My multi-step method to avoid Flash videos and ads on Safari (by using Google’s Chrome instead) works most of the time. H.264 videos play just fine in Safari. By using the Switch Menubar app to bounce between Safari and Chrome my video watching life improved.
Except for one thing.
Amazingly, many videos that float around on the web are using a proprietary Microsoft video format. That requires Windows Media Video player, which doesn’t run on modern Macs.
With a click or two or three you can add Flip4Mac WMV to your Mac so it can play most of those Microsoft Windows Media videos.
It works. Flip4Mac’s video components work inside QuickTime so you can play, import, convert Windows Media video right on your Mac. And it’s free.
What’s not to like? Well, other than having a dinosaur Windows-like app playing on your Mac. Oh, and that other dinosaur, Silverlight. Flip4Mac will install that on your Mac, too. Because I know you’re just itching to look at Microsoft’s version of Flash animation instead of regular flash, right?
Flip4Mac WMV player is free but all its relatives have hefty price tags. The Player Pro lets you convert and move Windows Media video files to your iPad or iPhone. It also converts movies from a digital video camera to run in iMovie, QuickTime Pro, or Final Cut Pro.
If you have more money to burn and a need to play around with more Windows Media Video, Flip4Mac has more options for more money.
It’s been awhile since I encountered a web site with Silverlight. They may not be extinct, but everyone on my block wishes they were. Ditto for Windows Media Videos. It’s been months since one disgraced by Mac’s screen.
Still, if you need to watch those Windows Media Videos, and you don’t have any money to devote to the cause, Flip4Mac’s free price tag makes it attractive. For a dinosaur.