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Windows Media Player in Linux 340

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the options-if-you-want-em dept.
mr lee writes "Today CodeWeavers released CrossOver plugin 1.1 which now supports Windows Media Player 6.4 under Linux. As much I would not like to see or support sites that use Windows Media shite, its still really nice to have this option. Not too mention kick ass QuickTime playing." Update: 02/27 18:30 GMT by H : I've actually been using this - it's done really really well. I'm planning on doing a fuller review soon, but it's very well done.
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Windows Media Player in Linux

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  • No native version? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:06PM (#3078674) Homepage
    IIRC Windows Media Player was the one program where Microsoft released a native Linux version. It didn't last long though.
  • Is this good? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Publicus (415536)

    It probably won't make any difference, but doesn't this, in a way, legitimize the wma format?

    • Its probably all Linux needs to make it susceptable to a SSSCA legal attack!
    • The use or non-use of WMA/WMV by less than one percent of the web-browsing market has exactly zero bearing on the "legitimacy" of the format. Please see a doctor about these delusions of grandeur.
      • The good doktor:
        The use or non-use of WMA/WMV by less than one percent of the web-browsing market has exactly zero bearing on the "legitimacy" of the format. Please see a doctor about these delusions of grandeur.

        And again...
        I was referring to Linux's share of the web browsing market. Please try to read more carefully next time.

        Funny thread I started. If you, "dokter," had read my post more carefully you would have seen how I began my sentence:

        It probably won't make any difference,

        "It," to clarify, refers to the impact the Linux users of the world would have on the legitimacy of the Windows Media format.

        I do not believe I am deluded. This lack of insight on my part indicates that I am not fully ready for any kind of psychological treatment, were any in order. I do understand the minority status of the Linux market, but, while on the subject, I feel the statistics to which you are referring fall somewhat short in accurately representing the size of the Linux user base. I believe it is more like 5% of desktop users that are using Linux. I think, in a lot of cases, Windows users are counted twice as they have their home computer and a computer at work. That is 2 Windows computers but only 1 user.

        Of course, it is about 5% of the vote that determines who wins most elections. I believe it unwise for anyone to disregard even such a small number.

    • No, because this is only x86 Linux software. It doesn't run on every processor and every OS under the sun. Therefore, the only way the wms format could become legitimate, would be if it were opened and standardized and patent-free.

      x86 Linux ain't what it's all about dude, even if that's what you happen to run today.

  • Windows media player "shite"? "Kick ass" Quicktime?

    I don't know about this guy's universe, but in mine, Windows Media Player works great, but Quicktime under windows is a giant, stinking, smelly, steaming, smoking, pile of dog-doo. It constantly crashes, and the user interface is probably the worst ever designed.

    • I wonder why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Meech (166762)

      Companies are like little greedy children, they don't play nice together. Apple has quicktime, Microsoft has windows media player. Quicktime, as you say, runs like garbage under windows, and from my experience, windows media player runs like crap on the Mac platforms. The only thing that works on all are "standard" file types such as mpg, mp3, etc.

    • Most people wait until it's time to post a comment until they trot out the usual anti-Microsoft karma whoring. Congratulations "mr lee", for lowering Slashdot pandering to a new level.

      Windows Media Player does work just fine. Quicktime is the app that will attempt to take over associations and bug you with "upgrade now?" reminders every time you run it.
    • [...] but Quicktime under windows is [...]

      That's all well and good, but Mr. Lee wasn't talking about Quicktime under Windows. He said, and I quote:
      As much I would not like to see or support sites that use Windows Media shite, its still really nice to have this option. Not too mention kick ass QuickTime playing."
      He is clearly referring to using the Crossover Plugin to play Quicktime under Linux, which it indeed does a "kick-ass" job of doing.

      You might want to have that jerking knee attended to by a physician.
    • I agree with you, but don't you think you could have said it a bit more elequently? Perhaps you wouldn't be considered flamebait, and might even be taken seriously if you learn to refrain from using phrases like "giant, stinking, smelly, steaming, smoking pile of dog-doo."

      I work in a Community College computer lab, (The Windows half, the other half of the college is Apple-only) and I absolutely hate how QuickTime forces itself into the Control Panel, crams itself into the starting programs list and consistantly begs you to upgrade to the pro version every time you open a file with it. I admit that I've never liked the company, but it's not bringing itself into any better standing with non-Apple fans with this kind of behavior. So far only RealPlayer and MSN messenger have managed to top its annoyance-factor.

