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Full Step-By-Step Guide: ActiveX\Windows Media\Launch.com

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Vectorspace
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Post Posted October 6th, 2004, 11:02 am

Full Step-By-Step Guide: ActiveX, Windows Media & Launch.com
Last Updated: 19th November 2004

This topic has been locked. A new version that applies to Firefox 1.0 has been created, it can be accessed here: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=206216. Post any questions about either version of the guide in a new topic.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Unless edited to say otherwise, this guide only applies to Firefox 0.9.x and 1.0PR, under Windows.
All methods of installing the ActiveX plugin appear to be incompatable with Firefox RC1 and RC2.


Based on Answer to Launch.com WMP/ActiveX stuff By AnonEmoose
and http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic ... 982#460197 by myself.

Please, if you have a problem with this guide, make sure that you have not missed a step, that you have read the whole post, and that the answer is not alreay in here before posting. Thank you.

Contents
Warp to <a href="#FF_AX">Firefox and ActiveX</a>
Warp to <a href="#Background">Background</a>
Warp to <a href="#FF_09x">ActiveX Installation - Firefox 0.9, 0.9.1, 0.9.2, & 0.9.3</a>
Warp to <a href="#FF_1PR">ActiveX Installation - Firefox 1.0PR</a>
Warp to <a href="#Launch_Com">Viewing Media on Launch.com</a>
Warp to <a href="#Notes">Notes</a>

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<a name="FF_AX"></a>Firefox and ActiveX
There are ActiveX plugins avaliable for Firefox and Mozilla, to add ActiveX support. This topic will tell you how to install ActiveX in Firefox, how to configure it to only run the Windows Media Player controls so it will be secure, and how to view streaming video on Launch.com, which requires additional work.

-------------------------------------------------------------

<a name="Background"></a>Background
Some Embedded/Streaming Media (such as those on launch.com) uses an ActiveX Control to invoke Windows Media Player. ActiveX is what Internet Explorer uses, instead of the plugin system adopted by Netscape. ActiveX can be thought of as a universal plugin. By it's very nature, it allows websites to execute code on the user's computer. This can be a big security risk, and is one of the more serious security vulnerabilities in IE. Partly for this reason, Firefox does not come with ActiveX support installed.

-------------------------------------------------------------

<a name="FF_09x"></a>ActiveX Installation - Firefox 0.9, 0.9.1, 0.9.2, & 0.9.3
A fully compatable plugin exists for Firefox 0.9.x, created by MonkeeSage.

Step 1. IMPORTANT. If you use the Adblock Extension, you must make sure that the setting for OBJ-TABS is disabled. Otherwise, your system will run almost any ActiveX control. See <a href="#Notes">Note 5</a>.

(Installation)
Step 2. Download MonkeeSage's ActiveX Plugin from here: http://gratisdei.com/activex-1.0.0.3.xpi
RIght-click the link and select 'Save Link As...'

Step 3. Install the plugin: Open firefox, then drag the activex-1.0.0.3.xpi file you just downloaded into the Firefox window.
The xpi will install all of the files that make up the plugin into Firefox when you do this.

(Configuration)
Step 4. Go to the directory '<Firefox Install Folder>\defaults\pref\'
Where '<Firefox Install Folder>' is the location you installed Firefox to. (If you used the default location, then it is 'C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox')

Step 5. There should be a file there called 'activex.js' (This was installed by the xpi in step 3). Open it in notepad (or any text editor).
Under most Windows versions, you should be able to right-click the file and select 'edit' to open it in notepad.

Step 6. Delete everything in the file, then copy the following code into it:
Code: Select all
pref("general.useragent.vendorComment", "ax");
pref("security.xpconnect.activex.global.hosting_flags", 9);
pref("security.classID.allowByDefault", false);
pref("capability.policy.default.ClassID.CID6BF52A52-394A-11D3-B153-00C04F79FAA6", "AllAccess");
pref("capability.policy.default.ClassID.CID22D6F312-B0F6-11D0-94AB-0080C74C7E95", "AllAccess");
This will set ActiveX to only run the Windows Media Player controls. This is not essential, but highly recommended - for security. See <a href="#Notes">Note 4</a>.

