View plugin content without plugins with the NoPlugin browser extension

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read

NoPlugin is a browser add-on for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera created to fix web content that requires plugins on the web.

The future is HTML5…

Plugins won’t be around for a very long time anymore because major developers have announced that traditional plugins won’t part of their future browser efforts. The web is headed to an HTML5 future and plugins will become just a memory. On the other hand, Flash will keep sticking around for a while longer and depending on the browser you’re using, other plugins outside of Flash-based ones may not work anymore.

…but some sites still require plugins

Removing support for plugins will impact UX and even if browsers do not support plugins, many sites still need them for their content. If you reach this kind of website and you’re using a modern browser, you will most likely get an error message.

The fact that browsers stop supporting plugins will make site content unavailable. There are already many websites that are using HTML5 for their content, but unfortunately, some sites will never get to be updated or maintained due to various reasons including the operator’s lack of investment.

Meet the NoPlugin extension

NoPlugin is a solution to all of the above. It’s a cross-browser, open-source extension that works by scanning web pages for plugin content and is limited to media content. Depending on a particular website’s content, the extension might react in two ways:

  1. If the browser can play the site’s content without plugins, the embedded content will be replaced with an HTML5 player and the content will be played straight in the browser.
  2. If the browser cannot play the content, the user gets a download option and the content can be downloaded to the user’s local system and played with a local player.

The extension can play mp3, mp4, m4a, and wav files straight in the browser. It’s also good to know that other media content won’t play directly, but you’ll get the option of downloading it on your system.

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