elephant cock

First, backonmonkey brings us a video of elephants fucking.



Go ahead, I'll wait.



Now on to the lazyweb portion of this post.

When I load that page in Safari with (what I suppose is) the plugin that came with WMP 9.0.0, I get a dialog complaining about an unsupported codec. The video plays, but there's no audio. (I gather that WMP 10 exists, but not for Mac.)

If I dig around in the source and save the WMV file to disk, it plays fine in VLC 0.8.2.

So: what's the easy way to go from point A to point B? Doing View Source and grovelling around looking for the URL is a huge waste of time. Surely there's some faster way to get from a web page like this to a VLC window? There doesn't seem to be anything drag-and-droppable, so I guess that means a quest for some random third-party plugin?

Similarly, even when the Quicktime or WMV plugins are working properly, I'd usually rather watch movies in a scaled up standalone window than in a postage stamp embedded in a web page. Surely I'm not the only one? But I guess I must be, since I've yet to see any media-player plugin that has an "open this tiny thing in a resizable fucking window" command built in.

Second: here's a random music video. It's not a very good video and not a very good song, but that's not the point. The point is: it's a QuickTime, and when I play it in QuickTime, I get video but no sound. And when I play it in VLC, I get sound but no video. And I can't see any way to save it to disk at all, even when grovelling in the source.

What's going on here? In what topsy-turvy world does someone publish a QuickTime that won't play on a Mac?

    Update: Well, I re-installed some stuff (from the same installers as last time) and after rebooting, now both of those videos play in Safari, with sound, and without any warning dialogs. I have no explanation. At one point, I had some random RealVideo stream that was also not making sound, and that started working after the reboot too. But it's not that sound was just globally scorched: iTunes was still able to make sound, and I was able to get sound out of various other movie files. It was just certain codecs that were hosed, I guess.

    The computers, they hate me.

Third: is there some hack to enable the "Save As" menu on the Quicktime plugin without Apple nickel-and-diming me out of another $30 for QuickTime Pro, 99% of the features of which I'll never use?

Scene missing! A video that used to be embedded in this post has disappeared. If you know of a copy of this video that is still accessible, please mail me so that I can update the link.
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60 Responses:

  1. duskwuff says:

    WMV is very, very flaky under OS X. I find that I have the best luck by opening the WMV in the stand-alone player (cmd-opt-A, find WMV asset, double-click). Even then, it's often hit-and-miss. I get the feeling that a lot of error messages are being suppressed.

    That random music video played just fine on my machine. QT 7.whatever_is_newest, etc. Shouldn't be any different from your configuration, really. Try again, see if it works?

    With regard to QT Save-As hacks: You could probably do it with a bit of binary patching, if you're that kind of person. Or by heading over to your local Apple Store and copying down their QT serial code ;-) If you're talking about legal methods, though, you're probably out of luck.

    • jwz says:

      Really, no sound in QuickTime 7.0.1 on OSX 10.4.2, with the plugin running in Safari 2.0 412.2 or Firefox 1.0.4.

      I had never noticed the Safari "Activity" window before. That's... almost handy.

      • duskwuff says:

        That's bizarre. Exact same configuration here, and the video plays with sound.

        Do try removing the divx* components and see if that makes a difference. Also, what have you got the bandwidth set to in QT preferences? The video you linked to is a streaming one, so that could make a difference.

        *: however that's capitalized and/or punctuated

      • ranger1 says:

        You may know this already, but you can download files from Safari's Activity window by holding down the Option key, then double-clicking the file in the Activity tree.

  2. magicpacket says:

    When you can't find the link in the source and you absolutely must have it, this greasemonkey script should give you a download link for embedded objects. But you'll obviously have to load the page in FireFox. Not a troll, really, just providing an option of last resort.

