WMP9 for MacOS X FAQ (English)

Here is the first (well it has been updated since then…) draft of the WMP 9 for MacOS X FAQ

The application won’t install or launch at all:

– repair permissions on the drive (then reboot… it can’t hurt): In MacOS X 10.2 or 10.3, you can do this through DiskUtility (located in /Applications/Utilities). Select the boot volume and click on the “Repair Permissions” button. For MacOS X 10.1.5, you need the “Repair Privileges” application released by Apple for this version of the System (docs.info.apple.com/…)

– delete the WMP preference files:
~/Library/Preferences/Windows Media Player Prefs
(~/ represents your user folder)

The file refuses to play my streaming content:

– Try manually downloading the .asx file (use control-click on the link). Sometime the ASX file has a wmv extension by mistake: download it anyway and proceed the same way. Once on your hard drive, open it in a text editor and look for a link starting by “mms://”. Copy this link, go back in WMP and use the “Open URL” command with this link to get your streaming content.

Many formats still won’t work simply because we have no support for them (eg: third party codecs like ACELP.net or files with DRM 7).
Supported codecs are listed here:
WMP9 for Mac only supports DRM up to version 1.3.

Sometimes, making sure there is no special characters in the name of the drive helps. Avoid accented letters for instance.

Unfortunately, many codecs are still incompatible with WMP for Mac (eg ACELP.net etc.). WMP won’t be able to play streaming on pages using Active-X either.

I selected a high speed connection in the WMP preferences but for some reason I only manage to get the lowest bitrate streaming:

It’s a known bug of the current version. The only workaround I know is to use the trick mentioned in the previous topic to edit the .asx file and copy the link for the bitrate you want, then use it in the Open URL command in WMP itself.

Can I play streaming content on a server using https:

– Nope… It doesn’t work. On their page (www.microsoft.com/wi…), MS mentions that WMP 9 supports basic HTTP authentication, but so far I failed to get it to work on any server using authentication.

I want to trash this software but the Finder tells me the files are locked when I empty the trash:

– Press the Alt/Option key when you empty the Trash. Keep the key depressed as you select the command from the Finder menu or from the Trash’s contextual menu.

How can I clear the list of favorites items:

– delete the “Windows Media Favorites” file in the pref folder. In other languages, this file might have a localized name like:
“Favoris de Windows Media” in French.

How can I clear the list of recent items:

– delete the “Windows Media Player Prefs” file in the pref folder.

The plug-in doesn’t seem to pick up that I try to access Windows Media data and doesn’t open the files/streams in my web browser:
– you need to properly setup the Internet Config Database for the file and MIME types WMP supports. The easiest way nowadays is to do it
through the Internet Explorer preferences (the modifications will be written back to the Internet Config database for all other browsers). Open the preferences in Explorer and add (or modify) the proper file types and corresponding MIME settings in the File Helpers section.
You’ll find all the appropriate settings there:

What’s with http request by WMP?? It sends request in http 1.0 to server working with http1.1:

Yep, it’s a known bug. It doesn’t affect most of the streaming contents, but when a server does multiple hosting with redirection for instance, the plug-in gets stuck by the limits of http 1.0.
As a workaround, webmasters could use the IP addresses instead of server names in their .asx files. Users can still download the .asx file and use the mms:// links found in there directly in WMP as mentioned above (only the plug-in is affected by this bug. The application itself appears to be fine),

I can’t play avi files in WMP:

– WMP on the Mac never ever ever ever intended to play these files. Use QuickTime Player for that (you can install additional codecs like the DivX or 3ivX codecs) or use VLC or MPlayer (both EXCELLENT .avi players).
Same thing for .mp3 and wav files: use QT player or iTunes.

QuickTime player doesn’t support wma tracks in DivX files. If you want to use these files in QuickTime player, you can still transcode the audio track to mp3. You can use several utilities for this purpose. Here are a few examples:

In both ffmpegX and D-Vision, you should select the “passthrough” options for the video track so that the application can concentrate on converting the audio track only.

