step 1- download VLC http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
step 2- install VLC
step 3- start the download you want
step 4- locate that file on your computer as it is downloading
step 5- open the incomplete file in VLC
step 6- make sure to click Do Not Repair
step 7- enjoy
Some people have problems, for various reasons, streaming videos here on IceFilms. Installing VLC is an easy way around the complexities of configuration and interaction that exist on problem machines. Since VLC comes with its own set of codecs - separate from the rest of the system, it doesn't fall prey to the same issues you may be having with the divx web player, or your browser. It's a little more "hands-on" than the icefilms embedded player, but after a little use it becomes second nature.
NOTE: You should NOT install the VLC browser plug-in.
This tutorial (adapted from a forum post) is aimed at Windows users, but should be applicable to both Mac and Linux users, too. (I know zip about Macs, but I will try to include a little more info. for Linux)
Please keep in mind, though, that as far as the divx web player and windows is concerned, I may have to fudge a bit here and there with my descriptions of things, since it's been a while since I've used either [linux user here]). But I watch everything in VLC. It's really easy, once you get familiar with it.
Okay, now the thing with using a standalone player, like VLC, is, you don't have to completely download something to watch it. When you stream a video using the IceFilms embedded player, it goes to your hard drive, into a file called a cache, and it is played in the embedded player from that cache file. The cache file is usually a temporary file, and is intended to disappear when the source window is closed (ie. the stream is disconnected) The purpose of the cache file is to keep the video playing smoothly if there are fluctuations in your bandwidth.
When you use a stand alone player to play the cache file, you are essentially substituting the stand alone player for the embedded one (an embedded player is a player that is EMBEDDED into a web page [not separate]). The embedded player is paused - so they're not both playing at once.
So, first thing, you need to locate your divx cache. You can find it by right clicking in the embedded IceFilms (divx web player) player's screen, and selecting, I think, preferences. Look for an entry that says Download Cache. Click on that and you will see a number of settings related to the divx cache. Look for a button at the bottom that says Open Download Cache. Click on that and the divx cache will open in a file manager window. I recommend that you create a shortcut to that cache on your desktop so you can find it again if you want to (right click inside an empty part of the file manager window [don't select a specific file in there] and select "send to desktop (as short-cut)").
[Linux users may not have this option. You will be using either totem or mplayer (I'm using mplayer), or gnome-mplayer, and I know it's not there in mplayer. The cache file is located in /tmp on my kubuntu machine, for totem, and mplayer - it will likely be in a similar spot on your distro. The cache file for gnome-mplayer is located in /Home/.cache/gnome-mplayer/plug-in (you'll need to enable hidden files to access it). I have a sidebar shortcut in my file manager to my tmp folder to make it easier to see what's there.]
Okay, now that you've done that, go ahead and select something to watch. Start it in the normal manner by clicking on the link and pressing play in the IceFilms embedded player. Once it's started streaming, it's time to open it in VLC. First, pause it in the embedded player. Now there are two ways you can open the cache in VLC, and I'm going to explain them both.
The first way is to go to the cache folder, and find the file name of the video you are streaming. You will see two files of the same name, but with different file extensions. One will end in .avi, and the other will end in .part (for partial). If you watch the file sizes, you will see that the .avi file remains at 0 bytes, while the .part file grows larger with the passage of time (there are always two files, as I've explained, when downloading a video, but there may only be a .part file when you're streaming [ie., just playing without saving]). So, it's the .part file that is the actual cache file, and that is the one you want to open. Right click on it and select open with...VLC. If VLC is not listed (and it won't be at first), you'll have to click 'find program' (or some such thing), and select it. Your vid will open in VLC. Double click to go full screen.
[ When streaming with Linux there is no .part file (there is when you're downloading though). If you open your /tmp folder, or your gnome-mplayer cache in your file manager you'll see a file like this mplayabcDE, or totemfghIJ, or geckomediaplayertokl. This is the cache file.]
