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Windows Media Player 10 Reviewed 484

Posted by michael
from the mplayer-rules dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Paul Thorrott reviews Windows Media Player 10 and notes that unlike Apple's iTunes Music Store, which offers music that is only compatible with Apple's iPod portable player, WMP 10 will work with songs from virtually any other online music store. There are more screenshots here with a download link." Reader Thomas Hawk writes "I wrote my Microsoft Windows Media Player 10 Review today the first day the software was released and one of the first reviews on the product. I basically give it good marks but there are definiately some things that they can still improve upon." An anonymous reader writes "Since I'm somewhat wary of Microsoft's new software (particularly DRM-laden Media Player types,) I was paying attention to the EULA and privacy agreements provided when downloading the software. Ironically enough, the privacy page linked from the installer (at time of writing) merely said "TODO: Privacy policy goes here". Most certainly an honest mistake, but in the meantime it appears there is in fact no policy on privacy (or it has not yet been taken into consideration) in WMP10."
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Windows Media Player 10 Reviewed

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  • TODO: (Score:3, Funny)

    by KoolDude (614134) on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:48PM (#10150167)

    First Post goes here
  • Testimonial (Score:5, Funny)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:48PM (#10150168) Homepage Journal
    WMP makes for a throughly enjoyable experience, whether you are jogging through the park with a laptop slung over your shoulder or sitting at your desk listening to the Beatles over the hum and whirr of cooling fans.

    Clearly it's a superior means of enjoying musical content over having that annoying 100 gram iPod Mini which you can actually forget you have with you, because it requires no bulky computer or extension cord and that insidious battery will last for up to 8 hours.

    Microsoft Windows Media Player 10, because your not going anywhere anyway.

    • Re:Testimonial (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bigman2003 (671309)
      Right- and HDTV will never take off, because you can't go jogging in the park with a 42" plasma screen on your back.

      What does WMP have to do with an iPod Mini? Did you realize that there are other portable music players out there- some of which play WMA files? In fact, me and my friends were just talking about one of them yesterday [slashdot.org].

      Personally, I use a Pocket PC for my portable music player. A could of 1 gig SD cards, and I can carry plenty of music- while 'jogging through the park'. But then when I am
  • No Privacy Policy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quietude (634889) on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:48PM (#10150170)
    Anyone else a little nervous that they haven't gotten around to writing a privacy policy? That seems a bit disturbing, to say the least.
  • by korea (615587) on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:49PM (#10150176)
    napster logo on windows media player.

    gasp

    gasp

    gasp

    • Or napster cards (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nurb432 (527695)
      Who would have imagined that there would be napster 'prepay'cards at your local Kroger..

      We live in strange, restrictive times..
  • iTMS vs. WiMP10? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tulmad (25666) on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:49PM (#10150186)
    Paul Thorrott reviews Windows Media Player 10 and notes that unlike Apple's iTunes Music Store, which offers music that is only compatible with Apple's iPod portable player, WMP 10 will work with songs from virtually any other online music store.

    Wtf does that mean? What does iTunes Music Store have to do with WiMP 10? iTunes (not the music store) can play mp3s, which means it's compatible with almost every other online music store too. It's just MS's WMA format that iTunes can't play, but neither can any other player anyways.
  • ogg (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stephenMF (547151) <steveMF81@hotmai ... om minus painter> on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:49PM (#10150189) Homepage Journal
    Does it support Ogg files in your playlist yet?
    • Re:ogg (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vivek7006 (585218) on Friday September 03, 2004 @01:32PM (#10150692) Homepage
      Does it support Ogg files in your playlist yet?
      It does not and it never will. Infact, I wont be surprised if they totally drop the support for MP3. MP3 encoding has been intentionally crippled to force the users to encode in WMA
      • Re:ogg (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Friday September 03, 2004 @01:45PM (#10150900)
        "MP3 encoding has been intentionally crippled to force the users to encode in WMA"

        Or it was to save on royalties that MS would have to pay for every single copy of Windows sold or Media Player that's downloaded.

