DVD Player patch

Why won't the DVD player in OS X allow me to skip certain content or change audio/subtitle tracks on certain DVDs? you ask.

Well, the first answer is UOPs, or user operation prohibitions, and the second answer is probably some sort of licensing blah-blah-blah that prohibits Apple from ignoring UOPs in their software.

But the real answer is that there's nothing preventing you and me from modifying the DVD player software however we like. So here's a patch to disable those annoying UOPs. It's a simple bash shell script, easy to modify in a text editor should you be so inclined.

News
2010 Nov 03: added support for 10.6.5, fixed $PATH issues for Fink/MacPorts users
2010 Nov 06: added support for all versions reported on so far

dvdplayer-patch-20101106.dmg.zip (6535 bytes, updated 2010 Nov 06 22:35 UTC)

This patch is designed to be user-friendly and scrupulous about its actions. It uses MD5 checksums to be sure that it always patches files correctly, and it always makes a copy of the original file. The intention is to support as many OS X versions as possible; right now this includes up-to-date Tiger (10.4) and Leopard (10.5) systems and most or all Snow Leopard (10.6) systems.

If your system is not supported, you should still run the patch script, and it will give you detailed instructions on how to provide useful feedback so that support for your system can be added.

README.txt from the package:

The scripts in this directory provide a patch for DVD Player.app which disables UOPs (user operation prohibitions).

That is, this patch makes it possible for you to skip content or change audio or subtitle tracks even if the DVD you're watching contains UOP flags which supposedly prohibit those actions.

(It still won't be possible to do things like fast-forward menus, and DVDs can use this fact to try to make you still watch things you'd rather skip (by falsely labelling regular content as a menu). However, with this patch, you can skip menus entirely by pressing Next Chapter (though this may sometimes have strange consequences) or you can always skip to the main menu.)

The files patch-dvdplayer.command and unpatch-dvdplayer.command do what you would expect. Just double-click them, and a Terminal window should appear where you'll be given further information. (This might not work on older versions of OS X; in that case, open Terminal manually (it's in /Applications/Utilities) and type (or copy and paste in)

/Volumes/dvdplayer-patch/patch-dvdplayer.command

or

/Volumes/dvdplayer-patch/unpatch-dvdplayer.command

at the command prompt, then hit Return.)

The patch and unpatch scripts are very careful about not screwing up your DVD Player—they will do sanity checks before doing anything, and then tell you exactly what they're doing. Nevertheless, no warranty on their operation is provided.

Enjoy, and please provide feedback below or at the original macosxhints thread.


Related resource: xvi's Region X software for region-free drives