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Embedded Windows Media/Launch.com in Firefox 1.0

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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 2:31 am

Full Step-By-Step Guide: Embedded Windows Media & Launch.com in Firefox 1.0
Last Updated: 24th December 2004

This guide has been superceded by newer versions. Go here to find them: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=206216

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

WARNING!! Before you begin, 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>.

Unless edited to say otherwise, this guide only applies to Firefox 1.0 under Windows.
For Firefox 1.0PR and 0.9.x (also under Windows), see the previous version of this guide: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=140828 but post any questions about it here - stating which versions of Firefox and ActiveX you are using.
This method has not been tested with Firefox 1.0RC1 and 1.0RC2.


Based on the previous version of this guide by myself, 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_1">ActiveX Installation - Firefox 1.0</a>
Warp to <a href="#Launch_Com">Viewing Video on Launch.com</a>
Warp to <a href="#Uninstall">Uninstalling ActiveX</a>
Warp to <a href="#Notes">Notes</a>

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

<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, 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. Many of the ActiveX Controls allow 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. Fortunately, this ActiveX plugin comes pre-configured to only run the WMP controls - and so to be secure. WMP does provide a plugin that Firefox will use, but ActiveX works far better and on more media than the plugin does.

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

<a name="FF_1"></a>ActiveX Installation - Firefox 1.0

Step 0. 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>.

Step 1. Ensure that you have Windows Media Player 9 or 10 installed. They can be installed through Windows Update.

Step 2. Download Adam Lock's ActiveX Plugin for Firefox 1.0 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 mozactivex-ff-10.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.
While installing, the plugin will appear in the Extensions window. Then it will vanish - this is because even though it installs the same way, this is not an extension.

Step 4. When the installation is complete, restart Firefox.

Step 5. Apply this registry patch: http://plugindoc.mozdev.org/resources/wmp9.reg
It solves the problem of Firefox trying to use the WMP 6.4 plugin, instead of the WMP 9/10 one.
To apply this registry patch, download the file to your desktop and then double-click it. A pop-up will ask if you want to add the information in it to the registry - click Yes.

Step 6. You can test the ActiveX installation here: http://www.accuradio.com/#
Click one of the images below the text "HOW TO LISTEN: Just click on an image below to start listening!"
If the radio loads and plays, ActiveX and a sufficiently recent version of Windows Media Player are installed correctly.

End

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

<a name="Launch_Com"></a>Viewing Video 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.

Launch.com radio (LAUNCHcast) does not work in the same way as launch.com video - no-one has yet been able to get it to play in Firefox.

(Installation)
Step 1. Get the User Agent Switcher Extension from here: https://addons.update.mozilla.org/exten ... g=50&id=59
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="Uninstall"></a>Uninstalling ActiveX

Should you want to uninstall AxtiveX, the process is simple - only four files need to be manually deleted from the Firefox program folder.

Step 1. Go to the Firefox program folder (the location you installed Firefox to). The default location in Windows is 'C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\'

Step 2. Go into the plugins folder and delete the file 'npmozax.dll'

Step 3. Go back to the Firefox program folder, and then go into the components folder, and delete the files 'nsIMozAxPlugin.xpt' & 'nsAxSecurityPolicy.js'.

Step 4. Go back to the Firefox program folder, and then go into the defaults\pref folder, and delete the file 'activex.js'.

End

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

<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 - for example, some also use IE-only javascript in the embedded players.

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

Note 4. For previous versions of this guide, you were told to edit the activex.js file, to set the plugin to only run the WMP ActiveX controls. Doing this made the plugin secure, since all it could do is invoke WMP. Adam Lock's new Firefox 1.0 ActiveX plugin comes with an activeX.js file that has already been so edited. If you want to run ActiveX controls other than the WMP ones, you will have to edit this file as necessary.

Note 5. For previous versions of this guide, you were told that if you used the Adblock Extension and had the setting OBJ-TABS enabled, then ActiveX would run almost any ActiveX control - not just the ones listed in activex.js. I don't know yet if this applies to Adam Lock's new ActiveX plugin for Firefox 1.0, so I highly reccomend that if you have this extension, that OBJ-TABS is disabled prior to installing ActiveX. Better to be safe than sorry.

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.

Note 7. Some users may need to apply this registry patch: http://plugindoc.mozdev.org/resources/wmp9.reg
It solves the problem of Firefox trying to use the WMP 6.4 plugin, instead of the WMP 9/10 one.
To apply this registry patch, download the file to your desktop and then double-click it. A pop-up will ask if you want to add the information in it to the registry - click Yes.

