Tech Tip: View Apple Movie Trailers with Firefox on Linux


A few months ago Apple updated their movie trailers site. This update restricts the viewing of Apple Trailers on non-approved systems. Unfortunately, as Linux users, we fall into the category. Thankfully with the use of a FireFox plug-in known as "User Agent Switcher" and a little know how we can still enjoy these trailers and decide what movies we would like to see at the theater.

The plug-in can be found here. After installing it and restarting Firefox you will find a new option under "Tools" in Firefox labeled "Default User Agent". In the sub menu you will find a short list of user agents. Next we need to import one to make the site think that we are really using QuickTime and not something like mplayer or totem. The import is an XML file, the QuickTime User Agent XML file is here. Or, if you prefer you can copy and paste the folowing into a text file and save it as an XML file:

    description="Quicktime 7.6.2"
    useragent="QuickTime/7.6.2 (qtver=7.6.2;os=Windows NT 5.1Service Pack 3)"

Once you have the file saved to your computer go to "Tools" > "Default User Agent" > "Edit User Agent" in Firefox. Select "Import" and import the XML file. Click "OK". You should now see "Quicktime 7.6.2" in the list of user agents. However, if you select it and go to a trailer on the Apple site the video will still not play by default. You must click the option button in the player's toolbar and select copy. Paste the address of the video into Firefox's address bar and hit enter. You should now be watching the Trailer in your Firefox browser.



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And people ask me why Apple

Anonymous's picture

And people ask me why Apple is evil. Perhaps one should realize how much Apple LOATHES interoperability and user freedom in ANY form whatsoever.

Anyway, is Apple Movie Trailers even worth this trouble?

Quicktime Trailers / Ubuntu 9.10 not working,

The Prodejeff's picture

Hello everyone,

I have no idea how old this news is but for a month gecko player can´t play quicktime trailers anymore. I use the user agent addon and for a while it works great but not anymore, so no quicktime trailer viewing for me. But today I I change some numbers in my user agent settings for quicktime. what I did was this, change the numbers ´´quicktime 7.6.2. to quicktime 7.6.3. and it worked again. Then it hit me, I know I´m no genius with PC´s but offcourse apple releases updates so what I think you have to do is follow up the update versions of the official quicktime releases and change those numbers in your user agent quicktime settings. This is what I think, I could be wrong and mistaken but so far it works again.

Gtz The Prodejeff

Good one this is what i use

Anonymous's picture

Right click copy and in a terminal

mplayer -cache 200000 -user-agent 'QuickTime/7.6.2 (qtver=7.6.2;os=Windows NT 5.1Service Pack 3)' http://[url to the trailer]

Mind that some also have parameters to be removed like ?width=300&height=600 just remove them from the url when pasting.

Found this tip in another forum somewhere.


joni's picture

So far as I remember, it was possible to view the trailers by finding the right link (which is straightforward for some trailers, not so much for others); and then changing the address from to .

At least I could view several trailers this way....

It also appeared that people at totem, xine, etc. were working at solving the problem.

Don't worry about what Apple are doing.

Anonymous's picture

I build ( i'm not really plugging it as I don't work there anymore.) Anyway my point is that they have loads of trailers, and is largely build on open source technology. Mind you, there is flash, which I'm not too keen on.

Works without add-ons

Anonymous's picture

It works fine with Firefox 3.5.5 without any add-on.

All ok here

DarkVenger's picture

Since I changed mplayerplug-in to the "new" gecko-mediaplayer it works like a breeze :)

But this info could be handy in the next Apple update though :-/

worked ok here

g55rumpy's picture

ran 1 just fine without plug-in on ubuntu 9.10 and firefox 3.5.5

seems to work just fine for me

Anonymous's picture

I just viewed the trailers with both Chromium and Firefox using Fedora 12 - no need for the user agent switch...

I'm glade they posted this.

metalx2000's picture

I'm glade they posted my tech tip.
When I found out that Apple did this I was so pissed off.
But, just like everything else with Open Source, you can do anything if you just know how. And since Open Source is a community, it's a lot easier to learn how to do something.

Now it's time for me to plug my site:

Everything about Open Source Media
Everything you ever need to know about Free Software.

Thumbs up!

Ari's picture

Wow, it's just like you read my mind. I was just wondering why on earth firefox keeps crashing when I try to watch apple trailers.

Your solution works great! Thanks!