Step 7. Save and Close the file, then Restart Firefox

End

-------------------------------------------------------------

<a name="FF_1PR"></a>ActiveX Installation - Firefox 1.0PR
Unfortunately, no single plugin installation exists for Firefox 1.0PR. We must cobble one together using pieces of two other ActiveX plugins.

Step 1. IMPORTANT. If you use the Adblock Extension, you must make sure that the setting for OBJ-TABS is disabled. Otherwise, your system will run almost any ActiveX control. See <a href="#Notes">Note 5</a>.

(Installation)
Step 2. Download Adam Lock's ActiveX Plugin for Mozilla 1.7 from here: http://www.iol.ie/~locka/mozilla/plugin.htm#download
Click 'Download the xpi'. DO NOT click 'Click Here'.

Step 3. Install the plugin: Open firefox, then drag the mozactivex17.xpi file you just downloaded into the Firefox window.
The xpi will install all of the files that make up the plugin into Firefox when you do this.
Among others, this xpi installs a file called npmozax.dll into Firefox. This version of the file is not completely compatable with Firefox 1.0PR. We will download and install a replacement, that is compatable.

Step 4. Download (Not install!) the file 'browser.xpi' from here:
ftp://ftp.netscape.com/pub/netscape7/en ... 32/bfkprv/
That xpi contains the Netscape 7.2 version of npmozax.dll. This version is compatable with Firefox. Do not install this xpi!.

Step 5. Rename browser.xpi to browser.zip, then open the file with Winzip (or another zip file reader, like WinRAR). Inside the zip file should be a file called npmozax.dll. Extract it.

Step 6. Go to the folder '<Firefox Install Folder>\plugins\'
Where '<Firefox Install Folder>' is the location you installed Firefox to. (If you used the default location, then it is 'C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox')

Step 7. There should be a file called npmozax.dll already in there (it was installed by the xpi in step 3). Delete it, and replace it with the version you extracted from browser.zip.

(Configuration)
Step 8. Go to the directory '<Firefox Install Folder>\defaults\pref\'
Where '<Firefox Install Folder>' is the location you installed Firefox to. (If you used the default location, then it is 'C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox')

Step 9. There should be a file there called 'activex.js' (This was installed by the xpi in step 3). Open it in notepad (or any text editor).
Under most Windows versions, you should be able to right-click the file and select 'edit' to open it in notepad.

Step 10. Delete everything in the file, then copy the following code into it:
Code: Select all
pref("general.useragent.vendorComment", "ax");
pref("security.xpconnect.activex.global.hosting_flags", 9);
pref("security.classID.allowByDefault", false);
pref("capability.policy.default.ClassID.CID6BF52A52-394A-11D3-B153-00C04F79FAA6", "AllAccess");
pref("capability.policy.default.ClassID.CID22D6F312-B0F6-11D0-94AB-0080C74C7E95", "AllAccess");
This will set ActiveX to only run the Windows Media Player controls. This is not essential, but highly recommended - for security. See <a href="#Notes">Note 4</a>.

Step 11. Save and Close the file, then restart Firefox

End

-------------------------------------------------------------

<a name="Launch_Com"></a>Viewing Media on Launch.com
On top of ActiveX, launch.com employs a Browser Detection Script, so it can know which browser you are using. If you are using anything but Internet Explorer or certain versions of Netscape, it will not let you see the video's.
The Browser Detection Script works by reading your browser's User Agent. In Firefox, if you click 'Help>About Mozilla Firefox', the User Agent is the two lines of text at the bottom of the 'About Mozilla Firefox' window. It contains the name and version of the browser you are using, and other information like your Operating System.

To view video's on Launch.com, you need to trick the Browser Detection Script into thinking you are using Netscape 7.1. To do this, we need an extension called User Agent Switcher. It allows you to set several User Agents youself, and then let's you switch between them. The following is a guide to installing and configuring the User Agent Switcher Extension.