      • Re:ogg (Score:3, Informative)

        by antoy (665494)
        It does not and it never will. Infact, I wont be surprised if they totally drop the support for MP3. MP3 encoding has been intentionally crippled to force the users to encode in WMA
        Bullshit. WMP 9 only had MP3 encoding in the form of an addon. In WMP 10 it's there by default, and other than the lack of some bitrates, it's not crippled. And removing MP3 playback? What the hell?
        By the way, my lil' brother said that he was playing ogg files on WMP 10 using a codec/plugin or something. I'll ask him where he
        • by argent (18001) <peterNO@SPAMslashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Friday September 03, 2004 @02:21PM (#10151374) Homepage Journal
          and other than the lack of some bitrates, it's not crippled

          Translated from geek to English: "Other than it being crippled by restricting it to low quality encoding, it's not crippled."

          WTF?
          • by Smack (977) on Friday September 03, 2004 @03:04PM (#10151864) Homepage
            It goes up to 320 kbps MP3 encoding now. How is that crippled?
          • by plj (673710) on Friday September 03, 2004 @03:30PM (#10152143)
            So you think that 320 kbps is low quality -- oh wait, you actually mean that you didn't bother to RTFA. How surprising in Slashdot...

            FYI: A quotation from TFA:

            You can now rip music to MP3 format from WMP 10 directly, without needing an add-on (Figure [winsupersite.com]). There's just one problem: Microsoft's MP3 encoder only supports 128, 192, 256, and 320 Kbps MP3 ripping. Because I prefer to rip songs to 160 Kbps MP3 format, I still need to install a third party MP3 encoder. Hey, it's better than nothing, and it's certainly better than the crippled MP3 ripping in RealPlayer 10.5 Plus.

            Sure, VBR support & free bitrate selection would be nice, but I as the author said, it's better than nothing.
    • Re:ogg (Score:3, Informative)

      by AstroDrabb (534369)

      Does it support Ogg files in your playlist yet?

      MS will never support ogg. Howver, you don't need MS for that. You can get Ogg Vorbis DirectShow Filters [everwicked.com] to play ogg in WMP. You can also get Ogg Quicktime Components [sourceforge.net] that allows Ogg encoding and playback in all MacOS and Win32 apps that use Apple Quicktime.

      • Re:ogg (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tim C (15259)
        Unfortunately, that's not what he asked. I use the ogg DirectShow filters, and yes, WMP (9) can play oggs.

        However, there are two problems:

        1) it *always* asks me if I'm sure I want to play the file, no matter how many times I tell it to remember that I said yes
        2) oggs won't show up in the playlists or media library

        It was that second point that the OP was asking about, I think.
    • Why bother (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bogie (31020) on Friday September 03, 2004 @04:42PM (#10152851) Journal
      Most people can't even figure out what to download to enable the ogg codec on their systems in the first place.

      Let's take the typical Windows Media Player user and say they want to play some ogg files.

      1) serach for ogg on google and you find vorbis.com. "Cool, I can't wait to play these ogg files I legally obtained."

      2) Try figure out where the "ogg" codec is and then click on the "vorbis" link.

      3) Select OS and to come to a page which doesn't list WMP and only seems to have some old versions of winamp and some media players they have never even heard of.

      4) Click "other software" because you can't find anything that will just let you play ogg files on WMP.

      5) Scroll through through over 30 programs and then give up because you can't find what you need. Those with more patience will keep scrooling till they find "OggDS Direct Show Filters" which is something like the 40th program on the page. Install the codec and then realize that WMP doesn't support ogg very well and avoid ogg files in the future.

      For whatever reason the people at Vorbis do everything in their power to keep people from using ogg in WMP and your asking why Microsoft doesn't do a better job at supporting ogg? Its a two way street.

