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Channel 9 Videos on OSX

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  • User profile image
    Rossj

    I don't suppose that there is any possibility that we could get the videos in a different format? I read somewhere on this site that changes were being made so people on any platform and any browser could read it, but I can't see this type of advocacy being successful for non-Windows users when they can't view the video. I doubt any Linux users (and there do seem to be a few around and about) or OSX users are going to bother looking at the videos if they are in a format that they can't view. And that's a shame because there are some really cool features there that are impressive regardless of your choice of platform. Yes I know I can download WMP for OSX but I prefer not to, certainly not going to download an app just to watch the videos.

  • User profile image
    Kaelan

    Rossj wrote:
    I don't suppose that there is any possibility that we could get the videos in a different format? I read somewhere on this site that changes were being made so people on any platform and any browser could read it, but I can't see this type of advocacy being successful for non-Windows users when they can't view the video. I doubt any Linux users (and there do seem to be a few around and about) or OSX users are going to bother looking at the videos if they are in a format that they can't view. And that's a shame because there are some really cool features there that are impressive regardless of your choice of platform. Yes I know I can download WMP for OSX but I prefer not to, certainly not going to download an app just to watch the videos.

    Windows users download Quicktime to watch Quicktime movies.

    Downloading WMP doesn't seem unreasonable to me. WMP for mac is actually a pretty decent piece of software!

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    Hmm. Okay. But I think you've lost the Linux users. Neither MPlayer or VLC seem to play the WMV3 codec very well, nor do the OSX versions. I don't agree however with you assertion that WMP for mac is pretty decent software, it's pretty awful, especially when MPlayer OSX plays more codecs with better quality (except WMV3 of course Wink ). WMP OSX seems a bit - whats the word ? Creaky?

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Rossj wrote:
    WMP OSX seems a bit - whats the word ? Creaky?


    Ironically, I always thought the same of Quicktime on Windows. Look on the bright side, at least WMP doesn't iritate you with a big ad every time you start it up. Where's the "No. I don't want to buy Quicktime Pro, I never want to buy Quicktime Pro, I just want to watch the damn movie trailer." button when you need it? Wink

  • User profile image
    Rossj


    Andy,
     I've managed to avoid that by using MPlayer, the UI is a bit wobbly but it's a really nice player.

    I've never seen the advert pop up when viewing videos in the browser, but I agree it is annoying when it does pop up.

    I'd be quiet happy to watch the videos with MPlayer if the WMV3 format was open (yes I know it's probably licensable - how many FOSS can afford to license it?). As it is I just have to wait until I get to work Smiley

  • User profile image
    Kaelan

    Rossj wrote:

    Andy,
     I've managed to avoid that by using MPlayer, the UI is a bit wobbly but it's a really nice player.

    I've never seen the advert pop up when viewing videos in the browser, but I agree it is annoying when it does pop up.

    I'd be quiet happy to watch the videos with MPlayer if the WMV3 format was open (yes I know it's probably licensable - how many FOSS can afford to license it?). As it is I just have to wait until I get to work Smiley

    That's funny, as neither RealVideo or QuickTime video are open either. I guess you could always use MPEG 4...

  • User profile image
    Charles

    Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to create multiple encoding types for our videos. WMP for OSX is a good application and I recommend it highly.

    For Linux users, I have heard that there is a way to decode WMV files on Linux. I'm not sure what the technology is, how easy it is to find or how well it works, etc. I'd love to get more info on this if any of you are in the know.

    We want the Channel 9 experience to be accessible and useful across platforms. However, certain browsers, like Safari for example, do not work well with some of our custom controls.

    Your feedback and knowledge is always welcome.

    Keep on posting,

    Charles

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    Kaelan wrote:

    That's funny, as neither RealVideo or QuickTime video are open either. I guess you could always use MPEG 4...


    Except RealVideo is playable via Helix which is Open Source.  QuickTime? You mean MPG? I think the MPG format is now quite widely supported - check out http://www.mpeg.org/MPEG/index.html it looks pretty open to me.

    As an aside a quick google for 'real player' alternative will find you a realvideo player that does not include all of the usual real junk for  auto-updates etc..

    Charles wrote:

    Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to create multiple encoding types for our videos. WMP for OSX is a good application and I recommend it highly.


    Okay I'll take the lack of resources as a valid excuse Wink   I'll give the WMP OSX a try, and assuming it behaves like all other apps in keeping stuff local for easily uninstalls then I might even keep it Smiley

    Charles wrote:

     However, certain browsers, like Safari for example, do not work well with some of our custom controls.


    Surely you mean
    "However, certain custom controls, do not work well with some browsers,  like Safari."  >Smiley

  • User profile image
    Charles

    Rossj,

    Yes. You could word it that way. Smiley 

    However, if you run Firefox or IE on OSX then you will see that the controls work as expected. I'm not dissing your favorite browser, but I would argue that Safari does have some bugs in its CSS and rendering engines that make it hard for us to work around in code ( Let's not get a massive IE bashing thread started, please Smiley ).

