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After upgrading to Firefox 24, YouTube videos never load

  • 34 replies
  • 64 have this problem
  • Last reply by scott092707

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I have Lubuntu 12.04 and Gnash. Up until yesterday (when Upgrade Manager uploaded the latest Firefox to version 24) all was well. NOW, the page loads, I click on the large "Play" symbol superimposed over the video image, and all I get thereafter is the circling dots loading symbol. Gnash gets far enough that it creates the "videoplayback__" file for the video, but it is typically only a few kb large (and it cannot be played, naturally).

If there is a workaround/solution, great - if not, please tell me how to get version 23 back (but also let me know when the problem is fixed so I can get the new fixed version) Thank you.

P.S. To get this question down to an acceptable size, I deleted all the printer-related Troubleshooting Information that for some reason Troubleshooter saw fit to include.... Before I did so, I was told to: "Ensure this value has at most 30,000 characters (it has 47,676)." ("Value" ???)

Version information:

uname -a Linux scott-Asus-M2N68-AM-Plus 3.2.0-54-generic #82-Ubuntu SMP Tue Sep 10 20:09:12 UTC 2013 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux

firefox --version Mozilla Firefox 24.0

gnash --version Gnash 0.8.10 (release_0_8_10-21522-2e609a6)

Copyright (C) 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Free Software Foundation, Inc. Gnash comes with NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law. You may redistribute copies of Gnash under the terms of the GNU General Public License. For more information, see the file named COPYING.

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  Renderers: agg cairo
  Hardware Acceleration: none
  Media handlers: gst ffmpeg 
  Configured with: CFLAGS=-Wall -g -Werror-implicit-function-declaration -O2 CXXFLAGS=-Wall -g -O2 LDFLAGS=-Wl,--no-add-needed --host=i686-linux-gnu --build=i686-linux-gnu --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --disable-testsuite --without-swfdec-testsuite --without-ming --disable-dependency-tracking --disable-rpath --enable-cygnal --enable-python --enable-jemalloc --enable-media=gst,ffmpeg --enable-gui=gtk,qt4,dump --enable-renderer=agg,cairo --enable-docbook --enable-extensions=fileio,lirc,mysql --with-npapi-plugindir=/usr/lib/gnash --with-plugins-install=system --enable-shared=yes
  CXXFLAGS: -Wall -g -O2          -W     -Wall     -Wcast-align     -Wcast-qual     -Wpointer-arith     -Wreturn-type     -Wnon-virtual-dtor     -Wunused      -fvisibility-inlines-hidden

All Replies (20)

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Update your flash.. your using older version of flash..

Download flash

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No, I use gnash, which is a non-proprietary (open) alternative to Flash. While it does not play videos from all sites, it DOES do so for YouTube. I have used it for years with YouTube and had no problems. "The latest beta release of Gnash has been made at version 0.8.10 in mid Feb, 2012." This is the version I have been using with Lubuntu.

Since I have not installed any updates to gnash in the last few days (I know of none), then unless YouTube itself has changed in the last few days, then I must conclude that the problem is Firefox, which I DID change recently.

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Still cannot play YouTube videos in Firefox.

I also have Chromium (came with Lubuntu), and CAN play them there, and gnash makes its normal videoplayback__ file, which is playable.

So... YouTube seems to work, gnash seems to work , but not in Firefox, where up until recently they worked fine...


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I was searching a solution to my similar problem. Saw someone mentioned about outdated plugins. I went to update the VLC plugin and boom, the problem was fixed. Just my 2c.

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...and now I have the same problem in Chromium that I started having in Firefox - endless circling dots...

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YouTube videos freezing up after about 30s

I am contributing the following observations both as information and in an effort to help FF find a fix for what broadly speaking is an on-going problem, but possibly not as some users have suggested specifically with FF or on the other hand with Adobe Flash. Please forgive the length.

After updating FF23.0.1 to FF24.0 and updating Adobe Flash Player from 11.8.* to 11.9.900.117 shortly afterwards I have found that when using my broadband dongle ANY YouTube video I play in FF freezes up after 26-30 seconds although the progress bar continues; if I give it long enough the screen turns green - a first for me - and I receive a message that the Adobe Flash Player has crashed. The SAME effect occurs in Google Chrome using its default Adobe Flash Player, v11.8.* (it recognizes 11.9.900.117, but I have not tried that in Chrome yet).

