Is Silverlight embedding Flash Player?

The baseball season is officially well underway. So, finding myself rightfully at work on a Friday afternoon, I decide to tap into my MLB Gameday Audio subscription for the first time this season. It’s Red Sox vs. Yankees, after all, and I love listening to baseball on the radio — especially when it’s streaming online. I pay $14.95/year for the privilege, through MLB.com, and have enjoyed the service for 3 years now since moving West.

As I loaded up mlb.com and clicked on the “listen” icon next to the game (Boston vs. New York), I was welcomed with a new window, different from the classic red-white-and-blue media player. The window gave me the option: “Download the new SILVERLIGHT player OR use the traditional media player”. Since the game had already started and, even more important, I was too deep into some code to task my laptop with downloading/installing some new/untested technology, I opted for the traditional media player.

The familiar player loaded, and shortly after, the feed from Boston’s WRKO began streaming. I went back to work for a few innings — until I needed to pause the stream and test something. For some reason, I errantly right clicked on pause (very rare for me to do that) and I was shocked. In addition to the familiar “About Adobe Flash Player” option in the context menu, there was also a listing for “About Microsoft Silverlight”.

Does this mean Silverlight was installed without my knowing? Why is there an “About Microsoft Silverlight” listing in the context menu ALONG with Flash Player? Could it mean that Silverlight is running with Flash Player embedded? Or is it MLB’s(or their developers’) attempt to honor some strong partnership with Microsoft by confusing us to think that Microsoft technology is powering our enjoyment of the game? Is this even legal for them to do?

chuckstar

9 Comments

Rob Toole

Hey Chuck check out this pic I posted:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/97166968@N00/2407988358/

When you create your own component sets in flash you can add additional items like in this pic of Accella’s cast player. It’s still flash but it’s being passed by the swf as an additional right click parameter. In this case it allows Accella to syndicate their player as well as add different info reating to the content.

Basically I would bet that you do not have Silverlight on your machine, they have just sneakily added this in to tie in Silverlight, though your media is indeed flash. As you said, probably a licensing thing with Microsoft.

Tim Price

Word on the street is that M$ paid MLB big bucks to migrate to Silverlight and supplied them with developers. Maybe said developers felt the need to ‘fake it’ when the Silverlight service crashed on opening day. It all seems a bit fishy, but then again, it is M$, so nothing surprises me.

Phillip Kerman

It’s just the context menu… totally a non issue despite some blog posts from Adobe folks.

chuckstar22

@Phillip

Yeh, but why even add it to the context menu? Just feels like such cheap publicity.

chuckstar22

@Rob

Very familiar with context menu… but I’ve never seen the ‘About…’ mimic’d like this before within the context menu AND by a competing player.

Silverlight dentro de aplicações em Flash?! - Profissionais de Web

[…] Encontrei essa imagem no blog do Charles Freedman onde ele estava indignado perguntando se é possível colocar uma aplicação em SIlverlight dentro de outra aplicação em Flash. Na verdade o menu que o Silverlight coloca está junto com o do Flash, como se estivessem juntos. Será que é possível ou foi somente um bug? COMPARE NO JÁCOTEI Artigos relacionados […]

scott

Microsoft is throwing a lot of money around. MLB, The Summer Olympics on NBC.com will be delivered to us via Silverlight. That is one way to increase plug-in installs quickly. The other way is to force it down in a Windows or Office update. I am just waiting for them to come knocking on Disney’s or ABC’s door so I can help slam it back in their face 😉

Adeyemi Babatunde

It’s very amusing to see what some technology people would do to push their baby forward. Let’s not blame them for doing that. As earlier said by the other commenters, MLB is just trying to help M$ft push its technology forward.

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