No Mac DVD-ROM support from Star Wars

PS Nystrom

Second Unit
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Jan 27, 1999
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444
With the Digital Bits saying that the Episode II trailer will be available online with the Episode I DVD-ROM, it sure is sad to see that the disc does not support the Mas OS. It's even more frustrating when the disc's documentaries clearly show the Star Wars CG people using Macs to create The Phantom Menace. Anyone else bummed?
Pieter
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Joel Mack

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Bummed, yes. Surprised, no.
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Joseph S

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I don't have it yet, but the stuff is just macromedia flash/shockwave in most cases. Try browsing the disc with your browser or dumping the .swf on QT. It's typical, but the DVD-Rom stuff is usually worthless anyways.
[Edited last by Joseph S on October 16, 2001 at 12:28 AM]
 

Joseph S

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Well after popping it in my PC, I'm "outraged" at this sham. The content is mostly html and prominently features quicktime movies. The video content pages actually feature "Think Different" slogans and "Download Quicktime" with a few Apple logos. This is a total sham. The interactual player is nothing but web browser that sends marketing info if you don't disable it/lie about your age etc. They should be ashamed about this one. There are absolutely no Mac incompatibilties here. As I said in my original post this is just another "Disney Blast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
previous message:
Well, I got my copy today and it does appear we've been screwed. They did not include the .swf files and only provide a link via the "naboo.htm" file on the DVD. They web verify your browser, etc. to specifically restrict viewing.
That is pretty lame. They are specifically disallowing people from viewing the content without any sort of good reasoning behind it. This is just another case of Fox/Lucas pulling a "Disney Blast" with no technical requirements to back it up. There is no valid reason why I can't view the shockwave content. This has got to be some gimmic run with the interactual folks.
[Edited last by Joseph S on October 16, 2001 at 11:24 PM]
 

MikeM

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This may not be supported by the Mac, but if I had the disc, I think I could access the content. Nearly every DVD I've ever seen did not "support" the mac, but it can be viewed in clips, etc by accessing the folders directly.
Especially if they are in HTML and have QuickTime movie clips, that would be cake to find out where they are.
The only bad news is that I don't plan on buying this disc, so I won't be able to post any instructions on getting into those goodies.

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Iain Lambert

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Do any Mac browsers allow you to fake your browser identity like most of the Linux ones do? I'd be very unsurprised if this got round the problem.
 

MikeM

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Iain, could you explain a little more what you mean by this? I don't follow. Thanks.
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Iain Lambert

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Its a fairly obscure setting in things like Mozilla, Konquerer and (if memory serves) Opera where you can edit what information the browser sends back when its id is requested. By the sounds of it, the site is only letting browsers that reply saying that they are IE on Windows to come in.
 

David Lawson

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Good idea, Iain. The iCab browser allows you to do this. It's still in beta, so it's not as full-featured as the major browsers, but it should work just fine for this purpose.
You can find it at http://www.icab.de
He obviously misinterpreted what it means to "be bullish."
 

Joseph S

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I tried the Netscape, Opera, and OmniWeb fakes last night and it does not work. This was the way to access the Disney Blast site. However, they're also checking for interactual's player or plug-in which can't easily be faked.
This is really frustrating. They owe Apple this one as most of the content being served was orginially and likely still is being served up by Apple for free.
 

Graeme Clark

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This may not be supported by the Mac, but if I had the disc, I think I could access the content. Nearly every DVD I've ever seen did not "support" the mac, but it can be viewed in clips, etc by accessing the folders directly.

In this case though, all the content is online. The only thing on the disc is an html page allowing you to select the DVD site or the official site. If you try to go to the DVD site with the wrong browser, it takes you to dvd.starwars.com which is the DVD "sales pitch" site.
I've also found, that even though Disc 1 has the DVD site link, it will not take you to the correct site.
 

MikeM

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Could someone please post the exact link to get you there? I'd like to take a crack at it.
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[Edited last by MikeM on October 18, 2001 at 08:09 AM]
 

David Lawson

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MacFixIt has a report on this issue today, which includes a reply from InterActual. It isn't very promising.
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To clarify yesterday's item on problems with the Star Wars Episode I DVD:
For most Mac users, the movie (Disc 1) plays just fine on their Macs. Problems are restricted to Disc 2 (Extras). Some Mac users have complained that they cannot even get this DVD to mount on their Macs. Others have had success getting the DVD to mount and even accessing some of its content. Accessing the DVD-ROM features and the additional content that depends on the web-link is a deal-breaker for all Mac users.
James Baker suggests that installing the Joliet File Extension may help for those unable to mount the disc at all.
As to the DVD-ROM content, several readers alerted us to information from InterActual (the creators of the content):
Web page reply from InterActual
Several readers (including Keith Esau, Anthony Helm and Mark McAnally) pointed us to this InterActual web page. It explains why their InterActual-enhanced DVD-ROM features, such as used in the new Star Wars Phantom Menace DVD, will not play on Macintosh computers.
Email reply from InterActual
David Snedigar received a related reply from InterActual Technologies Technical Support:
Thank you for contacting InterActual technical support. The decision to put Macintosh content on a disc is ultimately the movie studios' decision. The interface on the Macintosh consists of running the content through Netscape and when the play link is clicked, the Apple DVD Player is called up separately. It is more difficult to write an all-encompassing interface for the Macintosh, since Windows has DirectShow and the Mac OS does not. This allows our interface to hook on and display video within our interface using DirectShow compliant software decoders. Most software decoders on the market are DirectShow compliant. With the Mac, there is no such hook available.
We do have a separate Mac-compatible interface that is available to developers, should they wish to use it. However, Twentieth Century Fox opted not to include Mac support on this disc due to space limitations. Our company only designed and supports the InterActual software itself, but we have no input on creative decisions, other than to advise on what is and is not possible through our interface.
Since the main ROM feature of the Star Wars DVD is an exclusive Web link that requires detection of the Star Wars DVD by our own software in order to be accessible, our interface is required and this technology cannot be accomplished with simple Web pages. Again, this was at the studio's request, so as to provide users with exclusive online content. This type of feature is not possible with our Mac interface, even if the disc had room for our installer. It's tricky enough to do even in Windows, which has a significantly greater number of Web-specific tools available.
I may also want to point out that the Mac landscape has been and still is extremely volatile for a program like ours. Our Mac interface only functions under the following conditions:
*Mac OS 9.0.4 or above (not OS X)
*Apple DVD Player 2.3 or above
*Netscape 4.6 ~ 4.76 (Netscape 6x completely disables our features, even if it is removed)
Any deviation from the above requirements will cause our interface to cease functioning. The configuration above provided us with enough flexibility to at least start video from our interface (a simple "Play The DVD From The Beginning" is all we can do), but any change in these conditions takes this away, making it impossible for our software to work. So as you can see, these requirements drastically limit the number of users that can access Mac-specific content.
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The full report, including yesterday's items, can be found at www.macfixit.com . And we thought The Matrix was a problematic disc...
 

Joseph S

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That is a BS reply from interactual. There is no Mac or PC only content on the site. It is all HTML and QT content and is by no means PC specific. They filter out users w/o interactual browser. That's it. They owe Apple as most of the content was originally served up by apple.com. All they want is your personal info!!!!
http://dvd.starwars.com is the site for those asking.
[Edited last by Joseph S on October 18, 2001 at 11:00 AM]
 

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