  3. hotabay says:

    There is a Firefox extension to launch embedded media into the standalone app.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?id=446

  4. bdu says:

    Second: here's a random music video. It's not a very good video and not a very good song, but that's not the point. The point is: it's a QuickTime, and when I play it in QuickTime, I get video but no sound. And when I play it in VLC, I get sound but no video. And I can't see any way to save it to disk at all, even when grovelling in the source.

    weird, on my iBook under 10.4.2, ostensibly set up similar to your mac, I get both video and audio.

    • bdu says:

      slightly more useful info: That was seen playing it in QT embedded in safari.

      • jwz says:

        At some point I did install some extra QT codecs from divx.com or somewhere; maybe that's fucking things up.

        • bdu says:

          I, at the very least, have a divx codec installed. I think that's the only non-standard vid codec I have on this machine, so if you put in a bunch of others that could be a starting point...

  5. wyndebreaker says:

    That music video plays fine for me in Firefox, Safari, and Camino.

    Maybe you're missing some Quicktime Components?

  6. danomite55 says:

    Oddly enough, I get audio in both of these videos. I'm on 10.4.2. The Windows Media player I have is whatever is latest over at microsoft.com/mac. I do have QuickTime Pro, so I wonder if that has anything to do with why I get sound in the QuickTime video.

    • jwz says:

      What's the version number in your WMP?

      • danomite55 says:

        My stand-alone player is 9.0.0 (3307). On the file that's installed in /Library/Internet Plugins, it just says 9.0. Something just occurred to me: I do have Office 2004 installed on my system, and I wonder if that could make a difference. For example, MSN Messenger for the Mac displays a little advertisement in the buddy window if you don't have Office -- an item in a menu lets you turn that off, but is disabled. As soon as you install Office, the menu item to disable the ad works. It seems stupid to me, but perhaps Microsoft doesn't activate all CODECs or something if you don't have Office.

        • hafnir says:

          I did a clean install of Tiger yesterday, and did all the updates, and I have most of the components you have (with a few exceptions, see below) and still get the exact same error Jamie mentioned. The only differences from what I have and what you've posted are I don't have QT Pro nor Office 2004.

  7. baconmonkey says:

    You've upgraded to the Easy To Use computer and you broke it.
    Obviously computers hate you.
    I have the perfect system for you.

  8. rosefox says:

    I deleted the Safari WMV plugin and now when I try to play a WMV, it complains at me and opens WMP instead. WMP plays it fine. (PBG4, pictured, running OS 10.3.9.) That would seem to solve your "open it in a separate scalable window" issue.

    Can't help with the QT thing. As for Save As, I tend to use View Source to find the filename, open it separately, and save. You did ask for a hack. *)

  9. lroberson says:

    All right. Totally irrelevant to your case, since you seem to be a Safari fan...

    But it's quite easy using Mozilla. Just right click in the page or hit the tools menu to reveal an option called "Page Info." From there is a media tab that lists the resources loaded by the page. Embedded video is usually listed of type "Embed" and can easily be found and saved using this window.

    Yeah, not your ideal solution, and go ahead and scream at me or whatever, but it's practical and not really that inconvenient... at least easier than digging through a cache folder.

    • lroberson says:

      I used to view the source to grab the media URL and then smack it into wget on the terminal... but that's kind of a mean solution because it rips off the host x2 for the size of the file. Still more convenient than rooting in the cache.

    • cabrius says:

      Often the file you get that way is just a container that redirects to some streaming URL, though. The music video above is an example, the .mov actually points to an RTSP stream.

      They can still be ripped, but it's a bit more cumbersome. mplayer can store some types of streams (mms: and supposedly rtsp: with an extra library compiled in) with the -dumpstream parameter.

      And I'm not sure if it's still true in QT7, but in QT6.5, the Save As option doesn't even work with these kinds of streams -- you get the tiny little container with the redirect saved, not the actual stream. QT Pro was indeed a waste...

      • lroberson says:

        Well yeah, of course streaming is another beast, but good observations.

