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Old 2006-03-18, 14:44   Link #1
Chichi
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Join Date: Dec 2005
WMV3 - Quicktime Pro - MAC OS X - Picture Shown No Audio

I am sadly aware of the playback issue for the Apple Mac with WMV3.

- Trying any of the optional freeware players such as MPlayer or VLC will not work since they simply cannot view them. After doing my own initial research, although not entirely grounded, there seems to be some sort Microsoft licensing involved that just simply hasn't happened for Apple's OS X.

I have a selection of movie files in the form of AVI that have been encoded with WMV3. The likely/obvious result is that there is sound without a picture upon viewing with the players mentioned above. However, if I use Quicktime Pro with the Flip4Mac plugin, I am able to view the movie format fine but without the audio. I have decided to license the plugin and have yet to await for the serial they will send me, so hopefully upon registering I will be able to get the audio as well (although there's no implications on their website to imply this), since there has to be some sort of catch with their freeware version.

Either way, this is a long shot, but any ideas how I would be able to receive sound? I have a weak alternative of using Virtual PC, but the frame rate is terrible to a point where watching is almost impossible... I would like to view these WMV3 AVI files with Quicktime Pro, if only the audio were to work. I have tested other encoded movie files, all of which seem to work fine.

If this is a dud thread with no answer, delete/merge/ignore.

Thanks for any help and/or suggestions.
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Old 2006-03-18, 19:48   Link #2
AnimeOni
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As you have found, you need the flip4mac WMV Player.

Due to licensing issues with the decoder, most players are unable to playback wmv3 formatted. You might be able to get around this by changing the extension to asf or use older versions of VLC or Virtualdub BEFORE they removed the decoders. I think the latest versions are circa 2002-2003.
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Old 2006-03-18, 21:44   Link #3
Yuvi
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Hmm... most likely this is a problem with Flip4Mac's avi importer. It's new, and tends to have sync problems even when it does manage to handle the audio. As far as I know, the non-free versions won't solve the problem; the Pro player only enables super-high quality audio to be decoded in its full glory, it down-converts it in the free version. But if I'm wrong, I'd like to know.

As far as playback in VLC, from their forums, they've apparently never been able to play back wmv3 internally, more because no-one has reverse-engineered an open-source decoder for the format than due to license issues. They use/used an external decoder on Windows specific to Windows.

In summary, you're pretty much out of luck until Flip4Mac provides fixes. Out of curiosity (and for filing a bug report), do you know the format of the audio? And what tracks does QuickTime Pro show under Movie Properties (command-J)?
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Old 2006-03-19, 06:28   Link #4
Chichi
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Thanks for replying.

I tried downloading a previous version of VLC but have yet to fully install it. I will look into it more. Renaming the AVI (WMV3) to ASF doesn't work in Quicktime (Flip4Mac) or any of the said players. I'm not sure how to check the Audio nor did I honestly look deep enough to find out, but after using DIVX Doctor, it said something about the AVI file I imported having an AAC audio input and therefore it will refuse to accept it.

I joined the Flip4Mac message board and have yet to hear a response from them, but like I said there, perhaps I'll have to look into conversion into another encode for it to work. They said they will try to work on improving audio with Quicktime playback, but we'll see.

http://www.flip4mac.com/fusetalk/for...&enterthread=y
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Old 2006-03-24, 09:28   Link #5
sophismata
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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You said you get sound without picture when using VLC / MPlayer? I have, on occasion, been able to have success by running both Quicktime (Pro) AND VLC simultaneously, using one for the audio and one for the video.
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Old 2006-03-31, 04:35   Link #6
Chichi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sophismata
You said you get sound without picture when using VLC / MPlayer? I have, on occasion, been able to have success by running both Quicktime (Pro) AND VLC simultaneously, using one for the audio and one for the video.
Yes, this does work surprisingly well and I have resulted to doing this in the meantime. MPlayer starts a second later than Quicktime Pro so it has always been fairly easy to get the video in sync with the audio. Too bad I can't pause.
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Old 2006-03-31, 10:43   Link #7
tragicsmile
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WMV3 Server

It's worked quite well for most of the WMV3 files I've tried playing on my PowerBook.
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Old 2006-03-31, 20:46   Link #8
Guppy
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Another vote for WMV3Server. You'll probably need the old Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 for Macintosh, though - Flip4Mac doesn't seem to work with it.
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Old 2006-04-10, 20:58   Link #9
Yuvi
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Hmm... I didn't know about WMV3Server until now. However, it appears to only to claim to support WMV and MP3, so it isn't of much use in this specific case. And then, it doesn't even work with that for me; it just crashes. Even if it did, as Guppy said, it would probably only work with the neglected Windows Media Player 9, untouched in years, and a joke before that.

