I figured I’d just do a small ramble about how I can play streaming media on computers and devices at my hand.

Netbook: EeePC. Windows 7. Frigging dead at the moment, hence this article. Hard drive doesn’t like heating up, and looks like I experienced some crucial data corruption, I’m afraid. So right now, it won’t boot to Windows because CHKDISK disapproves, and fixing will take time. The netbook played YouTube fantastically, and was capable of playing Yle Areena (Flash) and MTV3 Katsomo (Silverlight) properly.

And when streaming media worked, it only worked fairly decently on this thing - not spectacularly enough, but it just worked. Katsomo needed several proper kicks in the hind before it started streaming stuff, and even then it might have needed another kick because the plugin tended to crash or stop streaming when going fullscreen.

Desktop PC: Debian GNU/Linux with Iceweasel (a variant of Firefox). Athlon XP 3000+ (read: fucking old but still packs quite a punch, only it doesn’t do SSE2 so some modern apps straight up refuse to work), NVIDIA GeForce 7800 (on a fucking AGP bus). Thanks to some kind of weird compatibility shenanigans, the Adobe Flash 11.2 plugin refuses to work, and Adobe has officially discontinued Linux version of Flash. The open source Gnash plugin works, though it doesn’t support the latest features of Flash. The cool thing is that with Gnash, YouTube gives me an older interface and doesn’t auto-playback videos.

But I wouldn’t use any of that. For some reason, all video playback from Iceweasel, be it native HTML5 playback or Flash-based, is choppy. Currently, when using native HTML5 playback, sounds don’t work for some reason. The only viable way of playing YouTube videos right now is to use VLC, paste the URL in with &fmt=43 (WebM, standard definition). &fmt=44 (WebM, high definition) also works, but any choppiness may cause video to get screwed up, so SD is better.

Haven’t checked out how well Areena works, but Katsomo straight up refuses to work. On the account that Silverlight’s Linux implementation doesn’t do DRM.

Xbox 360: On MSIE, YouTube works pretty well, as long as I don’t run it on fullscreen for some obscure reason. No idea. Xbox 360 probably has plenty of marbles run it on fullscreen, but it just won’t do that.

In a random fit of hilarity, Katsomo doesn’t work on 360 MSIE. It still wants Silveright. Which is a Microsoft plugin. Can you see where this is going?

My sister’s old PowerBook G4: Firefox has been officially deprecated so now I’m using TenFourFox. TenFourFox doesn’t do Flash. YouTube is pretty much unusable, as 1GHz G4 doesn’t really have enough power to play WebM videos - it’s just outside of its capability. I suppose I could try out if MacTubes still works, or if the VLC trick still works. It ain’t pretty, people. Needless to say, let’s just forget Katsomo. They don’t know Macs exist.

Philips Blu-Ray player: Supports YouTube! …only marred by REALLY slow and unresponsive UI. But once you manage to choose a video after 5 long minutes of watching your button presses go through, it plays videos without a hitch.

Denver 7” Android 4.0 tablet: Supports YouTube and Areena as dedicated apps! The only problem with this is that WLAN is kind of flaky, so sometimes videos freeze up for absolutely no reason, and neither YouTube or Areena apps really react too well to that. Watching stuff on this thing is fun, but not when the network gets flaky.

Katsomo is screwed on this. The mobile site doesn’t support Firefox for Android, and if I open it up in Android Browser, the UI works like absolute shit on a 7” display. I’ve not managed to actually play through a single episode of Mythbusters on this thing - once, it froze up the whole tablet, which is an achievement in itself.

Wii: There’s a YouTube app for Wii too. Unfortunately, if low-res videos aren’t available for some reason, it refuses to play the videos altogether. Not exactly stellar yet. The less I say about attempting to play stuff with the Internet Channel, the better.

So this is the kind of mess we live in right now. Fantastic, isn’t it?