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Firefox 38 Released, Adds Support for DRM

| by David Iffland Follow 4 Followers on May 13, 2015. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Mozilla released the latest version of Firefox yesterday, bringing promised HTML5 DRM capabilities to replace the use of Silverlight or Flash.

Starting with version 38, Firefox now supports Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) on 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and later. This will enable users of that browser to view DRM-controlled content such as Netflix without a separate plug-in. The release comes a year after they announced their plans to do so.

By default, when protected content is needed, the browser will download and enable the Adobe Primetime Content Decryption Module (CDM). Mozilla has provided a guide for those who wish to disable or opt-out of the CDM. In addition, there is a separate download available that does not contain the EME support.

Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari already have EME support.

While Firefox's EME support is not available on Mac OS X yet, Mozilla did ship partial support for the Media Source Extensions (MSE) API. This feature will let users view non-DRM video content, such as YouTube, using the native HTML5 video player. This support has existed in Firefox for Windows since version 37.

On Hacker News, Firefox Product Manager Javaun Moradi says that this is just a start. "We launched EME on Win32 (Vista+) first because that is by far the biggest share of [Firefox] users. We will keep rolling out new platforms," he says.

Beyond the video changes, Firefox 38 also includes support for the HTML5 srcset attribute and the <picture> element. These features are important to websites that want to include responsive images.

In addition, Firefox is now the first browser to include ruby support. This ruby, which is not the programming language, is primarily used by East Asian users and lets web pages include pronunciation along with the characters.

Developers can read more about version 38 in the release notes.

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