Mac:WMP9 for Mac FAQ

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
~/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.mediaplayer.plist
(~/ 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:
www.microsoft.com/wi…
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:
msdn.microsoft.com/l…


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:


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:
www.microsoft.com/ma…www.microsoft.com/wi…


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.

2 thoughts on “Mac:WMP9 for Mac FAQ

  1. I don’t think it is possible. All you can do is to trash the file that lists the recently opened files to reset it.

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