Test Video to see if HTML5 Works.

Here is a tiny test video, which shows the little Z80 SBC (Single Board Computer) running a "ripple pattern". Its the direct link.  You can use it to check if your HTML5 rendering is correct.


(Now that Quirksmode has gone dark, figure we need a  quick HTML5 test/check thing!)

Notes on Getting Firefox to Work with Video

This is the Youtube page for HTML5 rendering test/verify.

Getting the various versions of Firefox to work correctly with video can be a chore.

The more recent versions almost work.  But various platform characteristics and requirements, often dictate that specific (older) versions of Firefox be used.

We run a mix of older boxes, with a variety of specialized software and hardware.   The notes here provide information about getting the damn video playback to work right in the Firefox web browser.   Note the version-specific characteristics. 

The screen below highlights a current issue.  Flash video is served when I edit this website, but when clients view the site, they are only shown HMTL5.   Up until recently, Flash video was used, and it works well and runs on all flavours of my equipment (Windows, Linux and Macbook).

Flash Video from Adobe: See, this looks like a problem, right? Well, no, its not really. Because when you click on the FLASH video box, IT WORKS. This is in contrast to all my other machines which now - since my site provider is ONLY serving HTML5 videos - show either a green screen, or the message "No Video with supported format or MIME type found". And you then get NOTHING - no video rendering. If you are trying to view a video on this site, and you cannot, I am really sorry. I cannot do anything about this for now. This screen above renders the video fine. To make this annoying, red "No Entry" idiot-screen go away, you simply download the latest FLASH player as a binary (.so) library file, copy it into your Firefox "plugins" directory, and restart Firefox. Then, the Flash video stuff "JUST WORKS".

This is what I see, when I edit this website. Even with this screen, I can just click to make it work. But not with HTML5 stuff. On my WinXP boxes and Linux laptops, the video now fails. On my older Linux boxes - video now also fails. On the MacBooks, running Firefox 57 (Quantum), the HTML5 works, and it also works on the CentOS-7 boxes running Firefox 52.2 ESR - but not on the old Fedora Linux laptops (which can't be updated, lest they loose all the custom drivers that make them work so very well).

What is so wonderful about FLASH, is that it can be made to run *everywhere*. There is a lot to be said for direct *VENDOR* support of a technological method. Adobe does a good job of fixing FLASH when security issues are found. I just updated a Linux laptop to latest FLASH verison 32. The old FIrefox it runs works with Youtube, because Youtube renders using Webm, and it also works with Flash nicely. But so far, I cannot get the older Firefox version on it to load the libavcodec library, or recognize any HTML5 decoding - so all other commercial video sites (including my own!) render with the "No Video with supported format or MIME type found" error. (I cannot upgrade Firefox past the current ver. 34, or I will have to upgrade the Linux and gtk stuff on it, and that will break access to the onboard ATI graphics gpu and the ALSA sound drivers and such, which lets the thing render videos with ffmpeg(ffplay) and Mplayer, which it does now very well.) Today, I am using the MacBook, and I suppose I will have to build a modern Ubuntu laptop. But really, FLASH video always worked. Too bad that HTML5 was such as mess, as does not seem to be backwards compatible - which I know it must be, since I can run ffmpeg's ffplay to play any *.mp4 file, so I know that the libavcodecs are installed. The dear little folks at Firefox/Mozilla just built all their code without providing any hooks to allow it to be used in their little browser correctly.

Obviously, the solution to this nonsense is to *ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE SOURCE CODE --- **AND** the BUILD ENVIRONMENT TO CREATE YOUR OWN SOFTWARE FROM SOURCE!. It is toxically unwise to rely on anyone's binary version of ANYTHING AT ALL. Using distributions of binary code is like taking HEROIN. Once you are dependent on it, your "supplier" has a dangerous and undesireable hold over you. You really want to avoid any sort of dependency situation. And you see, this is why the kids hate FLASH - they don't want to be dependent on Adobe's binary code - they want source. But they expect the poor bloody users to accept the binary distro's of Firefox, which is just basically a bad idea - as all my non-working non-HTML5-rendering devices now demonstrate.