      Try Irfanview [irfanview.com]. It's small, it's unobtrusive, it's fast and it's freeware. There are plugins for many different media types. If you like it, be sure to thank the author for all of his hard work!
  • I for one like this. Now I can listen to webcasts that are in windows media only format. Since websites wont give me a choice, Im glad someone has given me the software to make up for it.
  • Codecs (Score:2, Funny)

    by brad3378 (155304)
    I want to see if somebody can get this to download the latest codecs from Microsoft servers
    • Re:Codecs (Score:4, Informative)

      by HeUnique (187) <`moc.avaj2loboc' `ta' `emoh-zteh'> on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:47PM (#3079004) Homepage
      So far - from my tests - it played every movie that Windows Media player can play in standard windows - and yes, the player downloads the codec from microsoft site and installs it..
      • Re:Codecs (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fferreres (525414)
        My Windows friend is always asking me "Hey Fede could you try and see if this .avi works? It has no sound on WMP although it downloaded some codec!".

        ...I mount the SMB...

        Fede: $ mplayer file.avi
        ...
        "Fede: Yep, the file's fine, works great"
        "Pato: damn...i tought so. I'll switch to Linux some day!"

        He also askes me to check partially downloaded files (ie: couldn't download 100% of it). I think mplayer rebuilds the indexes while some WMP codecs do not, so i can play them and WMP cannot.
  • what about Mplayer (Score:4, Informative)

    by steve.m (80410) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:10PM (#3078713) Journal
    which supports Win32 Codecs including Quicktime MOV, etc. see Here [mplayerhq.hu].
    • by HeUnique (187)
      1. It still doesn't fully supports ASX files (yes, even with the latest CVS - I tried one from yesterday).

      2. It doesn't provide you with any embedding to your browser. Go ahead and hack it to make mplayer GUI appear inside Mozilla/Konqueror on most of the sites (now.com, yahoo.com, news.com) - good luck!
      • Browser embedding (Score:3, Informative)

        by dmaxwell (43234)
        Plugger 4.0 worked well for me with an MPlayer/Galeon combo. I'll give out a Plugger hint you won't find on the Plugger site. At on my Debian machine it needed a little help to register it's MIME types with Mozilla. Put a copy of the pluggerrc file in the .mozilla directory in your $HOME. Any time you edit the pluggerrc (the one in your $HOME/.mozilla) to add another MIME type, delete the appreg file in the same directory. This forces Mozilla/Galeon to reparse the pluggerc file.

        Plugger recently updated to 4.0, be sure you're using that version. Plugger can be had from:

        http://fredrik.hubbe.net/plugger.html

        BTW. I was able to compile it under Debian PowerPC and it worked fine there.
        • BTW. I was able to compile it under Debian PowerPC

          I was going to point out how ironic it is that someone with a PowerPC is going to this extent to be able to play Quicktime movies that were natively supported under the machine's original operating system.

          But then I thought to myself, all those people that got Windows with their machine are probably going to the same extent to play a format that was natively supported by it in Linux too. Sorry, but this all seems very ironic when people are so intent on moveing away from the proprietaryness (my new word of tha day) that the original system exhibited.
          • I meant that I was able to compile Plugger on PowerPC. I don't think that MPlayer will do me much good on as it can't make use of those retreaded Windows dlls. I use Plugger to do things like embed gv in a Window for reading PDFs online. BTW gv works great as an embedded PDF viewer.

            For those who don't know, Plugger allows standalone Unix apps to be handlers for web content. It will embed most any application in a browser window and is an excellent way to handle things like midis, wavs and PDFs. It works much better than "helper" apps as it will do things like close the external app when you hit the back button in your browser.

            It comes with a precooked pluggerrc file with sane defaults like Timidity for midi playing and Sox for soundfile playing. By editing pluggerrc, you can turn most any app into a browser plugin.

