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Linux Software

Windows Media Player in Linux 340

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 ) <> 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.
  • 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?
  • Apparently you're talking about the encoder. I'm talking about the player.

  • by tempest303 ( 259600 ) <jensknutson AT yahoo DOT com> 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. :)
  • by HeUnique ( 187 ) <hetz-home@cobolS ... com minus distro> on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:21PM (#3078807) Homepage
    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 (,, - good luck!
  • 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.
  • FreeBSD? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nvrrobx ( 71970 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:36PM (#3078932) Homepage
    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!
  • Re:thank god (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Archie Steel ( 539670 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:38PM (#3078947)
    Lack of Multimedia? Netscape crashing every 10 minutes? When was the last time you tried Linux? You should give it another go, you might be it is, the only multimedia format I couldn't play on my Linux box were .wma and .asf (I've had Crossover for Quicktime for a while, now - works beautifully). As for Netscape crashing, I ran Netscape 6.1 for four months and maybe the application unexpectedly quit two or three times (and it was on all the time...)

    No, the only thing Linux lacks right now as far as multimedia goes is a strong competitor to Adobe Illustrator and a non-linear video editing program (like Avid, or even Premiere). The rest is all there, son.
  • Re:Too late (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dixie_Flatline ( 5077 ) <vincent.jan.goh@ ... m minus math_god> on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @02:41PM (#3078963) Homepage
    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.
  • 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:


    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.


  • 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 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.

  • by ChaosDiscordSimple ( 41155 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @03:12PM (#3079200) Homepage
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @03:18PM (#3079236)
    I tested the Crossover plugin when it was first released. I had high hopes for it because if it worked, there was a good chance that some developers at Media 100 (who are now at Discreet) would seriously consider a Linux version of Cinestream, a kick-ass video editor. The only reason I still have a Win2K partition is because Cinestream only runs under Windows, but I digress. The "Pro" features of Quicktime mostly didn't work using the Codeweavers Crossove plugin, and those that did sort of work caused the thing to crash. I can crash the plugin with about 3 mouse clicks. It's not worth a 1.0 desgination, much less worth paying for. I love Linux, but apps will have to be much better written than this if we will ever have a chance of it becoming a mainstream Desktop OS. Just my two cents worth. I haven't tried the 1.1 version yet. I might... But if it doesn't support Quicktime Pro, there's no point in bothering.
  • 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.

    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.
  • by Phexro ( 9814 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2002 @05:45PM (#3080513)
    that with the .dll codecs themselves, you can play .wmv & .asf in xine.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2002 @03:46AM (#3082889)
    the #1 reason why people still use windows is because they _need_ windows. it's a job requirement. being able to watch movies in linux is not going to cause masses of people to throw out their windows install media.

The absent ones are always at fault.