    Nevertheless, we will see what we can come up with to ensure that you have a pleasant experience viewing Channel 9 in your favorite browser.


    Keep on posting,

    Charles

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    Charles wrote:
    However, if you run Firefox or IE on OSX then you will see that the controls work as expected.


    You know what? I had *totally* forgotten that Firefox will run on OSX, so I grabbed it I'll give that a try for a while Smiley  I had a look at www.freetextbox.com and noticed that it doesn't work on Safari Sad

    Charles wrote:

    I'm not dissing your favorite browser, but I would argue that Safari does have some bugs in its CSS and rendering engines that make it hard for us to work around in code ( Let's not get a massive IE bashing thread started, please Smiley ).


    I'm not about to start bashing IE, my only complaint was with WMV3 but I  have caved on that and got a copy of WMP for OSX. I'll let you know when it doesn't break anything Wink I don't doubt that Safari has bugs, but I tend to use it for it's speed I can live with some sites being broken.

    As for favourite browser, a browser is a browser - it's for surfing the web and getting info - no big deal. As long as I can feel safe with it then I'll use it Smiley

    Charles wrote:

    Nevertheless, we will see what we can come up with to ensure that you have a pleasant experience viewing Channel 9 in your favorite browser.


    You smoothie you Smiley

    Edit:
    I've downloaded and tried WMP for OSX but there are a couple of issues.
    1. I can't stream from a mms:// url.  I get the first few frames of video and then just a black screen and the audio.  I'm on a 600k connection so I don't know why the video is dropping out.
    2. I can download the .wmv and play it in WMP but the overlay text looks a little like a blockier version of the C64 font and is for the large part illegible.  Also there are a large number of artifacts in the video that are a lot more noticeable than on Windows.
    Now I don't get these issues on Windows so I can only assume it's the Mac version.  Is there a wiki somewhere where I can report the bug, with whatever logging info is provided by the app?

  • User profile image
    Charles

    Rossj,

    I've not experienced this problem with WMP on OSX. Does this happen for all clips you try to watch? Can you share any error info you have here? Anybody else experiencing this problem on OSX?

    EDIT: What version of OSX are you using?

    Charles

  • User profile image
    Charles

    This appears to be a network latency problem, which seems to be better now, and not a specific technical issue with our video encoding implementation or OSX or WMP.

    I would say the problem you experienced can be attributed to anomalous behavior in OSX and WMP for the Mac as well as a little good old fashioned transient network latency. Smiley


    Charles

  • User profile image
    Charles

    I am unable to repro this on my network. However, Lenn was able to repro this on his. But, neither of us can repro now. This is why it must me related to network latency and the way that WMP for the Mac handles it (looks like it drops packets).

    Charles

  • User profile image
    Rossj


    All the WMV clips I've tried on C9 so far, yes.

    Looking for streams that are saef to view Wink I found one eventually on google.

    I tried mms://stream05.pandora.be/business/eurosong/natalia.wmv which is 259kbps and plays fine (although it's a little juddery at the start for a second or two - I left the buffer size at the default).  It claims to be a Windows Media 9 file.  The bitrate is a lot higher than the C9 videos.  The codec used for audio however was Windows Media 9 for the lovely natalia but Window Media Voice for the Ori video.

    I'm on a 1.25 GHz mac running OSX 10.5 with 512Mb RAM on a 600k connection with nothing between mac and cable modem (by way of routers etc).

    There are no crash logs in any of the normal places, and looking at the package contents of the app there are no local logs generated either.

    EDIT: Wrt latency, I've set it up the buffer to 30 seconds and I still loose video after 3 or 4 seconds :*<  Is MMS documented anywhere? I might have a play... >Smiley


  • User profile image
    Rossj


     I could VPN into work to check out the difference atm but I have a feeling that it might not be a particularly good test Smiley

     Good to see you've all got macs Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    Charles wrote:
    This appears to be a network latency problem, which seems to be better now, and not a specific technical issue with our video encoding implementation or OSX or WMP.


    Just another thought (two in a week is good for me ), if you have latency issues with WMP on Windows it tends to stop (as happened to me today at work) whilst on OSX it tends to continue with no video - is there any chance the WMP guys might consider pausing the stream instead of just dropping packets for WMP10 OSX

    Both are equally annoying but at least I can get a minute or so of the video each time on Windows before a pause.


  • User profile image
    Charles

    I'll see what I can find out from the WMP people.

    Charles

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Charles, I understand that you are using a standard Microsoft server to stream your movies and that server ONLY supports WMA.. but couldn't the download editions be in a generic format like XVid which works on most platforms (Mac ?).

    XVid has as good compression as DivX but is free and open source. So you might see *MAX* a 10% increase in file sizes ..

    Note: I don't actually care what format the video is in, I am running XP on my main machine.. I am just providing alternatives.

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