            On my K62-500 based home machine, I use Plugger to embed MPlayer to play online movies. I use Plugger for other things on my Powerbook Firewire laptop.
    • Mplayer is great! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 7-Vodka (195504)
      Mplayer is awesome, I view divx movies with it. There's even a spanking new pretty gui. It's the only movie player for nix that actually works well. There's also aviplay, while it's worth a mention, the code is messy and it doesn't work as well.
    • by kraf (450958) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:26PM (#3078845)
      From the mplayerhq.hu website:
      (http://www.mplayerhq.hu/DOCS/formats.ht ml#2.1.1.4 )

      "Codecs: any codecs allowed, both CBR and VBR. Note: most new mov files use Sorenson video and QDesign Music audio. These formats are completely secret, and only Apple's quicktime player is able to play these files (on win/mac only)."

      So it basically doesn't support MOV except some old stuff.

    • Mplayer is sweet, I use it as my only (video) player on my FreeBSD box.

      However, while it does support Quicktime, almost all of the newly released QT movies are compressed with Sorenson (sp?) codec, which is closed source, and Apple licenses it from another company. Therefore, unless Apple, and Sorenson (sp?) both give permission (read: unlikely), you won't find a legal open-source player. Apple (and others) can port the app to different platforms, and others still can make a shell for the application (read: what Codeweavers did), but you still don't get the benifits of open-source programmers optimizing the heck out of the program.

      • However, while it does support Quicktime, almost all of the newly released QT movies are compressed with Sorenson (sp?) codec, which is closed source, and Apple licenses it from another company. Therefore, unless Apple, and Sorenson (sp?) both give permission (read: unlikely), you won't find a legal open-source player. Apple (and others) can port the app to different platforms, and others still can make a shell for the application (read: what Codeweavers did), but you still don't get the benifits of open-source programmers optimizing the heck out of the program.

        I can see your argument.

        However, Windows Media Video 7 and 8 codecs are patented. They are used to compress some wmv and asf files. Unless Microsoft gives you permission, you cannot decompress those files.

        But Mplayer does this with impunity using Windows DLLs !

        The real issue here, I think, it that Mplayer hackers don't know the APIs used by Quicktime, whereas they have reverse engineered the ones in Windows Media Player.

        Really, I could CARE LESS whether Windows Media Player exists for linux. Mplayer does an INCREDIBLY good job. But it needs to get the hooks for the API Quicktime uses for its codecs, because there is an awful lot of Sorenson codec Quicktime animation out there.
    • by Nailer (69468)
      which supports Win32 Codecs including Quicktime MOV, etc. see Here [mplayerhq.hu].

      Comparing the two:
      • MPlayer doesn't work within browsers.
      • Neither does it, to my knowledge, using 6.0, play Sorenson Quicktime, which constitutes 99% of Quicktime on the web
      • MPlayer does not, and according to its developers, will not ever play audio files
      • Crossover has a nicer plugin config app and documentation that's more pleasant to its users.
      • Crossovr does many other things MPlayer doesn't - eg, QuicktimeVR, Ipix, Shockwave, etc.
      • Neither product is Open Source, as neither satisfies condition 2 of the Open Source Definition, despite the mplayer folk telling people it is. I get the same level of freedom with both apps, and the license fee for Crossover is small. At least with Codeweavers, licensing cash goes towards Alexandre Julliard and the other founders of the Wine project who give a lot back to the Open Source community.
  • Too late (Score:4, Informative)

    by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:11PM (#3078730) Homepage Journal
    Mplayer [mplayerhq.hu] already does pretty much everything Windows Media Player can do, and it's native to Linux. The Quicktime support mentioned in the writeup is a red herring, Windows Media Player (IIRC) still does not support Sorenson Quicktimes, making it no better than xanim at playing modern .mov files.
    • Re:Too late (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dixie_Flatline (5077)
      In fact, I find it does things BETTER. I've actually found myself booting into Linux to watch movies on occasion. I've got a powerbook, so that takes care of my Quicktime needs.

      Use mplayer. It's at version 0.60, and it's a pretty superior product.
    • Windows Media Player (IIRC) still does not support Sorenson Quicktimes, making it no better than xanim at playing modern .mov files.

      Correct, but Apple's Quicktime player which is supported by crossover (and downloaded and installed automagically) does.

  • This is typical:

    Ooo... DRM is bad! Die DRM

    Hey! I can use windows media under linux now. yay!

    Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Hey (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Starship Trooper (523907) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:13PM (#3078739) Homepage Journal
    Not to scare you guys (no web site, just a mailing list?), but - did any of you ask Microsoft about this before you wrote it?

    I'm not implying that you did anything wrong, but in today's insane world, the DMCA can pretty much be wielded like a baseball bat. People like CNN who use WMP to distribute their advertisements before their content in a streaming manner expect their ads to be preserved. If you've added an extra functionality in here, or any method whatsoever to bypass ads, save streaming video, or otherwise do anything but sit in your chair and watch what they send you, you might get hit by the eager-beaver Microsoft Legal Team. In fact, just making this functionality user modifiable (i.e., open source) might be enough for you to become a "circumvention device".

    Care to comment?
    • by zCyl (14362)
      any method whatsoever to bypass ads ... might be enough for you to become a "circumvention device".

      Have you heard of VCR's?

    • by Verteiron (224042) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @03:08PM (#3079174) Homepage
      Actually, my bigger concern here would this:

      From the Windows Media Player EULA:

      NOTE: If you do not have a validly licensed copy of any version or edition of Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millenum Edition, Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system or any Microsoft operating system that is a successor to any of those operating systems (each an "os product"), you are not authorized to install, copy or otherwise use the os components and you have no rights under this supplemental EULA.

      Oops.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:19PM (#3078792)
    Ok, you might want to read this:

    The crossover plugin will let you play Windows media player files, but emedding inside the browser is very problematic. Why? simple - The Windows Media player when works with Netscape - uses Netscape's Java (1.1.x) to communicate with the player and to embedd the window.

    What does this means to you? it means that you can watch WMP embedded in your browser - if you're using the old Netscape - Version 4.x - not Konqureror, not Mozilla (any build).

    It's not CodeWeaver's fault - it's the way MS did it - the exact thing will happend on Windows. The guys from CodeWeavers will look into it and probably try to hack something..

    Other features that are not mentioned - you can now use Trillian, Real Player 8 (the much better Windows version, not the crappy Linux version), you can install fonts directly from MS web site, and the speed seems to be imrpvoed.

    Lots of other plugins has been added to the crossover, and IMHO it's worth the $19.95 price (there is a free upgrade to previous owners), and of course - all the hacks that was done to wine - are rolling back to the main tree - so your money helps open source...

    I'm sure that people here will write that "don't buy it since it support non standard audio/video format" - to them I'm saying that when 90% of the people have those players - webmasters won't give a crap about others...

    Cheers,
    Mesh Mesh
    • What is so much better about Windows RealPlayer 8 than the linux version? Only difference off hand is that under Windows they support Hardware overlays for faster colorspace conversion and good scaling, and this improvement is lost when you have to use wine which forces everything to software mode anyway. If anything, I would reason the Windows version would be much slower under wine.

      If you want an improved version, you can chop your way through real's site to find a realone beta for linux, which supports XVideo for playback. Of course, it is flaky, but if you have RealOne for primary playback and Real8 as fallback for when RealOne craps out, it is quite usable...
      • Any chance someone could post a link to the RealOne beta (linux)? I looked for 10 mins. or so and must just be looking past the crucial link.
        • To get an idea of the convoluted navigation:
          First near bottom of screen clcik on "Previous Player Versions"
          Then the tiny "Realplayer 8 Basi is our free player" link. Then select UNIX to get new form, then you must select a Linux 2.x version to get the right screen next (rpm or tar, doesn't matter). Then ignore the download links and scroll down below item number 5.. There you are....
          To shortcut to the Unix form, here is url:
          http://proforma.real.com/real/player/unix/un ix.htm l
    • I enjoyed reading your post. But I think that webmasters will readily switch to a somewhat obscure format just because everyone hates real player, nobody likes windows media player (especially since it phones home), and real player is spyware and really crappy software in general.
    • Hmmm... According to the email from CodeWeavers (received after paid download), WMP is known to not work in Mozilla, and following up on that shows that patches are in the works for a potential 0.9.9 fix. Of course, this is just for embedded media, and it works perfectly for anything that launches the player. I'm impressed and very pleased with the release. I am happy to pay for this.
  • by tempest303 (259600) <jensknutson@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:20PM (#3078797) Homepage
    I bought CrossOver back in November, and I LOVE it. As a previous poster talked about, I don't enjoy "legitimizing" uber-proprietary formats like Sorensen Quicktime or Windows Media, but sometimes one has no choice. This is where CrossOver comes in, and it does its job admirably. The install and setup are simple, and best of all, it JUST WORKS, just as all payware ought to. If all commercial/payware software was as well made and as well supported as Crossover, Free software wouldn't have nearly the appeal that it does right now, IMHO...