(Installation)
Step 1. Install the User Agent Switcher Extension from here: https://update.mozilla.org/extensions/m ... 59&vid=617
You will have to restart Firefox to complete the installation.

(Configuration)
Step 2. Click 'Tools>User Agent Switcher>Options>Options...'

Step 3. On the left of this options window, select 'User Agents'. You should now see a list of User Agents.

Step 4. Click the 'Add' button. In the new window that pops up:
Under Description, type: Netscape 7.1 (Windows XP)
Under User Agent, type: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; Localization; rv:1.4) Gecko/20030624 Netscape/7.1 (ax)
Under App Name, type: Netscape 7.1
Under App Version, type: 7.1 [en] (Windows NT 5.1; U)
Under Platform, type: Win32
Click Ok.

Step 5. You should now be back at the list of user agents. There should be a new one at the bottom called 'Netscape 7.1 (Windows XP)'
Click Ok to exit the User Agent Swticher Options.

(Use)
Step 6. Whenever you want to watch a video on Launch.com, before you go to the site click 'Tools>User Agent Switcher>Netscape 7.1 (Windows XP)'
That will set your User Agent to Netscape 7.1. This will trick Launch.com into thinking that you are using Netscape 7.1, and will let you see the video's.

Remember, you still need to install ActiveX to see the Launch.com video's.

-------------------------------------------------------------

<a name="Notes"></a>Notes
Note 1. With certain versions of ActiveX installed, sometimes the Flash plugin will not load unless it was previously loaded.
A work-around is to refresh your plugins (type about:plugins in your address bar) when starting FireFox, under those circumstances everything loads normally.

Note 2. AnonEmoose and I have tested these methods of installing ActiveX with many sites that use ActiveX to stream video (including launch.com video, cjob.com Listen Live, startrek.com video and others) with no problems. However, this does not guarantee that this will allow Firefox to view all embedded/streaming video.

Note 3. AnonEmoose has tested Yahoo/Launch Radio, and believes it does NOT work with Firefox

Note 4. Editing the activex.js file will set the plugin to only run the WMP ActiveX controls. Doing this makes the plugin secure, since all it can do is invoke WMP. Therefore, it is highly reccomended that you edit the activex.js file as specified, unless you specifically want to be able to run other ActiveX controls. Remember, viruses and spyware can get on your computer using ActiveX, so leaving the file unedited is a potential security risk, as Firefox will then be able to run more ActiveX controls - making it less secure.

Note 5. If you use the Adblock Extension and have the setting OBJ-TABS enabled, then ActiveX will run almost any ActiveX control - not just the ones listed in activex.js. You must ensure, if you have this extension, that OBJ-TABS is disabled prior to installing ActiveX.

Note 6. IE has a function whereby if you are downloading a video file (such as through a link), it can have WMP play the file as it is downloading. Firefox cannot do this, but the Download With Extension can be configured to do this: It is an extension that allows Firefox to specify another program to do the job of downloading a file. If you add a WMP entry, WMP can download the file - and, of course, play the file as it is downloading. It can even be configured to do it automatically.

-------------------------------------------------------------

keywords: ActiveX Active-X plugin Windows Media Player Mediaplayer WMP6.4 WMP7 WMP9 WMP10 WMP stream streaming embed embedded embedding Launch Yahoo Radio Launch.com Launchcast Video mp3 wmv wma asf asx

Thanks to AnonEmoose for letting me cannibalise his guide, Adam Lock for his ActiveX plugins, MonkeeSage for his ActiveX plugin, Netscape for their ActiveX plugin, and Chris Pederick for his User Agent Switcher Extension.
Last edited by Vectorspace on March 23rd, 2005, 9:50 am, edited 17 times in total.
"All things being equal, the simplest answer is usually the correct one" - Occam's Razor
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Guest
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Post Posted October 17th, 2004, 5:08 pm

I have it working for Launch.com Videos... but is there any way to get it to work for Launch.com Radio, aka LaunchCAST?