        Shame there will never be an all-in-one solution that ties into the browser for this kind of stuff.

  10. leolo says:

    This is a firefox / mozilla. I don't have Mac OS X to see if safari has the same dialog box. Anyway, I use ctrl-I (Tools|Page Info) then go look at the Media tab.

  11. nrr says:

    Power Mac G5 running OS X 10.4.2 (install is less than four days old) with QuickTime 7.0.1 (no DivX, see also the latter parts of this comment) and WMP 9.0.0 (3307). I'm using Safari 2.0 (412.2) as my browser. With both videos, I get audio. The second one skips and occasionally gets video artifacts, but that's because my pipe isn't as fat as it should be.

    Now, if you did install the DivX plugin on OS X 10.4/QT 7.0, you're a bad monkey and should probably read the directions. From http://www.divx.com/divx/mac/:

    DivX 5 does not support Mac OS X 10.4 or QuickTime 7. We are working with Apple to resolve several compatibility issues

    That's all I've been able to observe so far.

  12. semiclever says:

    I know this isn't the most useful, but both videos play fine for me without doing anything funny. MacOS X 10.4.2, iBook G4, WMP 9.0.0 (3307), stock quicktime with no extra codecs, some version of VLC not used in these tests, everything else pretty vanilla.

    Would that there were a quicktime hack. The funny thing is "pro" is all in the player; the quicktime libraries can (and will) do everything disabled in the non-pro player (or at least so sayeth ars). Making an unencumbered player is left as an exercise for the reader.

  13. asan102 says:

    I'm not one who normally pirates software, but I grabbed a reg. code for QTPro off of serialBox because frankly I'm insulted that Apple would not only purposely cripple a piece of software which is integral to using your Mac, but would then present me with a fucking nag screen every single goddamn day I use my computer.

    I don't even see how they could be making that much money off of QT Pro anyways. It's the most worthless excuse for a video editor ever, and you can get much better software to do what QT does for very little more.

  14. asan102 says:

    Unrelated, but I was wondering if you had a comment on this article, as I seem to remember you defending manned space flight pretty vigorously about the time that James Cameron wrote that article in Wired. Just interested in what your response would be:

    http://www.idlewords.com/2005/08/a_rocket_to_nowhere.htm#experiments

    • jwz says:

      Just because I believe in manned space flight doesn't mean that I don't think that NASA in general, and the shuttle in particular, are an unmitigated disaster, and I believe that's Cameron's opinion as well. When he talked about "peering at a basketball with your cheek pressed against it", he was talking about the shuttle and the ISS.

      • asan102 says:

        Sorry if I sounded like I was attacking your opinion, that wasn't the intent.
        (Also sorry if I just misinterpreted the tone of your statement.)

  15. naturalborn says:

    I used to have a job circumcising elephants.

    The pay was lousy, but I got big tips.

  16. zkzkz says:

    Dude, the problems you describe all boil down to: Apple, Microsoft, and company don't consider you their customer. They consider the content provider their customer. They don't let you view the movie outside of a postage stamp or save the movie because they don't see that helping the content provider.

    You made this decision to buy into that worldview when you decided to use OSX and QuickTime and whatever. You chose lickable GUIs and works-out-of-the-box over user-driven design. You reap the rewards.

    mplayer-plugin has an option to always play movies in a separate window. Of course a global option in a configuration file is an awful UI here but that's the typical free-software problem. And there's also an option to always keep the temporary file around in /tmp.

    I use both of these options and normally hit full-screen on any video worth watching and save away any file I want to keep. It does crash like 10% of the time and the UI sucks but at least that's just because of general suckiness, not a conscious decision on someone's part to be actively hostile to me. The former bothers me way more than the latter.

    • jwz says:
        Dude, the problems you describe all boil down to: Apple, Microsoft, and company don't consider you their customer. They consider the content provider their customer. They don't let you view the movie outside of a postage stamp or save the movie because they don't see that helping the content provider.