With Opera v12.16 and v15, however, with and WITHOUT the turbo feature on for slow connections, I have no problem with YouTube videos. In a single test using FF with an ethernet connection YouTube videos played properly. So, superficially, the problem would seem to be related to a slow connection speed with the dongle, although this does not explain the crashing of the Flash Player in FF and Chrome, but not in Opera: I have been using the dongle since December 2009 and have NEVER encountered this issue before. Also, with FF, I tried playing a flash video on another website at various qualities and the video did not freeze up. So, why this problem with YouTube? It might also be added that FF users have been reporting FF/Adobe Flash/YouTube problems for at least a few years and it is unlikely that they were all using broadband dongles. I do have some difficulty playing some Quicktime videos while using my dongle, which may also suggest an internet connection issue; nevertheless, as noted, this does not explain the persistent and unusual crashing of the Flash Player or the green-screen effect or Opera's ability to play YouTube videos.

Modified by Ian.F

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Try Firefox Safe Mode to see if the problem goes away. Safe Mode is a troubleshooting mode, which disables most add-ons.

(If you're not using it, switch to the Default theme.)

  • On Windows you can open Firefox 4.0+ in Safe Mode by holding the Shift key when you open the Firefox desktop or Start menu shortcut.
  • On Mac you can open Firefox 4.0+ in Safe Mode by holding the option key while starting Firefox.
  • On Linux you can open Firefox 4.0+ in Safe Mode by quitting Firefox and then going to your Terminal and running: firefox -safe-mode (you may need to specify the Firefox installation path e.g. /usr/lib/firefox)
  • Or open the Help menu and click on the Restart with Add-ons Disabled... menu item while Firefox is running.


Once you get the pop-up, just select "'Start in Safe Mode" Safe Mode Fx 15 - Win

If the issue is not present in Firefox Safe Mode, your problem is probably caused by an extension, and you need to figure out which one. Please follow the Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems article for that.

To exit the Firefox Safe Mode, just close Firefox and wait a few seconds before opening Firefox for normal use again.

Please report back soon.

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Please do note that Gnash might not work as well as Adobe Flash, and all the flash troubleshooting here is almost useless.

Have you reinstalled (or remove, and install again) gnash using synaptic or apt-get?

You may also try deleting the pluginreg.dat file, that applies to gnash, and almost any plugin.

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Computerwhizz, hi.

Concerning safe mode, I had meant to say in my previous post that I had already tried it to no avail: the problem remained.

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Try this:

  1. Go to YouTube
  2. Then navigate to the Try something new! page or click here
  3. Try the YouTube Feather Beta

Does this make the videos run properly? Please report back soon.

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What is your internet speed?
What definition are the videos that freeze?

Please try the lowest definition possible to see if the problem still occurs.

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ComputerWhiz, hi.

As stated I am using a broadband dongle: I don't have a specific internet speed, but it is never as fast as ethernet at its best. (For example, actual download speeds are never greater than about 350-380 kb/s).

As also noted, however, the problem I am currently having with YouTube videos whilst using Firefox (& Chrome) I have never had before since buying a dongle in 2009. To make the point, I have just been playing in Opera 12.16 Eric Clapton's song 'Layla' that prior to FF24.0 I also played without difficulty in Firefox, but not now: the video can be found at - there appears to be only the one resolution for this video, which is quite good.

Curiosly, last night - using Opera - when I played the Layla video the player, unlike on the previous night (Friday), behaved differently: the video instead of beginning automatically as before now required me to click on a large play button indicating that YouTube may have been making some changes. When I try to play the video in Firefox this does not happen; playback is automatic (until the player crashes 25s later). If YouTube is making some changes I wonder if this could be why FF and Chrome are having problems with their videos.

As I said in an earlier post I did, whilst using Firefox, try a Flash video in various resolutions on another website (i.e. not YouTube) and they did play without the Flash player crashing. (I am sorry I don't recall the site, it was not one I had used before, but I think one of the resolutions was 480 x 720.)

Since FF is failing to 'play' YouTube videos that Opera has no problem with and given that Firefox itself has been able to play flash videos on a site other than YouTube the problem I and others have described seems less a question of video resolution than of some yet undetermined issue that FF users have been reporting for several years.

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You can try basic steps like these in case of issues with web pages:

Reload web page(s) and bypass the cache to refresh possibly outdated or corrupted files.

  • Hold down the Shift key and left-click the Reload button
  • Press "Ctrl + F5" or press "Ctrl + Shift + R" (Windows,Linux)
  • Press "Command + Shift + R" (Mac)

Clear the cache and cookies only from websites that cause problems.

"Clear the Cache":

  • Firefox/Tools > Options > Advanced > Network > Cached Web Content: "Clear Now"

"Remove Cookies" from sites causing problems:

  • Firefox/Tools > Options > Privacy > Cookies: "Show Cookies"

Start Firefox in Safe Mode to check if one of the extensions (Firefox/Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Extensions) or if hardware acceleration is causing the problem (switch to the DEFAULT theme: Firefox/Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Appearance).

  • Do NOT click the Reset button on the Safe Mode start window.
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Cor-el, hi.

