I first wrote about this back in March and I am amazed that even since then, MSNBC.com still can’t get it’s live video streaming to work for anyone with a Firefox or Safari browser. And the worst part, they have no problem delivering you a 15 second ad in the player first, BEFORE they tell you that your browser does not currently support live video. So I have to sit through a video ad only to then be told that I can’t see the live stream I clicked on.
MSNBC’s video player has said it is in "beta" ever since it launched, which was at least a year ago. And it’s still in beta? The technology behind MSNBC.com’s video offering is "powered by MSN" which in my eyes is even worse. If MSN can’t provide the video functionality MSNBC.com should have, then MSNBC.com should fire MSN and use a platform that actually works. But of course that won’t happen.
MSN is completely clueless when it comes to its video offering if they think users are going to stay loyal to MSNBC.com as their news source when every other news site does it better. If MSNBC.com was smart, they would dump MSN video immediately and or fire whoever manages their video offering. But they won’t do that as Microsoft wants to push their IE browser on you, except that they don’t make IE for the Mac, so Mac users are basically just screwed as well as PC users who don’t want to use IE and prefer to use Firefox instead.
Last time I posted about this, some readers wrote in to say:
– "It’s not just Mac users. I have a PC as well, and many of MSNBC’s videos won’t play on it either if I’m using Firefox. If I use IE, then I’m okay."
– "I’ve also enjoyed using Firefox on my laptop, but i can NEVER get MSNBC video to work with Firefox on my laptop – it is so frustrating!"
– "Come on MSNBC, get your stuff together. If amateur webmasters can make this stuff work, so can you. You just don’t want to."
2007 marks the 14th year that streaming media technology was first used on the Internet and it’s sites like MSNBC.com that make the technology look like it has barely evolved in that time and gives the entire industry and technology a black eye. As much as MSN says video is an important part of their business, clearly their lack of interest in making their videos work properly says otherwise. It’s as simply as being greedy and wanting to push IE on us, including those platforms they don’t even make IE for.
Microsoft as a company has been late to the game when it comes to all
aspects of the Internet and video is no different. MSN, MSNBC.com,
Soapbox etc… are all behind the times when it comes to their video
offering. You’d think they would want to prove the opposite by having a
quality video offering but they are stuck in the politics and red tape
of a company that can’t get out of it’s own way.
My suggestion to MSN, get out of the video business. You have no
concept of what a good user experience is, you can’t provide basic
functionality that ever other major news outlet has been providing for
years and you’re insulting users by making them sit through ads when
they can’t get to the content they want. You can’t even provide a basic
player check to see if the user has the system requirements that are
needed – which companies were doing back in 1998.
Give up MSN. Throw up your hands and move on. You can’t win in the video game.