September 10, 2008

Help! What is the problem with playing the videos I embed here?

I keep getting email like this:
... I am having a problem viewing videos that you embed there. When I click them, it loads and plays the first 2 seconds and then stops and will not go further. Also there is no sound.

If I click through to YouTube and attempt to view them there, the same thing happens, always with no sound.

I am a fairly competent computer user and view online videos frequently – either on blogs or through YouTube directly. This is the only site this happens on. I can’t figure it out. It seems to download the entire clip but will only play the first 2 seconds. If I drag the progress bar, it will show a frame later in the clip, but only play 2 seconds from that point and then freeze again. And again, with no sound.

Any ideas? Has anyone else mentioned this?

The answer to the last question is yes. Any help? I think this is only happening with Firefox.

62 comments:

Terry said...

This seems to be a bug in the latest version of Flash. Google to find a slightly older version and uninstall the new one and install the slightly older version. I did it and the problem went away. I also heard that just uninstalling the latest then reinstalling the same version fixes the problem too. Though I can't vouch for that.

KLDAVIS said...

It's a bug in FireFox 3, you can read about it here, here and here.

I've managed to squash it using the NoScript plugin, or by downgrading to FireFox 2.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Blogger has a problem with a lot of applications. I can't view You Tubes, listen to audio streams, etc. on blogger pages unless I click the individual post and view it/listen, away from the front page. This is on my blog and other blogs (on Blogger, never Wordpress or other sites). This is the case with both Safari and Firefox. I have never been able to solve this problem, and I have downloaded all kinds of Flash versions, old and new, and nothing ever changes. If you fix the problem, Ann, please let us know how you do it! Thanks.

Sy said...

Its the flash plug-in. I had the same problem with Firefox. I upgraded the flash plug-in to Flash 10 beta and everything is dandy.

KLDAVIS said...

Sy's fix works, too.

Assuming a Windows based PC running FireFox, first run the uninstaller. And, then installer for the new plug-in.

2yellowdogs said...

I've had this same problem on an Apple using Safari. It's happened frequently in the last couple of days. As soon as I switch over to Firefox, I can immediately view the video clip. Dunno why, but it works every time.

George said...

Take Reynolds Wrap...it can be the heavy duty or the regular kind or even the store brand. Then carefully cut out pieces to fit your window frames. Then tape those pieces to the insides of your windows, starting on the west side of your house.

I find that this keeps the radiation out.

PS...Saran Wrap does not work for this purpose, as the beta rays pass right through it.

Ann Althouse said...

How could it be that it only happens on my site?

Ann Althouse said...

And why would it happen after clicking through to YouTube? That seems crazy.

plfiss said...

It's happening to me using Firefox 2 on a Mac. I get relief when I run Safari.

I don't know why it's only happening on Althouse but that's the only place I see it.

I blame Flash.

memomachine said...

Hmmm.

Download and install the IE Tab extension for Firefox.

All fixed.

jSinSaTx said...

I first noticed it on this site, but to check I went to you tube following having the problem here and was having the same problem there. That could possibly be unique to me. Reboot cleared it up each time.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

They seem to work for me. Maybe people aren't giving them enough time. Sometimes I have to pause it and let the rest of it load slowly.

Harwood said...

KLDavis said: Assuming a Windows based PC running FireFox, first run the uninstaller. And, then installer for the new plug-in.

I was having the same hang-ups with Firefox 2. No more since I took these steps. Thanks for posting these links.

Pal2Pal said...

Here is the fix for the problem and I’m happy to say it works. It only takes a minute to do.

How to roll back the Adobe Flash plugin.

Note that there are at least two versions of each revision of Flash for Windows, the flashplayer#r##_win.exe which is the plugin for Firefox and flashplaye#r##_winax.exe which is the Active X version for IE. Here’s how to roll back the plugin for Firefox.

