Alleycat Player Release Notes (v3a to v3e)

Release notes for v3a (March 19, 2020) -- source

Major update today. The new video controls are done. Slick if I do say so myself (and I do). The main feature is the seek function with 6 presets (5s, 15s, 1m, 2m, 5m, 10m) and a freeform input which can accept either h:m:s format or just a plain number of seconds. Fractional values work too. Precede the number with a "+" or a "-" to seek from the current play time. For example, "+0.1" will allow you to seek ahead one tenth of a second for those times when you need to find the perfect spot to take a snapshot (of course, you need to pause the video but I don't really have to point that out, do I?).

You'll also find your viewing experience a bit more pleasant without that spinning icon popping up in the middle of your video every time there is a hiccup in the network feed. Instead, the control bar will show itself to signal the status of the feed after two seconds so you don't need to put up with annoying and constant feedback. After all, you do know that the video is not working without being told. It might help you to know that hitting the 5s seek preset will usually get a stalled video going again.

You can also adjust the brightness and saturation but the implementation is very basic. Use the main controls unless you are in fullscreen mode or in a window. Lastly, you can rotate the video. Watch your vids upside down for a new experience.

Quick tip: The status bar in the middle of the viewer is now clickable (where you see the "No Video" message). It will pop up the current stack if one is active (the "Allow Multiple" option is ignored). The reason why the whole viewer space is not clickable has to do with the nature of an iframe. There is, of course, some sort of solution but I haven't figured it out yet and I am fed up of trying.

Release notes for v3b (March 29, 2020) -- source

At some point, I will have to remove the old release notes. For now, I am leaving them since they contain some valuable information.

Mozilla Firefox 74.0 has broken the CORS bypass extensions. However, this is only true if Alleycat Player is loaded from the local drive. The extensions still work if Alleycat is loaded from "". This security advisory appears to be the relevant justification (which I don't understand). Perhaps this will happen to Chrome as well or maybe Mozilla will wise up to a better solution. The developer of "CORS Everywhere" has stated that this breakage appears to be unfixable. That is unfortunate since I use that extension for testing Internet TV links.

I should write some words about how the Kraker Local Proxy Server deals with CORS blockage and other accessibility issues. Let's start with this working example of an Internet TV channel blocked by CORS:


The channel will work just fine without Kraker on VLC or SMPlayer or if you use a browser extension for m3u8 playback. The CORS issue appears ONLY if you try to run the channel in Alleycat Player. The browser will load the file alright but it will disallow access by Alleycat because the server has not set the HTTP header "access-control-allow-origin" to "*". Kraker will set the header to "*" so that the browser will allow access. The tilde (~) simply informs Kraker that it should handle the request in "passthrough" mode so that the console does not get clogged with messages. That is, a message is printed to the console only every 30 seconds rather than for every request.

Some channels do not work quite so easily. The segment URLs contained in the m3u8 will work just fine if they are relative URLs, meaning that the domain serving the video segments is the same as the one serving the m3u8. If absolute URLs are used in the m3u8 (whether or not they are in a different domain) then the video player will try to load the segments directly without going through Kraker. For this reason, Kraker has an option to "fix" the m3u8. The option is activated in this manner:


There is more to the double-comma syntax but that is not relevant here. The asterisks delineate a "referer" URL (see the release notes for v2d). Though this particular example is not referer-locked, the default referer string would be "". If a different referer is needed, then the URL would look like this:


There is a shortcut if you want to play a channel without the need to type in the "localhost" part:

~7:* or ~8:*

Some really weird shit going on with HTML/CSS rendering

You may have noticed this. Some versions of Alleycat Player or Youtube Player don't seem to have the problem but the problem does exist with Alleycat v3a. If you click between the Info Viewer and the News Viewer, the two viewers do not line up. The symptoms can vary. Buttons or text may appear to move up or down a pixel. The entire viewer may move. It is bizarre and has caused me a lot of frustration. I have finally nailed it down. First of all, the CSS for the buttons had to be revised to balance these four attributes: height, line-height, font-size and padding. There was nothing wrong with my CSS. The browsers have some bugs. I think what is happening is that browsers create the page in multiple layers: background, borders and text. The layers may not align exactly due to half-pixel errors so elements may be drawn out of alignment when the layers are combined.

This caused me much grief with the updated video controls. The text was not being drawn precisely between the borders but this error was occurring in only one or two of the viewers and never in all three. So the issue was impossible to resolve by just tweaking the CSS. To make a long story short, the solution involved introducing a half-pixel error in between the Info Viewer and the News Viewer. Don't believe me? Click the link below. The Javascript will revoke the half-pixel error and bring you to the Info Viewer. Switch between the viewers to see the result. In Firefox, the "Raw/Wrapper/Sandbox" text and the background for the "No Video" text will move. In the Chrome-based browsers, the entire viewer will move. Come back here and click the link again to see the problem get fixed.

Reverse the half-pixel error: click here

I am testing this on Windows 10 with Firefox, Waterfox, Google Chrome, Brave and Opera. The fix works for all of them despite the fact that the symptoms are different. I do not have access to Linux or any other platform for testing so your mileage may vary. This is the HTML code containing the half-pixel error:

<div id="test" style="width: 90vw; height: 250.5px"></div>

I have written several paragraphs of text here and it has not affected the viewers. This is beyond my comprehension and it has given me a colossal headache.

Release notes for v3c (April 6, 2020) -- source

Previous iteration of v3c was revoked. This is the correct version.

The US Internet TV sources changed again. This fix will hopefully be stable for a while. A remote proxy will no longer work for these channels but a CORS unblocker will (see the v3b release notes regarding Firefox 74.0). At the time of this writing, OAN is down.

Release notes for v3c (April 5, 2020)

The sources for most of the Internet TV channels in the US (,, have undergone another update after having been down for three days. The Local Proxy Server is required to access these channels due to the need to handle cookies and also a Referer Lock. The actual channel feed (new domain: is not restricted in any way.

My previous comments regarding pixel misalignment in the viewers might have struck some people as odd because it is likely that the "half-pixel error" test link did not work for you. Well, it turns out that the error factor varies depending on screen resolution and zoom factor. The test actually works but the correct error factor for your system can be anything from 0.1 to 0.9. At normal zoom and 1024x768 resolution, the error factor of 0.5 works perfectly for me across different browsers but does not work if I change either the zoom or the resolution. Weird. Very weird. I have no solution to this problem. On the bright side, I am no longer seeing any misalignment errors with the video controls. Knock on wood?

Release notes for v3d (April 11, 2020) -- source

Youtube fixed the bug with signed videos which was patched in v2f. The extra step 4 is no longer needed.

I am still not getting any feedback on Alleycat Player. Nobody is checking my home page on to find that I do have a place where you can offer feedback. The address is now available at the top of this page. As I have mentioned before, I only have a minimal Win10 system available to me for testing. No bad-ass video card. No widescreen monitor. Just a really basic system. I have been doing my best to guess how Alleycat Player will perform on other systems but I can only go so far without feedback.

On my list of things-to-do: keyboard video controls and ability to save m3u8 videos as mp4. The former is low priority. I really want to get that second feature working as soon as possible. I know it can be done but I'm not sure how yet. I am not planning to do the same for DASH videos.

It is important to use your browser's zoom feature to fit Alleycat Player to your browser window. This works pretty well (as far as I can tell) but the faux speaker grill on the right-hand side might still be visible because you don't have exact control over the zoom factor. I have added a feature to "snap" the grill out of view when it reaches a certain minimum width. Hope this works as intended.

Release notes for v3e (April 20, 2020) -- source