19 September 2006

MSNBC Video Supporting the Mac

Starting today, all video on MSNBC will now be available on the Mac without the need for Windows Media Player or Flip4Mac installed. Here's how it works:

  • If you hit the site with Win Internet Explorer 6 or 7 you get Windows Media video
  • If you hit the site with Mac FireFox you get flash based video It doesn't look like it supports Flash in Safari, but that could be just because I haven't got the newest version of the Flash player. Slowly but surely other groups at Microsoft are "getting it" when it comes to supporting the Mac.


    Scott Rose said...


    Scott Rose said...

    Nope, it DOESN'T work in Safari, even with the latest version of Flash installed. Can you please talk to the folks over there to get them to support Safari ASAP?

    Anonymous said...

    excellent work. Now, someone needs to go teach adobe :-P

    Mattie said...

    I have the latest firefox, and the latest Flash, the video's still aren't working! any suggestions?

    David Weiss said...


    My version of FireFox is:

    Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060111 Firefox/

    And Flash version is: 9,0,20,0

    And it's all working for me. I don't know what might be the problem. Is there a specific video link you are trying?

    David Weiss

    Mattie said...

    on the main video page (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8004316/) the "interview with president" whatever his name is, doesn't work, some of the other videos work but not reliably, sometimes it goes to the "you need this software to view the videos" even when i've just viewed that video, obviously it's still Beta. Kinda rediculous that they won't let safari access the videos though if you copy the URL's of the videos into Safari they work just fine. I'm a big fan of the MacBU but this is a good example of where Microsoft is just being a "bully".

    Mattie said...

    Latest firefox and flash. (just updated again to check).

    Anonymous said...

    I noticed the new MSN Soapbox site is using Flash, which is also a great sign.

    (Of course I'm not bitter about them calling their service Soapbox, which might cause
    my own site to drop off the first page of a google search.... not at all.)

    Anonymous said...

    I watched the interview with the Iranian President. It worked just fine using

    Mike said...

    I have the latest Flash (version 9r16) in the latest Safari on a PPC box and the video doesn't work at all. Just tells me to launch Firefox, which also doesn't work.

    So, nice try, but no cigar (or maybe the MSNBC team didn't do any QA).

    Stop teasing us like this, David :-)

    David Weiss said...

    Mike, I don't know what the deal is then. Video is totally working for me with FireFox.

    Anonymous said...

    Hey all,

    I'm Andrew Locke, and I'm one of the people who works on video here at MSNBC.com. Just to let everyone know, MSN Video (who develops and tests our video player) is still in the process of releasing all of the code changes, so what you see right now is still a work in progress. Firefox support was released last week, and the Safari code will be dropping very, very soon. You will have to upgrade to the latest Flash plugin due to a nasty memory leak with Flash 8 on Intel macs.

    We've been hounding them very hard for a long time, and we're really excited to FINALLY see this happening. As David says, it's taken time but other groups at MS are finally starting to come around on these issues. There are a lot of us here at MSNBC who run Macs day in and day out (in fact I'm posting this via my company-issue 17" MBP, OSX and Flock browser), so this has been a huge pain point for us internally.

    I'll post again once Safari support is live.

    Tony said...

    Nope...doesn't work on my Mac with Firefox...their player launched and then nothing. Safari with Flip4Mac is the best scenario for me...hope they get that together.

    Scott Rose said...


    Seriously, if the MacBU is so fantastic, why don't you guys jump down Microsoft's throat for not fully supporting Mac users on technologies like these? Obviously, this still isn't working in Safari & for lots of users in Firefox, so Microsoft STILL isn't playing fair with Mac users.

    Honestly, the MacBU isn't really the cheerleaders for the Mac community that you guys say you are, if you allow your very own company to trample all over us in every single way every single day -- except for giving us an Office suite!

    Wouldn't you agree?

    Thank you,;

    David Weiss said...


    I wish our persuasive efforts were more effective, but as you can see from Andrew's comments, things are changing and not just for FireFox, Safari support too!

    Give them a chance as they try to roll out these changes. If nothing else it's a sign of progress.

    David Weiss

    Anonymous said...

    FYI, I just tried MSNBC video via Safari & Flash -- works just fine.

    Anonymous said...

    Works fine for me on Safari. ABOUT TIME, MS!

    Anonymous said...

    Keith Olbermann video (worst person in the world) will not work with either Firefox 2 or Safari.

    Why don't they give up the damn browser sniffing already and just put up the Flash content where ANYONE with ANY BROWSER can access it?

    Really, why must it be so difficult?

    Just because they /can/ doesn't mean they /should/.

    Remember: Sniff Glue, Not Browsers!

    Anonymous said...


    After leaving it open for quite some time, the video finally loaded. A look a the Activity Panel in Safari noted "Too many redirects" for one entry, one can only presume it was the actual video.

    Upon playing to completion, Safari crashed.


    Anonymous said...

    It worked for me with Safari for about a week and now it doesn't. It would work if they wanted it to!!! MSN wrote this back to me.

    Thank you for writing to MSN Entertainment Technical Support.

    This is Raymond and I understand that you want to play MSN Video on your Macintosh computer. I know how important this service is to you and I apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused.

    Certain streamed content on the MSN Entertainment site is not compatible with the Macintosh operating system or Netscape. This content includes the following media:

    - Music
    - Radio
    - Video clips

    However, I have forwarded your concern to MSN Entertainment Product Development Team that carefully reviews this and will take it into consideration for future design of MSN Video as we continue to develop new styles and offer more features to our customers.

    You are a valuable customer to MSN and we are glad to give you consistent and effective service.

    Thank you for using MSN Entertainment.


    MSN Entertainment Technical Support

    Anonymous said...

    Amazing. It's 2007 now, and MSNBC video STILL doesn't work for me. I followed all their instructions re: installing Flash & using Firefox and Safari to no avail.

    In contrast, I can watch video on YouTube, Google, ABC, NBC, c-span, CNN, BBC, and nearly every site in the known universe except MSNBC. I'm beginning to think it's intentional.