* Download this zip file (http://yoism.reality-movement.org/flv/FilesForFixingFlashProblem.zip) and unzip it. (If the link doesn’t work, click here.)
* Run FlashplayerUninstallerforWindows.exe. This will uninstall your Flash plugins for both IE and Firefox. Don’t worry, reinstallation of Flash is VERY fast and easy. After running the uninstaller, check the details it offers to see if your computer needs a reboot to finish the uninstallation. If it does, or if you just want to be on the safe side, reboot your computer.
* Run Flashplaye8forFF-Version8r42.exe, which will install the Flash Player plugin for Firefox.
* To stop Adobe Flash from constantly offering to update itself to the latest version, click this link (http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager05.html) and on the fourth tab, uncheck “Notify me when an update to Adobe Flash is available.”
* If you also have IE installed, run Flashplayer9forIE-Version9r124.exe, which will install the latest version of Flash Player for IE.
* Check back here every now and then to see if there is a new Adobe Flash Player that doesn’t cause the problem.

[I have these directions published:
http://pal2pal.com/BLOGEE/index.php?/site/attention_firefox_fix_for_flash_video/

Freeman Hunt said...

Ann, it doesn't only happen on your site. I have the same problem, and it happens everywhere with YouTube videos. I'll have to try some of the fixes described in this thread.

BigBopper2000 said...

I've had the lockup problem on numerous (but not all) sites when playing flash vidoes. KLDAVIS' links solved it. Thanks. I finally have something concrete to show for reading Althouse!

Bruce Hayden said...

Somewhat similar problem. After reading a couple of threads on Ann's blog, I often have to kill the tab containing her blog, since Firefox (2.0.0.11) has hung. It does seem to have something to do with embedded Flash videos. Also note that this happens both on Max OS X and Windows Vista. Also, Ann's blog is really the only Blogger blog I follow religiously and the only one with a lot of embedded Flash.

What is frustrating is that I sometimes find myself running Internet Exploder just to view this blog (not really a viable option on the Mac).

PeteDrum said...

I have the problem only here. Firefox 3. Reboot sometimes fixes it.

VietPundit said...

Prof Althouse,

I have had the same problems as described in our emails (I run Firefox 3.0 on Windows XP). I also have had another problem whenever there's any embedded video on your page: my PC becomes very slow, and the CPU% for Firefox (as shown in Task Manager) is 99%, even though I have NOT clicked on the video link at all. I think the problems started for me (I swear this is true, and I'm being serious about this) when the Pam Anderson ad (on the top right-hand corner of your page) was removed, and some other ads took its place). Is there something in the new ads that cause this problem? (I remember the timeline because you wrote a post about that Pam Anderson ad, not because I looked at that ad everytime I went to your page (not that there's anything wrong with that :-D ))

Anyway, the good news for me is that I just tried the fix as suggested by kldavis and it worked, so now I can watch the videos (thanks kldavis!) However, the bad news is that the slow-PC, CPU=99% problem still remains??!! If anybody has a suggestion on how to fix that, that would be great!

vnjagvet said...

I've had the same problem and I have a PC with Vista and browse with IE. But the problem exists on straight YouTube as well.

The suggestion that it is a buggy edition of flash player makes sense. I am going to try it. Thanks.

Harwood said...

Good grief! Just scroll up to kldavis's second post with links to the uninstaller and installer.

Pal2Pal said...

Here is the fix for the problem and I’m happy to say it works. It only takes a minute to do.

How to roll back the Adobe Flash plugin.

Note that there are at least two versions of each revision of Flash for Windows, the flashplayer#r##_win.exe which is the plugin for Firefox and flashplaye#r##_winax.exe which is the Active X version for IE. Here’s how to roll back the plugin for Firefox.

