|Windows Internet Explorer 5.5 SP2 and 6.0 with QuickTime
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR WEB DEVELOPERS & WEBMASTERS
Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows, versions 5.5 SP2 and 6.0
(soon to be released) no longer support Netscape-style plug-ins,
such as the plug-in installed as part of QuickTime 5.0.2 and earlier
versions. Consequently, Windows customers using these versions of
Explorer who visit your site may be unable to view QuickTime content
in the browser. To mitigate this problem and to ensure a positive
experience for your Web site visitors, you should add to your site
the HTML code that makes available the new ActiveX control for
QuickTime, as described below.
NOTE: THIS ISSUE AFFECTS ONLY USERS OF INTERNET EXPLORER ON WINDOWS.
QuickTime uses a plug-in mechanism to display movies from your Web
page in the user's browser. Before, you would use an EMBED element
alone to display QuickTime content within the browser, much like in
the example below:
<EMBED src="sample.mov" width="160" height="144" autoplay="true"
For this mechanism to work, the user must have the QuickTime plug-in
installed on his or her system. If the appropriate QuickTime plug-in
is not installed, when your HTML page with QuickTime content is
loaded into the user's browser, the movie is not visible. Instead,
the browser replaces it with a "broken plug-in icon" and attempts to
assist the user in obtaining the required software. An unfortunate
side effect of this approach is that the user is directed away from
your site and is distracted by the installation process.
Until recently, the plug-in installed as part of QuickTime worked
for both Netscape browsers and Microsoft Internet Explorer on both
Windows and Mac OS. Now Windows users who try to play a QuickTime
movie in Internet Explorer version 5.5 SP2 or later will encounter
the "broken plug-in icon" until they install the new QuickTime
ActiveX control from Apple in addition to the QuickTime plug-in.
Users of other browsers on either Windows or Mac OS are
unaffected--they can continue to use the plug-in installed with
QuickTime and do not need to get the new QuickTime ActiveX control.
Once users have the new ActiveX control installed, they are also
unaffected; they can also view existing pages.
When authoring web pages, you can easily prevent this problem by
authoring your HTML to check that the required ActiveX control is
installed wherever you have QuickTime content embedded. This HTML
change will result in web pages compatible with Netscape and
Internet Explorer browsers on both Mac and Windows systems (see
below for more information).
The required code consists of an HTML OBJECT element with an
enclosed EMBED element as in the following example:
<param name="src" value="sample.mov">
<param name="autoplay" value="true">
<param name="controller" value="false">
<embed src="sample.mov" width="160" height="144" autoplay="true"
CLASSID must always equal:
CODEBASE must always equal:
PLUGINSPAGE must always equal:
The other attributes should be customized to your web page. You need
to substitute "sample.mov" (in both SRC attribute elements) with the
URL of the actual movie to be played. You should also change the
HEIGHT and WIDTH parameters to match the height and width of the
movie (in pixels).
If you already have EMBED elements for the QuickTime plug-in on the
relevant pages, you need to enclose each of them in an OBJECT
element with CLASSID and CODEBASE parameter values as shown above
and with SRC and other parameter values to match those in your
existing EMBED element. The OBJECT element can use any EMBED
attributes QuickTime understands. Visit
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/authoring/embed.html for more
For existing web pages, it may be sufficient to add such an OBJECT
element to the "front door" page of your site. Once the OBJECT
element on the "front door" page has caused the user to install the
ActiveX control, all subsequent pages with the original EMBED
elements will work properly. In cases where you cannot be certain
that the "front door" page is always visited, then all your pages
should be revised to use these OBJECT elements.
HOW IT WORKS
The OBJECT element is used by Internet Explorer on Windows
9x/NT/2000/XP platforms and by other browsers that support the
QuickTime ActiveX control. The enclosed EMBED element is used by
Netscape browsers, Internet Explorer for the Mac, and other browsers
that support the "Netscape style" QuickTime plug-in. Browsers that
understand the OBJECT element ignore the EMBED element; those that
don't understand the OBJECT element use the EMBED element.
Within the OBJECT element, the CLASSID parameter uniquely identifies
which ActiveX control to use. A CLASSID parameter with the value
"clsid:02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B" tells Internet Explorer
to use the QuickTime ActiveX control. (You must use exactly this
value; it is the only value that identifies the QuickTime ActiveX
control). If the user does not already have the ActiveX control
installed on his or her system, the CODEBASE parameter tells the
browser where to find it for downloading. Internet Explorer will
automatically offer to download and install the ActiveX control for
the user, after which the movie can be played without restarting the
browser, or, if QuickTime is not already installed, will prompt the
user to download and install QuickTime. You must always use
"http://www.apple.com/qtactivex/qtplugin.cab" for the CODEBASE URL.
This URL will always have the latest version of the QuickTime
Because a browser will use either the OBJECT element or the EMBED
element, but not both, most of the element attributes must be
included in each. Note that in the example above the EMBED element
has autoplay="true" and the OBJECT element has , so the movie will begin to play
automatically whether it is loaded with the QuickTime ActiveX
control or the QuickTime plug-in. The only attributes that should
not be duplicated are CLASSID, CODEBASE, and PLUGINSPAGE. CLASSID
and CODEBASE are specific to the OBJECT element. PLUGINSPAGE is
specific to the EMBED element.
Although Windows Internet Explorer 5.5 SP2 and 6.0 will no longer
use the QuickTime plug-in, once the QuickTime ActiveX control has
been installed on a user's system, these versions of Internet
Explorer will use the installed ActiveX control to satisfy a
properly coded EMBED element.
For more information on the OBJECT element, see:
- The W3C Web site at
For more information on HTML in general, see:
- HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide 4th Edition,
by Chuck Musciano & Bill Kennedy, published by O'Reilly.
- Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference, by Danny Goodman,
published by O'Reilly.
For more information about QuickTime on Web sites, see:
QuickTime for the Web, published by Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
For more information on Internet development, see:
Last updated: Aug 22, 2001.