How to play MSS2 codec (Windows Media Video 9 Screen) .wmv files in 64-bit Linux

One type of legacy .wmv file uses the ‘Windows Media Video 9 Screen’ MSS2 codec (“DMO-based codec, optimized for low-bitrate sequential screen captures or screencasts”, according to Wikipedia). Now, it is not possible to use win32codecs with the 64-bit versions of Linux multimedia players, so they cannot play .wmv files that use the MSS2 codec. However, there is a way around this: use the Windows version of SMPlayer in WINE. Below I explain the procedure I used to enable me to play .wmv files that use the MSS2 codec.

1. I surfed over to the download page of the MPlayer Web site and downloaded to ~/Desktop/ the installer for the latest version of SMPlayer for Windows (smplayer-0.6.9-win32.exe at the time of writing).

2. I configured WINE and installed SMPlayer for Windows:

$ cd
$ export WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.wine-smplayer
$ export WINEARCH="win32"
$ winecfg
$ cd .wine-smplayer/drive_c/
$ cp ~/Desktop/smplayer-0.6.9-win32.exe .
$ wine smplayer-0.6.9-win32.exe

3. I launched SMPlayer for Windows:

As I had opted to use a WINEPREFIX, to launch SMPlayer (Windows version) from the command line I would need to enter the following command under my normal user account:

env WINEPREFIX="/home/fitzcarraldo/.wine-smplayer" WINEARCH="win32" wine /home/fitzcarraldo/.wine-smplayer/drive_c/Program\ Files/SMPlayer/smplayer.exe

Instead it was easier for me to edit the Desktop Configuration File that was created on the Desktop, and also edit the menu entry that was created in the Kickoff menu, to execute the above command for me. Now all I need to do to launch SMPlayer for Windows is either to select it from Kickoff > Applications > Wine > Programs > SMPlayer > SMPlayer or to double-cick on the SMPlayer for Windows icon on my Desktop.

EDIT (December 11, 2012): OK, for those of you having trouble seeing the video component and only hearing the audio component of a .wmv file using MSS2, you need to do the following:

When you launch the SMPlayer 0.6.9 Setup program (wine smplayer-0.6.9-win32.exe) and click on Next and accept the Licence Agreement, make sure Binary Codecs (under MPlayer Components) is ticked.

When you launch SMPlayer for Windows and open the .wmv file, click on Options > Preferences to open the Preferences window. Click on General in the left pane, then click on the Video tab in the main pane and select “directx (fast)” or “directx(slow)” as the Output driver. I have just done this again (I’m currently using WINE 1.5.18) and I’m watching a MSS2-encoded .wmv file ‘Kai_Software2.wmv‘ as I type this, as shown in the information listed by SMPlayer for Windows:

Kai_Software2.wmv
General
File H:/Kai_Software2.wmv
Size 3193 KB (3 MB)
Length 00:04:33
Demuxer asf

Video
Resolution 883 x 720
Aspect ratio 1.22639
Format MSS2
Bitrate 100 kbps
Frames per second 1000.000
Selected codec wmsdmod

Initial Audio Stream
Format 353
Bitrate 16 kbps
Rate 22050 Hz
Channels 1
Selected codec ffwmav2

Audio Streams
# 0
Language
Name
ID 1

Just to recap:

$ cd
$ export WINEPREFIX="/home/fitzcarraldo/.wine-smplayer"
$ export WINEARCH="win32"
$ winecfg
$ cd /home/fitzcarraldo/.wine-smplayer/drive_c/
$ cp ~/Downloads/smplayer-0.6.9-win32.exe ~/.wine-smplayer/drive_c/
$ wget http://winetricks.org/winetricks
$ chmod +x ./winetricks
$ ./winetricks # 'Select the default wineprefix' + OK first then 'Install a Windows DLL or component' + OK and tick 'allcodecs' and OK.
$ wine smplayer-0.6.9-win32.exe # Make sure Binary Codecs is ticked.

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About Fitzcarraldo
A Linux user with an interest in all things technical.

16 Responses to How to play MSS2 codec (Windows Media Video 9 Screen) .wmv files in 64-bit Linux

  1. Great…!!!!! its working ….
    Thanks alot….
    During installation we need to include the binary codecs….then it will download the windows codecs automatically during installation..
    once again thankyou….

