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Watching movies from Google Play on Arch Linux

Google Play Movies started last week in Germany and I didn't tried it yet. Yesterday I tried it for my first time and didn't read any requirements or help sections at all. Starting the browser, logged in to Google, click on a movie, pay it with my VISA card and clicked on the play button. An onscreen popup with a familiar youtube player starts and then nothing happened. The only thing I saw was a error message which told me that there is a general error and I should try it again later.
So I wait some minutes, same procedure again, nothing happened. So I googled a bit and found several posts that Google Play doesn't support Linux. My first thoughts were that this can't be true, one of the biggest company which supports Linux in their other products and which are using Linux in several products, don't support it now on their newest big thing. Especially if they are using Flash and streaming the movies with the help of youtube (it seems so).
Started a new Google search and found some interesting posts about Flash and DRM (which I thought that Google use DRM for their movies). Like stated on the Adobe website at their help page, you will need a runnig HAL service to watch DRM protected videos otherwise you won't see anything.
HAL, wasn't that this old technique before udev, DeviceKit and co.?? :-) And didn't we dropped this some months(/years) ago from Arch Linux? But thanks to this and this we can build a package to install HAL. So, I installed these two packages, closed the webbrowser and removed the following directories:
cd ~/.adobe/Flash_Player
rm -rf NativeCache AssetCache APSPrivateData2
Then started the HAL daemon, started the webbrowser and clicked on the play button for the movie and the movie started. :-)

I don't know why Adobe use these old technique to enable the DRM feature in the Flash player but they should really drop it. No new distribution supports HAL anymore. Maybe this old technique will be dropped if Google start the development of the "new" Flash plugin for Linux. We will see...

I don't start the HAL service at boot, only if I need it to watch some movies from Google Play. So I don't know which side effects it will have if you start HAL at boot together with DeviceKit and all the other new stuff. Let me know if you have more information on that topic and meanwhile enjoy movies from Google Play on your Arch Linux.... ;-)


  1. I would like to comment to you that in order to be able to play DRM enabled flash based videos, you must use system flash player instead pepper one embedded with chrome. It is simple to do typing chrome:plugins and disabling te mentioned one.


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