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Helix Player MS2.1


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Helix Player MS2.1

Release Notes

The Helix Player is the Helix Community's open source media player for consumers. This document covers download and installation instructions, known issues and licensing for the HelixPlayer MS2.1 release. This release is a minor increment release to MS2 and therefore the only changes/modifications from MS2 release notes are noted in italics below.

For the most up-to-date information, check the following URL:


What's New
Known Issues
Installation Instructions
Using the Installer and RPMs
Preference Locations
FAQ and Support


This is the readme file for Helix Player MS2.1 release. This file will be modified as we have more information - so please do check our website periodically for new and updated information.

What's New in MS2.1

Most of the work in this build has gone towards stabilizing features and fixing some known issues and bugs.

  • RPMs are now available
  • Early Solaris(SPARC) builds are now available (RA10 high-bitrate audio is not available on Solaris(SPARC))
  • A lot of plugin stabilization work has gone into this release. The plugin now works with older versions of mozilla (pre-1.5)

Please see the notes below for what is new in MS2.

What's New in MS2

There are several major additions to this build including UI enhancements and support for new datatypes.

  • Group Support has been added. It provides Previous/Next buttons when playing files in metafiles
  • A basic help document has been added. It will be replaced by a more advanced help system
  • Clip info for the clip being played now can be viewed under View -> Clip Details
  • The Helix Player now shows a Status Display at the bottom of the window
  • Plugin now supports javascript and all controls have been implemented
  • New mediatype support: RV10, RA10, SMIL, RealText, RealPix
  • New preferences: Sound/Video Hardware, Connection/Advanced Connection/Proxy, URL Hurling Preferences

Known Issues

  • URL hurling doesn't work as expected.
  • Issues with RV1 playback
  • DNET codec (part of RealAudio G2) is not functional. Multimedia content that uses DNET as the audio codec will still play without audio (MS2.1)
  • Alsa and esound drivers are not included in this build
    • The OSS device used for playback can be set using the AUDIO environment variable.
    • eg export AUDIO=/dev/dsp2

Installation Instructions

Using the Installer

  • Ensure that the .bin file you downloaded is executable. You can make the .bin file executable by running the "chmod a+x hxplay-" (substitute the correct architecture/compiler version for your system.) command from a terminal window
  • Run the .bin file. It will provide you with several prompts, including the target installation directory
  • After the player has installed, copy the and nphelix.xpt files from the /mozilla directory to your mozilla plugins directory
  • Usually, this can be accomplished using a command similar to "cp /usr/local/HelixPlayer/mozilla/nphelix.* /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins"
  • After copying the files to the Mozilla plugins directory restart mozilla, and look at "about:plugins" in mozilla to see if it picks them up. It should look something like this: Helix DNA Plugin
    File name:
    Helix DNA Plugin (for Mozilla)
MIME Type Description Suffixes
audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin RealPlayer Plugin Metafile rpm Yes

Using the RPM (for Linux)

  • download the HelixPlayer- file (substitute the correct architecture/compiler version for your system.)
  • login as root
  • run the command "rpm -i HelixPlayer-"

Preference Locations

  • The player places it's prefs at ~/.hxplayerrc

FAQ and Other means of support

The full release notes (and download instructions) are available for you here. You can post your questions on either the FAQ forum, via irc on channel #player, or via the mailing list. You can report bugs via the Helix Issue Tracker. Helix Player bugs can be logged under the Player component. Do look up all open bugs against player to help reduce duplicates being entered. Here is a listing at the time of release.

open issues


NEW add libglade support to the build farm


OPEN disable zoom/fullscreen when no video present


NEW Player should use xml for its config file


NEW Mozilla plugin needs seeking api


NEW Mozilla plugin needs URL hurling support


NEW Meta bug to track all Mozilla Plugin bugs


NEW compiling hxplay with gcc 3.3 will crash


NEW HelixPlayer-CoreReleated metaissue


NEW Plugin needs callback for failed url load


NEW Installer associates RealPlayer8 plugins w/ Embedded player




NEW Installation is not RPM friendly and intrusive


NEW Pause and Resume should use the same shortcut key


OPEN Need minimum hardware requirement spec


NEW M2 plugin segfaults with Mozilla 1.6


NEW Helix Player nightly build for the date of 1/29/2004 Mozilla plugin segfaults when loading an embedded video in Netscape 7.1


NEW Mozilla app missing after install helix player


NEW Plugin requires nspr symbols only available on moz1.5+


OPEN Plugin should differentiate between a crash and hxplay not found


NEW Playback statistics display incorrect audio codec details


NEW Segmentation fault with .rm (real media) files


NEW Mozilla Plugin can't work.


NEW player doesn't play files with dots (.) in their pathname


NEW file open dialog should remember last directory


NEW solaris fails to install mozilla plugin


NEW Closing mozilla window playing real media content crashes the mozilla

This page was last modified 03:09, 25 February 2008.This page has been accessed 1,835 times.

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