HOW TO: Installing Streaming Audio and Video Support in Firefox/Seamonkey

This "How To" Tutorial will show you how to use mPlayer as a plugin directly inside of Firefox, Seamonkey and PmW-Fx to play various streaming or online videos.

Compiled from notes and instructions provided by Steve Wendt, Melf and Pete.




HOW TO: Installing Streaming Audio and Video Support in Firefox/Seamonkey/PmW-Fx



The related Forum Thread for this article can be found HERE.

Contributors:
  • Pete (OS/2 World Forum Member)
  • Melf (OS/2 World Forum Member)
  • Steve Wendt (Mozilla OS/2 Newsgroup Member)

  • RobertM (OS/2 World Forum Member) - only compiled and organized these instructions.
Prerequisites:
  • A recent version of Firefox, Seamonkey, or PmW-Fx, etc

  • mPlayer Version r26012 - found here: mPlayer r26012 on Hobbes

  • The Win32 Plugins found here: mPlayer Win32 Codecs

  • The current WORKING Mozilla mPlayer plugin found here: Mozilla mPlayer Plugin
    DO NOT USE THE PLUGIN THAT COMES WITH mPLAYER

  • The ability to update your Config.SYS file



Installation instructions below assume a Mozilla based browser and mPlayer are properly installed and functioning.



A REXX script to assist you in the installation and setup of mPlayer is located in the Forums:
Install mPlayer

Much thanks to Jan-Erik (jep) for creating this script



INSTALLATION PHASE 1:

( If you do NOT complete INSTALLATION PHASE 2, mPlayer runs using default settings - may not work on various system configurations or may work on less sites)


  • Install the mPlayer Win32 Codecs package.

    Do this by unzipping the Zip file they are contained in and moving the contents of the windows-essential-20071007 folder into the mPlayer\codecs folder

    (ie: don't place the "windows-essential-20071007" folder into the codecs folder, place the files contained in it into the codecs folder - you CAN just move the folder, but if you do so, you should follow the "DETAILED INSTALLATION" steps below and ensure you change the path names to the full path that the Codec DLLs are installed to).

  • Install the mPlayer Mozilla Plugin in your appropriate plugins folder (for instance, Firefox\plugins)

  • Move or delete all NP*OS2.DLL plugins from your browser plugins folder

  • Install the Mozilla mPlayer plugin into your browser's plugins folder.

    NOTE: Remember to use the updated plugin found in the package listed in the "Prerequisites" section above. Do NOT use the plugin that comes with mPlayer.

  • If it is installed in your browser, ensure you do NOT have MPC (Media Player Connectivity) assigned to the audio/video files you intend to view using mPlayer Plugin

  • Create an mPlayer Home Directory (such as D:\HOME\DEFAULT\.mPlayer) - OR, if you have already run mPlayer at least once, look for that directory and use it's location in the next step. It will be either located in a place similar to above, or it will be located wherever you have your HOME directory specificied in your config.sys file. For instance:

    If you have OpenOffice v2 or various Linux ports installed that create a HOME directory, mPlayer may have created it's HOME directory elsewhere. For instance, on this system, with OpenOffice installed, the mPlayer HOME directory was created at:

    D:\APPS\OpenOffice.org.2.0\program\.mplayer

    If you do not like it there, you can simply create your own location for it, and specify that location in the next step.



  • Open your Config.sys file and add the following lines:
    SET MPLAYER_HOME=D:\HOME\DEFAULT\.mplayer
    SET MPLAYER_CODECS_DIR=D:\APPS\MPLAYER\codecs
    SET MPLAYER_PATH=D:\APPS\MPLAYER\mplayer.exe


    Remember to change the path names above to the appropriate paths for your mPlayer installation.


At this point (if you restart the machine) mPlayer should work on most systems and various sites... but it is suggested that before you restart and try the mPlayer plugin, you proceed to INSTALLATION PAHSE 2 to customize your mPlayer configuration - and ensure as many media files as possible are playable as smoothly as possible.




