Tuesday, November 27, 2007

ABC.COM isn't Linux Friendly

UPDATE: If you look down below, you'll find that a developer from ABC.COM responded to this blog. Also, here's a link for a new article, with the response.
ABC.COM's response.

I went to ABC.COM today to try and watch a TV show online. My mission was quickly aborted when this error message came up.......



Since the error message mentioned Firefox for two operating systems, I still had hope. I quickly installed user agent switcher for Firefox, to try and bluff the website that I was using Firefox on Vista. Still no luck. This time, it told me I need to have flash 8 installed. I actually have Flash 9 installed. That should be sufficient, right? Apparently not.


I'm not sure where to go from here. If anyone has any suggestions on how to fix this, please comment. Or maybe it's not possible at this point in time and we need to leave comments for the developers. I did leave feedback there telling them I use Linux, and that I think they should make it possible to view on Linux.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

eztvefnet.org is your solution to this problem - you can torrent all tv shows in xvid format, perfect for linux viewing in mplayer, vlc, kaffeine, totem..you name it.

Anonymous said...

Correction: they seem to have changed their domain to http://www.eztv.it/

Creeva Murkado said...

I actually managed to use it and NBC.com which also had issues for me by using the windows version of firefox installed through wine.

Since you would be doing a clean install of firefox on wine it wouldn't have the plugin's yet so you can install those when you get to NBC.Com.

If you have any questions post one up on www.creeva.com or you can email me at creeva {@} gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't recommend doing this, but it may work. Install ies4linux from ies4linux.com and you will be able to run IE 6 in wine.

Anonymous said...

How about you try using Windows or a Mac dumb ass.

Anonymous said...

Fix: use a real operating system. Linux? Lol

Anonymous said...

We're working on getting a port sanctioned by management.

- A dev at Move Networks

Anonymous said...

Better yet. Don't download anything you can stream just about any show from like surfthechannel.com

Anonymous said...

You're probably out of luck. I try watching hockey clips on TSN.ca all the time and even though I have Flash 9 and Firefox, they do embedded DRM that connects to Windows Media Player that locks us out. You try install IEd4Linux if you need to - http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/page/Main_Page

revchris said...

Netflix, NBC, and Fox are the exact same way. I've emailed the support department for each of them about 2 months ago, still waiting for a reply :(

Billy said...

2 things come to mind...

install the windoze version of flash and symlink it to firefox...

or try something like ie4lin

Jon said...

I use wine to run the Windows version of FF, flash, and shockwave. That's the only way to play shockwave games as well under linux.

Anonymous said...

ABC uses the Move player ( http://www.movenetworks.com/ ) for their full-episode player. Flash is only used as a wrapper around the Move player.

Gary said...

i'm not in the US so I can't test but it might work using Windows Firefox through wine. Worth a try.

John said...

If you set your user agent to Firefox under Windows, you no longer get the flash error. You then get a message telling you that you need to install an extension which will try to install some movie player. Obviously this fails when you are actually in Linux.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried downloading the windows version of Firefox, running it through Wine and installing the flash plug-in through (windows) Firefox, then using it to browse the site?

Anonymous said...

Try downloading the FLV and opening it with VLC. That's what I do.

garyb31 said...

Fox is the same way. :(

Khabi said...

umm... Install flash 9 maybe?

http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash&P2_Platform=Linux

Anonymous said...

You could easily bypass the Move Network player's detection script:
http://mvnet.xlontech.net/qm/move/latest/qmpinstall.js

But it would be useless because inside their java applet is system specific dll files.

Your best option is to simply go to other websites that use open standards for web content.

Khabi said...

Sorry, I completely read that wrong. I thought you said you had flash 8 installed and not flash 9.

Well first try installing flash 8 (just as a temp soloution), if it works write to them and tell them that they should update their codebase to support flash 9.

Not really a 'linux' problem persay, its a lazy coder problem.

Ani said...

Arg I had this problem the other day as well. I emailed them about it and got the standard blah blah blah response. I hate the fact that you have to install a program. I guess they want Linux users not to watch their programs.

Ani said...

Arg I had this problem the other day as well. I emailed them about it and got the standard blah blah blah response. I hate the fact that you have to install a program. I guess they want Linux users not to watch their programs.

Anonymous said...

Change your browser's ID to match something running windows or osx (google it). I think it's a registry edit in IE on Windows and in about:config in Firefox.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't work because of these turds...

http://www.xlontech.com/

They provide the plug-in that the ABC Player now requires (since spring '07). A plug-in that only works on Windows and OS X.

Brian said...

Noticed this months ago. Sent a couple messages, which were promptly ignored.

Anonymous said...

I was on the Hak5 forums once, and there area couple of ways to trick browsers into running flash 8 - first there is a mozilla extension called Flash switcher (which, btw, I've had no luck with...) I would try installing flash 8 if you can find it anywhere...