With the current modifications done, I get this error message when trying to launch it in Firefox 1.0PR

<i>Error

Sorry, we do not support Netscape on the Windows platform.

Error Code: 25 - 0</i>

Guest
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Post Posted October 17th, 2004, 6:05 pm

Anonymous wrote:I have it working for Launch.com Videos... but is there any way to get it to work for Launch.com Radio, aka LaunchCAST?

With the current modifications done, I get this error message when trying to launch it in Firefox 1.0PR

<i>Error

Sorry, we do not support Netscape on the Windows platform.

Error Code: 25 - 0</i>


This is when User Agent Switcher is set to the Netscape 7.1 profile, defined in the tutorial...

When it is set to Internet Exloprer 6 (Windows XP) it loads the window and I do not get an error message, but it only loads this far:

<img src="http://neom.ca/sciphex/launchcastfirefoxcapt.jpg"></img>

DeathAngel
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Post Posted October 17th, 2004, 10:49 pm

Anonymous wrote:I have it working for Launch.com Videos... but is there any way to get it to work for Launch.com Radio, aka LaunchCAST?

With the current modifications done, I get this error message when trying to launch it in Firefox 1.0PR

<i>Error

Sorry, we do not support Netscape on the Windows platform.

Error Code: 25 - 0</i>
Perhaps if u took the time to read the COMPLETE post... Looks like you need reading lessons...
Vectorspace wrote:Note 3. AnonEmoose has tested Yahoo Radio, and believes it does NOT work with Firefox.

Desirsar

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Post Posted October 17th, 2004, 11:51 pm

Exactly how does it not working with Yahoo Radio have anything to do with getting it to work with launch.com? Not a good idea to suggest reading lessons before you've finished your own.

In any case - I've followed the directions for 1.0PR exactly. The extension appears very briefly in the extensions window, then disappears, and is not installed when I restart Firefox. Are there any known causes or solutions for this?

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Post Posted October 18th, 2004, 12:58 am

Are you referring to ActiveX, or the User Agent Switcher Extension?
If you are referring to AvtiveX, then you need to realise that it is not an extension. It is installed the same way, through an xpi - which is why it does appear in the extension window briefly while installing. It vanishes because it is not an extension.
"All things being equal, the simplest answer is usually the correct one" - Occam's Razor
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:5.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/5.0
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:5.0) Gecko/20110624 Thunderbird/5.0

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Post Posted October 18th, 2004, 2:13 am

I can not see the mozactivex in the extensions after I install it.

Vectorspace
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Post Posted October 18th, 2004, 2:52 am

Vectorspace wrote:If you are referring to ActiveX, then you need to realise that it is not an extension. It is installed the same way, through an xpi - which is why it does appear in the extension window briefly while installing. It vanishes because it is not an extension.


mozactivex is not an extension. It is a plugin. Therefore, mozactivex will not appear in the extensions window. This is normal behaviour.
"All things being equal, the simplest answer is usually the correct one" - Occam's Razor
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:5.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/5.0
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Guest
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Post Posted October 19th, 2004, 8:37 am

Vectorspace THANK YOU THANK YOU THANKYOU !
really, made my day, im kind of a computer illiterate and yesterday i tried following ANONEMOOSE's thread on this but didnt know how to edit the activex notepad file... you just made LAUNCH.COM ON FIREFOX FOR DUMMIES! haha, so friggin easy...

just one more question...
quoting you: (From Note 4)
"Remember, leaving the file unedited is a security risk. "

what do you mean with this? remember im computer stupid, i just erased the activex file and pasted your script, am i secure enough?

