It’s a question that’s been bugging me ever since I had to install this programm on my beloved Mac. I have always tried to keep my system clear of anything Micro$oft, and thanks to the great NeoOffice (the Aqua version of OpenOffice), I could get rid of MS Office.
At first I thought their Windows Media Player could easily be replaced by the VideoLan Client, or, as it’s more commonly called, VLC. The programm actually worked quite well, until I tried opening a .wmv file that had been encoded with the latest version of the windows media encoder – VLC had no decoder for that file. So, sadly, I had to bite the bullet and downloaded the crappy OS X version of Windows Media Player.
Then however I discovered a nice pogramm called Flip4Mac, which however costs 30$, a sum I wasn’t willing to pay only to watch a wmv. Soon afterwards I noticed that Micro$oft actually is offering a free QuickTime component based on Flip4Mac that allows the playback of Windows Media files – including these weird .asf and .asx files – right in QuickTime, and best of all, and most surprisingly, it’s completely free! The component even adds QuickTime functionality to WM files, streaming videos can automatically be converted into progressive download videos in real time.
QuickTime handling WM videos even better than the original programm – now what more could a Mac user dream of? Well, I love listening to internet radio, even more now that I’m in the UK. I want to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in Luxembourg so I want to listen to Luxemburgish radio stations. Unfortunately, most of them offer their stream only in WM, but I don’t want to listen to a stream in QuickTime – I prefer iTunes – I only use QuickTime for watching movies. So, how do you listen to a WM stream in iTunes? It’s actually surprisingly easy: just open the stream with QuickTime, save it as a .mov and … open it in iTunes. And enjoy the stream. Now I know my Mac’s not completely free from Micro$oft technology (Flip4Mac is on it), but at least I can now use my favourite Apple programs to listen to / watch the content I want.
Recommended to every Mac user. :)