Yahoo/LAUNCH and Macintosh @#$%!

Now this is just plain ridiculous. I headed on over to LAUNCH to check out the new Britney Spears video at

Now, I’m not really a fan of Britney Spears, but she isnice to look at. And throwing Madonna into the mix is an eye-candy bonus.

So, running Apple’s Safari browser under Mac OS X 10.2.8, I click the link to view the new video. Up pops an error message telling me that I need to use Netscape 4.7.x to view the video. WTF? I have to use an obsolete browser to use this site?

Let’s see here… Mac OS X has been around for about three years now. And Netscape 4.7 has never been available for Mac OS X, because Netscape 6 was out by the time OS X was available.

So I have to boot my Mac into the old OS, Mac OS 9, where I just happen to have an old copy of Netscape 4.7 sitting around. I loaded the site in Netscape, and clicked the View link again. The site waits until this point to tell me that I need Windows Media Player 7 in order to watch the video. @#$#%! Sigh. So I download and install WMP 7 for Mac OS 9 (The intallation of which requires me to reboot my computer. Though since I was running OS 9 in emulation under Mac OS X, it actually just required logging out and back in again.)

Okay, so now I have WMP installed, and Netscape 4.7 running. Once again I load the page and click the link. The proper window pops up, with the expected viewing interface. Success!!!

Oh, no wait. Now nothing more is happening. Well, I’ll give it time to preload the video… but five minutes later (more than enough time with my DSL connection) nothing more has happened. @#$%!

So I’ve booted into an obsolete OS that I no longer use for anything, fired up an obsolete browser, installed an obsolete media player, all for nothing.

This is the most asinine display of Mac discrimination I have ever seen in 7+ years on the Internet. What this experience tells me is that LAUNCH has done nothing in more than three years to facilitate Macintosh access to their site.

And to top it off, finding a contact link so that I can express my disdain directly to these fools is an exercise in frustration. Ogling Britney Spears is not worth going to these ridiculous lengths.

I get the same message in IE. Unless Britney is naked in the video, it probably isn’t worth watching anyway.

Yeah, I tried IE after I tried Safari. The Safari message was something like “In order to watch this video with Netscape, you must use 4.7” so I figured IE would work. Nope.

I have a hard time seeing this as discrimination against Mac users, or even non-'doze users (Mozilla doesn’t work either). It’s just yet another company that still lives in the '90s and thinks they have to code differently for every browser.

Why they would choose to support only Windows IE plus a way obsolete version of NS is anyone’s guess. I’d change my Mozilla settings to emulate NS4.7x just to make sure it would work, but I hate Britney, so nm. :smiley:

This ain’t a rant about Mac discrimination, it’s a rant about Yahoo-uses-moronic-web-developers.

I just watched it. You didn’t miss much.

re: rant – I can’t imagine being incompatible with a web broadcast could be a new experience for a Mac owner. I own a Mac, but I use it for my work. I don’t use it for personal ‘productivity’, precisely because of this sort of situation – tons of stuff (games, web-things, etc) doesn’t work with it. It’s been that way for Mac users for 19 years, this is nothing new.

You have my sympathies, but if you want to ‘think different’, this is the price you pay: incompatibility.

In some things, sure; as you say, software is a big one. But streaming video? There are plenty of streaming video choices that are compatible across a variety of systems. Really, a web developer today almost needs to go out of his/her way to make something like this not work on a Mac.

Of course, since it’s just Britney Spears singing, perhaps in this case they’re doing us a favor. :slight_smile:


I usually don’t have a problem getting a video to open in my Mac, but occasionally it does happen. I don’t see why–I’ve got Real Audio, QuickTime and Windows Media Player–why the hell can’t the videos show? But once in a while they won’t. (I also have a PC, so when I am highly motivated to see the damned video, I start up the PC.)

However, one thing that pissed me off royally was a school message board that I participate in–it only works on IE for PC. IE 6, I think. Does not work (will not allow you to post) in the Mac, at all. And if you are on the PC, you can’t use any variation of Mozilla or Netscape, and you have to update IE. What bullshit is this? I am active on many a message board, but NEVER, NEVER have I had trouble posting messages on my Mac. So for the school to find a message board that only worked on IE for PC must have taken some special kind of lame creativity. What a load of crap.

Funny, I’ve just been going back and forth with Yahoo support over this same issue, but over their sports audio broadcasts. Only IE is supported, not Safari, and NOT Mozilla either. There really is no excuse, other than perhaps Yahoo has some deal with Microsoft… which is certainly within the realm of possibility.

Here’s what to try: Go to and pick up Safari Enhancer. Use it to turn on Safari’s hidden Debug menu. In that new menu, under “User Agent”, select “Windows MSIE 6.0” Now Safari will lie to Yahoo, identifying itself as Windows IE. Yahoo now lets you in - and although I encountered a couple error messages on the way, I am now listening to last week’s Georgia Tech vs. Maryland game on Windows Media Player.

Now of course identifying yourself as a Windows box does nothing to further the cause of getting Yahoo to support Mac browsers, but the point is that there is nothing, technologically speaking, preventing Macs from being able to open these media files. It’s just sucky web design.

Yep. Like yosemitebabe said, my Mac is perfectly capable of playing these media files. The problem comes when the Web designer/site owner decides that the media needs to be wrapped in its own special window, with its own special custom interface. And this interface is probably designed using special, non-standard scripting that only works on Windows (and Netscape 4.7).

These big companies need to take a tip from the porn merchants. At least that industry seems to understand the importance of making their product as easily accessible as possible :smiley:

Phase42: Heck, it’s probably not even that. It’s HARD to make a page that would render only in IE. It’s likely that it would all work fine, if they would just give the browser a chance. Unfortunately, being clueless gits, they just detect what browser a user has, and if its not on the approved list, send it to an “Upgrade your browser, newb!” message.