Helix Player MS2


Helix Player MS2

Release Notes

The Helix Player is the Helix Community's open source media player for consumers. This document covers download and installation instructions , known issues and licensing for the HelixPlayer MS2 release.


What's New
Known Issues
Installation Instructions
Steps to Download
Using the Installer
Preference Locations
FAQ and Support


This is the readme file for Helix Player MS2 release. This file will be modified as we have more information - so please do check periodically for new and updated information.

What's New

There are several major additions to this build including UI enhancements and support for new datatypes.

  • Group Support has been added. It provides Previous/Next buttons when playing files in metafiles
  • A basic help document has been added. It will be replaced by a more advanced help system
  • Clip info for the clip being played now can be viewed under View -> Clip Details
  • The Helix Player now shows a Status Display at the bottom of the window
  • Plugin now supports javascript and all controls have been implemented
  • New mediatype support: RV10, RA10, SMIL, RealText, RealPix
  • New preferences: Sound/Video Hardware, Connection/Advanced Connection/Proxy, URL Hurling Preferences

Known Issues

  • URL hurling doesn't work as expected.
  • Some Real Video 10 streams seem to crash the player - example: the 1 mbps Paycheck movie trailer on Real Video demo pages.
  • Issues with RV1 playback
  • DNET codec (part of RealAudio G2) is not functional
  • Alsa and esound drivers are not included in this build
    • The OSS device used for playback can be set using the AUDIO environment variable.
    • eg export AUDIO=/dev/dsp2

Installation Instructions

Steps to download:

The release includes a GTK+ based player and a Mozilla plugin. The release and sources are available for download here (two distributions - one built with gcc 3.2 and one with 2.95). (Currently only the gcc 3.2 build is available, 2.95 build will be available shortly. Update: A source tarball is now also available for download at this location as well)

Using the Installer (for Linux)

  • Ensure that the .bin file is executable. You can make the .bin file executable by running the "chmod a+x hxplay-linux-2.2-libc6-i586.bin" command from a terminal window
  • Run the .bin file. It will provide you with several prompts, including the target installation directory
  • After the player has installed, copy the nphelix.so and nphelix.xpt files from the /mozilla directory to your mozilla plugins directory
  • Usually, this can be accomplished using a command similar to "cp /usr/local/HelixPlayer/mozilla/nphelix.* /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins"
  • After copying the files to the Mozilla plugins directory restart mozilla, and look at "about:plugins" in mozilla to see if it picks them up. It should look something like this: Helix DNA Plugin
    File name: nphelix.so
    Helix DNA Plugin (for Mozilla)
MIME Type Description Suffixes
audio/x-pn-realaudio-plugin RealPlayer Plugin Metafile rpm Yes

Preference Locations

  • The player places it's prefs at ~/.hxplayerrc


Because the Helix Player contains a lot of technology, the licensing is a little complicated. Of particular note:

  • Most of the source code for this player is available under a dual license. You may choose the open source RPSL, or the commercially-oriented RCSL, which will give you access to the player source code.
  • RealAudio, RealVideo and the RDT packet format component of the RTSP/RDT protocol are available under the Helix DNA Technology Binary Research Use License.
  • Precompiled binaries are available which include support for RealAudio, RealVideo and RDT. Thus, agreement to the Helix DNA Technology Binary Research Use License is also required. We do not offer compiled binaries without RealAudio and RealVideo. That said, if you are interested, you may compile a version of the Helix Player without RealAudio/RealVideo support and freely distribute it per the open source RPSL.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause, and are working to streamline this process.

FAQ and Other means of support

You can post your questions on either the FAQ forum, via irc on irc.helixcommunity.org channel #player, or via the dev@player.helixcommunity.org mailing list. You can report bugs via the Helix Issue Tracker. Helix Player bugs can be logged under the Player component.