      That's a real interesting theory Beavis, but maybe you'd like to explain why it is that Mozilla on Linux behaves exactly the same way? I guess they must also be a part of the Grand Conspiracy to which you have so graciously enlightened us.

        mplayer-plugin has an option to always play movies in a separate window.

      I believe my views on that piece of shittastical user-hostile teen-hax0r-ware are well known.

      In short, fuck off.

  17. kathrynt says:

    Thirty-seven comments, and every single one focuses on your software woes and not the big SPLOOSH of elephant spooge that comes whooshing out of her when he withdraws.

    Perverts.

  18. marc_lacoste says:

    I've yet to see any media-player plugin that has an "open this tiny thing in a resizable fucking window" command built in.

    real player does that (not verified under osx). when you pass the mouse pointer over the stamp video, there is an option to play it fullscreen or in the player.

    In the evilness, I think real had fallen. they use to be the über-evil, but their competitors have risen, and they became less irritating. they open helix, and their coders are chating in encoding forums. they are not getting $30 for playing fullscreen, neither take the control of your computer (anymore).

    Don't misunderstand me: all i want is openness, mpg, mpeg-4, etc., not stupid corp shit, but when i can choose between mov, wmv or real, i pick the last.

    • boggyb says:

      Same here. Real seem to have got low-bandwidth streams right - I can watch video streams over dialup with realplayer, and still make out what's going on. And on broadband it's even better. There's still a bit too much nagging in it for my liking, and it's not my favourite player. WMP 6.4 (mplayer2.exe) is, then realplayer, then quicktime at the bottom. With XMPlay off to one side, as I use it for background music, not for listening to internet streams or one-off files on the disk.

  19. edge_walker says:

    At the risk of annoying you by posting something that doesn’t do exactly what you wanted, I have a bookmarklet that will turn all embedded objects of any kind in a page into download links (LJ strips Javascript links, so can only refer you to the page, sorry). It requires XPath support as written, though, so Gecko-based browsers will play, Safari might, Opera doesn’t. Safari would appear to have acquired XPath support recently, but I can’t find anything definitive. All things considered, I’m not sure you’ll want anything to do with it, but just in case it might help, there you go.

    • zkzkz says:

      That's pretty cool though note that often video or audio files are really just effectively playlist files and the actual files is downloaded by mmss.

    • jwz says:

      That's cool. Works good in Firefox but unfortunately not Safari.

  20. pavel_lishin says:

    And now I know what an elephant's dick looks like.

  21. melorama says:

    even when the Quicktime or WMV plugins are working properly, I'd usually rather watch movies in a scaled up standalone window than in a postage stamp embedded in a web page. Surely I'm not the only one? But I guess I must be, since I've yet to see any media-player plugin that has an "open this tiny thing in a resizable fucking window" command built in.

    There is a plugin that does this, unfortunately it aint free.

    The $10 Flip4Mac WMV Player plugin adds a "Launch Quicktime Player" system preference that will play Windows Media movies in the QT Player instead of via the plugin. I feel like a tool paying for a friggen media player plugin, but I figured $10 is a small price to pay in order to avoid years of annoyances that MS will certainly never fix. Not only does this give you more control over WMV playback in Safari, but it plays WMV files MUCH smoother than the official WM Player does.

  22. rbeef says:

    Mezzoblue just posted a tip to address the zoom issue: http://www.mezzoblue.com/archives/2005/08/08/mac_zoom_tri/index.php

    Essentially, you use the the built-in zoom function. As he points out, you still have a huge cursor on your screen, so I'm not sure if it's worth it or not.

  23. pxy says:

    > QuickTime

    did you know you've never been able to view fullscreen with this unless you bought the "pro" version? it's truly the worst format in existance.

    as for sound, that's often the thing that works. for video there's a million ways to compress.

    right now i've download millions of codecs (packs) and final fantasy 7 vids (.avi) will only play the sound.