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How to view C-SPAN streams with Flip4Mac WMV player Internet
The C-SPAN web site's support for WMV on Mac (via Flip4Mac) is broken. Since many people may not want to install Real Player (the other option on C-SPAN), C-SPAN's broken web site means those Mac users can no longer stream live video from

But the C-SPAN streams themselves actually work just fine with Flip4Mac -- it's the broken web page at C-SPAN that is preventing Mac users from getting the streams. Until/unless the C-SPAN site is fixed, here are the URLs for the current C-SPAN streams (obtained from a Windows PC): All of these streams work with my system (10.5.4, Flip4Mac, Quicktime 7.5.5). You can put them directly into QuickTime by using the File » Open URL menu item, and then saving them as Favorites.

[robg adds: I converted the URLs into hyperlinks; to copy the URL, just Control-click on each entry above and select Copy URL (or whatever your browser calls it) from the contextual menu.]
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How to view C-SPAN streams with Flip4Mac WMV player | 9 comments | Create New Account
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or use VLC
Authored by: mzs on Sep 19, '08 01:15:40PM

Just do File -> Open Network and then in the dialog box click on http and paste the url to the right of the dialog box before clicking OK. There is no need for Flip4mac at all.

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or use VLC
Authored by: xr4ti on Sep 20, '08 08:01:59AM

On my system (PPC), VLC is a disaster. I've moved on. Each new release has had the same bugs: it often puts up a dialog that it doesn't understand the media or the media has an error; and the seek function has been broken for so long, I don't even try to use it.

Thank heavens for Perian, MPEGStreamclip, and Flip4Mac. I used to count on VLC to do the job, but I don't even think to open it anymore, because it often doesn't work. I see lots of similar reports on their forum, but they haven't fixed it for months/years.

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How to view C-SPAN streams with Flip4Mac WMV player
Authored by: xr4ti on Sep 20, '08 08:06:16AM

If the proper helper app, such as Quicktime/Flip4Mac, is already set up in your browser, you can just click on the URLs that robg created in the original hint. You don't have to copy and paste them into your media player.

That's what is so annoying about CSPAN's web site. All they have to do is copy the URLs to a web page, and Mac users could use their streams again, just by clicking on them. Instead, they have a complex maze of Javascript that creates an unnecessary block to Mac users.

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Using Real
Authored by: ktopera on Sep 23, '08 04:13:38PM

Good info on how to watch C-SPAN, but there's nothing wrong with just using Real v11 for's a cool video app with nice zooming effect when going to full-screen.

Just because they were the only ones that INVENTED high-quality video streaming, doesn't mean we should still be gratuitously bashing Real all the time.

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Using Real
Authored by: xr4ti on Sep 26, '08 09:51:24PM
Real has made a series of choices and mistakes that make their software less desirable.

Those choices include their early use of GUIDs to track customers without clearly informing them, software security bugs, falling behind their competition in their video quality, and littering their software with advertising cruft and intrusive registration requests.

There is a reasonable analysis of Real's current privacy issues at:

"both versions of RealPlayer which we reviewed limit the ability of computer users to make informed choices about what happens on their computers – which violates our guidelines."

I've watched and attempted to use Real since it came on the scene. I would never recommend it to anyone that's concerned about privacy or advertising gimics.

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How to view C-SPAN streams with Flip4Mac WMV player
Authored by: mirv42 on Oct 17, '08 01:28:15PM

Thanks for this post. I am able to watch CSPAN2 now.

I sent a message to CSPAN ( to report this, with a link to the page that details the solution. Maybe if others do this too, CSPAN will take notice?


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How to view C-SPAN streams with Flip4Mac WMV player
Authored by: darrell on Nov 09, '08 10:35:39AM
this doesnt seem to work with their archived content:

is there some way i can download the flash at the right of the screen so i can watch it offline?


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How to view C-SPAN streams with Flip4Mac WMV player
Authored by: xr4ti on Dec 05, '08 10:00:45PM

Grabbing flash isn't really related to this hint. If you're using Firefox, try using the DownloadHelper Add-On, it works for most Flash content.

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How to view C-SPAN streams with Flip4Mac WMV player
Authored by: tuckerch on Feb 11, '09 08:29:46AM

FYI, these C-Span URLs still work, with 10.5.6, QuickTime 7.6 and the current Flip4Mac.

C-Span still fails when clicking directly on the WMV link on the C-Span video page.

Thanks for digging them out of the JavaScript!

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