This means you also should beware of the "cloud" approach, where you surrender all control to some agency running some hardware you will probably never even see. To me, this seems dangerously unwise. But then, we live on and operate from, a farm, and several of our neighbours use horse-and-buggy transport. Bloody-minded independence is common here, and is seen as a sensible strategy.

I suspect we are all on the cusp of a new approach to things. What you want, is to have the low cost and flexible approach to offering web-services that Amazon provides - but with true control and security from attack, that comes from having a "digital fortress". Probably it will be done in software, I suspect, but with the hardware localized. But we have to have the software done right - not as the fragile bucket-of-bolts that so many open-source projects seem to morph into. :)

Once you click on that red Flash "NO Entry" video box, or update to the latest Adobe Flash software (by updating the Firefox Flash plugin) then the site editor looks fine, and plays the little video clip, no problem.

Firefox ver. 47 "about:config" media parms, and test-cases from www.youtube.com/html5 and www.quirksmode.org/html5/tests/video.html, showing Firefox ver. 47 working correctly on a WinXP/SP3 box - full HTML5 support. My site here (from simplesite.com folks in Denmark) can nicely serve videos, but on my Firefox platform, I couldn't see them, until I fiddled the about:config parms, and installed the Primetime Content Decryption Module from Adobe. Even if there is no DRM present, you can use PCDM stuff to enable MP4 (H.264+ACC) in your older (stable) Firefox. See how the Youtube HTML5 test page now shows checkmarks in all boxes, and the quirksmode.org HTML5 test pages (with "Big Buck Bunny"), renders all three video examples. Details on how to get FIrefox to work right under older WIndow platforms is from the MSFN.org site: http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/175591-enable-mp4-h264-aac-html5-video-in-firefox-on-windows-xp-without-flash/?_fromLogout=1
Hope this is useful. I want to be able to serve up videos without the dependency on Youtube or other restricted US-based sites. [NOTE: As at Oct, 2019 - The "Quirksmode" site looks to have gone partially dark, and no longer offers the "Big Bucks Bunny" clip to check video operation. - MCL ]

Firefox and HTML5 .mp4 Video rendering.

Getting Firefox 60.2.1 to work properly - on Linux CentOS 6.6 (32-bit):

To do this, I had to upgrade from an older Firefox 34, to the bleeding edge Firefox 60.2.1 ESR (which means Extended Support Edition).  These are the only versions to bother with, as there is typically some stability with the ESR versions.  In 64-bit CentOS Linux, you can just use the Firefox 52.2 that is bundled with it.  You will probably have to install Adobe Flash support, for many webpages (eg: NHK English, the Ustream Live feed from the International Space Station, etc.)

To check:  HTML5 Video operation (Make sure you see all three "Big Buck Bunny" videos):


To get HTML5 (and Adobe Flash) video to work, if you have older (but stable and fast) 32-bit machine, running CentOS 6.6, you probably want to upgrade to Firefox 60.2.1, via a "yum" or "dnf" (the new-and-improved? version of yum).   The key problem with doing this, is that Firefox 60.2.1 (the one that you get if you say "yum upgrade firefox" on CentOS 6.6), will probably crash if you try to import bookmarks.  And if you have your old bookmarks, they will *not* be transfered from your older Firefox to the new one.  (Why the folks writing Firefox cannot make bookmarks work right, looks to be due to their desire to force your bookmarking activity onto some alternate approach, like a cloud-service.  Perhaps the idea is to create a revenue stream?)  Whatever the reason, bookmarks are almost *always* broken on Firefox it seems.

Since even attempting to import an .html file of plain bookmarks in Firefox 60 will crash Firefox (see below), you will need to use some trickery to get your old bookmarks into the new Firefox 60.2.1. 

The reason for using Firefox 60 is that the video can be made to work, on Linux, which is useful.  Note: Again, you will likely need Adobe Flash, but it is not difficult to install on Linux.

Here are my notes on getting Firefox 60.2.1 to load your bookmarks.

