Firefox 24 for Linux gets native MP3, AAC and H.264 support

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 23, 2013

Firefox users who use the Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system benefit from support for H.264, Mp3 and AAC formats that Mozilla implemented in version 21 of the web browser. Support means that users of the browser on those systems can play audio and video files requiring these formats in the browser without plugins.

The organization promised to deliver solutions for other operating systems, both Windows as well as Linux and Macintosh in the near future.

Windows Vista users will get support for the formats this Tuesday with the release of Firefox 22 stable, while Linux users will have to wait until Firefox 24 to get support for Mp3, AAC and H.264 in the browser.

Native support requires some explanation. Mozilla is not implementing support for the formats directly in the browser because of licensing issues. The decision was made to support the formats on operating systems that shipped with support for them.

In the case of Windows, Firefox is using the Media Foundation Framework to integrate support into the browser, on Linux, it is using GStreamer.

The Linux implementation has just landed in the latest Nightly build for the operating system. It is not enabled by default, and users who would like to take it for a test drive need to perform the following operation to enable it:

  1. Download the latest Linux Nightly version or update an existing Nightly version running on Linux.
  2. Type about:config into the browser's address bar and hit the enter key.
  3. Confirm that you will be careful if the screen pops up and it is your first time accessing the advanced configuration page.
  4. Search for gstreamer.enabled using the filter menu at the top.
  5. Double-click the preference to set its value to true.
  6. This enables support for the formats in Firefox for Linux.

To disable support again, perform the same operation a second time and make sure the value reads false afterwards.

You can then play Mp3 and AAC audio files and H.264 video files in Firefox's Linux version.

You can download the latest Nightly builds of the browser from this page.

It is not clear yet when support for the media formats will come to Windows XP or Apple Macintosh systems. (via Sören Hentzschel)


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  1. Toyotame said on July 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Its great but little sad news. Sad that WebM is failed to become major standard in web, still only on Youtube. Great, that users now can view videos without Flash even more. Or listen to music on Bandcamp without flash.

  2. SuilAmhain said on June 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    That’s Great News!!!

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