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Accessing Launch.com Embedded Video

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Post Posted January 23rd, 2005, 10:07 am

Accessing Launch.com Embedded Video

Based on the previous version of this guide by myself, and Answer to Launch.com WMP/ActiveX stuff by AnonEmoose.

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This guide no longer applies. All you need to do to make Launch.com video work in Firefox is install the ActiveX plugin. See the latter half of the <a href="viewtopic.php?t=206213">Embedded Windows Media in Firefox</a> guide for instructions on how to install it.

Launch.com radio (LAUNCHcast) uses too much IE-only javascript, and by all indications will not function in Firefox. At least, no-one yet has been able to get it to work.

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This is the work-around you had to use before the pklaunch script was made. I leave it in for posterity. :)
You only need the script now - you don't need to follow this unless you would prefer not to use Greasemonkey and the pklaunch script.

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 videos.
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 videos 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 yourself, 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. However, if you use the Yahoo Instant Messenger client, then you can launch LAUNCHcast in that.

<a name="ActiveX"></a>ActiveX<a name="Install"></a>Installation<a name="Config"></a>Configuration
  • Click 'Tools>User Agent Switcher>Options>Options...'
  • On the left of this options window, select 'User Agents'. You should now see a list of User Agents.
  • 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.
  • 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 Switcher Options.
<a name="Visit"></a>Visiting Launch.com
  • 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 videos.
Remember, you still need to install ActiveX to see the Launch.com videos.

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<a name="Trouble"></a>Troubleshooting
If, after following the guide, Launch.com videos still won't play properly, then recheck that the <a href="#Config">User Agent Switcher settings</a> are correct, that you <a name="#Visit">selected the correct user agent</a> before visiting launch.com, and that <a name="ActiveX">ActiveX is installed and functional</a>

If you are still unable to resolve any issues, ask for help here in the Mozilla Firefox Support forum. Say that you followed this guide and include the following information:
  • Windows Version
  • Firefox Version
  • User Agent Switcher extension version
  • Difficulties with any of the above steps
  • Where on launch.com you had difficulties
  • Any received error messages (if applicable)
  • Any other relevant information
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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, and Chris Pederick for his User Agent Switcher 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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