The second method involves using VLC's menu system to open the video. To do this you need to know the location of your divx cache so you can navigate there. It's pretty straightforward except for this: you get to choose what kinds of files you want to see. Since the default is to see only media types, unless you change the file types [ie., .mp3, .divx, .avi, .mp4, etc.] you will not even see your file in the directory. So click "media", and either "open file..." or "advanced open file..." (I prefer advanced open because once you choose the file type VLC remembers it, so you don't have to change it every time) and below the directory window, look for a label that says "filter:" or "files of type:". There's a drop-down there that will allow you to choose various media types for VLC to recognize. You need to select "ALL FILES".
Now when you look in the cache folder with VLC, you will be able to see the .part file. Select it and look all the way down at the bottom of the window, you'll see a "play" button push it.
What happens next will happen with either of the two methods for playing your divx cache. Because you're streaming, ie., the file is loading - incomplete - VLC will see it as broken and ask you if you want to fix it. YOU MUST ANSWER NO to this question, otherwise the file will not continue to stream. Once you've clicked "no", the video will open-up and begin playing.
That should do it. You now have not only the how, but the why as well...
Downloading vs. Streaming
In one sense there is no difference between downloading and streaming. In both cases the video is written to your hard drive. The main difference lies in the fact, as I've already mentioned, that the cache file used in streaming is usually a temporary file. If you close the window it's streaming from, it's gone (usually). There is another issue too. Your cache file can be adjusted to hold less, or more, of the video. Your cache will fill until it is full, and if you have not played that section of the video through, it will simply stop there until you do (played through the embedded player, not VLC - remember, the embedded player is paused). For this reason, you should go into your embedded divx player's settings (right click, preferences, download cache) and decide how big you want your cache to get (MAKE SURE "DOWNLOAD CACHE", or possibly, "USE DOWNLOAD CACHE", IS SELECTED). Depending on which settings you choose, you could keep filling until your entire hard drive is full, or not have enough room to even hold an entire video.. I chose to limit my cache to 10GB - plenty of room for anything I might play.
Linux users using gecko/gnome mplayer plugin have a couple additional concerns. This player (as of now) does not have an option to cache an entire video. The cache is for buffering purposes while streaming, only. By default the gnome-mplayer is set to begin playing when 2% of the buffer is full. If you set the buffer too high, you'll be waiting forever before it starts to play. I recommend a setting of approx. 2000KB.
There are two cache settings, both exactly the same, in the gnome-mplayer settings. One is under the mplayer tab, and the other is under the plug-in tab. Enable ONLY the cache settings in the PLUG-IN tab (setting both can result in unspecified problems).
Unfortunately, with these settings the cache will fill to 2MB and stop. If you want to cache an entire video you have to place a file named mplayerplug-in.conf in your /Home/.mplayer directory with the auto-generated, default config file. If you edit the default config directly, the next time you open preferences in the player the file will be written over and all your special settings will be gone. Here is my old mplayerplug-in.conf file (I'm really kind of surprised this works). Just copy it into a text editor and save it as mplayerplug-in.conf in /Home/.mplayer. Now your player should load the entire file into the cache. You can watch it at your leisure in your browser (but you can't seek even when it's all on disk), or play it in vlc and have total control.
Code: Select all
#This is mplayerplug-in.conf from a working mplayer plugin.
#Apparently it still works for gnome-mplayer plugin. It
#should go in /Home/.mplayer with the default "config" file.
If you choose to download instead of stream through the embedded player, you will find your file in whatever folder you've selected in your browser to download to. Remember it will be in two parts, and you want to open the .part file in VLC. When you download, the video will remain on your hard drive until you delete it. Though I've been told it doesn't matter, I have an irrational fear that if I download rather than stream, Mega Upload will take notice of my usage and cut me off sooner - so I choose to stream. You can decide for yourself...