    Anyway, if you're running Linux and you've ever missed not being able to watch movie trailers, certain pr0n stuff, etc, don't suffer any longer! Plunk down the $20, it's worth it! You get great software AND you're supporting the single largest (to my knowledge) contributor to the WINE project. (Not to mention helping put some food on the table for some great geeks - I live near St Paul so I got a free tour of their office; they're cool people. :)
    • Anyway, if you're running Linux and you've ever missed not being able to watch movie trailers, certain pr0n stuff, etc, don't suffer any longer! Plunk down the $20, it's worth it!

      Why do that when I shift over about 4 feet to my rommates puter. That way not only do I save 20 bucks, but I make his keyboard sticky isntead of mine.

      ;)
    • I'm completely pleased with my copy of CrossOver as well. The QuickTime support (which I bought it for) is excellent. When I eventually ran into a PowerPoint presentation I needed to look at, I was happy to discover that CrossOver's support for the Microsoft PowerPoint View was quite solid. Their support is prompt, accurate, and friendly. For $20 I am a very satisfied customer.
  • Most sites require media player 7 these days.
  • The fact I just saw an ad for Visual Studio .NET on Slashdot.
  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:36PM (#3078931) Homepage Journal
    While it's great that Codeweavers has managed to get enough of WINE working to support Windows Media Player, it's still a very bad idea for us to use it. Here's why.

    Every time you click on a Windows Media file, you are sending a message to the site operator which basically says "I support Microsoft's efforts to monopolize digital media." You're voting with your mouse.

    Right now, in most places we still have a choice of formats: Windows Media, Real, streaming MP3, whatever. If everyone just mindlessly chooses the Windows Media formats without a second thought, site operators are going to look at their logs and say "well, nobody is using the Real/MP3/whatever formats, so let's just start webcasting exclusively in Windows Media format." Do you want that to happen? I sure don't. We cannot afford to let Microsoft monopolize this market. Think of the ramifications of Microsoft having a 100 percent lock on digital content. Digital Rights Management? Easy... just put it in Windows Media. Region lockouts? Put it in Windows Media. Want to work around those problems? Sorry, you can't, because digital media is Windows Media and you don't have any other choice!

    Let's not forget that even though Windows Media Player may now run on Linux, you'll never see a Linux distribution that includes it, because the Crossover Plugin is not free, and Microsoft's licenses prevent WMP from appearing on Linux CD's.

    Great technology, bad way to use it. As Linux users we must keep on clicking on those non-Microsoft formats, and politely asking site operators to maintain or add media in non-Microsoft formats. Let's not succumb to the urge to satisfy short-term viewing/listening needs at the expense of sacrificing long-term interoperability.
    • A nice alternative to using Windows Media Player under linux for viewing movies (even windows media formats!) is "MPlayer", located at: http://www.mplayerhq.hu/homepage/ [mplayerhq.hu]. It's a bit tricky for a novice to install, but the effort is well worth it.

      Supported formats current include "MPEG, VOB, AVI, VIVO, ASF/WMV, QT/MOV, FLI, NuppelVideo, yuv4mpeg, FILM, RoQ, and some RealMedia files", as well as "MPEG, VOB, AVI, VIVO, ASF/WMV, QT/MOV, FLI, NuppelVideo, yuv4mpeg, FILM, RoQ, and some RealMedia files", to quote from the information on mplayer's site.
    • And support Windows OSs instead?

      Case in point: I am currently enrolled in a graduate school program that is delivered online via Windows Media Player. Most of my classmates use Windows and have no problem with the format. On the other hand, I have to keep one of my computers at home running Windows just so I can watch these lectures. So would you rather that I don't support a proprietary OS, or a proprietary media format?

      Truth is, no matter how often I click the RealMedia or MP3 link on a site that can afford to support multiple formats, other economically constrained sites will not switch, especially when the needs of about 99% of their users are being met. And the Crossover plugin (or a Linux based media player such as MPlayer) may be the only way to use these sites.

