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Internet Explorer 6 - file associations

Posted on 2004-09-30
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I will try to be as brief and complete as possible -

We have a website that has been developed that has links to .wav files for our authorized users to have access to.

The problem is - WIndows 2000 and XP  and all the associated 'junk' that gets installed (i.e. RealPlayer, Wind Media Player 9  etc) seem to monopolize associated file behavior.

We have a small audio player that we recommend our users utilize to play the audio links on the web page(s). When users install this program, it will play .wav files that are local on their system  - but when clicking on a link that downloads a .wav file, depending on their configuration it may play in Media Player, RealPlayer Quick time or God knows what ever might be installed.

Is there any way to simply instruct our users - Do steps A, B, and C and it will work with our "simplistic player'?  

Remember my prior statement , we can configure file associations to open our player when a user clicks on a local wav file and everything is fine - but when in  IE6 the WIN2K OR WIN XP FILES ASSOCIATIONS DONT SEEM TO MATTER!  It may pick another player that the user has installed.

HOW CAN I MAKE WINDOWS & IE6 BEHAVE and act the same way on files based on their extention, no matter where they reside or have come from - While in Internet Explorer?

These files are not streamed.  They are "download" links.  The user could save them locally and play them, but this defeats on of our purposes for having them use our simplistic player - that has other functions that the rogue players do not..

The key thing to remember is we are dealing with installations that have players that seem to 'monopolize" the associations and over-ride what windows 'should' do... especially in IE6, as locally the associations usually work with 'simplistic player'.

I have posted this message twice before in the browser sections and have yet to get an answer, hence the HIGH POINT RATING.
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Question by:sdstuckey
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by:sunray_2003
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Not clear about the exact issue but let me try if I can help

User first installs your player
they go to my computer --> tools --> folder options --> file types ----> scroll down to wav
click on open and choose "Your player" and
also click on advanced and choose "play" and then "edit"
in the application used to perform action, give the exe file location of your player..

Press OK

Will this not work for your case
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by:sdstuckey
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Sunray - you are correct - in the sense that this will force my 'simplistic player to be associated with wav files. - ON the LOCAL  system, NOT from web sites.

Now if there are no other payers installed ( ie.e no WIndows Media Player, RealAudio or any of those)  your solution WILL work on web pages.

It is just that when there are multiple wav players installed (it seems to me)  the most popular/persistant ones will try to play it over the file associations you directed above....  most notably WIndow media player 8/9, and QUicktime.  Even if I go into those applications and tell them  - Do not use for WAV FILES clicking on them in a link will still bring them up in Media Player or Quick time player.

"A"for attempt, but still no solution.
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by:sunray_2003
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The wav files that you are talking about , are they in your own websites or some general websites.

The answer is as you say monopoly or as MS would say the general programs that opens wav files. It depends on the way websites have coded their wav files to open when an user clicks on it
if they have embedded audio to open using windows media player they would have coded in that way so that windows media player opens up to play the file. If you have your own file then you should code so that your player is used.

If it is a general website , check the html source file to see if you can find reference to it otherwise post the site here and let us know which wav file is showing that behavior and we shall check to see the code and possible reason.
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by:Asta Cu
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I sent an Email request to our Administrator to please edit out this confidential informatin asap, for security reasons.

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by:sunray_2003
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Asta,

It was my assumption that the user was talking about some general wav file on a general website.  I think you have done the right job of asking the admins to remove them as I see they are confidential information. Thanks for doing this
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by:Asta Cu
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Sincere apologies, this pertained to a question in the Browser TA .... have since sent a note to COBOLdinosaur to fix that for us.

My eyes are not working for me this morning so apologies to all; up all night troubleshooting a drive Cloning problem.
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by:Asta Cu
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Jot down the info, SR, so that the security risk and  confidential info isn't out there.  I've tested this on the Browser question and Media player is the default, wav plays fine...  My thinking is this:
I will research a bit further to see how many programs can be added to the file type controls for .wav handling and open command; my suspicion is that the Open With should allow controls to more than one program which would create a pull down and select for end user options to handle each time a .wav file is there; but may also require modifications to the players options as well as IE plugins.  Tough one.

sdstuckey  - Can you go in and change the password so things aren't at risk in terms of security?  Too many people can see and access this info and don't want you to have any problems.
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by:Asta Cu
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Thank you, AnnieMod.

