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Firefox 20 Gets H.264 Support on Windows

By - Source: Chris Pearce | B 26 comments

The upcoming Firefox 20 for Windows will include a Windows Media Foundation playback backend that will enable the browser to support H.264, AAC, and MP3.

The feature is currently integrated in the nightly builds of the browser, but not enabled by default.

While the addition only affects the Windows version of Firefox, Mozilla said that the feature allows Firefox to play H.264 video, as well as AAC audio in MP4 and M4A files, and MP3 audio files without having to rely on third-party plug-ins.

To enable the backend, enter about:config in the URL bar and change the entry "media.windows-media-foundation.enabled" to "true". The nightly build can be downloaded here.

 

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  • 8 Hide
    myromance123 , December 28, 2012 1:56 AM
    Hate Flash. Man, when is HTML5 or something else going to beat it out of it's spot? Every browser I use crashes with Flash after a while. Btw, this H.264 support going to come to Linux and Mac OS X?
  • 8 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , December 28, 2012 2:01 AM
    otacon72...and will still crash with Flash.


    You really use FF and dont use Flashblock ?
  • 6 Hide
    sixdegree , December 28, 2012 2:07 AM
    I get the feeling that Mozilla tries to turn the whole browser into an all-in-one media player, and ultimately, an OS.
  • -1 Hide
    randomizer , December 28, 2012 2:24 AM
    This is a bit of an about-face for Mozilla.
  • 3 Hide
    lockhrt999 , December 28, 2012 3:11 AM
    myromance123Hate Flash. Man, when is HTML5 or something else going to beat it out of it's spot? Every browser I use crashes with Flash after a while. Btw, this H.264 support going to come to Linux and Mac OS X?

    otacon72...and will still crash with Flash.


    Mine doesn't crash with flash enabled. You sure you're not using flash v9?
    -------------
    All they need to put together a few things in FF,
    1. Let it support pdf, whole JRE, flash right out of the box.
    2. Program it to halt flash activity on non visible tabs (like chrome).
    3. Make main GUI to run into separate thread all together.
    4. Improve 'work offline' mode.
    Specs for a perfect FF.
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , December 28, 2012 3:27 AM
    flash can easily be blocked, can html5?
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , December 28, 2012 3:35 AM
    I thought that HTML5 already had a vehicle for delivering this type of content to browsers? Why bother using something OS dependent when there is already a tool out there that does the same thing over multiple OSs?
  • 4 Hide
    nonoitall , December 28, 2012 4:04 AM
    CaedenVI thought that HTML5 already had a vehicle for delivering this type of content to browsers? Why bother using something OS dependent when there is already a tool out there that does the same thing over multiple OSs?
    HTML5 is just a specification, and it only specifies how video is delivered/controlled, not what format it's in. If you're referring to WebM, that's already supported by Firefox. Mozilla, alongside Opera, initially resisted supporting H.264 in HTML5, since it undermines the open nature of web standards, but there are just too many websites that have stuck with the patent-laden H.264 for Mozilla to be idealistic any longer.
  • 1 Hide
    jerm1027 , December 28, 2012 5:49 AM
    mayankleoboy1You really use FF and dont use Flashblock ?

    It still crashes on me. I don't blame FF though, it's definitely Flash. When my browser locks up, it returns to normal as soon as I kill Flash through Process Hacker (task manager).
  • 0 Hide
    Pherule , December 28, 2012 8:19 AM
    alidanflash can easily be blocked, can html5?
    Try the StopTube addon for blocking HTML5 in Youtube. But you raise a good point. I'd also like to be able to block HTML5 in all sites. NoScript needs to add HTML5 to their blocking functionality.

    I hate flash, but I hate HTML5 more.
  • 0 Hide
    Cryio , December 28, 2012 8:20 AM
    So now it has 3 out of the 4 HTML video codecs. Good for them, I presume. Although I always thought their "about:config" is unnecesary complicated.
  • 0 Hide
    srap , December 28, 2012 8:23 AM
    myromance123Btw, this H.264 support going to come to Linux and Mac OS X?