-----------  MCL notes on bookmarks problem in FIrefox 60.2.1 ------------------------

Re; Bug # 1611808 "firefox 60 crashes when importing html files".  (on: https://bugzilla.redhat.com)

** Workaround **

Workaround to Firefox 60 crashing on importing .html bookmarks,
and failing to restore older bookmark backups (as .jsonlz4 files)

Firefox version: 60.2.1 ESR (Firefox Quantum)
Linux Verion (CentOS 6.6, 32-bit)
 (uname -a => 2.6.32-504.el6.i696 #1 SMP Wed. Oct. 15 03:02:07 UTC 2014 i686)

I have figured out a workaround to this bug.  With a newly installed
Firefox 60.2.1, (resulting from a "yum update firefox"), I was unable
to import .html bookmarks, as this would cause Firefox to crash.

Attempts then, to restore from any of the "bookmarkbackups" files
from the previous Firefox (which was Firefox 34), resulted in no action.
No errors were produced, no messaged generated, and no restoration took

What did work, was using a web-available utility to convert the existing
bookmark-backup files (which are in ".jsonlz4" binary format), to HTML
files, and then importing the bookmarkbackups-generated .html file.


There is a utility which Jefferson Scher wrote, which can take a binary
".jsonlz4" file and convert it into HTML, and the resulting .html file,
*can* be successfully imported into Firefox 60.2.1.

URL of Bookmark Backup Reader/Decompressor for Firefox


I had roughly 1200 bookmarks, so this utility was a lifesaver.

How To Get previous-version Firefox Bookmarks into Firefox 60.2.1:
Steps (for non-expert Linux users):  This assumes that "Import HTML
bookmarks" is crashing Firefox-60, and that "Restore Bookmarks" from
the ".jsonlz4" bookmarks in bookmarksbackup is also not working, as
is my situation:

 1) Locate your previous bookmarkbackups directory.  It will typically
    be under the local ".mozilla" directory, which on Linux will be a
    hidden directory, because of the "." character in front of the name.
    If your userid is "Smith", you can look in:


    Note: In the "/home/Smith/.mozilla/firefox" you may have several of
    these "<random-string>.default" directories.  They are local-user
    directories for various versions of Firefox.  You can confirm which
    one is active, using "about:support" in your old Firefox version (before
    you attempt to update to Firefox 60).  The subdirectory "bookmarkbackups"
    appears to contain a backup of your bookmarks that looks like it is
    created when you use the "export bookmarks to .html file" option.

 2) Invoke the conversion site (from within old or new Firefox):


    It is called: "Bookmark Backup Reader/Decompressor for Firefox".
 3) Then list the binary ".jsonlz4" files in a desktop window using "Files"
    tool. Find program "Files" in "Applications" main option, sub-option:
    "Accessories". When "Files" starts, it will show your home directory.
    The .mozilla files will be hidden.  Click on the three-horizontal bars
    icon beside the "x" icon that closes the window. This will bring up an
    options menu that will have a blank check box "Show Hidden Files".  Check
    that box, and you will see ".mozilla" directory.  (The hidden ".yattayatta"
    directories will be at the end of the directory list).  Then, navigate
    to the  bookmarkbackup ".jsonlz4" file you want to convert, and click
    and drag it into the webpage box.  ( You should see a bunch of scrambled
    test fill the webpage window).

 4) Click the "Export HTML" button on the "Bookmark Backup Reader/Decompressor
    for Firefox" window.   The exported .html bookmark datafile will be
    called: "bookmarks_from_json.html".  In the subwindows that says:
    "Opening bookmarks_from_json.html", under the heading: "What should
    Firefox do with this file?", click the button that says: "Save file".
    You will then have to choose location.  Just use "Downloads" directory,
    which should be in your /home/<userid>/ directory.

 5) Now, in Firefox-60.2.1, you can successfully import *this* .html file,
    which was generated from the ".jsonlz4" binary.  I note on my machine,
    despite Firefox-60 indicating it would overwrite existing bookmarks, it
    in fact did not.  It appended the .html bookmarks to the existing ones,
    which is probably the correct thing to do.

The above procedure is the only way I was import .html bookmarks, or
restore the bookmarkbackups bookmarks into Firefox-60.2.1 ESR.

Hope this helps anyone else in a similar situation.
-------------------- MCL notes on Firefox 60.2.1 ESR on CentOS 6.6 Linux -------------------


Getting Firefox 47 working properly with Video - on Windows:

I run a version of Firefox that does not have .mp4 video rendering, and to make it work on my older WinXP/SP3 box, with both Flash and HTML5, I followed the instructions on this site, and they worked well.  As the test pages montage above show, I can render all common/popular video formats now.