Ctrl + F5: I have tried this before and have just tried it again to no avail;

Cache and Cookies: Using CCleaner I clear my cookies every evening, but I have just cleared all cookies with Firefox and also my cache, which I clear quite often anyway (makes it easier to get new material to my website), but this did not help;

Safe Mode: As indicated in a previous post I had tried this before without success, so I knew an extension was not the problem: nevertheless, I just tried again using the default theme rather than my usual one, but the YouTube video behaved as before - freezing up after 33 seconds.

May I remind you that I have the same problem with Chrome: I have just tried it again and the video again stopped at about 33s and the browser completely froze up - as also happens with Firefox in the same situation, which I thought the plug-in container was meant to prevent. I checked the plug-ins in Chrome again before playing the video and found that two versions of the Flash player were enabled - I only have one version on my computer - so disabled the older version, but as indicated this failed to work. I have just tried again using the older version of Flash with the newer and latest version disabled, but again the video froze, so at least in Chrome the issue is not simply with the Flash player.

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Cor-el, hello again.

Briefly, one other discovery to throw into the mix.

Justin Guitar provides video tutorials on YouTube that I cannot currently play in Firefox from the YouTube website, although I have done so previously. As a test I tried playing his YouTube videos from his own website at whilst playback was not great, the video being somewhat behind the audio, importantly the Flash player did not this time crash; when I tried immediately afterwards on the YouTube website the video crashed as is now usual. Again, the same video plays well from the YouTube website in Opera 12.16 using my broadband dongle for the internet connection.

I have seen recently in another thread a FF user make a similar, but opposite observation: for him YouTube videos played on the YouTube website, but not when embedded in another web page; my example indicates the reverse to be true for me.

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Hi Ian.F

Which Windows version are you using?

Note that the OP (scott092707) that created this thread is using Linux, so it would have been better if you had created your own thread to avoid confusion.

You can check for problems with current Flash plugin versions and try these:

  • disable a possible RealPlayer Browser Record Plugin extension for Firefox and update the RealPlayer if installed
  • disable protected mode in the Flash plugin (Flash 11.3+ on Windows Vista and later)
  • disable hardware acceleration in the Flash plugin
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Progress report:

Waka_Flocka_Flame : Hi.

I have removed and re-installed Gnash, and then removed and re-installed Gecko-Mediaplayer, and get exactly the same results with each removal/re-installation..

>Please do note that Gnash might not work as well as Adobe Flash,

>and all the flash troubleshooting here is almost useless.

Gnash has worked just fine for YouTube for years for me, until recently.

ComputerWhiz : Hi.

>Try the YouTube Feather Beta

I did. The initial picture that normally appears with a large "Play" triangle in the middle, never appeared. Just a black box. While in the Try Something New area, I also tried the "HTML5 Video Try an experimental version of the YouTube HTML5 video player." This gave me no difference than their regular player (endless circling dots).

I will try other suggestions tomorrow (?) and report what I find.

Modified by scott092707

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What do you see if you right-click the large play button and choose "Inspect element"?

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Hi. Responding to Cor-el's question, "What OS are you using?"

I am using Windows XP SP3 and I responded to this thread because it was entitled, "After upgrading to Firefox 24, YouTube videos never load", which has been my experience too. Since the same issue has persisted for at least several years, as I have seen from other threads, the problem would not appear to be peculiar to a specific operating system and so I do feel my contribution to this thread is valid. I also chose this thread, however, because unlike others it specified Firefox 24.0: earlier versions might have had different issues or causes for this particular problem.

It is also interesting, and perhaps significant, that Scott092707 - the question owner - is having the same problem as I despite not using the Adobe Flash Player and having tried two different versions of the player, including the latest, in Chrome - which as said earlier is having exactly the same problem with YouTube videos as my copy of FF24.0 - the cause of the the problem is quite possibly not with the Flash player. And - please forgive me for repeating myself - since I have found that whilst in FF I can view a YouTube video that is embedded in a website other than there might be an issue between at least FF24.0 and I admit that using a dongle for an Internet connection adds an extra complication to the issue: since the said problem began I have tested FF with YouTube videos on using an ethernet connection, which I don't have at home, and the video worked, but it also used to work until FF24.0 with a dongle as the videos still do when using Opera 12.16 (or15). I don't know the answer, but something has changed suddenly.

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Cor-el, sorry I forgot your other suggestions.

  • disable a possible RealPlayer Browser Record Plugin extension for Firefox and update the RealPlayer if installed - I don't use RealPlayer;
  • disable protected mode in the Flash plugin (Flash 11.3+ on Windows Vista and later) - I have already tried this for Windows XP, it did not work;
  • disable hardware acceleration in the Flash plugin - I have just tried this, but there was no change in the behaviour of the YouTube video.
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