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(Message started by: John_F on Today at 18:58)

Title: www.clivejames.com
Post by John_F on Today at 18:58
This isn't about www.peteatkin.com, of course, but maybe someone here can help.

Visiting www.clivejames.com using Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox (Windows versions), I'm unable to get the audio and video clips to play. I've installed plug-ins for the most common formats (Windows Media Player, QuickTime, RealAudio, etc.), but no dice. I'm pretty experienced and informed about the technology, but haven't been able to troubleshoot the problem.

With no links on www.clivejames.com that I can find through which I can explain the problem and get help, I'm posting here just in case. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help, or tries to.

John Francis

Title: Re: www.clivejames.com
Post by S J Birkill on Today at 21:03
Clive's Web designer approaches his task from quite a different direction to Pete's. I'll almost always play safe and limit my tricks and tropes to those I'm pretty sure will work across all reasonable platforms. The other guys do the more usual thing: if it looks fantastic on a standard Windows installation (or on one just like ours) we'll use it, and blow the socks off our visitors.

Except inevitably the second approach fails for a proportion of users. And when it does, the result can be a good deal less impressive than if they hadn't tried at all, even to the extent that some pages can't even be read!

Now while I can cobble together this edifice for Pete, I don't really know much about the whizz-bang technologies some Web authors use. The Flash animations and inline streaming multimedia presentations tend to leave me cool. So I'll not pretend to have the answer (Tech board moderator Snoopy would surely know it -- are you there Snoops?)

However, I note the media clips on Clive's site open (for me) in Windows Media Player. That makes me think your problems may be due to (a lack of) ActiveX. No, it's not something our pharmaceutical spammers are queueing up to flog, it's a Microsoft plug-in which allows Windows to handle streamed media. There's a helpful page here (http://kb.mozillazine.org/Windows_Media_Player) about plugging it into Mozilla, which might help.

Or, if you want it to work in Internet Explorer and think this might be the problem, go straight to Microsoft (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.mspx), download and install the latest version of DirectX.

Good Luck!


Title: Re: www.clivejames.com
Post by Snoopy on Today at 22:41
Hmm, they definitely don't make it easy, do they...

On my machine, using both IE and Firefox, the player that handles the movie is also Windows Media Player.  It does appear to have a flash interface tacked on top of it though (quite badly, as it doesn't work properly in Firefox).

There's also some Javascript which is supposed to detect what browser you are using.  So I reckon that in order to get the videos working, you'll need Javascript enabled, have the Macromedia Flash plugin installed, and have Windows Media Player version 9 or later (according to the source code, although I suspect earlier versions would work too) installed.

You can test if Javascript is working by visiting this page (http://mirror.bom.gov.au/weather/radar/faq/clickme.shtml).  Macromedia Flash can be tested at this site (http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/welcome/).  And you can test your Windows Media Player installation by clicking on this link (http://cdn.streamcdn.com/cdn.asp?c_id=clivejames&mt=clivejames&fn=andrew_upton200.wmv), which should load up WMP and start to stream the Talking in the Library episode featuring Andrew Upton.

If all of those work individually but the combination of all three fails to work, then I'm pretty much out of ideas!

If it still doesn't work, a little more information on the symptoms of the failure (i.e. totally blank screen?  Does it attempt to show the player?  Does it give an error in the status bar?) might help discover the source of the problem, but I can't promise anything.

Title: Re: www.clivejames.com
Post by John_F on 14.06.06 at 00:31
Thanks to you and Steve for your quick and helpful replies. By "helpful" I mean that they told me what I needed to know. I'll reply to both in this message.

<< test your Windows Media Player installation by clicking on this link, which should load up WMP and start to stream the Talking in the Library episode featuring Andrew Upton >>

Bingo. This revealed that something was wrong with my WMP installation, and I confirmed it by visiting a couple of other sites with streaming Windows Media. Downloaded and installed version 9 again, and that fixed the problem: the Upton video is playing even as I write this, and the audio clips also play.

Much appreciated.

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