      The link to the DirectShow version of the Format should be 2 clicks away from the front page listed right under playes. If the Vorbis people want to see ogg marketshare grow among enduser they need to do a much better job at A)enabling them to play ogg files in WMP and B) adopting and advocating a GUI win32 encoder and c) explaing why ogg is better than mp3. Saying its not patent encumbered and saying its as good or slightly better than mp3 is't going to cut it. I don't envy them for that hard a task but I'm also not the one putting out the software.

      I've said many times in the past that ogg is great for content producers. That does't change the fact that for all intended purposes ogg is very much a solution in search of a problem with regard to the idea of replacing the mp3 with consumers.
  • by RatBastard (949)
    But it doesn't run on my Mac.
    • by Kenja (541830)
      "But it doesn't run on my Mac."

      About 90% of the stuff I run on a computer doesn't run on my Mac. Thats why it sits in the corner next to my Sun and SGI systems feeling lonely.

  • by Emugamer (143719) * on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:50PM (#10150193) Homepage Journal
    since WS2003 can do almost anything that XP can yet is more stable and can do a lot of testing for work related activites I have that as one of my main computers at home... I tired to install Media Player 10 and it won't install, apparently its only for XP

    go fig.
    • since WS2003 can do almost anything that XP can yet is more stable and can do a lot of testing for work related activites I have that as one of my main computers at home... I tired to install Media Player 10 and it won't install, apparently its only for XP

      Unbelievable! I mean, what Sys Admin should be denied the ability to listen to Paula Abdul in the server room, surrounded by cooling fans moving about 500 CFM? Microsoft just doesn't get it. tsk tsk tsk.

      FWIW, we actually had a guitar speaker mounted i

  • Ya know... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:50PM (#10150200) Homepage
    If they just stuck to a media player that limits itself to, say, playing media, they wouldn't need a privacy policy.
  • WMP 10... yay... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Masami Eiri (617825) <[brain.wav] [at] [gmail.com]> on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:50PM (#10150201) Journal
    I dunno about everyone else, but WMP has been just getting more bloated since 7. For ages, I had downgraded WMP to 6.x, until a friend pointed out Media Player Classic.

    Its not like I need the playlist stuff, Winamp (2.9) handles music, I only use WMP for video, which rarely needs a playlist, and even then, if I need a playlist for video, I do it with Winamp.

  • by neiffer (698776) * on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:50PM (#10150202) Homepage
    I am a big Windows guy, so it hurts me to say I like iTunes better but I do. It doesn't really bother me that I cannot buy from other companies since I use mostly MP3's with iTunes anyways. If you are are really looking for a media player that can play different formats (including movies), I recomment WinAmp 5. It's better than Winamp 3, it plays multiple media, has a large plug in set to extend functionality and had a low overhead. Plus, I love the media library feature in WinAmp, which WMP never seems to get right, confirmed with my installation of the 10 beta.
    • I typically use iTunes for music (as we speak) and WMP for video. If WMP10 is close to iTunes' experience, *and* will sync w/ my Archos MM20, I'll switch.

      I'm tired of manually choosing albums to update/sync.

  • No privacy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iamdrscience (541136) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ppirtmleahcim)> on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:51PM (#10150209) Homepage
    Well, no privacy policy would seem to mean no privacy, am I right?
  • anyone else? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nmec (810091) on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:51PM (#10150211)
    anyone else still think the MSN music store looks just a tad like an existing one?
  • by York the Mysterious (556824) on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:52PM (#10150218) Homepage
    I decided to give it a try on a work computer where I usually run iTunes. Installed it and tried to play back an old playlist where the mp3 files no longer existed (it's been a while since I've used MP). The player freaked out and told me that the CD was scratched and I should check the CD. The file wasn't even a CD. I had a good chuckle and went back to iTunes. At least it knows what type of media it's playing.
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday September 03, 2004 @01:02PM (#10150338) Homepage Journal
      Have you read the review? The guy gushes all over the place about how wonderful Microsoft is, and how WiMP is "the best"! Where the hell did his head go? Some samples:

      I am a Windows Media Player junkie. Having used the program for a number of years I think it is quite simply a brilliant piece of software - a masterpiece developed by extremely talented engineers in so many ways. Even more spectacular is that is free. Microsoft gives it away. If Microsoft didn't give this software away I'd gladly pay money for it. I love it.

