Use mpeg4, people

I’m trying to view a showreel for a client of one of the London artists’ management agencies. The file is in Windows Media Player format… only, WMP crashes on launch on my Mac. My work PC is so old it can’t handle the compression, and it doesn’t have audio, anyway (a common circumstance). So… I can’t see the showreel.

So, I try reinstalling WMP for Mac OS X. No dice, it still falls over. I check the help site, and find this wonderful gem:

Although it is usually possible to play protected files by using Windows Media Player 9 Series for Mac OS X, in some cases you may encounter one of the following issues:

  • The Player displays the error message “Cannot open the file. Verify that the path and file name are correct and try again.” In this case, verifying the path and file name will not solve the problem.
  • A Web page is displayed that informs you that you should upgrade to a newer version of the Player. In this case, you already have the latest version of Windows Media Player for Mac OS X, so upgrading will not solve the problem.

In both cases, there is no way to resolve the issue, and you won’t be able to play the file.

Oh, for heaven’s sake! If the file was in anything like an MPEG4 format, I could play it on pretty much anything. Including my phone! Grrrr!

3 thoughts on “Use mpeg4, people”

  1. Amazing that they even have a reel on a website. I’m *still* having to get VHSs made because people can’t a) go to a website b) play a file from a CD c) don’t have DVD players in their computers at work d) have *sound* in their computers at work.
    I’m at Granada at the moment and while it’s fantastic in so many astounding ways (seriously brilliant place to work, shame about their output) the computers are frighteningly sucky. I can’t get Real Player to work or install on my (fucking) Windows XP machine…

  2. Yup, my PC in my new office is a six year-old Compaq PIII grotware box. It does have on-board audio, but Win98 (yes, the original version) can’t identify it, the model number on the case doesn’t match the contents of the motherboard, and what appears to be the sound chip is labelled simply ‘Compaq.’ So… no sound. On the bright side, it’s one of the better machines in the company: a whopping 512Mb of RAM, and a monitor that not only staggers up beyond 60Hz, it even appears to be some form of Trinitron knock-off. Woohoo.
    Those regulation-issue Granada Dells, on the other hand… [shudder]. I just don’t want to think about how many days’ work I lost or wasted with them. I’ll stop before I launch into my standard ‘technical support’ vs. ‘user support’ rant. Ugh.

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