MP3 without QuickTime on Windows

Scott Rossi scott at
Mon Feb 7 11:58:03 EST 2005

Recently, Ben Rubinstein wrote:

> In my trivial test (set the filename of a player to the path to the mp3
> file; start the player) this isn't working, with a standalone on a machine
> running Windows XPembedded, without QuickTime or Windows Media Player.
> Also possibly worth noting, on the XPe machine I can play wav files embedded
> in the standalone as an audio clip (but not external wav files through a
> player).  
> I have limited opportunities to investigate on the target platform (and
> we're extremely tight on space on the boot disk).
> Do I need to do something special in the way I build the standalone?  Or is
> it that on Windows you don't need QuickTime - but only providing you do have
> Windows Media?  I have tried running the same test on a PC running a
> standard installation of XP, from which I'd removed QuickTime (fully, as far
> as I can tell) and indeed was able to play an MP3 file, with a gratifying
> display glitch where the controller/player should have been.
> So what counts as the minimum installation to play MP3 in this way?  Or in
> fact any external audio file?  (Is there another way to play external audio
> files without using a player object?)

You need to have *some* kind of multimedia support on the system, which is
usually Windows Media Player if not QuickTime.  The only other way you might
do it is to hand off playback to some other app that is capable of playing
MP3s.  But you may wind up with little to no control over playback and if
WMP is not on the system you may not have success at all.

The simple way to test if MP3s will work on the system is to double click an
MP3 file and see if it plays.  If it does, determine what app is playing it
and see if you can use the launch/open process or shell commands to handle
launching of the file in the app (again, you may not be able to have any
control over playback if you go this route).

As you discovered, Rev is natively capable of playing WAVs, AU and AIFF
files, but not MP3s.

In my experience, if you want to use a player in Rev, you really need to
have QT or WMP installed, but perhaps someone else knows differently.


Scott Rossi
Creative Director
Tactile Media, Development & Design
E: scott at

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