* Download this zip file (http://yoism.reality-movement.org/flv/FilesForFixingFlashProblem.zip) and unzip it. (If the link doesn’t work, click here.)
* Run FlashplayerUninstallerforWindows.exe. This will uninstall your Flash plugins for both IE and Firefox. Don’t worry, reinstallation of Flash is VERY fast and easy. After running the uninstaller, check the details it offers to see if your computer needs a reboot to finish the uninstallation. If it does, or if you just want to be on the safe side, reboot your computer.
* Run Flashplaye8forFF-Version8r42.exe, which will install the Flash Player plugin for Firefox.
* To stop Adobe Flash from constantly offering to update itself to the latest version, click this link (http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager05.html) and on the fourth tab, uncheck “Notify me when an update to Adobe Flash is available.”
* If you also have IE installed, run Flashplayer9forIE-Version9r124.exe, which will install the latest version of Flash Player for IE.
* Check back here every now and then to see if there is a new Adobe Flash Player that doesn’t cause the problem.

[I have these directions published:
http://pal2pal.com/BLOGEE/index.php?/site/attention_firefox_fix_for_flash_video/

Suzie Nolen Bennett said...

Hmm. I use Firefox and I've had no problems watching your imbedded videos... what am I doing right?

mrs whatsit said...

I have the problem. It started with Firefox 2 -- I upgraded to 3 and still had it -- hunted around the internet for a number of fixes, including most of those mentioned above, tried them, no luck. Once before I had the problem and fixed it by upgrading my Flash player, but not this time. Nothing works this time. Everything runs fine in Internet Explorer, though.

It's not just this blog -- I have it in a few other places too (I'm looking at you, Victoria, sad to say) but not my own family blog, which runs on Blogspot and has lots of embedded this and that. My most recent inspiration was to download the brand new Google Chrome. Surely that will work! Google can build anything!! But no. The videos hang at .02, just like always, and there they stay hung forever. Ah well, I can use IE when I absolutely MUST.

Chip Ahoy said...

I took it as a message from God saying, "Don't watch this video, my son, it will only hurt your tender brain. Move along little doggie." And so I go, "Thanks, God, for saving me again."

Will said...

Bruce Hayden and Vietpundit describe my main problem lately. The embedded videos on the main page cause my copy of Firefox to slow to a crawl. It particularly seems to be a problem with the Bloggingheads and MSNBC videos, Youtube is less of a problem.
I've taken Althouse out of my morning blog bookmark, because the video problem interferes with the loading of the other pages. Now I visit Althouse separately, which solves the problem.

mrs whatsit said...

Whee! After posting my previous whine about how nuthin' works, I tried KLDavis's fix. It worked. It fixed the video problem here, and in Chrome, too. I'd delete my other comment but for some reason there's no trashcan there (perhaps KLDavis knows why??)

Anyway, thanks, KL. I can't even tell you how many other fixes I tried from various sites all over the Internet, all Guaranteed to Work. Now I can keep IE safely closed, just the way I like it.

PatCA said...

I have the same problems, use Firefox, but I think this site is the only site I read that's blogger.

Ger said...

It's not just your site.

It is a sporadic problem with Firefox (for me anyway).

Many of the so-called fixes seem to be temporary.

A system reboot always seems to take care of it for me...for awhile anyway.

Most annoying.

PatCA said...

I just tried kldavis' fix, and it works. Yay!

CiarandDenlane said...

I have the problem at home with Safari/Windows. At work IE/Windows works fine.

Ann Althouse said...

I just changed something in the template. Did that fix anything for anybody?

mor said...

Its an issue with flash plugin. Try installing the latest flash player http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10.html

jdeeripper said...

I've had this problem for a while on all sites incl. YouTube.

memomachine said...Download and install the IE Tab extension for Firefox.

That's what I've been doing. Download it here
Then right click the the page with the video embed and then click View in IE tab and you will be using the Internet Explorer driver whatever through the Firefox browser.

KLDAVIS said...

I'm gettin' all the credit here, but it was actually Sy who suggested that fix...I just collected and posted the links.

blake said...

