Fix Vine videos not playing in the Firefox web browser
I have to admit that I have not really paid much attention to Vine and other time-restricted video recording apps. All have in common that they provide users with the opportunity to record video for a couple of seconds, and share that video online either with friends or the public.
Vine is operated by Twitter, and available as an application for Android and iOS devices. The official website of the service is Vine.co, and videos that get published by users of the service are made available on that website.
If you are running the latest version of the Firefox web browser you may have noticed that Vine videos do not play when you open a video page on the official website in the browser.
You see a static image instead and a mute button at the top left, but that is about it. If you try to play the same video in a different browser, say Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, you will notice that it plays just fine in it.
You can use this test video to test this for yourself. If you are using Firefox, the video won't play on Vine while it will play fine in other browsers.
Vine makes use of HTML5 video by default, but will fall back to Adobe Flash if HTML5 video is not supported by the web browser or disabled.
While I cannot say why Vine videos won't play in Firefox, I can offer a temporary solution that fixes the issue for the time being. As I mentioned earlier, Vine will fall back to Flash video if HTML5 is not supported or enabled in the browser, and that is what we will be doing. Disabling HTML5 video in Firefox will force the service to use Flash video instead, which play fine in Firefox provided that Flash is installed in it.
Here is the fix:
- Type about:config in Firefox's address bar and tap on the enter key afterwards.
- Confirm that you will be careful if this is your first time accessing the advanced preferences.
- Search for media.windows-media-foundation.enabled
- The default value is set to true.
- Double-click on the preference name to set it to false.
Vine videos will now use Adobe Flash instead of HTML5 video for playback. Note that this change may impact other websites and services that use HTML5 video for playback.
There are other options. You can use a different browser to play videos on Vine, or download the videos instead to your system. Those options may not be as comfortable though.
There is another solution that may work out for you:
- Right-click on the Vine video page and select View Page Source from the context menu.
- Use Ctrl-f to bring up the on-page find box.
- Enter mp4 into the search form.
- Copy the first url containing mp4 (all of it), and load it in Firefox directly.
- The video will play just fine then even with the preference set to true.