plugin sought

Here's what I want: when a page contains an embedded movie (QuickTime, WMV, whatever) instead of displaying it inline, I want to click on that and have Firefox open it as a helper app instead, so that it gets fed to Xine or whatever.

I have the Crossover plugins installed, but for some reason, QuickTime has lost its ability to play audio; and even when it used to work, it still leaves the movie as an un-resizable postage stamp.

There are several plugins out there that attempt to make programs like xine and mplayer function as embedded plugins, but what I'm looking for is kind of the opposite: no embedding.

What I end up doing is going to Tools / Page Info / Media, and then scrolling until I find the "Embed" URL and loading that. But that's tedious.

Does such a thing exist?

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28 Responses:

  1. drjon says:

    I often find that embedded media make firefox crash or hang, so I'd be interested in this plugin as well...

    • korgmeister says:

      I second this, for similar reasons. Also because I like to use Mplayer to play pretty much anything (seems to be the most reliable even though the UI is seriously spartan).

  2. greyhame says:

    Media Player Connectivity (update.mozilla page here) may do what you want. I've only used it on Windows, so I don't know how well it works on other platforms, but it claims to, anyway.

    • jwz says:

      Doesn't seem to work. As far as I can tell, it's invoking the helper app with a null first arg, like,

      xine '' 'http://foo...'

      which, unsurprisingly, just causes an error. But I guess I can wrap a shell script around it or something.

      • greyhame says:

        Huh, yeah, that wouldn't seem likely to work, would it? It doesn't do that on Windows, so I'm afraid I am of no further help.

      • ewindisch says:

        FYI -- I use MediaPlayerConnectivity fine with Firefox on Linux.. but I'm using Totem as my media player.

      • jwz says:

        I mailed the author, and he fixed it (beta version).

        Also, he pointed out that if you go to about:config and add "extensions.mediaplayerconnectivity.LinkIcon:true" it will add a "down-arrow" icon below the "x" that points to the actual embed URL, on which you can do "save link as", etc.

  3. superbacana says:

    It would also be great to be able to directly download embedded media so I don't have go rooting around in HTML and use wget if I want to put this or this or this on my hard drive or magnify it to be larger than a postage stamp.

  4. asadotzler says:


    or, you could go the greasemonkey path and the use unembed script

    I'll bet there are at least half a dozen solutions for Firefox but these are a couple I know off the top of my head.

    - A

  5. So, i'm not entirely sure what package it's from, but i'm pretty sure it's just straight gxine. I'm using Opera on a Gentoo system, and I've got a gxine plugin (registered as gxine-starter-plugin) which starts up gxine externally when it sees embedded video(or any video which it is registered to open, which isn't all file types).

    This isn't a general solution, but it's a good plugin that's worked well for me.

  6. jon says:

    Perhaps Launchy will do what you want.

  7. scosol says:

    uh- maybe im missing something- but it sounds like you just want to "disable all plugins"-
    then set up your favorite apps for whatever mimetypes and set to "never ask"- (in the save as/open with dialogs)


    • Doesn't most modern Quicktime encrypt (at least well enough for DMCA enforcement purposes) the URL of the actual media in a proprietary link file?

      • scosol says:

        haha- i *was* missing something- duh, if the plugin doesn't exist there is nothing to scrape the media URl etc etc :P

        shit jamie, why don't you get to work?
        surely xscreensaver cant be keeping you that entertained these days... :P

  8. waider says:

    plugger's config file allows you to specify if the helper app should be swallowed or not. Someone's taken plugger, renamed it as mozplugger, and claimed it is more stable or something by which they mean they've broken all the video stuff (at least, that's been my experience) so I'd stick with the original plugger plugin.

  9. valentwine says:

    You can put options in your .mplayer/mplayerplug-in.conf to always open an external mplayer rather than embedding in the browser. You can also set things embedded in the browser not to autoplay unless they actually have autoplay set to true in the embed tag, a problem I've found with just about every mozilla media plugin. This behavior clearly should be the default, but even in this plugin you have to specify that in the config file. WTF? Anyway, here are the relevant config file options:


    What I'm looking for:

    Ignore all autoplay attributes and never, ever under any circumstances autoplay any embedded media, ever. Instead, give me an easy way to obtain a list of the media embedded in a page maybe via the right-click context menu or some other mechanism (except the Mozilla sidebar, since that would be useless and a waste of real estate). In that embedded media menu give me an easy way to decide what I'll play and what I will not. Just because my plugins will play embedded midi, that doesn't mean I want to hear it at 9 AM on a Sunday Morning when I'm barely able to swallow beer for breakfast. Pig-fuckers.

    • jwz says:

      I'm going with the MediaPlayerConnectivity thing, because I've found xine to be marginally less hateful than gmplayer.

      • spendocrat says:

        Some day I'd like to be able to Just Use the Internet.

          • spendocrat says:

            How will that make the Internet better?

            • ppezaris says:

              Sorry... I thought you wanted it to Just Work, not to make it better. As a long-time Linux user, occasional disgruntled Windows user, and now part-time Mac user, if you want something to Just Work the hands-down winner is Apple.

              Of course, for that you pay a premium.

              I thought this was all common knowledge, no?

              • spendocrat says:

                Well, that's the usual feeling for having applications run, having the OS suck a little less etc, but using a browser on a Mac doesn't make the Internet Just Work. You still have to deal with retarded cookie-based implementations of things, embedded media, etc. You still have to download plugins and install them and hope you have the right one, assuming you can find them at all.

                At the risk of getting my Computer Operator's card taken away, I rarely have problems with my Windows machine now that it's safely behind my gateway.