Monday, 7 September 2009

Mono gets useful

Regular readers will know that I am not a fan of restrictive formats, and especially DRM. The reasons against them are too numerous to go into right now, but the main one is that they tend to prevent Linux (and often Mac) users from accessing content.

A case in point is the ITV catch up / watch live TV service. Available to Linux users? Nope, because it uses Microsoft's Silverlight. Yes, there are third party "solutions" to this, but lets face it, nothing beats being able to just go to the site and view the videos as originally intended.

Although Moonlight - the Open Source re-implementation of Silverlight - has been around for quite a while now (generating controversy wherever it goes) it hasn't supported enough of the Silverlight 2 standard to allow the multimedia content to work on the ITV website.

Until now.

Yes, if you go to the Moonlight site and download the latest beta plugin then that will allow you to play the video (you may need to right-click on the video and allow it to install the Microsoft codecs first).

It is still a bit of a CPU hog - even when compared to the likes of Flashplayer on Linux - but it does actually work! How much of a CPU hog? Well, even on a 2.8ghz P4 it will still take up most of your CPU time when trying to play windowed video. Full screen? Forget it.

Still, as a first step it is good to have it working, and at least now I can watch Coronation Street without requiring Linux.


Maybe I'd better just uninstall it after all!

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