The problem occurs in Firefox, Chrome and Opera. I presume they use the same binary for the flash player, while IE uses a different one.

It's sporadic, I'm told, because of the quantity of flash videos up at once.

This would explain why it causes problems sporadically and why Althouse might push it over the edge, since she embeds a lot of videos. It could also occur if you had a bunch of different pages up at once, each with one or two flash vids. That was almost certainly the cause in my case.

None of the aforementioned fixes worked for me. I had the problem in 2 and the upgrade didn't help; I got the latest Flash and that didn't help.

What did work for me was downloading flashblock for Firefox. This prevents a flash movie from firing unless I deliberately start it, and so reduces the number, and eliminates the hangs.

I don't like to do that on the premise that it might impact the ad revenue of sites I like but...I was ticked.

George said...

Here is how Jack Nicholson solved the problem in the movie "Five Easy Pieces."

That's Janet Palin sitting next to Jack. She learned everything she knows from him.

And here is Jack Nicholson on 'The Andy Griffith Show.'

Far out.

Nancy said...

Thank you for posting this, Ann. I use Firefox and have been very frustrated with this issue but am hoping I can fix the problem now!

miller said...

It only happens on cruelly neutral sites.

Glen said...

Gentlemen please! I don't like seeing a lot of men jumping to Ann's assistance over some other man's (probably)poor choice of coding. Excessive chivalry doesn't advance feminism.

Jake said...

Just closing your browser and reopening often fixes it. A lot of the fixes above don't work permanently on all computers. It's a flash/firefox issue.

Skyler said...

I use safari and have always had problems with only youtube embeds from your site, and not from any other site, and not any other type of video.

I have to triple click, pray a little, sacrifice a few chickens, triple click, wonder if a single click will work this time, then triple click, then two windows linking directly to the youtube site pop up. Then the video plays normally on these direct links. Of course, then it also works on your page, except the video only refreshes when I scroll up or down and make the picture go off screen. It always will play normally on the direct youtube link.

It's been very annoying, but I guess it's a tribute to your blog that it doesn't stop me from coming here and checking out your links.

EnigmatiCore said...

"The answer to the last question is yes. Any help? I think this is only happening with Firefox."

The next release of Firefox will have a fix for this.

In the meantime, this will do the trick.

1) Uninstall Flash via Windows uninstaller

2) Install the Active X controls for Windows. You can get them here: http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10_ax.html Note: Even though you are using Firefox, install the IE Active X controls. Why? Because it works.

3) Install the beta/pre-release Flash 10 Player http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10.html (which will install the Firefox plugin).

This should do the trick.

Chet said...

It serves you right for using a MAC.

Only MAC and Apple users have this problem. If you'd have stuck with a reliable ol' PC....you'd not have nearly the trouble.

MACs are manufactured in China---oh yes they are. The parts are assembled overseas and shipped out.

We PC users just keep gliding right along, while all the pretentious Apple/MAC crowd, who think they are designers of some sort, can't seem to figure out why their trusty old PC never gave them a moment's worth of trouble.

You get what you deserve.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Only MAC and Apple users have this problem"

We deserved a moron poster who doesn't have a clue of what they speak?

Well, that explains Doyle and UWS Guy, I'll give you that.

David said...

I have the problem, but it just arose recently. The same videos that played fine on my firefox 3.0 mac yesterday or this morning do not work now. This is happening on videos from other blogs as well. So who knows but it's not just a generic firefox problem--I get the same result with Sfari.

John Lynch said...

Bizarre. The videos worked this morning, didn't work tonight, and still didn't work after I reinstalled flash. Now, all of a sudden, they work again. Strange.

John Burgess said...

I, too, am finding this problem only on this blog. Other Blogger sites, YouTube, and other video players work without extra effort in my 3.0.1 Firefox browser.

If I open a video in the Comments page, it works fine around 90% of the time.