How can I convert my library of wma files to mp3 :

There are several sharewares or donation-wares out there that can do that. Try:

  • Music Man: www.mireth.com/pub/m…
  • EasyWMA: www.carrafix.com/Eas…

  • A few additional common questions:

    * When will all these issues be fixed: I don’t know
    * When are we going to have DRM 7 support ?? : I don’t know
    * Can I create and organize playlists like in Windows ??: No. Not from WMP anyway but there is no reason why you couldn’t use a third party application to manage file lists and launch them in WMP.
    * I’m not a happy camper and I would like to express my opinion about the app/send suggestions…: use either of these pages:

    Finally my personal favorite:

    * Do you work for MS? : NO I DON’T. No use complaining or even insulting me (I’ve seen both in the past). I don’t work for MS and I don’t have any contact with people working on the Mac version of WMP.

    12 thoughts on “WMP9 for MacOS X FAQ (English)

    1. I just read that flip4mac announced that they will soon be releasing a QuickTime component for playing or editing WMV files directly in QuickTime player :-))

      (VLC already plays some WMV formats)

      They already have a product that can export QT to WMV…

    2. Hi All,

      I was exploring the MS site today trying to find some information that might prove useful to us poor Mac users.
      I found this article: msdn.microsoft.com/l…

      which says:

      Summary: Microsoft Windows Media Player for Mac has been updated recently to version 7.01, which offers greater security and new features for the consumer. Because of the security improvements, it is imperative that you remove support for previous versions of Windows Media Player for Mac.

      It clearly shows that DRM 7 is not supported for us (for whomever had the slightest doubt). Overall, what I don’t like is the formulation. I understand that it would be a problem keeping support for the Mac client (DRM 1.3) when providing DRM 7 for the other users (DRM 1.3 is obviously as flexible and customizable), but if you read it a bit quickly – as I first did -, it looks like they’re almost happy to cut us off 🙁 It should say something like “unfortunately, DRM 7 is not supported on the Mac platform so please, deactivate support for WMP for Mac when using it”.

      Corentin (not really delighted)

    3. I enjoyed this site very much and have taken away a better insight. I will recommend this site to everyone I know. More people should step into .

    4. when I try to run the sample WMP, I get the message “unable to read the dictionary of the application or extension because it is not scriptable
      I have a IMac G% – using OSX.3.7

      Can anyone help?

    5. It’s the first time I hear about scriptability with WMP (at least in this context). If this happens with the sample file installed with WMP, I would trash the app (press the alt key as you empty the trash), the prefs and .[plist (instructions in the FAQ istelf), repair permissions , reinstall and try again. THere must be something funky in the install.

    6. I’m using www.radiotime.com. When I select a streaming audio program, it downloads a small .ASF file, which automatically starts WMP, but WMP says “Cannot play back the file. The file format is invalid.” The same problem occurs with WMP 7.3 and WMP 9.

      If I ask WMP to open the file, it gives the same message.

      If I open the file with BBEDIT it contains an http:// URL. I can paste the URL into WMP, it works fine! Does the file have the wrong extension or ???

    7. Richard, the file is just fine. It’s a known bug in WMP 🙁 It’s already in the FAQ actually 🙁

    8. This is way too complicated for me to do with my little knowledge of computers. I know to use computers, but not to configure them and their softwares. I wish there was an easier way to use my WMP on certain websites. I always get a msg over mime type “application/x-nsv-vp6-mp3” and how it is not recognized and don’t know what to do. Headaches of having a macintosh, although I love it with everything else!

    9. I understand that the workarounds might be complicated 😐
      The problem is that the FAQ doesn’t list normal instructions to use the app, but workarounds to still manage to access the content despite obvious long-standing bugs in the application.
      This is not really “headaches of having a Macintosh”. Nothing like this is ever supposed to happen. Most people should be able to live happily without ever knowing what a MIME type is.
      Actually the specific MIME type you are citing appears to be for shoutcast NSV activex object (and Active-X simply is not supported outside of IE for Windows.

      I never regret one minute to be a Mac user. But the sites that use Win IE *only* technologies tend to get on my nerve. There are standards out there – using them would be a good idea.

    10. I jus tried to follow your instructions for clearing the Open Recent list and discovered that the file names you list for Favorites and Recent Items are switched.

      It should read:

      How can I clear the list of favorites items:

      – delete the ìWindows Media Favoritesî file in the pref folder. In other languages, this file might have a localized name like:
      ìFavoris de Windows Mediaî in French.

      How can I clear the list of recent items:

      – delete the ìWindows Media Player Prefsî file in the pref folder.

    Comments are closed.