As a potential workaround, until we can find a viable solution, thought perhaps modifying the .wav files to .wma and then assigning one to one player for control and the other mirror image under file type options to another player "may" be viable.  Or having both formats; or perhaps .mp3 but at any rate, would be a potential.  Within XP/IE the play all incites/initiates all player assignments to the file types as noted here:
Multiple Programs Start If You Use the Play All Command in the My Music Folder with Different File Associations
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;311428
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by:sdstuckey
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The information I posted is a completely demoinstration site.
I would not have posted the information had it been live or violated confidentiality in any way.
I have in fact put a termination on the account that will terminate tomorrow.
Thank you for your concern though.

My concern is that the 'jist' of the problem is not being understood.  I am aware that WIndows media will play the file or any other, the concern is if another player is installed and even if I assign filetype action to point to the new player - sometimes (depending on the systems config) it may open [from IE6] in Media,Real or others - but locally (if a wavfile exists on the local system) the file would open with the newly installed player and association.

IS everyone getting my point? Or am I the only person who has this problem?
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by:Asta Cu
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Understood, and thanks for the clarification.  It's really a baffling issue and I've found nothing to help other than what I've posted.  That was why I was trying to find a browser plug in or add in or configuration that would work while on the web related to streaming media, but just haven't had any luck (yet) and busy as a beaver in wintertime.
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by:Asta Cu
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Realizing they are not streamed, to confirm.  But that "may" be an option or solution; if nothing else comes up here from others better versed in coding or scripting or finds alternatives for you.
Again, in researching thinking perhaps modifying the .wav files to streaming media and imbedding players at the web site may be a workaround, so posting the link ...
http://www.streamingmedia.com/tutorials/view.asp?tutorial_id=128
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by:sdstuckey
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Well. Then.  Embedding a player in the site really is not an option, as this is a dictation/transcription environment.  The user needs hands-free (foot control) and speed control of the playback - Hence the need for Player X to be local on the users system. (Player X having industry standard transcription controls).  There are a hundred of them out there, and thay all work great if you are opening up local files - but the rub comes in when opening a wav file from a site.  Thats when W2k or XP /IE get the problem and pick a player for you.

Hopefully someone will have the magic bullet that over-rides IE's behaviors and file actions.
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by:Asta Cu
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I sure hope so; explored many of our local programming links with queries, nothing found.  Someone must have a solution, though I've surely not found it.  Have you checked into the Microsoft based forums to see if posting there may get some attention as well?  What I found was IE behavior modification options in JavaScript and html-based files and of course streaming media, nothing that seems to suit your needs.  Embedding sounds in web isn't an option, so JavaScript isn't likely any solution either.  

Again, the hope is someone out there will find this and have the answer for you.
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by:Asta Cu
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P.S.  Almost overlooked what I thought was an interesting find ...
Transcribe Medical Dictation or any other type of digital voice files using your PC. The CyperPlayer Transcription Kit, Sony .WAV Player Transcription Kit and Olympus AS-3000 Pro Transcription Kit all offer hands free playback and control over digital files. Listen to the digital file with a headset and control playback with the footpedal. Then transcribe in your favorite word processor.
http://www.sylvansoftware.com/WAVEpedal.htm
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by:sdstuckey
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Astaec - this is true. I can name off the top of my head 35 transcription players.  We have tried all of them.  Yes.  They do work. In fact, simplistic player(s) I am speaking of is Transcription Buddy by High Criteria, and .Wav pedal.   Their 'tech support has the same answer - file association(s) - but this does not seem to apply through IE6, when a user has a plethora of other players installed like I've mentioned countless times before.

All of these products base the fact that the files be local (either through email, ftp or other method) and then of course the file assoc method works. But if you have other players installed and try to change .wav assocuiation to these new players - The file MAY still open in one of the more 'popular" players, if you click on a .wav link through IE6.  The 3 most  most guilty parties seem to be/are Win Media 8/9, RealPlayer, QuickTIme.

I am trying to create a scenario/configuration in which I can make it happen 'on purpose' so that everyone can see. Will update soon  on that. Hopefully by Sunday.