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Post Posted October 19th, 2004, 8:39 am

thats me on on the top, hehe forgot to THANK ANONMOOSE too, looks like you both worked on it! you guys rule!
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Guest
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Post Posted October 19th, 2004, 11:08 pm

Anonymous wrote:Vectorspace THANK YOU THANK YOU THANKYOU !
really, made my day, im kind of a computer illiterate and yesterday i tried following ANONEMOOSE's thread on this but didnt know how to edit the activex notepad file... you just made LAUNCH.COM ON FIREFOX FOR DUMMIES! haha, so friggin easy...

just one more question...
quoting you: (From Note 4)
"Remember, leaving the file unedited is a security risk. "

what do you mean with this? remember im computer stupid, i just erased the activex file and pasted your script, am i secure enough?
Congrats, What u did is ok... actually what Vectorspace should have written was "leaving the file unedited is a potential security risk" .... unless u deliberately want to run other activeX controls

Vectorspace
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Post Posted October 19th, 2004, 11:28 pm

Anonymous wrote:just one more question...
quoting you: (From Note 4)
"Remember, leaving the file unedited is a security risk. "

what do you mean with this? remember im computer stupid, i just erased the activex file and pasted your script, am i secure enough?

@Guest1: The ActiveX file controls the ActiveX plugin. Among other things, it says which ActiveX controls the plugin will run. If you don't edit it, then it will run far more than the WMP controls. This makes your computer more vulnerable to things like viruses and spyware - some of which get on your computer using ActiveX controls

Anonymous wrote:actually what Vectorspace should have written was "leaving the file unedited is a potential security risk" .... unless u deliberately want to run other activeX controls

@Guest2: Good point. I shall edit the guide to make it clearer. Thanks.
"All things being equal, the simplest answer is usually the correct one" - Occam's Razor
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Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:5.0) Gecko/20110624 Thunderbird/5.0

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Post Posted October 20th, 2004, 8:14 pm

I have done this tutorial step by step for the 1.0PR to a T. Launch.com always worked before however, but the main reasoning in trying this process was trying to get the mtv.com videos to play in firefox. I have done the whole process of swapping the dll, and all that. Mtv.com media still would not load.

So then i attempted the "launch.com" plan, thinking maybe that would help at mtv.com. The videos begin to load to where i no longer get that "you need a windows media 9 plugin" msg that I got with the default 1.0pr install, by using the agent switcher to netscape 7.1. But now as the video begins to load, before i see any data/images, firefox crashes. Here is the error msg.


AppName: firefox.exe AppVer: 0.10.0.0 ModName: npswf32.dll
ModVer: 7.0.19.0 Offset: 0005b06a

any help would be appreciated. any one else know how to get the mtv.com videos working?

*edit* and now apparently the videos on entensity.net are not working, a regular site I visit, so now i have to rollback all of this.
Last edited by schmiggy_jk on October 21st, 2004, 12:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Kenn

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Post Posted October 20th, 2004, 10:11 pm

Congratulations on a well-written document. Even I could understand the concept and logical steps involved to execute it... Meanwhile, while I have your attention, I think your Active X Guide may be what I was looking for to solve a problem I was having with a web site playing video/audio. The web site is "http://www.woai.com/spurs". Each time I would click the "watch" segment, I would get a Javascript Application Error-"warning - Due to conflicts between Windows Media Player and Netscape 6, Netscape 6 users are unable to play video on this site."

Do you think this is what the site is trying to tell me, that I need Active X to play the video? I had talked w/ the webmaster on the phone and he said the site was setup for IE..

Thank you beforehand for any assistance you can provide.

Respectfully,

Kenn

Kenn

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Post Posted October 20th, 2004, 10:20 pm

Kenn wrote:Congratulations on a well-written document. Even I could understand the concept and logical steps involved to execute it... Meanwhile, while I have your attention, I think your Active X Guide may be what I was looking for to solve a problem I was having with a web site playing video/audio. The web site is "http://www.woai.com/spurs". Each time I would click the "watch" segment, I would get a Javascript Application Error-"warning - Due to conflicts between Windows Media Player and Netscape 6, Netscape 6 users are unable to play video on this site."

Do you think this is what the site is trying to tell me, that I need Active X to play the video? I had talked w/ the webmaster on the phone and he said the site was setup for IE..

Thank you beforehand for any assistance you can provide.

Respectfully,

Kenn
Edit: Forgot to put in my horsepower?


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