Tricking a Website into serving up its videos with Konqueror

One of the members on my WFTL-LUG mailing list asked an interesting question. He is running Kubuntu Dapper, has mplayer and all the fancy non-free codecs loaded (so he can play all those closed format files like MP3s, asf files, Quicktime, and so on).

Anyhow, he visited the Healthology Website and tried to play the videos on the page. Sadly, it didn't work. The big question, of course, is whether there is any way to get it to work. The answer is Yes!.

First, the video file that is being served up is a wmv format file (Windows Media Video 9). To get Konqueror to know something about it, you need to do the following. First, you do need to have the MS codecs loaded. And you should have mplayer installed. That had already been done. So far so good. You need to go into Konqueror files associations.

One way to do this is to type settings:/Components/ in the location bar is pretty cool. You can also click Settings on Konqueror's menu bar and select Configure Konqueror. Next, select File Associations. You probably don't already have a .wmv codec defined, so do the following. Click Add at the bottom of the window. A little dialog window will appear asking you to select a New File Type. Click the drop down box and select "video". For type name, enter "x-msvideo" (this could be something else but this is a good choice). To see what this looks like, check out the following image.

Okay, next another window will appear asking for details on this file type. There won't be anything listed under "Filename Patterns" (over on the top right), so add "*.wmv". Now, below that under "Application Preference Order", move KMPlayer up to the top — click on it, then click the "Move Up" button. Kaffeine should work as well if you prefer that. Note the image below (click the image for a full size view).

Click OK, then revisit your page. It should now work just fine. Almost . . . there's just one other problem. The page won't display the right window to Konqueror. It has to think you are using Internet Explorer, Mozilla, or Firefox. So . . . visit the page, the click Tools on the menu bar, select "Change Browser Identification", go down to ",b>Other", then select "Firefox 1.0".  That's it. I don't think you need to restart Konqueror either, but I'm not 100% sure. You should now be able to watch your videos!

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