WMV on Mac OS X

After I read that Microsoft quietly discontinued support for Windows Media on Mac OS X, I didn’t know what to make of it. Just another free app for the Mac that Microsoft is discontinuing—guess MSN Messenger is next on the chopping block.

Flip4Mac WMV logo

As a consunmer, it reminded me that I needed to install a Windows Media Player solution on my computer again, as it begins its arduous recovery from a drive failure. At work, many people zip around video and given the platform predelictions here, many times that video is something in Windows Media. Well, I guess that leaves out Windows Media Player X 9.0.

Now normally I would download the latest MPlayer or VideoLAN Client to do this, but that always seemed a kludge. Oh, they have their uses, but I mostly I’m talking about a one-trick WMV playback-pony. Luckily, the article pointed out a solution I had bookmarked and forgotten about: Flip4Mac WMV.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that the $10 shareware fee is only for importing, saving, and encoding. It’s free for playback within Quicktime and as a internet plugin. Score!

Time to test it out on the latest viral WMV video: a small segment from Sci Fi Channel’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not about a young pool playing prodigy, “Landon the Shark Rules.”

As you can see below, I “believe” it worked like a champ:

Flip4Mac WMV allows Quicktime to play Windows Media
QuickTime playback info

Fringe benefit

Another fringe benefit of this is that I noticed I no longer have to use ffmpegX to translate the movies generated by Caitlin’s Casio EX-Z750 so that they can be viewed in QuickTime. Try it yourself!

(Even though nominally Casio and Pentax are using MPEG-4 for movies, it is for the video codec only, and a Microsoft bastardization at that. The audio is Microsoft’s version of the ancient IMA codec and the interleaving is done in AVI. Ick!)

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