I got the great idea that we would try to watch the Olympics online last night. But, I had to reboot to Windows!
The problem is that NBC used a tool called Silverlight to broadcast the video. Currently, the version of Silverlight does not work on Linux.
I attempted to download Moonlight, the Linux version of Silverlight. but it did not help. The download page says that they do have an experimental version 2, but I think this note explains why it still does not work: “Note: These are currently built without multimedia support. No video or mp3 playback is enabled on these binaries.”
I tried to do some quick searches to see if there was a way to recompile or enable Moonlight to playback video, but I did not find anything.
I did find many other people complaining about Microsoft though. New York times wrote an article called Olympics Online, With a Hook. My search also brought this article up a few times: Linux Users on NBC’s Olympic Videos: We Don’t Get No Respect.
I found another article, Ok, I admit it. I love NBCOlympics.com! Now go make it work on Linux!, where the author makes this quote: “Now, one could get all huffy and puffy and blame Microsoft on this state of affairs, but in this case, I have to lay this problem strictly at the feet of the Open Source community.” I have to disagree! If I write a website, I have to make sure that I use tools and code that will work with my audience’s computers. It would be ridiculous for me to write and test my website only for the Firefox browser or only Safari. If Microsoft really wants Silverlight to be a success, I think they should donate the resources necessary to the Open Source effort. Obviously, not that many open source developers feel that we need another Flash.
Anyway, I wish I had a good answer for how I made it work, but all I can say for now is we have to use Windows.