I want to be able to play a WMV file on my Mac, but can't decide which plugin/software to install. In particular, I need something that will interface with Adobe Acrobat reader, as Adobe currently do not have a media player plug-in that supports the file format. Essentially, I have created a
beamer presentation using
LaTeX that contains an embedded WMV file.
In the original post, I mentioned that my options were Flip4Mac, Xvid or VLC. Since then, perian has also been suggested. Having decided on Flip4Mac, I discovered that while it does function according to specification, it does not interface with Adobe Acrobat reader. Adobe, however, do suggest visiting the Apple web site for QuickTime....hence my reason for installing Flip4Mac!!!!
One caveat of Flip4Mac is that it cannot play WMV videos that use Windows Media digital rights management, so some videos may not be viewable even though Flip4Mac is installed.
An Xvid quicktime plugin available for Mac but is not well maintained at the moment, according to the Xvid FAQ. The developers, however, are currently working on improved Quicktime support, which will become part of the Xvid core code base. How good/bad is it?
VLC seems to be the popular choice, however, does it include a plugin to Quicktime, or is this a stand-alone product?
Perian, on the other hand, can be used with all QuickTime supporting apps like QuickTime Player, NicePlayer and QTAmateur, however, it does not support all formats.
Also, would downloading them from the MacPorts Project suit my purpose, or would downloading the latest versions from their respective home pages be better? Note that this is more a question of compatibility than anything else. Also note that I am running Mac OS X Version 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard).
Any advice/suggestions/feedback would be appreciated.
Just to let you know that I posted a similar question to the Adobe forum. This is the reply that I received:
Putting it bluntly, you shouldn't be embedding WMVs in PDF files anymore - it's called "legacy media" and it's been discontinued for security reasons. You can't author it in Acrobat X, and playback is disabled in all current versions of Acrobat and Adobe Reader unless the user changes their security options. Authors should be using Rich Media annotations, which embed FLV or H.264 video and play cross-platform via an internal copy of Flash Player. The weblink fired by Reader when it encounters legacy media for which the OS has no registered handler understands that you're on a Mac - and as there are no primary players for WMV files on OS X, that's what it tells you. Adobe does not link to third-party add-ons for other software, and even with those installed it will continue to complain unless the add-on has changed the file type associations, so that WMV files +automatically+ open in Quicktime.
In view of this reply, it's clear that I cannot view WMV files embedded in PDF files, no matter what third party software I have installed under Mac OS. Nevertheless, I appreciate the feedback that I received from each of you. While VLC seems like the most attractive alternative, the reason I chose
flip4mac is because I do not wish to clutter my system with duplicate/redundant media players. While this solves my problem of being able to play WMV files under Mac OS, it does not solve my original problem concerning Adobe Acrobat Reader. It seems like I will have to use Rich Media annotations to do this.
Problem solved! I ended up converting the WMV file to MP4 (a format that Adobe Flash Player and QuickTime understands). This allowed me to play the media file embedded in the PDF document. For the complete story, have a look at the TeX-LaTeX.SE group.