Odyssey 1.23 on X1000
Today I want to take a look at the recently released Odyssey 1.23 web browser for AmigaOS4.1.6 on the X1000.
For the past few weeks I have been dealing with some family illness issues in Japan, and also handling a large Exchange Server 2010 migration which I am pleased to say both have gone well. Unfortunately it has not left any time for using my X1000, but I have had some time on it this week to try out some new stuff!
Odyssey 1.23 is the latest version of the popular web browser for AmigaOS4, originally written for MorphOS and ported by Kas1e to AmigaOS4. It is available for download as usual on os4depot.net
I have been a heavy user of the previous MUI-OWB web browser on the X1000 and have been looking forward to this latest release.
Once you download the 30MB+ archive and extract it to the folder of your choice (SYS:Internet in my case), you get the folder below:
Make sure to run the Download_Fonts program to download the correct fonts for good web site page rendering in Odyssey. The Odyssey.readme covers all the new features in detail and tips on setting up the web browser as below:
An important system requirement for this version of Odyssey is that you must have AmigaOS4.1 Update 6 and the latest version of MUI4 installed. You can download MUI4 via AmiUpdate as well if you haven't already done it.
The readme also discusses YouTube support, and how things work in the web browser itself, including some limitations, like not being able to use the fullscreen mode of YouTube video playback on AmigaOS4 at this time.
The implementation of HTML5 support, ability to playback YouTube and Vimeo videos within the web browser are very welcome new features, for AmigaOS4 users like myself.
The improved HTML5 support now even means I can create this very blog entry using Odyssey on my X1000:
I am really glad to be doing this blog posting on the X1000 again. As the Timberwolf last Release Candidate release doesn't work for me on the X1000, I had been forced to use my Macbook Pro to compose these blog entries for a while, but now I can use the X1000 again. :-)
When first launching the Odyssey web browser it needs to initialise the fonts, which takes a few minutes, but after that launches very quickly indeed on the X1000:
Google search bar is on the right hand side, the URL field on the left. Bookmark support and URL autocompletion is also present.
Eager to try it out, I tried out a few Amiga related websites to start with, which reminds me that we still have a dedicated Amiga community in 2014:
AmigaWorld.net: (Click to expand)
Amigans.net: (Click to expand)
Amiga-news.de: (Click to expand)
Obligement.free.fr: (Click to expand)
PPA.pl: (click to expand)
Amigax1000.blogspot.com.au: (click to expand)
Adelaidenow.com.au: (click to expand)
As Odyssey supports tabbed browsing, you can open a new tab to browse to another website, similar to most modern web browsers.
A new feature is the recently used website preview (called Top Sites) when opening a new tab. This allows a preview of and quick connection to commonly visited websites. You can also modify it's behaviour within this view as shown below (click to expand). Very nice feature:
So now we move on to the elephant in the room - YouTube and video playback within the web browser. As people who follow my blog will know, AmigaOS4 has long had issues with playback of YouTube and other video content on the web that uses Adobe flash to playback. This is because Adobe Flash has not been released on AmigaOS4.
Indeed, I spent quite a bit of time back in 2012 looking at how to fix YouTube playback under AmigaOS4 here, using the older MUI-OWB web browser. So, have things improved? Yes, I am pleased to say!
A big part of the improvement comes from the more widespread adoption of HTML5 in common websites, predominantly to support popular iphone and ipads which also can't playback flash video content. This requirement has allowed AmigaOS4 to catch up through the adoption of HTML5 standards in it's web browsers.
With this latest version of Odyssey, the previous YouTube fix scripts are now included with the web browser (rather than a separate download), and the HTML5 support (together with spoofing functionality) allows us to finally playback YouTube and other website video content within the Odyssey web browser web page, as the original website developer intended it to be seen.
For YouTube, by default the view uses flash content as below:
The website then updates as below:
You can adjust the Settings in Odyssey (available in th Top Menu) to enable some of these formats to be supported as below in the Media section of Settings. By default it appears as below:
Internet Explorer 9: (click to expand)
I have included some example screenshots of this video use in action from YouTube, Vimeo and AdelaideNow news websites in Odyssey.
Adelaidenow.com.au: (video playback - click to expand)
Vimeo.com: (Using 720p and 360p with Spoof as iPad - click to expand)
Note that using 720p HD playback on Vimeo is not recommended and results in choppy video playback for me. I turned it off and playback was okay after that:
YouTube.com: (Using 360p and spoof as iPad - click to expand)
Video Playback can be choppy at times, but audio stays in sync and is on the whole, acceptable.
Note that for videos not available in HTML5 in YouTube (there are a few like this), you can click on the view Option 18 below the video in YouTube (as covered in detail in my original blog entry here) to stream the video externally in mplayer.
It is fantastic to have video support working well in a web browser on AmigaOS4. My sincere gratitude goes to Kas1e and the original MorphOS development work to make this happen for NG Amiga users!
I look forward to even more features and improvements in future Odyssey versions (Full screen Youtube playback, plugin support, etc)
Odyssey is a great web browser under AmigaOS4.1.6 and is highly recommended to use for all X1000 owners. It is now my main web browser on the X1000!