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How to stop Quicktime hijacking audio/mpeg (mp3) in Firefox

August 27th, 2008 Mark Leave a comment Go to comments

This frustrated the shit out of me. My setup: Vista Business SP1, Firefox 3.0.1, Quicktime 7.5 (861).

No matter how hard I tried, besides disabling the Quicktime plugin in Vista, moving/deleting npqtplugin4.dll in the Firefox plugins folder or hex editing it, Firefox 3.0.1 would always play any mp3s I clicked in a full screen Quicktime plugin.

The about:plugins shows the following:

QuickTime Plug-in 7.5 (861)

File name:
npqtplugin4.dll
The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in Web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
MIME Type Description Suffixes Enabled
video/mpeg MPEG media mpeg,mpg,m1s,m1v,m1a,m75, m15,mp2,mpm,mpv,mpa Yes
audio/mpeg MPEG audio mpeg,mpg,m1s,m1a,mp2,mpm, mpa,m2a Yes
audio/x-mpeg MPEG audio mpeg,mpg,m1s,m1a,mp2,mpm, mpa,m2a Yes
video/3gpp 3GPP media 3gp,3gpp Yes

How the hell do you change one of those values to say “enabled: no”?

Changing Mime Type associations in Firefox via Options -> Applications does nothing – Quicktime always gets there first

Changing Mime Settings in Quicktime Preferences launches Vista’s Set Program Associations which is also fruitless

After much digging around, I have worked out that the following will let you handle audio/mpeg (mp3) the way you want:

  • Go to about:config
  • Type ‘plugin’ in the filter box (minus quotes)
  • Look for ‘plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types’
  • If it already exists and contains a value, add ‘,audio/mpeg’ to the end of it, otherwise just change the value to ‘audio/mpeg’
  • Fully close Firefox, wait a few seconds for it to clean up and die
  • Launch Firefox again.. click an MP3 link.. voila! it does whatever you’ve specified in your Firefox Options -> Applications
Categories: Windows Tags: , , , , ,
  1. September 4th, 2008 at 12:01 | #1

    please explain this in terms a moron like me can understand. I ABSOLUTELY HATE how Quick Time hijacks everything, but this message does not help me. Go to about: config? wtf????

  2. September 15th, 2008 at 18:00 | #2

    Type about:config in the Firefox location bar.. I’m assuming you’re using Firefox as that is what this post is about

  3. November 4th, 2008 at 09:54 | #3

    Hi Mark,
    You’re a legend!
    This one has driven me totally craAaaAAAzy.
    I hate quickslime anyway plus accidentally invoking it always hung FF and usually crashed my machine.
    If Mozilla is so open saucy they should make this the default setting.
    But now thanks to you it’s not something I have to ever worry about again.
    IOU at least a slab of beer.
    Thanks Mate
    John 8~)

  4. Ethan
    November 8th, 2008 at 19:07 | #4

    Many thanks. Unfortunately the config line did not exist for me but I right clicked in the main about:config window and created it as a new string value, with the value set to ‘audio/mpeg’ then shutdown firefox and restarted it. Problem solved :) What a shame apple see fit to hijack every file type with Quicktime and don’t provide this important user option to people in some form.

    Very helpful – Thank you!

  5. November 17th, 2008 at 17:29 | #5

    Nice one Mark, I absolutely hate the way QT hijacks the browser in this fashion. I thought it was something related to web server MIME types initially so I’m glad there is a client-side solution to it.

  6. Patrick
    December 1st, 2008 at 04:42 | #6

    Excellent. Worked perfectly!

  7. Alex
    December 14th, 2008 at 20:22 | #7

    Hey, I tried this and it does not work for me. What am i doing wrong?

  8. Don
    January 2nd, 2009 at 00:26 | #8

    This did not work for me.

    ‘plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types’ did not exist so I added it. I added the value ‘audio/mpeg’. I restarted the computer. Opened Firefox and clicked an .mp3 link but Quicktime started.

    I have Vista, if that makes a difference.
    Don

  9. Don
    January 2nd, 2009 at 01:11 | #9

    SUCCESS!!!!
    Try the following:
    WMP 11.0, Vista, Firefox 3.0.5.
    Firefox Menu: Tools>Options>Applications
    Under ‘Content Type’ scroll down to MPEG types
    Under ‘Action’ use dropdown to select ‘Use Window Media Player’
    Click [OK]
    Don

  10. January 4th, 2009 at 16:56 | #10

    Ok, I tried this… but it did not work for me. Test with mp3s here:
    http://americanart.si.edu/collections/insight/podcasts/

    In ‘about:config’, I set ‘plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types’ to ‘audio/mpeg’ (from audio/mp4) and it was automatically changed to: ‘audio/mpeg,audio/mp4′

    In ‘Tools -> Options -> Applications’ I set ALL items (especially mpeg and mp4) to ‘Always ask’ and even tried ‘Save file’ all to no avail. I even verified the settings after multiple restarts (firefox was no longer running in the task manager each time before I restart).

    Running Vista Home, FF 3.0.5, QT 7.4.5 (will upgrade in a sec to 7.5.5) and try again later, after a restart. Dang… QT sucks!

  11. G
    January 18th, 2009 at 13:38 | #11

    Dude,
    Thank you SO much. This is SO annoying!

    Kudos for figuring this out.

  12. Janis
    March 15th, 2009 at 21:10 | #12

    Nice, it really worked! That option was not even there, so I added and now there is no more Quicktime. :)

  13. April 8th, 2009 at 11:13 | #13

    This old problem is easily avoided on Windows by not installing QuickTime. But it came back to haunt me on a new MacBook. :/ Thanks to your article I was able to defeat the problem on the following setup:

    Mac OS X 10.5.6
    QuickTime 7.6.0
    Firefox 3.0.8

    Mind you ‘plugin.disable_full_page_plugin’ did NOT already exist in about:config, but it was easy to create a New String, call it that and set the value as ‘audio/mpeg’ and voi la. Thanks again!

  14. isaac32767
    April 21st, 2009 at 23:35 | #14

    Mark, thanks for an *extremely* helpful post. Now would somebody please explain to me why plugins are allowed to override Firefox’s built-in MIME preferences, and why we have to use such an obscure configuration to override the override?

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