But again, the problem's only on this site.

dick said...

I use Linux and it works fine to see the videos on Firefox 3.0.1. No idea why it works for Linux and not for other O/S's.

I read on Tech Net and ZDnet this morning about others having the same problem with Firefox and flash. Nobody there had the solution that Pal2Pal had here so I don't know where he got it but it makes sense that it would work.

Now if I could just get the newest version of WMV to work I would be set. That is about the only thing I am not able to view with Linux.

sonicfrog said...

"Only MAC and Apple users have this problem"

Wrong! I use Linux, and Firefox crashes when I visit Althouse... which is why I haven't been leaving many comments lately. One fix is to use a different browser, such as Opera.

Ralph said...

I've been getting a blank space where the video goes, I think since I updated to XP SP3. Tried the Flash 10 installation kldavis linked. Now I get a big box with a little icon in the upper left corner. Firefox still has blank spaces, no box.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Nobody there had the solution that Pal2Pal had here so I don't know where he got it but it makes sense that it would work."

Pal2Pal's solution does work, although it is better to go up to the Release Candidate 10 version that I suggested. Note that his steps and mine are very similar.

"Tried the Flash 10 installation kldavis linked. Now I get a big box with a little icon in the upper left corner. Firefox still has blank spaces, no box."

Did you follow the steps that I posted? Removing all remnants of the previous version is a requirement.

Original Mike said...

Haven't read through the comments yet so maybe this is redundant, but I have exactly that problem. Ironically, the reason I switched to FireFox is that, starting about 2 weeks ago, Ann's site started repeatedly crashing Internet Explorer. No other sites I visit do that.

I hate computers.

Paul1827 said...

Thank you sy for the Flash 10 beta recommendation, and kldavis for the links to get the uninstaller and installer.

I did this last night, and this morning I swear that FireFox 3 (on Windows XP) seems more responsive on EVERYTHING. Even on pages that have no (apparent) animation.

That last part, I DON'T understand. Am I imagining it (because I "did something")? Is this real, or just an illusion? :-)

Or, is the Flash plug-in using resources even when you are not accessing pages with video or animation?

Anyone here know?

Thanks.

paul a'barge said...

Here is the deal ... if your readers are running Firefox 3.01, the latest version they need to have installed the latest version of Flash Player, v 10.

In order to install the latest version of Flash Player they need to uninstall the existing Flash Player and the only way to do that is to download and run the Flash UnInstaller from Adobe. Repeat. The only way to uninstall Flash Player is with the Adbobe Flash UnInstaller.

So,
1) download the Flash UnInstaller from Adobe
2) close everything and run it.
3) download the v 10 Flash Installer
4) close everything and run it.
5) restart Firefox

Your problems are solved.

paul a'barge said...

Terry said: "This seems to be a bug in the latest version of Flash. Google to find a slightly older version and uninstall the new one and install the slightly older version"

flat wrong. Wrong, wrong wrong.

Uninstall with the Adobe uninstaller and then install the latest version, V 10.

Paul1827 said...

In re my earlier post this morning, about Flash 10 beta seeming to improve response on ALL pages, whether they have animation or not.

After two hours of browsing, the improvement is NOT an illusion, but very real, almost startling.

Still don't know WHY, for pages without animation or video, but who's complaining?

Howard said...

Solution: use the new MSIE 3 or the new and improved Opera. All these browsers have "little glitches" and rather than root around in a bunch of computer geek stuff I use all three if I get a problem. Warning: stay away from the all new and exciting "Chrome."

Ralph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blake said...

It's the revenge of Pamela Anderson!

Howard, as I pointed out, the same problem occurs in Opera (and Chrome).

Ralph said...

Thanks, Enigmaticore, your link for the Flash10 player with ActiveX seems to have fixed it.

James Drake said...

Until now I've had the problem with both Firefox 3, not just on your site but elsewhere, but now it's ok.