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by:sunray_2003
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Sdstuckey,

Have you tested this.. If you place a wav file in your webpage (if you have one) and click on it , does it open in your player rather than windows media player.. in other words , what would happen if you just put
<a href = "test.wav"> test </a>   and click on "test" to see if the wav file will open in your player as apposed to media player
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by:Asta Cu
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Unless I'm still 'out to lunch' from lack of sleep (lol); those 3 popular players all provide plugins for IE (ActiveX controls) and "may" be integral to the issue vs. others.  But, more to explore to confirm this and swamped today.
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by:sdstuckey
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Sunray - Yes about 1325 times on about 35 different configurations.  THAT IS THE PROBLEM. See below..

I will try to be as detailed as I can, because it seems everyone is getting sidetracked.

1.  I have a website that is for the distribution of medical transcription audio files.
2.  The user clicks on the listed file <a href "xxx.wav"> xxx </a>
3.  If the user does not have a bunch of players installed
      a. ANy player I install  and use file associations to open the player when that (.wav) extention is used everything is fine.
      b. If I uninstall that player and install another one and use file associations to point to player 2  everything is fine.

4.  If the user has Win media player8/9 installed  and I install transcription player....
      a. if you 'tell" win media NOT to be associated with .wavs
      and/or
      b.  reconfigure file associations  to use transcription player on .wavs
the result is :
    Maybe it will open in sound recorder or standard media player or heaven knows what else....

5.  If the user has quicktime installed and you "tell" quicktime do not use on .wavs
      a. good luck
      b. changing file associations does not help
      c. if it does it may open in Media Player, sound recorder  or even  yes... QUicktime

Now the kicker:

6. if i click on .wav and SAVE it locally  and have file asssociations pointing to transcription player  - and then click on it to open the locally saved version
IN ALL SITUATIONS it will then play in the correct association program .

The question then lies - Where in heck does IE6 get its actions/associations from if its behaviours are different than  Windows Explorer?  There has got to be an area within the users system that can be configured to cause a
<a href = "xxx.wav">  xxx  </a>  to ALWAYS open with ddd.exe  no matter what else/other programs are installed.


 I hope this clarifies my main issue.
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by:Asta Cu
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I've sent this link to a few other experts better versed in coding html, hope they come here with just what you need.

I understand what you want to do, just haven't found a way to code it to point to *.exe; here are some of my explorations.
http://wdvl.internet.com/Multimedia/WhyMusic/music2.html
---
Most of the average Internet users have only one sound player, the one that was built into their system. Many have downloaded RealPlayer as well, as many sites use streaming media which has been created in RealAudio format (.ra or .ram). Then there are other people, like me, who use several players, all for different purposes. I have found that when you have more than one player, if you use both the embed tag and the background sound tag, the music will load twice, at differing intervals. It sounds something like a round (Row, Row, Row Your Boat or Frere Jacque) performed very badly. I've had this happen to me on many different sites and to many other people that I know of, as well.

The code that I use is <EMBED SRC="nameofyourfile">. For the sound to play automatically when the page loads, with no option to turn off the sound, you want to include a couple of other attributes. <EMBED SRC="nameofyourfile" AUTOSTART="true" HIDDEN="true"> To include a way to turn off the sound, insert dimensions: <EMBED SRC="nameofyourfile" AUTOSTART="true" HIDDEN="false" Width="145" Height="30">. Within that tag, you can also tell it to loop (repeat) by including LOOP="true".

If you have some reason that you only want the sound to be played in Internet Explorer, the code is <BGSOUND SRC="nameofyourfile" LOOP="number of times you want it played">. It is my opinion that the best way to use sounds is to give your readers a choice from the very beginning. Instead of forcing them to listen or to shut off the sound once it starts, you can make the sound a link, just as you would link to anything else. To listen to my music, click here. This will result in the opening of a small download window. Your readers can choose to open the file from the present location, in which case it's only temporary, or they can save the file to disk.

You have another option that works instead of using html code. You can use a java applet found at: Java Midi Player. This works in other formats besides midi.

http://home.thirdage.com/Music/cellomar/websounds.html
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by:Asta Cu
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Also searched many of our local Programming topic areas ...

