We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The votes are in, the die is cast, the line's been drawn, the ball's in play and the table is set.
Thanks to commenter Walt Moffett, it appears a free player called VLC is the ticket to watching video on a Mac. An upgrade to VLC provides two key things:
— Stock programs that come with an OS are traditionally fairly featureless. In the world of Windows, the Paint program would be considered a very basic picture editor, Wordpad a very basic word processing program, and Media Player a very basic multimedia player. I don't know what the Mac equivalents are, but assuming its version of Quicktime is the same as I have on my PC, it leaves a lot to be desired. When it comes to features and overall handling, a program like VLC is a big step up.
As an example of 'handling', if you want to pause a video in Media Player using the keyboard, you have to use both hands to hit Ctrl-P, which isn't so easy to do in a darkened room. With the program I use, Media Player Classic, you slap the space bar. VLC is the same.
As an example of 'features', if I want to save a particular spot using Media Player Classic as a picture, I pause the video and select 'Save Image' from the menu. Neither Quicktime or Media Player have this option. VLC does.
— As I noted yesterday, a stock Mac can't play the proprietary Windows format Windows Media Video (WMV), and a PC can't play the proprietary Apple format Quicktime (QT). And neither can play a few 'exotic' formats such as Flash (FLV), RealMedia (RM), not to mention SWF, OGM, MKV, TS and VOB, all of which are video formats currently in use on the Internet today, either playable or downloadable.
The hitch is, while both machines are capable of playing FLV vids like on YouTube just fine, because they're providing the player, if you download the vid to your machine using a Firefox plugin, you're out of luck unless you upgrade the player.
So, because it offers better handling, more features and accepts far more video formats, VLC is a smart move up. VideoLAN, the company, has been around since I was a video god in the late 90's and early 00's and VLC has always had it share of devotees, like the way I've always favored Media Player Classic.
The free download is here. If you're on a Windows machine and want to upgrade your player, I recommend this.
My question for the group is, does installing just the player also take care of the browser, or does the 'Web plugin' also have to be installed? And is this true for both Safari and Firefox?
If you want to give it a go, first download and install the player, then try out the test link below. If it doesn't work, install the plugin, try again, then let me know the scoop in the comments.
If you have both browsers, give them both a shot. It might be that Mac treats them differently, since Safari is in-house, or it might be that Firefox already has the proper 'MIME type' since it's not restricted by Mac standards and is just awaiting a player it can access.
This is a clip from the fun Bruce Willis movie The Fifth Element. It's in my art gallery's Bag O' Clips area under "Great One-Liners". Double-click on the player after the clip starts to expand it to full-screen size.
Once we get the plugin question answered, and assuming there aren't any unforeseen problems, I'll then write an 'official' Computin' Tip which I'll then link to in future posts, slap on the main Computin' Tips index and the Bag O' Clips page.
And t'anks for the continuing help. We'll get this rascal nailed down.
That is weird. I have an intel iMac running OSX 10.6.8. I downloaded the clip and VLC (2.0.7) wouldn't play it but Windows Media Player 9 (9.0.0) would. I can watch the video fine on Firefox but that may be because I have Flip4Mac Windows media plugin. I haven't used Safari for years because it keeps crashing.