      Ugh. I feel so... dirty... after reading that.

      Mp3 ripping. It's admirable that Microsoft finally listened to their users on this one and gave in. In all of the previous versions of Window's Media Player Microsoft forced you to rip your tunes to WMA. [...] Windows Media Player 10 fully supports mp3 ripping and high quality encoding at that. Kudos to Microsoft.

      Something that iTunes has had... lemme see... forever?

      The new "Composer" menu on the left hand window is a handy feature. Check it out. It's new and I love it. Want to create a Bob Dylan covers playlist? Select Dylan under the composer menu then sort the window by artist and select all but Bob Dylan as a performer and save it as a Bob Dylan covers playlist. Very simple, very easy.

      More gushing + feature stolen from iTunes.

      Ratings. WMP 10's rating system is first rate. [...] Microsoft developed a fine ratings system. How does this work? Rate each song you hear from one to five stars with a stroke of a right mouse click. Later when you are relaxing you can listen to only your favorite tracks.

      That sounds great! Microsoft really outdid themselves by copying from iTunes^W^W^W innovating this really amazing feature! (end sarcasm)

      Crossfading. In the past one of the things I hated most was that long silence between songs. One song would end and then prior to the next one there would be more silence.

      WinAMP, iTunes, etc? Nope, it's a Microsoft invention don't you know.

      Improved interface. Microsoft provided a much improved cosmetic overhaul to WMP 10. One of the things I like a lot in the libraries is that they color code (light blue and a lighter blue) between lines now making it easier to follow the data on a track across the screen.

      Look at the screenshot on the page. It looks like crap. Usable, sure, but definitely not attractive.

      Anyway, this "review" just hurts, so I'll stop there. I just wish we could rate this review '-1 Microsoft Leg Humper'.
  • "Honest Mistake" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:52PM (#10150230) Homepage Journal
    TODO: Privacy policy goes here". Most certainly an honest mistake

    Coming from a MegaCorp, I would expect something more like...Whoops, sorry, we accidentally sold your information to interested third parties including the DHS. We sincerely apologize for the honest mistake.

    But you're right, this does look like an honest mistake. But it's more like a sign of the future to come.

    • by edsarkiss (755418)
      it's not an honest mistake -- it's just a sign that the legal department hasn't released the final approved version yet.

      i'm sure someone decided that it was more important to release the product than wait for the PP to be finished.

      welcome to the prroduct release process in a large company.
  • by iamdrscience (541136) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ppirtmleahcim)> on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:53PM (#10150237) Homepage
    the privacy page linked from the installer (at time of writing) merely said "TODO: Privacy policy goes here".
    Ah, I see Microsoft is beginning to adopt some open source development ideas. Excellant!
  • What's with the Napster logo?
  • Um. (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:55PM (#10150252) Homepage
    Songs bought from Windows Media Player based music stores work in and only in Windows Media applications such as WMP.

    Songs bought from the iTunes Music Store work in and only in Quicktime applications such as iTunes.

    Songs bought from mp3 based music stores work anywhere.

    Didn't we all know this already?
    • Songs bought from Windows Media Player based music stores work in and only in Windows Media applications such as WMP.

      Songs bought from the iTunes Music Store work in and only in Quicktime applications such as iTunes.

      Songs bought from mp3 based music stores work anywhere.


      -------

      Songs illegally downloaded off the net work anywhere as well. Sheesh, they could at least TRY to compete...
    • Songs bought from Windows Media Player based music stores work in and only in Windows Media applications such as WMP.