    • While it's great that Codeweavers has managed to get enough of WINE working to support Windows Media Player, it's still a very bad idea for us to use it. Here's why.

      Hey, are you suggesting an illegal restraint of trade? ;)
  • FreeBSD? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nvrrobx (71970)
    I'm an avid FreeBSD user, so I'm curious as to if this works in FreeBSD. Does CodeWeavers have a FreeBSD port, or does this work under Linux emulation? If it does, I'll be purchasing it ASAP!
  • by rjamestaylor (117847) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:44PM (#3078983) Journal
    Here's a story, basing Microsoft products as "shite", about using said Microsoft product in Linux and praises Apple's just-as-proprietary media format. /*Head spins*/

    So, am I to understand that MS sucks so very bad that we need to run out, install a different MS-free OS and then get a utility to run pieces of MS software to have a decent computing experience yet give no "thank you" to MS for making a product that enables us to have that enjoyable computing experience?

    This reminds me of street beggars spitting on people who give them money for being capitalist pigs. Sheesh.

  • Legality? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xunker (6905) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:47PM (#3079003) Homepage Journal
    The reason it's only WiMP 6.4 and not 7 or 8 is not a technical reason, but a legal one.

    I can't remember where I read it (it is on the Codeweavers site, though), that the reason WiMP wasn't supported from the get-go was that the license says something about how it can only be installed in the Windows platform, and Crossover/Wine kinda doesn't qualify.

    Ah, yes, here is the snippet from the support forums (Tue, 28 Aug 2001):


    We've put some energy into WMP 7.1, but if you look at the license for WMP, there is a potential barrier. At this point, it would appear (based on the MS license) that the only legal way we could support WMP is if it were already installed on an existing MS partition.
    However, IANAL, and we're still looking into this.


    ..but I'm not going to complain or anything, of course! Now the only thing I need my MacOS and Windows boxed (any work, anyway) for is, well, games!
  • Likely Not Legal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by youngsd (39343) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:47PM (#3079005)

    I took a quick look at the EULA in my Windows Media directory. This snippet seems important:

    IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A VALIDLY LICENSED COPY OF ANY VERSION OR EDITION OF MICROSOFT WINDOWS 98, MICROSOFT WINDOWS MILLENUM EDITION, MICROSOFT WINDOWS 2000 OPERATING SYSTEM OR ANY MICROSOFT OPERATING SYSTEM THAT IS A SUCCESSOR TO ANY OF THOSE OPERATING SYSTEMS (EACH AN "OS PRODUCT"), YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO INSTALL, COPY OR OTHERWISE USE THE OS COMPONENTS AND YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS UNDER THIS SUPPLEMENTAL EULA.

    Earlier in the EULA, Windows Media Player is described as an"OS Component". So, it looks like any use of Windows Media Player on a non-Windows operating system is probably not permitted. If it were, you can be sure MS would fix that in the next version of the EULA.

    It will be interesting to see whether MS tries to do anything to CodeWeavers on this front.

    -Steve

    • Re:Likely Not Legal (Score:3, Informative)

      by EllF (205050)
      Actually, if you re-read the snippet you quoted, it indicates that legal use is granted if you "have a validly licensed copy" of at least Win98 or better. In my case, the last operating system I purchased from Microsoft was Windows 98SE; thus, I meet the EULA requirements for using Windows Media Player on another operating system.

      Posession of the license is key, not having an installed copy of Windows.
    • Re:Likely Not Legal (Score:5, Informative)

      by fobbman (131816) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @03:03PM (#3079133) Homepage
      The EULA snippet from above appears in WMPlayer versions 7 onward. This is why they went with 6.4, as this requirement does not show up in 6.4's EULA.

      CodeWeaver's is, however, looking for a way around this for those of us who have Windows installed on another partition.

    • Earlier in the EULA, Windows Media Player is described as an"OS Component". So, it looks like any use of Windows Media Player on a non-Windows operating system is probably not permitted. If it were, you can be sure MS would fix that in the next version of the EULA.

      There could be ways around it. For instance, Linus could implement an IUnknown interface in the kernel and say he is "working on" a kernel that runs under COM in Windows. That would probably make the crossover plugin legal. Of course no one really needs to complete the IUnknown interface. It could be a perpetual work in progress to satisfy the requirement that Linux is part of Windows.

