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mixit

Enable MP4 (H.264 + AAC) HTML5 video in Firefox on Windows XP without Flash

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Further experimentation seems to indicate that the Primetime plugin has stopped working for me on Facebook completely.
If I block Facebook from using the Flash Player, the videos don't play at all in my newsfeed, and I just get a grey box where they should be if I click on them. There are no error messages.
Anyone?
I'd just like to know if this is happening for others or whether it's just me!
:dubbio:

Edited by Dave-H
Addition

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No good news, on Facebook, videos are now only played with the Flashplayer. Videos need, compared to Google Chrome, very long time to start this. On youtube, the Primetime Content Decryption Module is still used. It is probable that probably the future support for the Primetime Content Decryption Module will be omitted. :(

:)

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Oh dear, so it sounds like it is a problem for everyone, I guess Facebook have now dropped support for the Primetime plugin.
As you say, I suspect that YouTube won't be far behind.
:(

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Try the latest New Moon. But make sure you add the files for H.264 from the 1st post. Good luck!

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Well I can give it a try, but will it sync with my other Firefox installations?
:dubbio:

EDIT:
I just answered that for myself, and the answer is I'm sure "no"!
A bit of a non-starter for me in that case I'm afraid as I need sync with my other Firefox installations.
I might install it anyway just to see if i like it!

Edited by Dave-H
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I don't know, sorry. What I know is that you don't install it instead of FF, but side-by-side. So it should disrupt nothing and it accepts PlainOldFavorites, in case you use it.

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@Dave-H, @heinoganda

I'm not on Facebook myself, so I'm only able to check public videos, but all seem to be working fine for me. A family member using XP with Primetime on and Flash off is also able watch all FB videos in their feed. So it must be a change that's not rolled out to everyone/everything yet.

In any case, I'm not sure what you guys mean by FB "dropping Primetime support", because AFAIK sites don't need any specific "Primetime support" to play normal HTML5 video in the browser, the plugin simply makes it so that the browser will advertise its capability to play MP4/H.264 and the various players don't care what exactly is providing it. Since you don't appear to be talking about videos with the actual Primetime DRM, the fact that Primetime is used to play them should be mostly transparent. (I say "mostly", because I'm sure there are ways to detect that the plugin is present if someone starts looking for it specifically, it's just that it shouldn't matter to anyone for ordinary videos.)

Two things I can suggest are trying FB with a fresh clean profile + Primetime; and spoofing the user agent. I know there are extensions that have been screwed up by various degrees after being forced to move to the WebExtensions API, so if one of them is messing with page content incl. videos, you might have to downgrade it. And FB may have simplified its server-side logic to assume that ESR 52 on XP requires Flash for H.264, and is therefore serving different kinds of pages to it without bothering with detection.

Edited by mixit
  • Like 2

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1 hour ago, mixit said:

Two things I can suggest are trying FB with a fresh clean profile + Primetime; and spoofing the user agent.

This. Try going to about:config in Your Firefox 52.4.X ESR and create general.useragent.override string variable with following value:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:57.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/57.0

Then try re-visiting FB videos.:)

Edited by Bersaglio
typo
  • Like 3

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Thank you so much guys!
Spoofing the user agent has completely fixed it!
:thumbup
I love this forum so much..........
:wub:

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Thanks for checking this out, @Bersaglio! We (I and my "tester" :)) weren't able to make this problem appear even when we turned our usual UA spoofing off, so I couldn't be sure. It's a little surprising that Facebook has started employing such simplistic measures, but I guess even they must sometimes cut back on their client-side scripting bloat :whistle:. I'm guessing you suggested 57.0 to look more up to date, not because a lower version wouldn't work as well, as long as it's Win7+ ?

BTW, I would suggest that those who are going to employ this work-around use a Firefox extension to manage the UA override (I myself use User Agent Switcher, there are many others), That's both because it's more convenient than manually tweaking about:config, and because without a visual indication somewhere in your toolbar you could end up forgetting about the fix and then get pretty confused if (in terms of likelihood, more like when) some other problem later crops up somewhere else because you're using a spoofed UA.

EDIT: Since FB is a major site, I went ahead and added a note about this problem and its workaround to the OP.

Edited by mixit
  • Upvote 1

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Spoofing ua as 7 may reduce xp market share. 

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11 hours ago, mixit said:

I'm guessing you suggested 57.0 to look more up to date, not because a lower version wouldn't work as well, as long as it's Win7+ ?

Yes, I inserted 57.0 version in the ua because we don't want FB complaining about outdated FF version until next year.:yes: Now Win'7 x64 is threated as 'minimum supported system' for FB.

And this is not the first time when we need spoofing ua to play videos. I remembered the same problem on the BBC website few months ago.

2 hours ago, Dibya said:

Spoofing ua as 7 may reduce xp market share.

Hence, we are forced to raise Win'7 user base which can be considered as 'lesser evil'.:P

Edited by Bersaglio
typo/fix

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I'm less concerned about websites generally thinking you're not using XP as I am about Mozilla thinking that, as they haven't yet said whether they will keep on supporting 52ESR beyond its normal life expectancy.
They did say they would make a decision based on the number of users that they detected were still using XP or Vista.
I assume that changing the user agent will not change the data that Firefox sends back to Mozilla, so hopefully this will have no impact on that.
Going to Mozilla's website now tells me I'm using a pre-release version of Firefox!
:)

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Hi,

I installed firefox esr 52.4.1 and there isn't such preferences for example: media.gmp-eme-adobe.enabled (boolean, true).

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9 minutes ago, litk said:

I installed firefox esr 52.4.1 and there isn't such preferences for example: media.gmp-eme-adobe.enabled (boolean, true).

You should create missing preferences manually and assign them the values indicated in brackets.:yes:

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