    They are planning it. Though, there are problems on Linux, because there is no ideal codec backend to use and rely on.
  • 0 Hide
    kartu , December 28, 2012 9:42 AM
    PheruleTry the StopTube addon for blocking HTML5 in Youtube. But you raise a good point. I'd also like to be able to block HTML5 in all sites. NoScript needs to add HTML5 to their blocking functionality.I hate flash, but I hate HTML5 more.


    Exactly why do you hate html5, oh enlightened one?
    What do you feel towards XHTML? HTML 4.1? HTML 3?
    Share your opinion with us, be so kind...
  • 0 Hide
    kartu , December 28, 2012 9:43 AM
    CaedenVI thought that HTML5 already had a vehicle for delivering this type of content to browsers? Why bother using something OS dependent when there is already a tool out there that does the same thing over multiple OSs?

    To cover major browsers a site needs to have videos in at least 2 video formats, which isn't exactly cheap.
    On top of it, some sites must support older browsers.
  • 0 Hide
    Cryio , December 28, 2012 10:09 AM
    Honestly, at the moment, with 2012 already aproaching its end, I think support should be dropped for browsers such as IE6, 7, 8 from every one.

    What's so hard in supporting Firefox 3.6 and up, IE 9 and up, Opera 11 and Chrome (whatever version)?

    I mean come on, who is still using other ancient versions? And I know corporations and schools still use Windows XP and IE8 (god know why IE). A sad sad truth, for many developers.
  • 0 Hide
    dozerman , December 28, 2012 2:17 PM
    sixdegreeI get the feeling that Mozilla tries to turn the whole browser into an all-in-one media player, and ultimately, an OS.


    They are.... Google boot to gecko and firefox os.
  • 0 Hide
    ikaz , December 28, 2012 3:12 PM
    CryioHonestly, at the moment, with 2012 already aproaching its end, I think support should be dropped for browsers such as IE6, 7, 8 from every one.What's so hard in supporting Firefox 3.6 and up, IE 9 and up, Opera 11 and Chrome (whatever version)?I mean come on, who is still using other ancient versions? And I know corporations and schools still use Windows XP and IE8 (god know why IE). A sad sad truth, for many developers.


    That the point of why we do have old broswers and OS' I work for a enterprize company who's not in the business of IT however they of need PC and servers to support there work. I'm talking 300k+ workstations and probably serveral thousand servers. There are also law where certain type of information must be held for 7-10 year so we have application that old where the company who made the application no longer exist but it must be kept running for legal reasons. Basically it all comes money to money the more the VP's and CIO, exec etc. save money the bigger there bonuses are so most things only get done when they must or at the last moment.
  • 0 Hide
    dozerman , December 28, 2012 3:13 PM
    alidanflash can easily be blocked, can html5?


    On Opera it's called right-click, inspect element, delete node.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , December 28, 2012 5:08 PM
    PheruleTry the StopTube addon for blocking HTML5 in Youtube. But you raise a good point. I'd also like to be able to block HTML5 in all sites. NoScript needs to add HTML5 to their blocking functionality.I hate flash, but I hate HTML5 more.


    what i hate is that its not just one simple function that you could block like with flash or javasctipt
    it will get abused, and there is a chance we want get rid of it without breaking sites in the future.
  • 0 Hide
    spectrewind , December 29, 2012 6:07 AM
    alidanflash can easily be blocked, can html5?


    No, or rather yes if you want to block a site. The ML in HTML5 means markup language.
    With Flash, you have a posted file and possible external actionscript (ascii) file embedded within the HTML markup language. .SWF files.

    There seems to no end to those confusing Flash with HTML. Some of end-user viewable capabilities cross back and forth into being redundant, like embedded video, sound, & scripting.
    The platforms nest one (Flash and the .SWF file) within the other, HTML5 tags that comprise the web page.

    // Digress here...
    Flash sites from several (10+) years ago, like , , and (just some random ones that come to mind) made flash stand out for what Macromedia wanted it to be before Adobe ruined it.
    These were not the crappy ads sprayed into website to annoy you.
    These were genuine multimedia sites and experiences with catching intros and effects. More art than business and ad revenue generators.

    I tried to insert some URLs. Maybe they will work.
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