Hope this is useful.  I'm experimenting with verison 55.0.2 version of Firefox, but as the Mozilla folks have decided to drop support for all plugins, and are also taking a heavy-handed approach (again) at logging all one's web activity (the "Top Sites" stuff is back, and cannot be disabled in newer FF versions, apparently), I am remaining with this older version for now. 

Also, experiments on Android Firefox (which can have the Adobe Flash drivers successfully installed and made operational), show that Android 6.0.1 (current version for Samsung Tab-A) and Firefox 55.x version, are much less reliable than older Kitkat (Android version 4.4.2, running on Samsung Tab-3, with Firefox 40.x).  The Adobe Flash driver (version can be installed on Android devices, as an .apk file, by following the instructions provided on the site below:


I can confirm that Firefox version 55.0.2 (most current production Firefox, as of Sept. 14, 2017 from Google Play Store) with Android 6.0.1 on Samsung Tab-A (most current Andriod that Samsung official makes available for the device) works with the Android Flash drivers version, which are indicated on the Adobe documentation as only working on Android 4.0 (I don't know what sugar candy version this is ... Ice Cream Toad?).

The Flash Video archives from Adobe are at the url below.  You can find the Android Flash Ver about 3/4 ers of the way down the page.  To download and install, make sure you fiddle the "Settings" in Android so that you can install .apk files (Android Package Files) from a non-certified source. 


Hope this is useful.

Update: [ Oct. 25, 2017 ]  -  Thought I would put the image from the msfn site that has the details on how to get H.264 (mp4) stuff working here, since I see so much of the useful and honest info on the web going dark now.  In researching a related video issue, I was surprised at how much actively wrong information was being offered, especially on Youtube.  Since folks are getting paid for generating video-views, the whole youtube ecosystem is becoming about as accurate and useful as the "sideshow" booths at the CNE that I saw as a child.  These were almost 19th-century displays of fake crap that cost a quarter, or were simple rigged games that offered low-quality payoffs even for a win.  Real carney stuff.  Youtube videos that purport to offer explanations or fixes, are often little more than sideshow-style disinfo to attract the eyeballs of the lazy.  Sad.  The internet was this great idea, that is turning into a smelly garbage-dump of fraud and disinfo before our very eyes. <Sigh..>.   I found and used this info below to get Firefox47+HTML5 H264 video stuff working right on an older Windows box, and thought I should offer the page image, in the event the msfn site goes dark - as this site here may well do soon.  Copy it, and get the Adobe stuff while you can.  I am migrating all our material over to Linux platforms (CentOS 6 and 7 series is probably best choice), but we still have a mixed bag of machines.  (A new ACER running Windows-10 is so amazingly awful and annoying, that it is comical - but that is another story for another time.)...

Detailed image-capture of info to configure Firefox to render H.264 (mp4) videos (eg. modern Youtube, as of Oct. 2017), correctly.  Test your Youtube rendering with the page "https://www.youtube.com/html5".  Once you get Firefox and the Primetime plugin from Adobe working right, you should see checkmarks in all 6 boxers on the Youtube HTML5 test screen.

Overview of What I had to do:

1) FIrst, get the plugin zip file.  I got a copy at this (backup) location, via the "wayback" machine.  The URL is:


2) Put the zip file somewhere, and run a SHA256 check against it to confirm the hash-code that is provided on the video image.  It should start with 80975242 and end with BAB11395.  Unzip the downloaded file "primetime_gmp_win_x86_gmc_40673" and you should get three files, which are called:  eme-adobe.dll, eme-adobe.info, and eme-adobe.voucher.  These three files will have to be put into the right subdirectory in your Firefox Profile directory.

3) Install the plugin manually:  Start your Firefox, and look for where your "Profile" directory is located.  Enter "about:support" in the url box, and then, in the section called "Application Basics" click on the button beside "Profile Folder" that says: "Show Profile".  That is your profile directory.

4) In your Firefox profile directory, where the plugins are located, create a directory called "gmp-eme-adobe".  Go into that directory, and create a sub-directory called "17",and then navigate into that "17" directory you just created. 

