Windows Media Player Plugin Detector




A few PluginDetect commands for Windows Media Player detection

PluginDetect.getVersion('WindowsMediaPlayer', instantiate): [Returns string or null]
   Returns the version (as a string) of the installed plugin. For non-Internet Explorer browsers, you may need to specify the instantiate input argument in order to detect the plugin version.
   Returns null when the version could not be determined (when plugin is not installed/not enabled, or plugin is installed but the version information is unavailable).

By default, the returned version string is comma delimited and has the format of "A,B,C,D". If you wish to change the getVersion( ) delimiter, then use:
   PluginDetect.getVersion(delimiter) where delimiter is a string with exactly 1 character.

For example,
   PluginDetect.getVersion(".");   // set delimiter
   var version = PluginDetect.getVersion("WindowsMediaPlayer");    // version has the format of "A.B.C.D"


PluginDetect.isMinVersion('WindowsMediaPlayer', minVersion, instantiate):
[Returns number]
   Returns 1 if plugin is installed & enabled, and plugin version is >= minVersion.
   Returns 0 if plugin is installed & enabled. The plugin version is unknown, and thus we are unable to determine if version >= minVersion.
   Returns -0.1 if plugin is installed & enabled, but plugin version is < minVersion.
   Returns -1 if plugin is not installed or not enabled.
   Returns -3 if you supplied a bad input argument to the isMinVersion() method.


PluginDetect.getInfo('WindowsMediaPlayer', instantiate): [object or null]
   Returns null if no information is available for this plugin.
   Returns an object with several useful properties. The properties are listed below. To simplify matters, we assign this object to a variable:
    var INFO = PluginDetect.getInfo('WindowsMediaPlayer', instantiate);

INFO.Scriptable: [Boolean]
   Returns true if the Windows Media Player can be scripted. You can interact with the WMP via Javascript to start a movie clip, stop a movie clip, etc...
   Returns false otherwise.

INFO.FirefoxPlugin: [Boolean]
   Returns true if the Windows Media Player Firefox plugin is installed and enabled in your browser. This plugin is compatible with Windows XP and above, and works with non-Internet Explorer browsers. Your browser will list the plugin as "Microsoft® Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin".
   Returns false otherwise.

INFO.DllPlugin: [Boolean]
   Returns true if the original Windows Media Player plugin is installed and enabled in your browser. This plugin is present in Windows XP or earlier, and works with non-Internet Explorer browsers. This plugin is outdated and lacks some of the functionality that the Firefox plugin has. Your browser will list this plugin as "Windows Media Player Plug-in Dynamic Link Library".
   Returns false otherwise.   

INFO.Flip4macPlugin: [Boolean]
   Returns true if the Flip4Mac plugin is installed and enabled in your browser, and is capable of playing Windows Media content. The Flip4Mac plugin is only found on Macintosh.
   Returns false otherwise.

INFO.ActivexPlugin: [Boolean]
   Returns true if the Windows Media Player ActiveX plugin is present in your browser. This means that your browser is Internet Explorer.
   Returns false otherwise.


minVersion: [string or number input argument]
   This is the minimum plugin version.
   Can be a string such as  '1,5,0,0' or '1.5' or '1,5,0,1' or '1.5.0.1' etc...
   Can be a number such as 0 or 1.5 or 1.50 etc...
   If minVersion is not specified, then PluginDetect will assume minVersion is '0'.
   Strings are more versatile than numbers since '1,5,0,1' cannot be expressed as a number.

instantiate: [Boolean. Optional input argument.]
[The instantiate input argument has no effect on Internet Explorer. It only applies to non-IE browsers.]
   If instantiate is true, then an instance of the Windows Media Player will be inserted into the DOM and queried to get the Windows Media Player version. The disadvantage here is that your browser might show a security popup message asking for permission to run the plugin.
   If instantiate is false/undefined, then the plugin version may not be obtained for your (non-Internet Explorer) browser.




Detecting the Plugin Version

For Internet Explorer, PluginDetect will reveal the plugin version for Windows Media Player 7 and higher.

For all other Windows browsers, PluginDetect will only reveal the version of the Windows Media Player if a) you have the Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin installed, and b) you use the instantiate input argument (discussed above).

The instantiate input arg will cause the Windows Media Player plugin to run for non-IE browsers. But some browsers may display a security message asking for permission to run that plugin.



Javascript Can Control the Windows Media Player

It is already well known that you can use javascript to interact with the WMP plugin. For example, you can script the plugin to start a movie clip, stop a movie clip, etc...

You will only be able to script the plugin in Internet Explorer and in browsers with the WMP Firefox Plugin. PluginDetect can give you a quick and easy way to know when it is possible to script the plugin. See the plugin detector source code at the top of this page for more details.



3rd party plugins for Windows Media files

As a general rule, 3rd party plugins capable of playing Windows Media should not be recognized by PluginDetect as being a genuine Microsoft Windows Media Player (WMP) plugin. The one most notable exception to this rule is the Flip4Mac plugin. Flip4Mac is a 3rd party plugin for Macintosh that can play Windows Media content. Because Microsoft appears to officially endorse Flip4Mac, PluginDetect will treat this plugin as a genuine WMP. When the Flip4Mac plugin is detected by PluginDetect it will say that the WMP is installed. Version information is not revealed for Flip4Mac, however.




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