Note 8. If you ever have trouble finding any files on your computer, make sure you have enabed the viewing of hidden files and folders in Windows folder options.

Note 9. If you ever have trouble playing media at a site that is reported to work in Firefox when using this method, try clearing all cookies set by that site, then re-trying.

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

keywords: ActiveX Active-X plugin Windows Media Player Mediaplayer WMP 6.4 7 9 10 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, and Chris Pederick for his User Agent Switcher Extension.
Last edited by Vectorspace on January 23rd, 2005, 12:24 pm, edited 25 times in total.
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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 5:02 am

http://launch.yahoo.com/musicvideos/gen ... enreID=600

I was not able to view music videos, a window came up and directed me to select a button once a video was displayed, that video never came up.

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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 5:08 am

It can take a while for the video to appear. How long did you wait?
"All things being equal, the simplest answer is usually the correct one" - Occam's Razor
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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 5:08 am

Anonymous wrote:http://launch.yahoo.com/musicvideos/genrehub.asp?genreID=600

I was not able to view music videos, a window came up and directed me to select a button once a video was displayed, that video never came up.



Sorry, that was my post.

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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 5:59 am

Vectorspace wrote:It can take a while for the video to appear. How long did you wait?



I waited for over five minutes. At the bottom of the window was this message " Applet app0bs notinited "


I can view movie trailers just great and loving it too :) , but music videos I can't view.

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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 6:06 am

Since you can view other embedded media, this doesn't sound like an ActiveX problem...
The only thing I can think of is maybe you don't have cookies enabled? launch.com uses that test video to check your settings, then stores them in a cookie so it doens't have to recheck then next time.

Other than that, I don't know. Anyone else know?
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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 6:51 am

Vectorspace wrote:Since you can view other embedded media, this doesn't sound like an ActiveX problem...
The only thing I can think of is maybe you don't have cookies enabled? launch.com uses that test video to check your settings, then stores them in a cookie so it doens't have to recheck then next time.

Other than that, I don't know. Anyone else know?


I manually added launch.com and allowed cookies. It seems to be doing something, now I see a blank white box, which probably should be a video -- I waited 10 minutes and nothing appeared. This time " Done " was at the bottom left corner of the window.

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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 6:59 am

Tried adding it to the allow popups whitelist?
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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 10:01 am

Vectorspace wrote:Tried adding it to the allow popups whitelist?


I added the website to both the pop-up allowed list and the cookies allowed list.

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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 11:52 am

Vectorspace, thanks again!

I now have FF 1.0 running videos without a glitch.

You've made the process very simple. Hopefully, FF developers will consider tweaking their future versions to incorporate Userswitcher and other ActiveX work arounds. Better yet, maybe webpage designers will make their sites work with FF without ActiveX!

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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 11:57 am

I didn't make it simple... Adam Lock did - by pre-modifying activex.js in his plugin.
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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 12:47 pm

Vectorspace wrote:I didn't make it simple... Adam Lock did - by pre-modifying activex.js in his plugin.




To get the embedded videos to work for me on other sites besides launch.com I had to download Chrome Edit https://update.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?application=firefox&id=17&vid=1028

I had to then open up activex.js ( that came with the installtion of mozactivex-ff-10.xpi plugin) copy all of the contents inside (activex.js) and edit user.js with chrome edit and paste the code that i copied from activex.js into user.js before it would start working properly

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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 1:59 pm

VectorSpace, Adam Lock, AnoneMouse -- thank you all for all of your hard work.

I recently switched from the dreaded Internet Explorer to Firefox (I had Netscape 6.x on my machine, but I hated it, too slow, rendered pages horribly and so on) and now that I can listen to my favorite online radio station (<a href="http://www.highveld.co.za">Highveld 94.7 FM</a>, Johannesburg, South Africa) as well as LAUNCH @ Yahoo!, I am a VERY happy camper. (BTW, the fix for LAUNCH -- installing the ActiveX thingie and installing the User Agent Switcher Extension and setting it to Netscape 7.1 -- works for listening to Highveld Stereo as well.)

I am still testing it with other online radio stations, and will let you know how they work or don't as the case may be.

Thank you so much, once again.
I am a recovering Internet Explorer user, so please...be gentle...

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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 2:29 pm

just wondering, why do you have to click download the xpi,and not click here?

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Post Posted November 19th, 2004, 2:46 pm

Sometimes just clicking the xpi doesn't work (if the option to allow websites to install software is disabled). It's a personal habit, really. But it ensures that no-one has a problem with the step.
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