  2. EJS says:

    Awesome, thanks.
    Worked the first time out.

  3. Alvin says:

    Thanks I was begining to think this wasn’t possible in linux

  4. Cannot get smplayer work using wine in Ubuntu x64, the application just hangs, please help.

  5. Subito Piano says:

    Jorge — SMPlayer didn’t work for me either — i downloaded UMPlayer for Windows and ran it under WINE, had to go to OPTIONS>PREFERENCES and try different video drivers. It’s touchy, but it works. (go to http://www.umplayer.com/download/ )

  6. Thanks for the answer, I’ll check out UMPlayer and let you know if it works for me.

  7. Fitzcarraldo says:

    Just a ‘heads up’ if you’re having trouble: I’ve found that SMPlayer for Windows does not work with WINE versions 1.3.28, 1.3.29 and 1.3.30 (the latest version to date). Those three versions of WINE also give me trouble in Office 2007: I can no longer view or edit a document’s Properties. So I reverted to WINE Version 1.3.27 and everything works again. I hope the WINE developers fix these problems. Until then, I’m sticking to 1.3.27.

  8. mike says:

    Moi je suis embeter pour telecharger les codecs qui vont avec le logiciels. J’ai un message d’erreur type “http 403″ et donc les codecs permettant de lire “Windows Media Video 9 Screen ‘MSS2″ sont impossible et donc je ne peut pas lire mes vidéos…. Je ne sais pas la raison qui fait que le server distant refuser de m’envoyer les codecs…. Quelqu’un sait pourquoi et ce que je devrais faire?

  9. mike says:

    Thank you Fitzcarraldo, it is almost good… I get the sound but still not pictures :-(
    but I don’t know why… the video is not working…

  10. Pingback: VLC and Kaffeine not playing .wmv video format

  11. Fitzcarraldo says:

    OK, for those of you having trouble seeing the video component and only hearing the audio component of a .wmv file using MSS2, you need to do the following:

    When you launch the SMPlayer 0.6.9 Setup program (wine smplayer-0.6.9-win32.exe) and click on Next and accept the Licence Agreement, make sure Binary Codecs (under MPlayer Components) is ticked.

    When you launch SMPlayer for Windows and open the .wmv file, click on Options > Preferences to open the Preferences window. Click on General in the left pane, then click on the Video tab in the main pane and select “directx (fast)” or “directx(slow)” as the Output driver. I have just done this again (I’m currently using WINE 1.5.18) and I’m watching a MSS2-encoded .wmv file ‘Kai_Software2.wmv’ as I type this, as shown in the information listed by SMPlayer for Windows:

    Kai_Software2.wmv
    General
    File H:/Kai_Software2.wmv
    Size 3193 KB (3 MB)
    Length 00:04:33
    Demuxer asf

    Video
    Resolution 883 x 720
    Aspect ratio 1.22639
    Format MSS2
    Bitrate 100 kbps
    Frames per second 1000.000
    Selected codec wmsdmod

    Initial Audio Stream
    Format 353
    Bitrate 16 kbps
    Rate 22050 Hz
    Channels 1
    Selected codec ffwmav2

    Audio Streams
    # 0
    Language
    Name
    ID 1

    Just to recap:

    $ cd
    $ export WINEPREFIX=”/home/fitzcarraldo/.wine-smplayer”
    $ export WINEARCH=”win32″
    $ winecfg
    $ cd /home/fitzcarraldo/.wine-smplayer/drive_c/
    $ cp ~/Downloads/smplayer-0.6.9-win32.exe ~/.wine-smplayer/drive_c/
    $ wget http://winetricks.org/winetricks
    $ chmod +x ./winetricks
    $ ./winetricks # ‘Select the default wineprefix’ + OK first then ‘Install a Windows DLL or component’ + OK and tick ‘allcodecs’ and OK.
    $ wine smplayer-0.6.9-win32.exe # Make sure Binary Codecs is ticked.

  12. Kb says:

    Works perfect. Thanks

  13. Pingback: Unable to play wmv video file in debian 7 wheezy 64bit

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