      It sounds crazy but what the heck.
    • Clickwrap 'licenses' ain't worth the photons emitted by your display. Ignore it and get on with it. CodeWeavers might not have the lawyers to officially tell people to use it and certainly couldn't bundle it (copyright has nothing to do with a EULA) but that's a practical limitation and not a legal or moral one.
    • Yes, they are aware of that. There is a post [codeweavers.com] in one of their mailing lists about this, from October 2001. Jeremy White mainly says


      As to Windows Media Player, we've really deemphasized
      our focus on it, entirely because the license
      agreement for WMP is fairly draconian.


      However, Wine is continually improving, and I'm hoping
      that Wine will support WMP in the future for those
      that have a valid WMP license.

      Cheers,

      Jeremy



      I really wonder what happened after that, did they find a way around the license?. Anyway, long life to the great wine community ...

      Cheers,
      Don Inodoro
    • Re:Likely Not Legal (Score:2, Informative)

      by bmo (77928)
      And if you ACTUALLY DO have a copy of said OS, it is perfectly legal, even if it's not installed.

      Just because Windows isn't installed doesn't mean you can't run WMP8 legally.

      Simple.

    • I took a quick look at the EULA in my Windows Media directory.

      Whoa, whoa... time out, right there.

      If this is the first time that you've looked at the EULA, and you already have the software, then it follows: you never agreed to that EULA. So what does it matter what the EULA says?

      When Microsoft actually has a way of proving that you have a contract with them, then maybe there's a contract. An example of this would be a signature. Even something as weak and insubstantial as memory of a handshake, would count for something. But if that happened was that somebody (maybe you, maybe your 3 year old kid) clicked a button, and Microsoft doesn't even have a record of it, is there a contract? No way. You can run their program under whatever damned OS you want to, and there isn't anything "not legal" about it.

  • From the WMP EULA:

    Note on Java Support. The Operating System Components may contain support for programs written in Java. Java technology is not fault tolerant and is not designed, manufactured, or intended for use or resale as on-line control equipment in hazardous environments requiring fail-safe performance, such as in the operation of nuclear facilities, aircraft navigation or communication systems, air traffic control, direct life support machines, or weapons systems, in which the failure of Java technology could lead directly to death, personal injury, or severe physical or environmental damage.

    What does this say about microsoft's views towards java technologies?

    • What does this say about microsoft's views towards java technologies?

      Very little, since that language is lifted directly from Sun's own license for Java.
    • actually, microsoft is obligated to say that due to a contract with sun. i don't think they like having that in the eula, either, but sun wants their asses covered. i can't remember which one, but one of their eulas specifically followed that paragraph with something along this lines of "we were contractualy obligated to make that disclaimer by sun microsystems, inc.

  • What's the point? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Junta (36770) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @03:02PM (#3079115)
    Already we have the library avifile for managing nearly any WMP format, as well as xine and mplayer. Quicktime was important because no one has gotten Sorenson to work in any form under linux. Windows Media not only plays using avifile and such, but keeps the wine stuff at the lowest level possible, even replacing win32 codecs with native ones when possible (i.e. vorbis, mp3, divx, etc...). This means for one thing performance is tolerable. For another, at the higher levels you are guaranteed to do more sophisticated things with the output. Foremost of these is making use of hardware overlay surfaces in different color formats (YUV overlays) providing hardware colorspace conversion and smooth scaling, improving both quality and performance. Using WMP through wine means that not only is much more of the code done in inefficient win32-in-linux mode, it means there is no capacity for native codecs and that all colorspace conversion, scaling, and filtering must be done in software, prohibitively slow.
  • by antdude (79039) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @03:16PM (#3079222) Homepage Journal
    I have MPlayer, Xine, and Oogle. I can play DivX4, MPEG, etc. What else am I missing that Media Player v6.4 can handle? Is it only WMV and WMA? If so, then I thought it was only supported in 7.x+?

    Thank you in advance.

  • by HomerG (15114) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @03:27PM (#3079291)
    Wine has been able to run Media Player 6.4 for some time now. I wrote a small script to launch it some time ago, called mplayer2, so as not to be confused with the Linux Mplayer.

