January 18, 2007

Playing Windows Media in Firefox on Vista

I’ve been running Vista full-time for about two months now, and I’ve really gotten into it. There are some compatibility problems, like printer drivers, that aren’t working well, but overall I like it, more than I liked Windows XP.

There was one bug, though, and that was that Firefox wasn’t picking up on the Windows Media plugin. So any websites that had embedded Windows Media videos (which are going away now that flash video is becoming popular) wouldn’t show up. There would just be a big blank box telling you to install the plugin, but the only way I knew of to install the Windows Media plugin is to install Windows Media Player, and the latest version is already installed on Vista. So I was kind of stuck, knowing there had to be a way to do it.

As I’ve learned, Google can be your friend in these situations. I found the answer on this site, and what you have to do is basically copy the WMP plugin files from XP over to your Vista installation. The files are npdrmv2.dll, npdsplay.dll, and npwmsdrm.dll, and on an XP machine they’re located in C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player. Vista doesn’t have them, though, so Firefox isn’t able to pick up on them. You have to grab them from an XP machine (or download them from the website I linked to) and copy them to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins on your Vista machine. After that, Firefox will see the plugins and everything will work fine.

Sounds like a Vista compatibility issue with Firefox, and hopefully a future update will fix it so you don’t have to jump through all these hoops.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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