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Get Window Media Player plugin work with all installed Firefox versions

As what a couple of you have probably already noticed, the official “Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin” does only work with one of your installed Firefox instances. If you have installed multiple versions in parallel or running nightly builds, it wont work. Before you are able to watch embedded wmv content, the installed library file “np-mswmp.dll” has to be copied to the plugins folder of the appropriate Firefox installation. While doing QA and having the need to download and running nightly builds of Shiretoko or Minefiled, it requires you to do this steps again and again. So is a simpler solution out there to solve this issue? I say, Yes!

There are only two steps necessary to see the plugin appear in each Firefox installation. It’s not magic but a simple registry hack, which let the plugin be shared. I’ve no idea why Microsoft hasn’t already done that for this plugin. They are still aware in using this way, e.g. for “Windows Presentation Foundation plug-in“. I’ll get in contact with Microsoft and hopefully it can be solved in the near future.

But lets return to the instruction how to get it working. Just follow those steps:

  1. The Window Media Player will be installed to “c:\Program Files\Windows Media Player”. So lets re-use this location. Create a sub-folder called “Plugin” and copy the library “np-mswmp.dll” over there.
  2. Go to bug 421820 and download the registry hack.
  3. If the installation folder of the Windows Media Player application differs from the one in step 1, you have to update the path inside the registry file before applying the file.
  4. Double click the reg file to add the entries to your registry.

That’s all. Now each installed version of Firefox should be able to use the plugin to show embedded WMV content. At least you have to restart the browser, when it is already open. To make sure it has been recognized correctly open the Add-ons manager and click the plugins tab. The plugin has to be listed now.

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