    #!/bin/sh
    cd "/mnt/windows/Program Files/Windows Media Player"
    wine --managed --debugmsg -all mplayer2.exe $1

    Then set the mime type in Navigator/Mozilla/Galeon/Konqueror like this:

    MIMEType: video/x-ms-asf
    Application: /bin/mplayer2 "%u"

    The above is for Navigator, but you get the idea. I of course made the script executable and as you can see moved it to the /bin directory.

    It's not going to embed it in your browser and most of the commercial sites that offer trailers require the newest player. But it will work as well as the Codeweavers plugin if the need should arise, without the cost.

    Disclaimer: I have purchased the Crossover plugin and am very happy with it.
  • that with the .dll codecs themselves, you can play .wmv & .asf in xine.
  • by redcliffe (466773)
    I've never used codeweavers wine, I only use the standard one, and I've had WMA 6.4 running for over a year now.

    David

  • This is great!

    You simply have no idea just how much I'm itching to try out WMP on my Linux box, especially after reading all of today's coverage, including this [com.com].

  • I'm a FreeBSD user, so I've even further removed than all you Linux users out there, but AVIFILE has never failed me so far. If Windows Media Player can play it, so can AVIFILE. So I have to ask, what's the problem? Why the need for more emulation?
  • by sbombay (214692) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @07:44PM (#3081311)
    When it comes to the Windows Media market, Microsoft is more willing to support other operating systems. Real Networks is the monoploy player in the streaming market and Microsoft will do anything to make Windows Media win this market, including supporting Linux.

    Last year a company called Starbak [starbak.com] released a streaming server on Linux that supports Window Media Technology (WMT). They built the server from scratch without using any Microsoft code. They initiated OEM discussions with several companies. These large companies got nervous about a reverse engineered server and wanted Starbak to get a license from Microsoft. Suprisingly, Microsoft didn't object and licensed the technology to Starbak. Starbak lists Microsoft as a partner and they talk about Microsoft licensing WMT to Starbak.

    From the Starbak [starbak.com]

    "STARBAK has a Windows Media Technology (WMT) server license to support the delivery of WMT to the desktop over the company's proprietary embedded operating system (OS) platform. This WMT licensing event represented a first for the streaming media industry"

    The proprietary embedded OS is actually Linux.

    Microsoft was even willing to license the source code to other companies to port WMT to other OSes. I don't think anyone has taken them up on their offer.

    • That's because allowing streaming from other OSs doesn't hurt Microsofts overall business. On the contrary, making the streaming server widely available makes it MORE likely that Windows Media will get a foothold in the market and treaten open technologies on the client side.
  • FWIW, I bought Crossover when it first came out, and have used it to view some Sorenson Quiktime stuff.

    But I hope people stop and think about what they're doing today, beyond merely the proprietary format angle. And it's this: You're going to run Microsoft code no your box?

    I wasn't afraid to run closed Apple code. I wsan't even afraid to run closed Macromedia code (though maybe I should have been). But now we're talking about the company that gave the world applications like Word and Excel, which have powerful macro languages embedded in documents. We're talking about the company that gave the world Outlook, which in some versions, executes scripts that have been sent to it. We're talking about the company that gave the world Internet Explorer, which will download and execute code from a website (AxtiveX controls) and run it without a sandbox or any restrictions on what it can do.

    I don't know anything about the wma format. That's the whole point of it being proprietary. Can there be "active content" in there? Does Media Player do anything strange and unusual? Has the code been audited -- or hell, even casually glanced at -- by anyone who isn't mentally infected (e.g. outside of Microsoft).

    No thanks. I don't won't have MS code on my box. People who read proprietary MS formats and run MS code, are in a sort of a "fool me ten times, shame on me" situation.

  • by Dwonis (52652) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @11:55PM (#3082305)
    Some Slashdotters don't seem to understand the significance of this.

    What's the #1 reason why people still use Windows, even though they hate its broken crappiness? Alternatives like Linux and BSD lack backward-compatibility with Windows.

    What does does the CrossOver plugin offer? Partial, but significant, backward-compatibility with Windows. Net result: more people use Linux, so more Linux-native software is developed, Microsoft is marginalized, and everybody wins.

    I just bought the downloadable version of the plugin, you really should, too.

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