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Wunderbar98

Running vanilla Windows 98 in 2019...

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Youtube-dl.exe has been compiled with Python 3 since a little while now and doesn't even run on my WinME system which has KernelEx. These executables do not require an installed python runtime btw.

However latest youtube-dl source (a bundle of python scripts with __main__.py as the executable) is still fully compatible (and likely to remain so) with python 2.6 and 2.7 and I run it without issues with the latest python 2.7.

That's why I thought you might be able to run it too with those python runtimes compiled for vanilla 98.

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Thanks for the clarification, tried running from __main__.py, still no success.

Did not work at all with Python v2.5.

Python v2.6 may have worked the best, able to get Python prompt and run __main__.py --help, still not able to get video or even check available formats. Cascading Python errors, ending with OSError failed to write string.

Python v2.7 was worse. Still able to get Python prompt but launching __main__.py resulted in an illegal operation crash. Python caused an invalid page fault in module kernel32.dll.

Went back to best result Python 2.6 and tried an older version of youtube-dl from 2017 for final test. Still no success, plus the extractor files would be out of date anyway.

Still good to try, now i know. Not interested in trying a custom compile, at this time anyway.

Thanks again for trying to help.

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2.7.1 MSI from python.org/downloads/releases/python-271 installs on win9x. I run the latest python 2.7 by getting files from win7 install of latest 2.7 version. The real python.dll is designed to be compatible with 2K and also will run on win9x. Just copy over from other OS found in system32 directory. Replace third party compiled python.dll with one from python.org.

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Hi jumper, a link for those Pythons was provided by loblo a few posts back, already tried and failed.

Goodmaneuver the official python-2.7.1.msi would not install, a DLL required for the install could not be run. I don't plan on swapping parts from a newer OS, will just let it rest.

Looked at a bit of custom coding to replicate youtube-dl functionality, even just for one specific website. Went through JavaScript, Windows Script Host, Unix utilities, crazy .BAT file. Too much effort with limited success, as running vanilla even has issues with wget due to SSL.

Thanks all for trying to help. Provides insight into the limitations of an old OS on today's internet. Access to a modern browser and youtube-dl is just a reboot away. Initial intention was to get some online access to browse and download gaming related files, mission accomplished.

Tried Winamp, liked it back in the day, not so much anymore. My VLC is okay, sometimes flaky compared to their newer releases. Any suggestions for a vanilla Windows 98 multimedia player that handles most codecs please let me know.

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I have now tried these python runtimes compiled for vanilla 98, they fail similarly with KernelEx disabled and don't do anything with KernelEx enabled as far as youtube-dl is concerned, assuming they are buggy.

Python.dll from official Python 2.7 is dependent on msvcr90.dll and so requires KernelEx to run, there is no point trying to make hybrid installations, it won't work.

Wget works on some but not all difficult SSL sites using the --no-check-certificate argument.

ZoomPlayer Basic is a great free (DirectShow) multimedia player IMHO and current version may still support vanilla 98.

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> Hi jumper, a link for those Pythons was provided by loblo a few posts back, already tried and failed.

Now I see it and Liked it (despite them not working as advertised) back on Page 4. :)

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On 11/12/2019 at 2:10 PM, MrMateczko said:

For music I recommend XMPlay, latest version works natively on 98SE:

http://www.un4seen.com/

I prefer WINAMP, still works amazing up to this day!

or you know you could stick with good old Windows M E D I A  P L A Y E R

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Thanks for all the media player suggestions. Still checking stuff out, downloaded and installed many. Some versions don't work or can't find the required old version, don't play all file types, mostly music oriented, too commercial, too cluttered, too complicated, want to call home, etc. Will casually keep looking, may max update WMP.

Must say downloading and installing random files from the internet feels dirty, after almost 15 years of utilizing centralized open source repositories, coding and compiling much of my own. Almost wore out add/remove, cleaned up temp files and registry, must take long shower :)

Added a Dillo search engine to find information on this forum:
search_url="MSFN_Yahoo https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=site:msfn.org+%s"

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Thanks again for all multimedia responses, decided to stick with what i know.

On vanilla Windows 98 SE (Super Edition) kept VLC v0.8.6d. Then added SMPlayer v0.6.7 from videohelp[dot]com. On my hardware (800 MHz AMD, 384 MB RAM), SMPlayer performance is better than VLC but will keep both in the toolbox. I backup my favourite software on to USB to make future installs easy.

Some SMPlayer notes below.

On first run there was an error about mplayer.exe not knowing the correct install pathway. Just open Options -> Preferences -> General and set the full pathway for the MPlayer executable and screenshot folder, default is:
C:/Program Files/SMPlayer/mplayer/mplayer.exe
C:/.smplayer/screenshots

During the installation there is an extra online codec request. Against better judgement, out of curiousity accepted and temporarily allowed Tiny Personal Firewall to connect. It failed on the first attempt, after selecting retry it downloaded and installed extra codecs, cool it still works. Will zip and save C:\Program Files\SMPlayer\mplayer\codecs for future re-installs.

In Performance settings, allowing framedrop is standard. In the Cache tab consider raising these significantly if your hardware exceeds the Windows 98 era. IIRC back in the day 128 MB was decent.

Only nagging issue is a COMMAND.COM window that opens up when playing media. Closing the window crashes SMPlayer. Not sure yet how to disable this undesired behaviour.

This version may not be optimized for Windows 98, may try an earlier release like v0.6.4 later.

Despite fair performance it is evident these players have come a long way since then.

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When the COMMAND.COM window is open, click the Properties toolbar button (or press Alt+space, P) and change Run: from Normal Window to Minimized.

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Hi jumper.

Thanks for the information. Seems there is no way to prevent COMMAND.COM from opening in the first place. Presumably it is launching MPlayer via DOS.

Even entering c:\progra~1\smplayer\mplayer\mplayer c:\mydocu~1\media\my_file.mp4 for example, into Start -> Run opens COMMAND.COM then the video (SMPlayer not involved).

Too bad, i can live with it. Thanks again.

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Just an aside for systems with lower-end hardware. Running MPlayer standalone will slightly reduce RAM usage, bypassing SMPlayer front-end. Also, launching MPlayer with a quiet option will slightly reduce CPU usage, no unnecessary COMMAND.COM output during video runtime.

Just add a 'quiet' or 'really-quiet' entry in C:\Program Files\SMPlayer\mplayer\mplayer\config:
## MPlayer Windows configuration
subfont=c:\windows\fonts\arial.ttf
really-quiet=TRUE

Personally i add a c:\progra~1\smplayer\mplayer\mplayer shortcut to C:\WINDOWS\SendTo. Then just right-click desired video and select Send to -> MPlayer for direct launch.

Edit: Forgot to mention launch time improvement. Using the hardware mentioned earlier with Send to launches, SMPlayer takes 22 seconds to load and launch a video, 4 seconds for standalone MPlayer. Both executables were recently loaded into RAM.

Edited by Wunderbar98

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