I got a process that reads a database and does some work.. and I want the code the play a wav file when its finished..
All the code i've found just seems to use media player or the like... I'm after pure code and no controls...
-> Hello

  You can use PlaySound API to do that, Here's a quick sample


[DllImport("winmm.dll", EntryPoint="PlaySound",  SetLastError=true,
      CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
public static extern long PlaySound(String lpszName, long hModule, long dwFlags);


private void button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
{
       PlaySound(@"c:\test.wav",0,0);
}

but don't forget to add "using System.Runtime.InteropServices;" namespace
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Programming_Languages/C_Sharp/Q_20648242.html?query=playsound+wav+player&clearTAFilter=true



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by:sdstuckey
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OK. I give. UNCLE!

The point of this topic is not how to code the web page, or how to force the user to use a particular player. The web page delievers the file perfectly. if you view my page on a bare bones system, the browser sez hey wanna save it or open it?

The point/question is: how can you configure a users browser to in effect open an application of ..."their choosing."

This is required because transcriptionists use players that interface with footpedals and such.  It isnt background music.  It [the audio] isnt  controlled by the web code It is just sent as a file.

It just dumps the audio to the user and the user utilizes whatever "player" they want.  The problem lies in that some other media players which I've mentioned time and time again, monopolize this association in IE.

Any user can associate a file type extention .txt with note pad, word or Vim.  But that is local.
MY users can associate .wav files with their player and if they are local files when they click on them they open in the player that they want. That SAME USER can click on a .wav file in IE and it wil open in RealPlayer or such.  NOT JUST ON MY PARTICULAR WEB SITE.  In fact while writing this a new user called and said " I installed .wavpedal software, but whenever I click on a wav file it still opens in QuickTime......

In simplest form a web page presents a file to the browser.  At that point it is the browser/OS that decides what to do with it.  My page instructs nothing about quicktime, media player, mplayer2 or sound recorder. It delivers a file to the client.

just like you can point .mp3 to win amp and usually it will open on a web site in winamp,  but this does not seem to be so with .wav  There seems to be so many pointers to different applications, that a simple file association does not fix the issue.

There is something at the OS/Browser level that sez "hey when you see this, do this"  and I wanna be able to tell my users how to set that (.wav) type to this .exe  no matter what else has been installed on his/her system - because I will not know what "transcription player" they will want to use - or for that matter what other media players they have installed.

If everyone thinks I am crazy - just say so! I know everyone is trying hard, but I think you are heading down the wrong path. I think the config/change lies somewhere in the client end, not at the host.
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by:Asta Cu
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Don't give up on us yet, I've sent this link to a number of top notch experts in the hopes someone with the needed skill and understanding here can help.
Asta
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DanRollins earned 200 total points
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It seems simple enough to me:  
Send files that have an extension of (for instance) WA2 or XYZ or QQQ (instead of WAV) and have the users set up to use your player to play files that have that extension.  They will still be WAV files, but the only app that recognizes them will be your "simplistic" player.
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by:COBOLdinosaur
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I think you would have to play with the MIME type server side before you deliver it as well, otherwise you will still get recognition of it as a .wav.

Cd&
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by:Asta Cu
Asta Cu earned 300 total points
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Thanks to you both for coming by here; I sure hope it helps.
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by:Asta Cu
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Dan, please check your Email on items sent to you.  Thanks, Asta
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by:sdstuckey
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Asta:  

Thank you for your efforts, and please forgive my ignorance.  But I am intrigued by your last comment...

    either the user controls activity or the server does.

I want the user to control what happens.  I want the user to be able to control what application is opened...  seems soooo simple. Oh well. I did learn alot here between you and Lunchy.

Even though  there is no solution - I feel I owe the points to those that provided me the most information and if anything for the efforts.
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by:Asta Cu
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Thanks, sdstuckey; I'm intrigued as well.  I merely repeated what I learned from others as I went through this with a number of folks; I'm the one in ignorance here, not you.  If nothing else, we've explored alternatives and hope that a compilation here of the various possibilities will help until something more fitting your needs is found.  I'll definitely keep my eyes open and return if I find anything more applicable to you.  Not hopeful, though, sure looked far and wide.
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by:Asta Cu
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One more thought; not sure if you serve multiple organizations or not, but .... "maybe" requesting that they use a standard Player such as Media Player, free and fully functional in the Windows environments from the Administrators would make life more manageable for all.
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