Viewpoint Media Player
The following is developers description of the software:
Viewpoint Media Player integrates photo-realistic 3D, high-resolution 2D images, Macromedia Flash, audio,
and other media formats into HTML pages through a single media host. Essentially a graphics operating system,
VMP includes both an ActiveX control and a Netscape plug-in that permits its graphics and online services to
be accessed through Web browsers across multiple platforms and over narrowband connections, all while requiring
no special server-side software. This technology can be used for business applications ranging from advertising
and e-commerce to online customer service and training.
Viewpoint Media Player has been reported to install without the user's knowledge
To provide a satisfying consumer experience and to operate effectively, the Viewpoint Media
Player periodically sends information to servers at Viewpoint. Each installation of the
Viewpoint Media Player is identifiable to Viewpoint via a Customer Unique Identifier (CUID),
an alphanumeric identifier embedded in the Viewpoint Media Player. The Viewpoint Media
Player randomly generates the CUID during installation and uses it to indicate a unique
installation of the product. A CUID is never connected to a user's name, email address,
or other personal contact information. CUIDs are used for the sole purpose of filtering
redundant information. Each of these information exchanges occurs anonymously.
The Viewpoint Media Player will soon be capable of tracking information about the content
it displays and how the user interacts with it. When the Viewpoint Media Player displays
Viewpoint content, it tracks the URL it is served from, as well as Viewpoint file data tagged
by the author in XML. This data can include, but is not limited to: the names of objects and
textures displayed, and the names of animations invoked.
Viewpoint Media Player is bundled with AOL, AOL Instant Messenger, Netscape 7, etc and
sometimes not mentioned in the license agreement.
Viewpoint Media Player is also bundled with Adobe Atmosphere and
hardware manufacturers pre-install some of these applications mentioned above, so those machines
will have Viewpoint installed as well. I think Viewpoint Media Player has a fine bundling
policy because it is only bundled with related products and they actually use the media player.
For example, Adobe Atmosphere uses the Viewpoint Media Player
to view a virtual world and AOL uses Viewpoint for advertising and enhanced content on their
service and in the client software itself. The SuperBuddies feature
(for instant messaging), Instant Greetings, Kids Online, the new windowing
system, and many other areas on AOL deliver high-impact graphics using
Viewpoint. The Viewpoint Media Player is required for AOL's operation and if it is removed
AOL will reinstall Viewpoint Media Player.
So what could make the Viewpoint Media Player better from a privacy point of view?
My first suggestion is to make sure that all bundling partners mention the media player in
their End User License Agreements. Many users does not
seem to be aware that the internet-enabled player is installed on their systems and communicating with the
Viewpoint servers from time to time, so the second improvement would be to ask the user
for permission to perform this communication, explaining why it is necessary and
what information is transferred from the end user's computer to the vendor's servers.
AxMetaStream.dll, ComponentMgr.dll, MetaStreamID.ini, MtsAxInstaller.exe, npViewpoint.dll, npViewpoint.xpt, JpegReader.dll, Mts3Reader.dll, SceneComponent.dll, SreeDMMX.dll, SWFView.dll, WaveletReader.dll
If you have any of the files related to Viewpoint Media Player on your system,
please send them
for additional analysis. Generally, I have only analysed a
few versions for each software component listed at this web site. With your help I
will be able to look at both old and more recent versions of the Viewpoint Media Player software.
Thank you very much for your time!
Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner does not detect Viewpoint Media Player.
Uninstall notice for Viewpoint Media Player
Notice that removing Viewpoint Media Player may cause the program that bundled it
to not function as intended.
Uninstall Viewpoint Media Player from "Add/Remove Programs" in the Windows® Control Panel.
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Contact information for Viewpoint Media Player's vendor
In order to provide correct, accurate and updated information about Viewpoint Media Player
I encourage the vendor to contact me if any part of this write-up
needs a revision.
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