5) Put the three files from the zip file into this new "17" subdirectory.  That's it.  You can exit the directory stuff, and in the Firefox URL box, enter: "about:config", to change the Firefox operational control parameters.  Click thru the "I'll be careful..." warning.  Make sure to be careful, eh?

6) Enter "media" in the search box, to display all the "media.<blahblahblah...>" parameters.  You will have to examine the "media.gmp...." parms shown in the screen below, and make sure your Firefox parms match these shown on that screen.  You need to BE ACCURATE.  Some parms are booleans, some are integers and some are strings.  In all cases, these terms are CASE SENSITIVE.  That means "media.gmp-yattayatta" is NOT THE SAME AS "media.gmp-yattaYatta".  Why these fine fellows mix case randomly is beyond me, but just deal with it.

7) Once you get this done (did I stress the CASE SENSITIVE thing?), you should be able to shut down Firefox, restart it, and the plugin should be installed and it should work.  You can check status of installed plugins with: "about:plugins", or just select "Tools / Add-ons / Plugins" from the top-line drop down Firefox menu.   Check status by displaying: "https://www.youtube.com/html5" and you can also check the 1-minute test videos of "Big Bucks Bunny" at "http://www.quirksmode.org/html5/tests/video.html".  (The results of the tests for my config are shown in first screen image at beginning of this section.)

Again, hope this helps.  I have spent *way* too much time on this video stuff, even building Mplayer and GMplayer from source, for my Linux boxes - and yes, got it working very nicely, in hi-res video and audio.  (I'll doc what I did in detail to get it working right at some point.)  I run the audio thru an old Denon amp that has a transformer the size of a small car-battery, and push it out thru 35 year old Ortofon 445 speakers that apparently were made in Denmark.  It all finally looks and sounds somewhat OK.  Problem is that any interesting video has to be downloaded, as youtube stops and starts with interuptions far too often.  It is sometimes unwatchable, but at least we are not using satellite, which other folks tell me is even worse in bad weather, than our poor Wimax service.

Image capture of the msfn site page that explains how to manually install the "Primetime" plugin from Adobe that lets H.264 (ie. mp4 rendering) work on Firefox-47. Installing this plugin into your Firefox plugins directly correctly on a Windows box, will make Firefox render H.264 (ie. mp4) videos. This will let Youtube work again, if you find is has been broken by the July 2017 decision to disable Youtube Flash support. Understand: Youtube is no longer offering videos using Flash. Nothing installed locally on your machine will force Youtube to offer Adobe Flash videos, despite all the disinfo on Youtube and in the useless Firefox plugins. Youtube is no longer transmitting anything using Flash. You must convert to HTML5 options. Use the Youtube test page to see if you have configured your browser correctly to render HTML5. The url for the test page is: "https://www.youtube.com/html5". Hope this helps. [This looks like it might not be available anymore, either. ]

[October 2019 update] These are the about:config settings for a Firefox 47 that I updated with Adobe Primetime Decryption Module. I did the update manually (as described above), but got a silly message saying "update will happen shortly" when I looked at the Firefox Plugins page. You have to click the little gear, and *try* to update, (which will not actually happen) , but the Adobe settingts here will have changed to these values, and the PDM will now be installed. I don't watch DRM content, but the PDM lets older Firefox versions render HTML5 video (so I can SEE THE VIDEOS that I have put up on this website). The whole transition from Flash to HTML5 is just about a textbook example of an industry-wide transition done badly.

These are *all* the non-default "media" settings for Firefox 47, on a WinXP-sp3 box that can now render HTML5 video. Again, I do not use any DRM content, but the Adobe "Primetime Content Decryption Module" (PCDM) can be used in earlier version of Firefox to just render non-encrypted HTML5 content. Apparently, the HMTL5 standard was encumbered by proprietary patents, which delayed and degraded it's adoption in the field. The company that operates this website disabled Flash support,and this broke video on all my older machines. But this PCDM thing from Adobe, can be installed manually as a plugin, to allow older Firefox versions to render HMTL5. But I note I cannot stream NHK Live TV, so perhaps the Gstreamer stuff also needs to be installed. Easiest trick is to just install a newer version of Firefox, as the newer versions have native HTML5 support - except this can break your ad-blockers, reduce or prevent cookies from being cleared, and may not work correctly with older 32-bit machines.