Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Advice for Mac users of mlb.tv

Spent two miserable evenings trying to get mlb.tv to work on my Macs, so I may as well share what I've learned as I try not to think too much about this Brewers series (that was some at bat by Craig Wilson, though).

Despite what the online FAQ at mlb.com says, mlb.tv now supports only one video player for Macs, Windows Media Player (WMP) Series 9. Real Player is no longer supported. Getting WMP to work is extremely difficult, and getting through at mlb tech support is virtually impossible. If you do succeed through a pathological willingness to stay on the line for an hour or more--yes, I did--the person you finally talk to will have almost no knowledge of Macs. But by interviewing the guy I spoke to for a few minutes, in addition to looking around on some Mac support sites where people were discussing these problems, I was able to piece together some advice that I believe will work for Mac OS X users:

  • With Safari closed, open the standalone Windows Media Player from Applications and select "Preferences" from the "Windows Media Player" menu. Under Network Settings/Protocols/, deselect Multicast, UDP, and TCP, so that HTTP is the only protocol selected. Choose "No proxy." Under "Connection" in Preferences, make sure that your connection speed selection is accurate. Click OK to save the preferences.

  • Assuming that you're going to want to watch in full screen mode rather than in the tiny window in the embedded browser application, you can make this happen by deleting the Windows Media Player internet plug-in from your Library. Go to your hard drive and navigate to Library/Internet plug-ins/. Find the Windows Media Player plug-in and drag it to the Trash.

  • Open Safari and clear your cache by choosing "Empty Cache..." from the Safari menu.

  • Get to mlb.tv by typing "www.mlb.com" into the address bar directly--don't go to it using a bookmark or any other way--and then choose the Audio/Video menu item on the top navigation bar to log in. When you log in and click on a game that you want to watch, mlb.tv will look for the WMP plug-in and fail to find it. It will then ask if you want to open the standalone WMP. When you answer affirmatively, WMP will open the game you've chosen in standalone mode, which you then can expand to full screen.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have the new version of Flip4Mac installed it will run the windows media files fine...plus you can set it to open in quicktime instead of the embedded window in the system preferences settings for Flip4Mac.

I used to do it the way you described, but not that Flip4Mac is fixed I find it works a little better.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:56 PM  

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