Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moonlighting the Olympics

There's been a lot of interest in Moonlight lately, largely by people who hope to use it to watch the Olympics at http://nbcolympics.com, unfortunately Moonlight isn't quite ready to view this content :-(

The good news is that we are furiously hacking away on Moonlight 2.0 in the hopes of making it usable as quickly as we can.

The first roadblock is that NBC Olympics site is using an old Silverlight.js initialization script and currently requires one of the following browser/OS combinations to work:

  • Internet Explorer 6, 7 for Windows (Vista, XP SP2 or greater and 2003)
  • Firefox 1.5, 2, 3 for Windows (Vista, XP SP2 or greater and 2003)
  • Firefox 1.5, 2, 3 for Mac (OS 10.4.8 or greater, Intel only)
  • Safari 2 & 3 for Mac (OS 10.4.8 or greater, Intel only)

To get past this roadblock for use with Moonlight, you first need to download and install the User Agent Switcher Add-On. Once you install that and restart your Firefox browser, you'll need to go to Tools/User Agent Switcher/Options/Options. This will bring up a configuration dialog allowing you to add custom User Agent strings. You'll want to click on the Add... button and enter the following information:

Description: Firefox 3.0 (Mac)
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.5; en-US; rv:1.9) Gecko/2008061004 Firefox/3.0
App Name: Firefox
App Version: 3.0 [en] (Intel Mac OS X 10.5; U)
Platform: Macintosh

I think the only required field is the User Agent, the other fields can probably be set to whatever you want (thanks to Larry Ewing for the User-Agent string and for explaining to me how to do this).

Now that you have a Firefox 3.0/Mac User-Agent string, you'll need to select the "Firefox 3.0 (Mac)" radio button in the Tools/User Agent Switcher Firefox menu. Once you've done that, you should be able to navigate to the NBC Olympics video pages (although you still won't be able to view the video content quite yet... we're still working on writing the code to make that work).

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