Category Archives: Firefox

Recording MP3 Versions of MIDI Movie Themes

Because Firefox has basically stopped all plugins from working except Flash since version 52 and workarounds failing with version 55 (ugh..), none of my DVD and Blu-ray pages that have an embedded MIDI player using the Microsoft’s Windows Media Player plugin work any longer. So, I decided to record MP3 versions of them which can be played using a standard HTML5 <audio> tag that all modern browsers support.

Audacity and XMPlay

Originally, I used Cool Edit 2000 which I’ve had a licensed copy of for some time. I recorded The Best of Benny Hill theme using it. Since then, I’ve been using Audacity to record the audio while using XMPlay to play the MIDI file. I then exported the audio as a MP3 using the Lame library. I used the Extreme quality preset during the export. So, now on pages like Star Wars IV: A New Hope, there’s a MP3 player as well. Since I’m using the MediaElements.js HTML5 video player on these pages, I decided to their MP3 player also.

Now I need to figure out what I’m going to do with my General MIDI page, if anything. Hmmm… 😖 For now, at least, the Windows Media Player plugin still works in Firefox ESR 52.

Website Changes During April 2013

Main Site Updates

Yesterday I noticed that my YouTube players on my Entertainment and NASCAR pages had quit working. They were completely blank. My guess is they finally pulled the plug on these old style players. So, I grabbed the latest embed code, using iframes, for my playlists and replaced the old players. I guess the added benefit with these newer players is that they will detect if your browser supports HTML5 or not and display the appropriate HTML5 or Flash based player. You need to be part of YouTube’s HTML5 Trial for it to show the HTML5 version, provided your browser supports it.

Speaking of HTML5, Firefox 20 added support for videos encoded with h.264 in certain operating systems (namely Windows 7 and above at the moment as the OS comes with the codec). This is disabled by default, however. You need to go into about:config and set to true.

Gallery Updates

April 22, 2013: Gallery released version 3.0.7 which I have since upgraded my galleries to. It addressed a couple late-minute security vulnerabilities that were discovered.

It seems that not long after Gallery v3.0.5 was released that Gallery v3.0.6 came out to fix some bugs. So, I’ve updated my galleries accordingly (actually did this a few days ago). Exact same process as before.

That’s all for now. Anything else I do this month I’ll update this post. :)

How to Add New RSS Feed Into Feedly for Firefox

Update November 26, 2013: Feedly changed their URL. They took “cloud” out of the URL. So, the correct URL is now: which I have altered below.

Update July 3, 2013: After reading How to add web services to the RSS signup page? on the mozillaZine forum (and comments below), thought I would put what needs to be done for Feedly here (after they finish re-doing the Firefox extension, none of this should, hopefully, be necessary):

To add a feed handler manually,

  1. Type about:config in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. Press the big button to bypass the warning.
  3. In the search bar, paste browser.contentHandlers.types. and note the highest number of the preferences listed (e.g. browser.contentHandlers.types.5.title)
  4. Right-click somewhere in the lower pane and choose New, then String.
  5. Create preferences with the following values, replacing 6 with the appropriate number in your case. %s is a placeholder for the feed’s URL; Firefox will send that URL to the feed reader website.
    • browser.contentHandlers.types.6.title Feedly
    • browser.contentHandlers.types.6.type application/vnd.mozilla.maybe.feed
    • browser.contentHandlers.types.6.uri
  6. Restart Firefox for the changes to take effect.

You should now see a Feedly option in your drop-down list for feed readers. :)

Update June 25, 2013: Thought I better update this post. Currently Feedly is up to version 16.0.528 of the Firefox extension and I am now running Firefox v22.0. Also, it looks like my account is now completely handled by the Feedly Cloud. As such, my URL to add a RSS feed into Feedly has changed from what is used below. The current URL which I now use when making the bookmark is: . It also seems like the extension is more of a front-end to the web only version of Feedly that adds some additional abilities over the website by itself. Hopefully this helps others that have been completely moved over to the Feedly cloud. :)

Update March 28, 2013: Feedly just released version 14.0 of the extension for Firefox on their site. It does seem to correct the problem with adding new feeds and does seem to fix the Google+ button issue when trying to share with it. It’s got some of its own little quirks (which some may not even notice). Version 10.2 is still available on the Firefox Add-On site (actually, they keep most of the older versions archived).

As most are aware by now, Google has announced that as of July 1st, Google Reader will be shutdown. I have been testing out Feedly as a replacement. If you’re reading this then odds are that you’ve already installed the Feedly Extension for Firefox. At the moment it’s basically a front-end for Google Reader and syncs its content with Google Reader. Changes made in Feedly will appear in Google Reader and visa-versa. More information can be found here on Feedly’s blog: Transitioning from Google Reader to Feedly.