On a better note, I patched up Christoph Nägeli's AviImporter to work with AVIs with WMV3 video (you still need Flip4Mac, though.) At the moment, it's several times faster to load the file than Flip4Mac's avi importer, and has much better A/V sync. As an added bonus, it even works with AAC audio! The only catch is that you have to uninstall the DivX QuickTime component for it to work, but it's probably a good thing to replace it with FFusion

Anyhow, I've put the patched avi component here temporarily:

EDIT: Perian includes updated version of both, get that instead.

Edit: This only works with 10.4.
Edit 9/28: Links updated, Flip4Mac released for Intel
Edit 5/5: Get Perian.

Last edited by Yuvi; 2007-05-05 at 13:55.
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Old 2006-04-10, 22:16   Link #10
tweaker
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I am running openBSD, and I have no problems with mplayer or vlc. If I cannot play it on one, I play it on the other. Both of those options are available on the mac since it's just a fork of FreeBSD, which has not had a security audit.

tweak
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Old 2006-04-10, 23:06   Link #11
Yuvi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweaker
I am running openBSD, and I have no problems with mplayer or vlc. If I cannot play it on one, I play it on the other. Both of those options are available on the mac since it's just a fork of FreeBSD, which has not had a security audit.
It's a lot more complicated than simply using mplayer or VLC for everything, because, to put it simply, neither will decode the video, as has already been mentioned in the thread. I'll assume you're using x86 OpenBSD, and that's why you would be able to play WMV files. If you're for some reason using some other port of OpenBSD, I'd say that you're lucky that you haven't run across any WMV files.

Until recently, Macs were on a completely different architecture than the average PCs; they used PowerPC chips. This is a problem for playing files using the WMV3 codec, because the only decoders available are closed-source, and compiled for the x86 architecture (except, of course, for Flip4Mac and Microsoft's old WMP for Mac.) On x86 Windows and Linux, mplayer and VLC use external binary codecs to decode WMV. This isn't an option for other architectures, no matter the OS. In theory, using the same external binary codecs that mplayer uses under x86 Linux is possible under Intel Mac OS X, but afaik no one has actually done it yet.

Of course, even if mplayer or VLC used the same solution for WMV in x86 Mac OS X as on other x86 *nixes, that does absolutely nothing for everyone who already has PowerPC Macs.
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Old 2006-04-10, 23:20   Link #12
tweaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuvi
It's a lot more complicated than simply using mplayer or VLC for everything, because, to put it simply, neither will decode the video, as has already been mentioned in the thread. I'll assume you're using x86 OpenBSD, and that's why you would be able to play WMV files. If you're for some reason using some other port of OpenBSD, I'd say that you're lucky that you haven't run across any WMV files.

Until recently, Macs were on a completely different architecture than the average PCs; they used PowerPC chips. This is a problem for playing files using the WMV3 codec, because the only decoders available are closed-source, and compiled for the x86 architecture (except, of course, for Flip4Mac and Microsoft's old WMP for Mac.) On x86 Windows and Linux, mplayer and VLC use external binary codecs to decode WMV. This isn't an option for other architectures, no matter the OS. In theory, using the same external binary codecs that mplayer uses under x86 Linux is possible under Intel Mac OS X, but afaik no one has actually done it yet.

Of course, even if mplayer or VLC used the same solution for WMV in x86 Mac OS X as on other x86 *nixes, that does absolutely nothing for everyone who already has PowerPC Macs.
"On i386 mplayer can use win32 codecs if they are installed (package
win32-codecs) and if the machdep.userldt sysctl is enabled, e.g. by
entering

sysctl machdep.userldt=1"

Of course, on openBSD, this fix is only for the i386 arch at the moment.

tweak
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Old 2006-04-10, 23:54   Link #13
Yuvi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tweaker
"On i386 mplayer can use win32 codecs if they are installed (package
win32-codecs) and if the machdep.userldt sysctl is enabled, e.g. by
entering

sysctl machdep.userldt=1"

Of course, on openBSD, this fix is only for the i386 arch at the moment.
Err... what is your point here? I already said that mplayer used external binary codecs on x86. Most Macs are PowerPC, which cannot use these codecs. Since this is no longer about WMV3 and QuickTime Pro, I'm going to bed.
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Old 2006-04-13, 11:58   Link #14
Chichi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuvi
...
Thank you ever so much! You are undeniably a legend beyond words. This issue has been troubling me for some time and with the components you instructed to download everything works perfectly. Thank you!

As for the WMV3Server, like Yuvi has mentioned, it deals with a different audio than the encode I'm referring to but thanks for the help anyhow.

(On a side note, I'm sorry if my English is bad).
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Old 2006-04-13, 12:07   Link #15
sophismata
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkhorse
(On a side note, I'm sorry if my English is bad).
Believe me, it's much better than most native speakers'.

Anyway, glad you got it working. This has been of interest to me, as well, because I've recently switched to a Mac. Of course, my problem is that a lot of stuff is still using PPC architecture (I have an intel), but things are progressing.
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