INSTALLATION PHASE 2:
  • You may now create a config file for mPlayer that will set it's default operation mode.

    To do this, go to the location you specified for "MPLAYER_HOME" and create a file name "config"

    Add the following lines to your mPlayer's config file:

    # Settings for stream/file caching
    cache=12288
    cache-min=30

    # Setting for Browser User Agent response
    user-agent=NSPlayer/4.1.0.3856


    As noted below, increase the cache values for slower connections or if you are overrunning the buffer (causing pauses in playback while waiting for more of the video stream to be retrieved)



  • If you need to force mPlayer to use DIVE, then add the following to mPlayer's config file (usually not necessary):

    # Force mPlayer to use DIVE
    vo=kva:dive

  • Restart your machine (You're DONE!) - or continue reading below for more TIPS and TRICKS... (you may wait to restart until you are done with the TIPS and TRICKS section).




TIPS AND TRICKS:
Tip #2, Tip #6 and parts of Tip #3 and #4 do not apply to using the mPlayer Mozilla plugin but may be helpful for "normal" mPlayer use.

1

If you copy a TTF font to %HOME%\.mplayer\subfont.ttf, the OSD will be able to show text. The smallest one I had was Trebuc.TTF, and that works fine. (Basically, take a good quality TTF font, COPY it to your mPlayer directory and RENAME it to subfont.ttf)


2
MPlayer will make a playlist out of all the files on the command line; for example
mplayer file1.mpg file2.mpg file3.mpg
or
mplayer file?.mpg
or
mplayer file*.wmv


3
You can define mouse buttons and keyboard keys to do lots of different things. Here's a sample %HOME%\.mplayer\input.conf:


# Settings for User Control of mPlayer playback
MOUSE_BTN2 vo_fullscreen
PGUP pt_step -1
PGDWN pt_step 1
+ volume 5
- volume -5


This sets:
Mouse button 2 to toggle fullscreen
PgUp/PgDwn to go forward and back through the playlist
And ± to raise/lower the volume by 5%.


4
In addition to the mPlayer options above, any command-line options can also be specified in %HOME%\.mplayer\config; here's some useful ones you may wish to add:


# Video Overlay Options and VIO Message Window Options
really-quiet=yes
fixed-vo=yes
colorkey=0x000001


This turns off most of the (verbose) messages, makes the transition between videos in the playlist smooth by keeping the video window open and fixed size (works best with fs=on), and sets the colorkey to a shade of black instead of the default bright green. Note that you don't want to use solid black (0x000000), as then any console windows or other black areas on your screen will then be transparent when over the video.

Also note that color keying is relevant for overlays, so it probably doesn't do anything if you are using DIVE output.


5
As discussed previously, if you are getting jerkiness or lags in the video, but you have a fast connection, you should set/boost your cache and/or cache-min values. Note that this causes a delay before it starts playing video...


6
Update your config.sys file to make running mPlayer from the commandline easier. You can do this by adding mPlayer's directories to the PATH and LIBPATH directories in the config.sys file. For instance, if mPlayer is installed at D:\Apps\mPlayer, you would add these:

TO THE LIBPATH STATEMENT:
D:\Apps\mPlayer\CODECS;D:\Apps\mPlayer;

TO THE PATH STATEMENT - BEFORE ANY WINOS2 ENTRIES:
D:\Apps\mPlayer;

Once this is done (and the machine is restarted), typing "mPlayer" from an OS/2 Window will launch mPlayer. If this is NOT done, and WinOS2 is installed, typing "mPlayer" (without it's full path location) will instead start WinOS2's Media Player - which is probably not what you want.


Enjoy! If after you have completed these steps, you are still having problems with using mPlayer Mozilla Plugin, then please visit the OS/2 World Forum and view THIS THREAD .

But, please note, mPlayer will not play every stream or format that you visit... some may require manually downloading (or using something like UnPlug for Firefox to download) and viewing locally.

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