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suddenly getting HTML5 error on many youtube vids

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ginahoy
 
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Post Posted October 24th, 2017, 10:58 pm

On both on my desktop and my wife's laptop, we suddenly started getting the HTML5 error on certain youtube videos" "Your browser does not currently recognize any of the video formats available" followed by a link to HTML5 video FAQ. We both still use XP for the time being with Firefox 52.4 (ESR). We have latest version of Flash (Shockwave 27) installed, set to 'always activate' as well as the Cisco OpenH264 codec.

Here is an example of a youtube video that won't play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uVk0KdPLpc. I tried with add-ons disabled and also with a fresh profile. No cigar. I've also tried several add-ons that purport to fix this problem to no avail.

[EDIT 31-Oct: for those late to the party, the HTML5 errors, at least for me, only occur on videos uploaded to youtube within the previous 12 to 18 hours. That means the above link is no longer a useful proxy for this particular problem. Read on and see why.]

Being familiar with youtube-dl, I used the -F parameter to query all available formats for a random sample of youtube videos. As it turns out, those that work are available in mp4 and webm formats, whereas videos that don't work are only available in mp4 format.

What do I need to do so Firefox will play youtube videos that are only available in mp4 format?
Last edited by ginahoy on October 31st, 2017, 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Reflective

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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 2:41 am

Copy/paste the text in the bold font into the location bar and hit Enter: about:addons. Click "Plugins" in the left hand menu and then in the right hand pane set Shockwave Flash to "Ask to activate".

Go test it on youtube. If it doesn't work go to https://www.youtube.com/html5 and make sure the option "The HTML5 player is currently used when possible." is checkmarked.

If it's already checkmarked check the settings above that where it reads: "What does this browser support?". All the boxes should be blue and checkmarked. If any of them are red make a note of which ones those are and post them here please.

ginahoy
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 3:12 am

Thanks for your reply. I previously had Shockwave set to 'ask' when the problem first occurred. I changed it to 'always' to see if that made a difference. It did not.

On the youtube HTML5 FAQ page (same page that you linked), "The HTML5 player is currently used when possible" is checked, and there are two boxes with red exclamation marks: H.264 and MSE & H.264.

As I said, the Cisco OpenH264 plugin is installed (as I recall, that was installed by Firefox). Perhaps I need a different plugin?

TheVisitor
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 3:20 am

Open about:config
Check pref media.windows-media-foundation.enabled

Make sure its set to 'True' close/restart the browser and see if that helps.

ginahoy
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 3:41 am

Ok, I checked and I also did not have this variable in my config, so I added it, set it to True. No joy.

My wife and I first noticed this in the last few days, although I can't be sure when the problem started since many youtube videos are available in webm format and that's not something I would normally check. But we've been running v51 since it first came out (months), so I don't think this could be related to a FF upgrade.

BTW, I upgraded to v52 earlier today before posting here since that's the final version that supports XP. Same behavior.

sean97
 
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Joined: December 24th, 2007, 2:45 pm

Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 8:15 am

I noticed this YT error yesterday also.
Have looked at all the things suggested here and everything seems OK, but
media.windows-media-foundation.enabled
doesn't exist in my about:config.
What does exist is
media.windows-media-foundation.allow-d3d11-dxva
So ??
I look at YT videos quite often, and don't think this has happened B4.
Am running WinXP, FF 52.4.0esr.

TheVisitor
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 8:19 am

Sorry, it appears that the pref I noted above has been removed media.windows-media-foundation.enabled
Those that added it should probably right-click and choose 'reset' , close and restart the browser and it will remove the added entry.

This still won't 'Fix' the issue, however...

Reflective

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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 8:38 am

ginahoy wrote:Thanks for your reply. I previously had Shockwave set to 'ask' when the problem first occurred. I changed it to 'always' to see if that made a difference. It did not.

On the youtube HTML5 FAQ page (same page that you linked), "The HTML5 player is currently used when possible" is checked, and there are two boxes with red exclamation marks: H.264 and MSE & H.264.

As I said, the Cisco OpenH264 plugin is installed (as I recall, that was installed by Firefox). Perhaps I need a different plugin?

Youtube doesn't support Flash anymore and has switched entirely to HTML5.

In about:config please check that both of the following are set to true

  • media.mp4.enabled
  • media.wmf.enabled
If either one or both is set to false, double click to reset them to their default values and then check whether H.264 and MSE & H.264.are now both blue or not on the test page.

If nothing changes and you still get the same problem trying to play youtube videos go to this site and see if you can play the Big Bunny video you'll find on there: https://www.quirksmode.org/html5/tests/video.html

sean97
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 8:51 am

Just noticed that I had been running with Adobe Flash 27.0.0.159.
Just upgraded to Adobe Flash 27.0.0.183 (most recent)
and now failing video plays.
Nothing else was changed.
media.mp4.enabled & media.wmf.enabled are both true.
H.264 & MSE & H.264 on the test page both have red !
everything else is blue including use HTML5.

therube

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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 9:16 am

Here is an example of a youtube video that won't play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uVk0KdPLpc

Working here, XP & HTML5 (VP9).

whereas videos that don't work are only available in mp4 format

That would be expected.
Likewise very possible that a (YT) video embedded in a third-party site may not work (on XP).


