WMV on Mac using Flip4Mac -- slow opening?!?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by WardC, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    OK, I am aware that there are several ways of opening WMV and ASF (Windows Media) files on the Mac. For years I used the WMP for Mac (version 9 at the latest), but I have been using the Flip4Mac components to open WMV files using QuickTime lately. The Windows Media player was very slow, it was not intel-native (universal), and whenver you wanted to shuttle (skip ahead or behind) to a different point in the movie, there would be a long pause.

    I have also used the VLC player as well as NicePlayer, but I find that it's a very uncomfotable experience as well, when you click ahead it pixellates for several seconds while it re-draws the video, this is a bug that may take awhile to work out.

    My machine might have to do with it, I'm only currently using an iMac 2.0GHz, but I have 4GB of RAM on it. Maybe the CPU is an issue.

    OK, now to my point. Whenever I open a WMV file using Flip4Mac, there is a delay, the duration depends on the length of the video or video clip...a progress bar appears, and sometimes it may take up to 10 seconds to open the clip. This is quite annoying when opening a series of video clips or project files (WMV) at once. Is there anyway around this (progress bar delay), or is this normal? This does not happen in VLC or NicePlayer, but they don't use the Flip4Mac components. There are benefits to using QuickTime, it doesn't pixellate or have redraw problems like the other 2, and the video quality seems to be better. I have Perian installed and use it to open avi files in QuickTime...this seems to work perfectly, the movies instantly open and there is no delay to process them before opening...it's just like opening any Apple .mov file.

    Are there other (better) methods for opening and viewing WMV on the Mac, or have I pretty much covered them all? What is your best solution for doing this? And...is the progress bar a part of Flip4Mac that we just have to deal with?

  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Please do not post duplicate threads on MacRumors, thanks. This is the first thread, so I'm moving it into Mac Applications.
  3. WardC thread starter macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I'm really sorry about the duplicate posting. This issue is so broad, it covers everything from Digital Video to Mac Applications to OS X issues in general, that's why I posted it to 3 sections of the board, hoping to get alot of positive feedback. Anyways, thanks for giving me the heads up...I won't do that again (I'm still quasi-new here) and didn't the rules. But of course, the last thing I want to do (or intended) is to spam.

  4. VanNess macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2005
    Thank goodness :) Okay, just kidding...

    Although the progress bar is new to the latest version of F4M, the delay has been there since day one. You can get around it (somewhat) by opening the F4M preference pane, select the player tab and uncheck "Open local files immediately." The file will start playing instantly, but, instead of loading the entire movie (which is the "delay"), it streams the movie, and F4M streaming is pretty pokey. But, that will eliminate the delay and subsequent blue progress bar of death™.

    My solution is to dump all of my wmv files that I get into a folder. The first time I open one of the pathetic little buggers, I suffer through the blue progress bar of death until the movie opens. Then, from Quicktime's file menu, I choose "save as" and select "reference movie" and save it to another organized folder/location on my hard drive. The reference movie file you create is tiny in size (compared with the original wmv source file), so you're not adding significant overhead to your hard drive space. The reference movie's main purpose in life is to point to the original source file for the movie and play it - in this case, it will open and play the wmv file instantly, just as if it were a full-fledged, bona-fide Quicktime movie.

    You can accomplish the same thing by saving it as a "self-contained movie" and then trashing the original wmv, but the file size balloons when it's saved as self-contained, and you no longer have a wmv movie that you can pass around if you trash the original. You'll end up with a Frankenstein .mov file with wmv innards that can be played only a Mac with F4M installed.

    See above

    Your welcome

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