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Old February 5th, 2003, 07:34 AM   #1
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WMP 9 Issues

I use WMP 9 for video viewing on my editing PC (Win2KPro), and for some encoding too. I had to replace the player with 7.1 on my older PC (Win98SE) because of the number of problems that suddenly appeared after installing it. I've just installed it for a friend who a day later is telling me he can't view many of the videos on sites he has routinely toured with 7.1. He's also reporting errors in Internet Explorer 5.5 (also an upgrade from 5.0 the same day). I've seen posts complaining about version 9 and I'm wondering if anyone in the group has met and mastered challenges after installing the version 9 player - now out of Beta. I suspect the experience of non w2k/XP users might be most relevant, but I'm not sure of that.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 01:04 AM   #2
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9 Series Issues

I do quite a bit of encoding with 7.1 and have recently used the 9 and have encountered compatability issues. I have an NT 4.0 NLE that I use for all big projects/sessions and a new laptop with XP Pro that I have used the 9 series encoder with. Apparently, .wmv files encoded with 9 will not play the video, only audio, at least on my NT system. However, .asf files will play after being ecoded with the 9 encoder. I am using the windows media plug-in in Premiere to encode and am assuming that it is the 9 series because it looks and acts just like it. I have not tried the .wmv file from this plug in session on my NT system yet, only from the stand alone 9 encoder. I do know that .asf files work.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 07:16 AM   #3
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WMP 9 Issues

James, I have read that Adobe plans to put up a download for WME9 in Premiere 6.5 but the last time I looked it wasn't there yet, so I'm doubtful that the advanced windows media exports go beyond WME8. I've had good results with the version 9 encoder, although the benefits are lost on players below version 9. My problems have been with the player installation. It behaved badly on my win98SE PC but works fine on my win2k editing system (which isn't Internet connected). As I said it's also behaving badly for my friend, who runs win98SE. He has enabled auto download of codecs but still gets the "can't find codec" error, even for wmv files! You'll notice too that Microsoft is no longer offering WMP 7.1 except in foreign language versions so unless you have it on disk you can't step back to it now that version 9 is in full release.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 08:54 AM   #4
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By the way David,

This site listed in your sig file is an extremely good resource... I've just been exploring it. Is it yours? I'll need to add a link from dvinfo.net -- very informative!

www.contentshop.tv
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Old February 6th, 2003, 09:01 AM   #5
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WMP 9 Issues

Thank you, Chris, yes it is my site. I've had it up since I started shooting and editing in early 2000. I would consider it an honour to have you link to it.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 10:07 AM   #6
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Progressive Download

Yes, that is an interesting site. I have been using .asx files since the beginning, a year now. My understanding was that these prevent the video files from being downloaded to a drive. I have recently noticed that XP Home and Pro downloads the .asx and .asf video files but any earlier OS does not. They only download the .asx file, which is fine. Why is it that XP is downloading the actual video file. This is not good if you don't want your content manipulated.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 05:11 AM   #7
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James,

Format has basically not much to do with whether someone can
download the footage or not. Almost any format is downloadble.
The problem is, as you have noted, that most streaming files
are cached and that those might be "used". QuickTime however
locks these files under NT and delets them afterwarts. But if you
pull the plug on your PC when QuickTime is open and the file is
completely in you can copy it off your harddisk the next time you
turn on your PC. This is just to show you that secure content does
not exist, period (I'll talk about DRM shortly).

When encoding files into ASF/ASX you can host these on a web-
server and they are very very very easily downloadable, no
problem at all! If you have a true streaming server (mms:// etc.)
then it will be a lot harder to do. But I can imagine their might
be tools that emulate mediaplayer and can still download it.
Remember, if you can see it with mediaplayer (ie, it downloads
it) in theory it will be possible to do that with anything else.

Now what about DRM you say. DRM stands for Digital Rights
Management and is both an interesting and scary thing. Hollywood
and the music industry are very keen on this because they
can then decide who watches their content and who doesn't.
Basically you could use this scheme to and that will for the moment
make sure you can only watch and not alter it in any way. I
say for the moment because as we all know nothing is always
safe. DRM uses to the best of my knowledge encryption and
encryption keys to make all of this work.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 07:35 AM   #8
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Downloading Streaming Files

Rob,
I am using .asx (mms://) files. My main question is why XP Home and Pro are downloading the .asx redirector AND the .asf video files and earlier OSs are ONLY downloading the .asx redirector and NOT the .asf video file. This means that the earlier OSs are using the .asx as a shortcut from the cache. In other words on the earlier OSs, you can view the video from the site and then cut your internet connection and then go to temp internet files, copy, paste the .asx to another location, then click that .asx and nothing happens, an error page displays. Then view the video with XP Home or Pro, cut you connection, then go to temp internet files, copy, paste the .asf to another location, then click that .asf that was downloaded and the video plays because it downloaded the .asf as well as the .asx. The .asf is now on your hard drive. Also check the file size of the .asf, it's definitely the video. When you said if you can see it with media player, it downloads. I have viewed plenty with the media player from windowsmedia.com and other places and NONE downloaded the video file, only the .asx or other redirector. I think it has everything to do with the code within the redirector and the fact that theirs is a TRUE Windows Media Server that somehow prevents downloading. What's going on?
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Old February 7th, 2003, 07:58 AM   #9
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James,

.ASX does NOT have to be mms://... You can store it on a streaming
server, but you do not have to!

What I meant with my line: "if it plays it downloads" is that it
must get the contents of the file to your PC before it can show it
to you. I was not saying that it would need to write it to disk.
Downloading simply means transferring something from computer
A to computer B. You might store it, but you do not have to.

Now why they incorporated is, and this is my thinking, is to allow
for a more user friendly experience if you want to go back in the
movie. I often (especially with streaming technical presentations)
wanted to go back and it had to stream all over again (which adds
to your bandwidth usage and can cost some serious money if
you are doing lots of this).

I'am wondering why you don't want people to download them
(I actually want them to and encourage people to do so, this
will only help me with more exposure (not everyone can or will
stream), probably my movie will be viewed more times (by the
downloader or friends of his) and it will help them if they cannot
see the streaming version (due to a slow connection on my or
their end, firewalls or networks that are blocking streaming media
etc. etc.). They usually can get a higher quality version as well!)
because if they truly want to do so, they will. One of the easiest
examples is the following for streaming. Just play it back on a video
card that has a TV out and record that with your VCR. Done.

People will get to your movie one way or the other. You simply
cannot stop that. Even hollywood's DVD's can be easily copied.

As to the true nature of why WMP9 downloads those files you
can better ask Microsoft. They will know the only true reason
behind it. I'm also not seeing how you can stream your movie
over mms:// and not have a "TRUE Windows Media Server"
as you put it.

It is just a thing to accept. I would not worry to much about this.
You need to be legally covered, that is much more important.
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