I was able to overwrite the older version of npdsplay,dll with a backup copy of the secure version which I had made before experimenting. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we should include a warning somewhere in the article about having outdated versions of npdsplay.dll. If you want to remove the "Security alert" section and move the information under the " Restore the standard WMP plugin" section and maybe add a link to the Microsoft bulletin under "External links", I guess that would be OK, but I would like to keep the information somewhere in the article. Alice 12:38, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't know what you want to include for the plugin-warning template here...--Np 15:01, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

The problem with the plugin warning template here is that we now have two plugins for WMP, the standard npdsplay.dll which is either part of Windows or which users can add, or the new WMP plugin np-mswmp.dll which is NOT part of Windows. I've already included security information in the Intro related to the standard plugin npdsplay.dll. I'm not sure where security information about the new WMP plugin will be posted. I would NOT include the plugin template in this article at all. I suppose that you could link to Windows Update which will cover the WMP program and any potential updates to npdsplay.dll but I really don't think that's needed since Windows users should already know how to use Windows Update if it's not already set to automatic. PLEASE leave the current information in the Intro about the standard WMP plugin security issue intact. It's important for people that may have copied an older version to the plugins folder or who, like I did, may have deleted npdsplay.dll from the WMP program folder and had Windows automatically add back an older version. Alice 15:22, 8 June 2007 (UTC)