Gürkan Gür said...

:)

is open-source community crazy for abc.com??

whatever.. huh?

Anonymous said...

I've forwarded this blog along to some people higher up at abc.com hope this issue will be solved soon.

Anonymous said...

Try ies4linux.

Jack said...

I have gotten in to work by installing the windows version of firefox through wine. It is quite easy - do something similar to this - http://www.jdeslippe.com/wordpress/?p=103

However, I do wish ABC would get its act together and allow this stuff to work on linux. We *do* have flash player afterall.

defcon said...

get http://chrispederick.com/work/user-agent-switcher/

Anonymous said...

Love the Linux bashing. Sorry for not paying a couple hundred bucks for a crappy OS with an expiration date for technical support, which only works on the newest hardware, and requires additional antivirus protection, for which you pay anually, only to find that some still gets through and bogs down your weak OS and steals your personal information. I feel so foolish for using a fast hardware-friendly, free OS that gets the job done without risking my privacy online. Bite me.

Anonymous said...

Try installing mplayer-plugin for your Firefox. That should be the most intelligent solution to this problem.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of this too. We need to make a coordinated effort to develop simple solutions to 1. use make it possible to use evil solutions like this that don't work otherwise 2. make an effort to avoid these companies/products altogether where it makes sense 3. campaign against these companies / problems by writing to newspapers around the country. I've done this with a decent amount of success. You basically get in contact with a reporter who than writes a story about it. Best thing to do is provide them as much details about the story as possible. They may interview you for the story as well. I had two articles on issues related to Open Source and Linux published recently. One was in a small university paper (was harder than the larger papers to get them to write about it too) with a university student population of 10k students. The other was a much larger paper with 108,886 Daily circulations and 147,696 Sunday circulations. Plus 600,000 unique users each month online.

Dr. J. Robert M. said...

firefox has an extension that is called 'media pirate' it claims to be able to download video feeds from sites and save them to ur hard drive. it may work....at least worth a shot!
~j

Anonymous said...

It's absolutely amazing how many people are commenting without reading existing comments first!

Also: to y'all saying "Get a real OS like Windows", Grow up! See the real world where Linux is more of a real OS than Windows ever have and ever will be. OSX is good though (*nix!).

usacomputertec said...

All you need to do is install Firefox on wine and make sure that your sound drivers in Wine are installed as well. Then install flash and get going

idiotonuni said...

Try Firefox with wine. It works fine for me plus I can play my 3d shockwave games! Also if you are having full screen problems like me with flash player for linux, it will work in wine. You just have to set wine up to run programs in a virtual desktop. Happy Computing!

Anonymous said...

You can stream ABC movies if you run windows firefox through wine, but my computer chugs pretty bad doing it. I can't run in full screen, and a lower res even gets kind of low fps.

Hopefully people at ABC will realize that by not developing software for linux, they are encouraging people to download their shows illegally elsewhere -- as is shown by much of the comments here.

Anonymous said...

"Fix: use a real operating system. Linux? Lol"

What "Real Operating System" do you use? That Playschool one designed for the kindergarten mentality called Microsoft Windows? I wouldn't put that Virus Magnet - Spyware Magnet of an "Operating System" on any computer ever! It's downright dangerous and it's JUNK! Enjoy paying for your so called "OS" and all the crappy software and antivirus - antispyware utilities you have to buy to run your bloated piece of crap so called "Real" operating system. Now slither back to your cave and post to some Windows XP "power user" forum where you belong, where you can enjoy discussing how to remove the latest virus of the week... This discussion doesn't concern you. It's WAY over your head! Windows XP? ROFL... HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ....... :)

Anonymous said...

okay the last time anyone said anything about linux not being a real operating system was november 28,2007... get over it man...

now has anyone found a solution to the problem other than running firefox with wine?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe it ... I think I found the solution ...

http://abc.go.com/video/index

It's ABC Mobile and it works perfectly for me on FF3 on Linux Linpus Lite.

This rocks !!!

Shannon VanWagner said...

Hulu Releases A Linux Hulu Desktop Client!
http://digg.com/linux_unix/Hulu_Releases_A_Linux_Hulu_Desktop_Client

Now it's time to Let ABC and FOX know to switch their full episodes over to this hulu player on their website... As opposed to the MSFT funded MoveNetworks player on there that is NOT Linux compatible (although they say it is coming.. bet it will be faster now).
Contact abc here:
http://site.abc.go.com/player/index?pn=index
Contact Fox via email here: askfox(_at_)fox(_dot_)com

Tell ABC and FOX and Oprah about this article and let them know to use a client that is friendly to Linux users.

Anonymous said...

I just happened to try ABC.com from Iceweasel in Knoppix 6.2, and it worked! Wow.

Anonymous said...

great, I just tested abc + fox and both work now with ubuntu natively :)

unfortunately the-cw still doesn't