The biggest problem that I and many others have run into is adding new feeds directly into Feedly. The normal process in Firefox usually displays an error like this. Anyway, here’s the easiest way that I’ve found to do it.

First, create a new bookmark of one of your existing Feedly pages or just make a new bookmark of anything really. Then, right-click the bookmark and select properties so that the following dialog is shown:

Bookmark Properties

Like I’ve done, change the Name to something more meaningful, and most importantly, change the Location to be sure to add the “%s” at the end. Then add a keyword, such as “f” like I have done, and click Save. (Note: see the June 25th update at the beginning of this post for the current URL if you’ve been moved over to the Feedly Cloud.)

Now, simply preview the RSS feed you want in Firefox using the normal method or copy the link to an RSS feed. Then in the address bar, either insert a “f(space)” (or whatever keyword you decided on) in front of the URL if it’s already showing or type “f(space)” followed by the URL to the RSS Feed:

Address Bar

After pressing enter, you should see the new page being displayed within Feedly’s context. At this point, just click on the green +Add button:

Add feed to Feedly

Success!! :) (oh, as of this writing I am using Firefox v19.0.2).

Update March 17, 2013: Another work-around is to simply refresh the browser using F5, the address bar’s refresh button, or Feedly’s circular arrow refresh button, if you see that unable to load feed error page. After refreshing it seems to properly decode the URL and display the appropriate content to then add.

How to Remove the Chat Widget While Watching NASCAR RaceBuddy or Media Center

If you’re like me, you could probably careless about the social media chat widget thing that is to the right of the NASCAR RaceBuddy and/or Media Center video streams. I do my chatting in a separate Twitter tab within the browser or a separate Twitter application such as TweetDeck. Not only is the chat in these widgets less than desirable at times, but it also seems to cause the video streams to constantly lag and start/stop when the chat widget updates and scrolls items down/up. This is the primary reason I decided to see if I could stop the chat widget from loading in the browser. You can always move or resize the browser window to hide it if that’s all you want to do.

My main browser is Firefox (version 10.0.2 as of this writing) within Windows XP Home/SP3 and this is what I did: After poking around in the source code for the page, I found a JavaScript file being loaded that most likely handled the chat widget. Using Adblock Plus, I added a custom Ad Blocking filter to block || from loading. This is what the Adblock Plus Filter Preferences dialog should look like after adding the filter:

AdBlockPlus Filter Preferences

Success! No more chat widget on those pages and the video was much smoother afterwards. Note: this will affect any webpage that uses the same script to display a similar chat widget.

I haven’t tried it yet but I suspect adding an entry to the Windows’ HOSTS file for to point to would have the same effect and would prevent all browsers from showing the chat widget (or anything else associated with that sub-domain).

My plea to NASCAR.COM and TrackPass (RaceView) Developers

It’s probably a good thing I waited until today to write this; otherwise, it would have been full of many colorful words. :) This is a follow-up to my last post. I tried to run NASCAR.COM’s RaceView during the Michigan race this past Sunday and all I got was either a window with “loading” at the bottom or just a solid white window. This occurred in both Firefox and Internet Explorer. I opened up the Java console in both Firefox and IE and it just had a Java error of a Null pointer assignment:

 at com.sun.opengl.util.JOGLAppletLauncher.start(
 at sun.plugin2.applet.Plugin2Manager$ Source)
 at Source)
Exception: java.lang.NullPointerException

Yes, I did try to reload several times. So I gave up and just started PitCommand to listen to Dale Jr’s audio. I did have to start it in IE first before the audio would work in Firefox and I just didn’t care to investigate this further. I was frustrated and missing the race. Before you ask, I do meet their minimum system requirements.

Now, I don’t mind troubleshooting problems; however, I do not want to do it during the actual race! It totally ruins the fan’s experience. How can you expect fans to search knowledge bases and forums, reinstall Java, plug-ins, audio and video drivers, and do whatever else might be potentially involved? It boggles my mind that there isn’t a race simulator that we can test these applications with during the week. If I was a NASCAR website/TrackPass developer I’d scream for this. I am quite sure the website team has no desire to fix the software during races either (I only hope they at least have some internal system to do this). Normally I wouldn’t give a flying fruitcake about it, but I am paying more for TrackPass than I am for my webhosting here that my blog, among several other sites, is on. The IndyCar RaceControl works (yes, they do loose timing and scoring sometimes but that’s an issue at their end when it happens) and it’s free.

This will probably be my last season to subscribe to RaceView. If the preview works during next year’s Daytona 500 then I might reconsider; otherwise, I’ll just stick with the scanner.

I welcome any comments about other’s experiences and how you got it to work, if you did.