Getting NASCAR PitCommand audio working in Firefox

(If you’re having problems with RaceView, you might want to check out this post: Getting NASCAR RaceView Working with Internet Explorer 8)

During Sunday’s NASCAR race I was trying to get the audio working in NASCAR.COM’s PitCommand using Firefox (version 3.6.8 at the time). No such luck, even after disabling AdBlock Plus and enabling 3rd party cookies. So, I decided to try it in Internet Explorer 8. Naturally, it worked just fine. I tried it again in Firefox, and it worked! Hmm.. what’s going on here?

I knew that the audio stream was being handled by Windows Media Player since it was using the .ASX extension. I did have the Windows Media Player plug-in for Firefox installed. There’s an article at mozillaZine which gives information about it. In fact, my MIDI page is designed to work with it. Since it only worked after I tried it in Internet Explorer, I figured it must have triggered something or saved something into Temporary Internet Files that allowed it to then work in Firefox. Since WMP is a Microsoft program, it stores its files in IE’s Temporary Internet Files directory. So, I deleted the Temporary Internet Files using the Internet Explorer Control Panel applet. The audio quit working with PitCommand in Firefox again. I launched PitCommand in IE which worked and closed IE. The audio started working in Firefox. At this point I restarted Windows and went to Firefox first thing and the PitCommand audio worked.

It seems that some Javascript or other file that gets saved to Temporary Internet Files when using IE is letting the WMP Firefox plug-in to play the audio in this specific case. This leads me to believe that the code on NASCAR.COM’s site might be doing different things based on the browser it detects. Because I was sick of troubleshooting and missing the race I stopped here.

NASCAR.COM really needs to have a fake race stream during the week so that all of us, and them, can work on software issues then and not during the actual race! Who wants to do that? I also tried RaceView but it wouldn’t work in either Firefox or IE. I just got a blank page with a Java error on it. Early this morning I got a Java update (version 6, update 21) but I won’t be able to test that out till the next cup race.  :-?