      I have a set-top DVD player that I bought from Costco for $49. It plays WMA audio files just fine!

      Many new DVD players play WMA, for example this mid-range Toshiba model [toshiba.com]. How many DVD players can play Apple's AC3 format? I'll give a gmail account to anyone who can email me a link to a commercial set-top DVD player that can play Apple AC3 files.

      • Re:Um. (Score:5, Informative)

        by hoggoth (414195) on Friday September 03, 2004 @01:25PM (#10150601) Journal
        > DVD player that I bought from Costco for $49. It plays WMA audio

        Many newer DVD players can play MP3s on a CD-R/CD-RW but can they play MP3s on a data DVD?
        I want to put gigs of songs on a DVD and play it on my TV/Stereo.
        The SPECS *never* state this. They only say "it plays DVDs" and "it plays MP3s" and "it can read a CD-R/CD-RW". They never explicitly state if it can play MP3s on a DVD-R.

  • by thatguywhoiam (524290) on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:55PM (#10150258)
    That screenshot linked from the second review... oy, vey.

    Somebody was commenting on the interface in an earlier thread but I had no idea... MSN's opposing gradients from hell clash with the XP Luna scheme really, really badly.

    Go look. [thomashawk.com] Can you read those tabs at the top-right? Music... ra... radio... movies & tv?

    Also - find the transport controls! They are hiding in the worst place possible, at the lower-left corner, which is exactly the last place your eye goes to when scanning the sea of text in the main window. This decision probably hinges on simply not making the thing look too much like iTunes.

    God, I get angry just looking at this thing.

    What is wrong with them? More money than God and they still can't manage to find a visual design that isn't completely retarded. Reversed text mixed with plain. Tabs - which don't look like tabs - separated by an arbitrary hierarchy. All controls with meaningful functions crammed into a too-small area at the bottom of the window, which sits mashed nicely against your taskbar, which is usually crammed with widgetry as well.

    To say nothing of how the MSN Music Store works, I can say that iTunes (and WinAMP, and Audion) knock the shit out of this.

    • Can you read those tabs at the top-right? Music... ra... radio... movies & tv?

      Err...I didn't have any touble reading them. Sure, the white text is a little light, but it probably goes dark when you click on it.

    • What is wrong with them? More money than God and they still can't manage to find a visual design that isn't completely retarded. Reversed text mixed with plain. Tabs - which don't look like tabs - separated by an arbitrary hierarchy. All controls with meaningful functions crammed into a too-small area at the bottom of the window, which sits mashed nicely against your taskbar, which is usually crammed with widgetry as well.

      Nail on the head, there, my friend. This has to be the best example of bad UI design I've seen come from Microsoft.

      You need look no further than iTunes on Windows for a counterexample. Apple does a better job of making a UI work in Windows than MS does? Heh. I might agree that iTunes' interface clashes with Windows overall look, but at least it's not as ugly as this, and to me it actually fits in better.

    • If you are such an expert on interface design, one of the principles you may have read about would be not just arbitrarily changing things for the sake of change.

      Millions upon millions of people have used Windows Media Player. They have had the transport controls in the lower left for at least a couple of versions now (read several years). Why should they arbitrarily move it around now?

      Plus, you seem to be assuming that the primary way that people get a song to play is to click the "Play" button, but si
  • |All Our|
    | Music |
    ---------

  • they forgot to use their own "invention" [slashdot.org].
  • Maybe it's just because I've been using it forever, but I just can't see why any Windows user would prefer to use iTunes and particularly Windows Media Player as their music player rather than Winamp. You can't just ascribe it to ignorance of Winamp either, I know a few people who have winamp installed, but genuinely prefer playing their music in iTunes!
    • by revscat (35618) * on Friday September 03, 2004 @01:14PM (#10150468) Journal

      Smart playlists, shared music, the native ability to burn/rip CDs, and iTMS come immediately to mind. Not to mention the fact that Winamp has security holes and is in general far more clunky. WA4 pissed me off; WA5 is better, but iTunes is still far and away the sleeker player. I started using WA with version 2, used 5 for a while, then tried iTunes and dumped WA about 2 weeks later.

