In Windows Vista, is there a combination of software and settings that will let my Dad play all the media files he wants without further difficulty? I want to set up my Dad's new computer, which runs Vista Home Premium, so that it runs media embedded in web pages, runs standalone files too, and doesn't break Vista's Aero interface. He's not a computer expert, so I want media of all common types to Just Work
These seem to be my criteria:
1a. When there is media embedded in a web page, such as here
, it works.
1b. The embedded media players make it possible to go full-screen, or at least to easily open separate media players that can.
2a. Standalone media files play when they are double-clicked.
2b. Clicking links like this one
(in, say, Firefox) opens the relevant media player with as few clicks as possible, preferably zero.
3. None of the above break Vista's Aero interface, even when going full-screen.
Here's what I've found:
* A combination of RealPlayer and Quicktime solves 1a., except that embedded RealPlayer has poor performance and they both fail 3.
* Alternatively, a combination of Real Alternative
and Quicktime Alternative
with Media Player Classic solves 1a., except Media Player Classic fails 3. when going full-screen.
* VLC solves 2a.
* In Firefox, when clicking on the link in 2b., the "Do this automatically for files like this ..." checkbox is greyed out.
* Nothing I've tried except (built-in) Windows Media Player and VLC satisfies 3. in full-screen mode.
I'm particularly interested to hear from anyone who has a Vista/Firefox configuration in which all these media tasks Just Work.
While trying to set this up for my Dad, I realised that I too had this problem (albeit to a lesser extent) in the XP/Firefox setup on my computer. I now realise I subconsciously open media that isn't Just Working in other media players or I view source -> dig for direct links, etc.