I’ve not had a chance to fully play with this yet to see the implications, but what it does indicate is a move towards media that just works regardless of your platform of choice. QuickTime, Flash, RealMedia, and Windows Media have been duking it out for a while now. Microsoft is now providing free of charge a component you can download that allows Mac users using QuickTime as their player of choice to be able to play Windows Media Files. It’s actually made by a company called Flip4Mac and you can purchase their full version if you want to CREATE WMV files on your Mac. However both the free and the pay-for version allow you to view those pesky Windows Media Video files inside your favorite Mac browser: Mozilla, Safari, Netscape, Firefox, etc. This is especially meaningful now since Microsoft’s support for Windows Media Player on the Mac platform has worked well enough but not nearly as well as it could have (at least as much on the PC).
Download it from here:
If you are on a Mac install the components using the link above and then check out this sample video file below. It’s a music video I made over the summer during a trip to the bay area for a conference. I had some friends in the area and we played in downtown San Francisco on the weekend. The music is a collaboration done by my friends Sarah Gurr and her friend Matt Granz. You can download the original song from their collaborative workspace at iCompositions.com. Using a Mac you should be able to play the file despite its proprietary Windows only format. Your player inside your browser will be the QuickTime player, but rest assured it’s actually playing a WMV file.