There is that "work-around" - for FF users, using XP (& mp4).
(Link are in mozillazine, but escape me ATM).


What do I need to do so Firefox will play youtube videos that are only available in mp4 format?

The particular linked video, I'm seeing as HTML5, which does work in XP.
So, would think that you've changed some Prefs, or are using an extension that is "preferring" mp4 over webm, & that would account for what you're seeing.

As a test, create a new, clean Profile, load your link & see if it doesn't play as expected.
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.19) Gecko/20110420 SeaMonkey/2.0.14 Pinball CopyURL+ FetchTextURL FlashGot NoScript

Reflective

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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 9:18 am

See also this statement on the Youtube support forums: https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/ ... 82vGRfAgAJ

It seems to imply that certain yt videos cannot be played back on some OS+browser combinations. Since the OP and sean97 both have Windows XP installed, it may be the case that that OS in combination with Firefox ESR causes this playback problem.

therube

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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 9:28 am

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.19) Gecko/20110420 SeaMonkey/2.0.14 Pinball CopyURL+ FetchTextURL FlashGot NoScript

ginahoy
 
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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 12:56 pm

sean97 wrote:Just upgraded to Adobe Flash 27.0.0.183 (most recent) and now failing video plays. Nothing else was changed...H.264 & MSE & H.264 on the test page both have red !

Thanks. I just upgraded my Shockwave plugin and the video I linked in my original post now plays, even though H.264 still red and media.mp4.enabled is set to True. WTF?

therube wrote:So, would think that you've changed some Prefs, or are using an extension that is "preferring" mp4 over webm, & that would account for what you're seeing. As a test, create a new, clean Profile, load your link & see if it doesn't play as expected.

No, recall I mentioned I had already tried with a new profile and still get the HTML5 error on videos that aren't available in webm format.

Reflective wrote:see if you can play the Big Bunny video you'll find on there: https://www.quirksmode.org/html5/tests/video.html

As expected, the Big Bunny video works in webm and Ogg/Theora, but not H.264/mp4

I did some more testing and here's what I discovered: the video linked in my OP now includes webm format. THAT's why it plays, not because I upgraded Shockwave. As it turns out, all the other videos I checked yesterday that wouldn't work were recently uploaded (I was looking for a video of Senator Flake's speech, which occurred yesterday). Now all of the videos that wouldn't work yesterday now work -- because they all now are available in webm format! So it appears that youtube converts videos uploaded in mp4 format to webm, but it doesn't happen immediately. Here's an example of one that (currently) doesn't work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA4gR9CkCdY (posted about 12 hours ago).

If anyone's interested, here are the command console logs from yesterday and today when I used youtube-dl to check available formats for the video in my original post: http://bit.ly/2y7meoH. As you can see, the webm formats were not available yesterday, but now they are.

therube wrote:MSFN: Enable MP4 (H.264 + AAC) HTML5 video in Firefox on Windows XP without Flash

Thanks for posting that link. I came across that thread yesterday before posting here (among several others that proposed various work-arounds). I found the OP confusing and hard to follow as it has been heavily edited (hard to tell which parts were edited and what still applies). When I get a chance, I'll read through the entire thread and try that fix.

In the meantime, if I encounter the html5 error, I'll wait a day or so and try again, to allow time for youtube to convert to webm.

James
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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 1:25 pm

Sandow you problem is different as it is on Win10 and the two having issues in this thread is on WinXP which does not fully support HTML5 without workarounds. I splitted your post to viewtopic.php?f=38&t=3034564

James
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Post Posted October 25th, 2017, 1:44 pm

ginahoy wrote:As I said, the Cisco OpenH264 plugin is installed (as I recall, that was installed by Firefox). Perhaps I need a different plugin?

The Cisco H264 Plugin has nothing to do with the HTML5 player or player mp4 video. It is for Web RTC. https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2013/10/30/video-interoperability-on-the-web-gets-a-boost-from-ciscos-h-264-codec/

ginahoy wrote:I just upgraded my Shockwave plugin

This Plugin is Shockwave Flash Player or normally referred to as Flash Player. Adobe actually has another Plugin that is called Shockwave Player and has nothing to do with Flash videos. The Flash Player Plugin may still be referred to by old name of Shockwave Flash in some places. If it has Flash in name then it is the Flash Player.

Flash Player http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer.html
Shockwave Player http://www.adobe.com/products/shockwaveplayer.html which is not used much now days for some games or educational stuff for example.

Another option is to dual boot with a Linux distro that has a light desktop manager like XFce such as Xubuntu. This way you can fully use the HTML5 player on sites like Youtube and Twitch and news sites and be more secure OS wise also since WinXP is rather vulnerable. Keep in mind though that many Linux distros have dropped support for the old 32-bit CPU's in favour of 64-bit CPU's as time goes on.

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