It wasn’t even worth trying

Yesterday I reported on the MTV.com server issue. I wanted to look up a video and their server was down. Dead. Unavailable for more than a half hour. (In the US, that was midday too!) Anyway, it turns out that I wouldn’t have been able to view a video anyway. Here’s the rather cheeky error message that pops up at MTV:
MicrosofttvI clicked the link at the bottom left to read up on this and see if there was a way to complain. There was and so I prepared to fire off a quick little comment about it. I know that Macs are a minority platform, but this DRM thing is getting so out of hand. I may be pro-Mac, but I am more pro-usability than anything. DRM is crippling fair use practices in nearly all digital content provisions.

Here’s and excerpt on the DRM stuff that MTV uses from their own FAQ on it:

Why can’t I use MTV Overdrive on my Macintosh Computer?
The videos on MTV Overdrive are encoded using the Microsoft Windows Media 9 codec to ensure the maximum possible video quality. In order to offer you a broad selection of full-length music videos on-demand and free of charge, MTV Overdrive uses Windows Digital Rights Management (DRM) to protect the videos from unauthorized re-distribution.
Unfortunately, Microsoft’s Windows Media Player Plug-in for Macintosh does not currently support DRM. When DRM support becomes available for Macintosh, MTV Overdrive will work to support Macintosh.
Why is video not playing in my Firefox browser?
There could be a problem with your ActiveX plug-in. You will need to delete the plug-in and re-install it. Close your browser and double click on my computer. Double click on Local Disk C, then Progam Files, then Mozilla Firefox, then plugins and delete the file named “npmozax.dll”. Re-start your browser and launch Overdrive again. Follow the prompt to install the ActiveX plug-in. At this point you may see a yellow bar in the top of your browser window. Click on it and add MTV to your trusted sites. After the plug-in is installed re-start your browser and the video should play. If it still doesn’t play make sure you have the latest version of Windows Media Player installed. If video still won’t play, launch Overdrive in IE.
Why can’t I use MTV Overdrive in my Firefox / Mozilla browser?
MTV Overdrive takes advantage of special features only available in the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser (Version 5.5 or higher). These features are not currently supported by Firefox / Mozilla, but MTV is working to develop a version of MTV Overdrive that will work with Firefox / Mozilla browsers.

So it’s not just the Macintosh crowd being singled out here. It’s anyone not using Microsoft. (Read what they are saying carefully…) Fuck you MTV. (Looks like we know what the M really stands for now…) I stopped really watching the channel years ago, (when more game shows and reality tv drivel replaced music videos), and now I have even less of a reason to pay attention to it and it’s affiliated networks.

I ended up changing my comment to the network after writing this blog post. I decided to just give them the link here instead. 😉

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