      I could care less about skinning or plug-ins. IMO when developers brag that their apps are skinnable or support plug-ins it tells me that they probably haven't paid as much attention to the core functionality, and have opened the app up to security vulnerabilities and instability. As a general rule I avoid skinnable apps.

      Plus a whole bunch of people in my office (including) use iTunes and share their music; I can listen to their playlist with a single click. I've been able to check out music I hadn't been exposed to before when it is convenient for me.

  • Works...? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StevenHenderson (806391) <stevehenderson@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Friday September 03, 2004 @12:57PM (#10150279)
    WMP 10 will work with songs from virtually any other online music store

    I guess "work" has become a very subjective word. :)
    • Re:Works...? (Score:5, Informative)

      by laird (2705) <`lairdp' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday September 03, 2004 @01:12PM (#10150452) Journal
      "WMP 10 will work with songs from virtually any other online music store

      I guess "work" has become a very subjective word. :)"

      I'll second this. Read Walt Mossberg's WSJ review of the store [wsj.com] -- he couldn't get music purchased from other WMP-based stores to play in WMP10.

      This means that not only is WMP10 incompatible by definition with the vast majority of music sold online (70-80% of all music sold is through the iTunes Music Store, which is in protected AAC format not supported by WMP), it apparently won't play what little music is sold in protected WMA format, either.

      Given that WMP10 apparently doesn't play any music ever sold online, I'd say that they have an uphill battle. I'm sure that MS and the MS-based retailers will eventually fix the problems that keeps WMP10 from playing the 20-30% of purchased music in MS-based formats. But since Microsoft's store isn't better than Apple's, and MS-based players aren't better than Apple's, about the only advantage that MS has is the ability to pre-install WMP on every copy of Windows. Of course, since Apple is doing deals with PC manufacturers to pre-install iTunes and iTMS on PC's as well, with any luck the market will at least stay competitive, to the benefit of customers...
      • Re:Works...? (Score:3, Informative)

        by spideyct (250045)
        Given that WMP10 apparently doesn't play any music ever sold online.
        Please, slow down with the FUD.
        From the article (that YOU linked):

        However, Windows Media Player choked when I tried to synchronize some songs I had purchased in Microsoft's own format from the Musicmatch, Wal-Mart and Napster online stores, saying it was "unable to obtain license."

        He was unable to get purchased songs from some stores to work on his device. That is not the same as WMP10 being unable to play them. He mentions that you h

  • The thing I really don't care much for is the DRM services that get installed with this. I already don't like the idea of mediaplayer making determinations about the licensing of the music I listen to, but it becomes worse because it installs and runs a SERVICE that monitors this. It's one more thing running in the background that doesn't need to be when I am just reading my email.

    Software makers: Get it through your head. DONT RUN YOUR DUMBASS SERVICES ON STARTUP JUST SO I CAN UNZIP A FILE .035ms FASTER!
  • What I like about Quicktime is you can move the time slider up and down and it will show you that EXACT frame in the video.

    WMP never did this. If you move the time marker around, it just shows the time you are at, but the video stays frozen.

    Wish they would fix that.
  • by hey (83763)
    From the screen shots it looks like its supposed to everything. That bugs me. It rips, burns, plays to music for you. I like MediaPlayer Classic that just plays and WinAmp. I can't see "upgrading" soon.
  • In Windows XP (released in 2001, see my review), Microsoft upped the anti with Media Player for Windows XP

    I agree!

  • by rbanzai (596355) on Friday September 03, 2004 @01:10PM (#10150431)
    It's kind of stupid the way they compare WMP 10 to the Itunes music store. One is a media player, one is,well... a store!
    Is it somehow significant that WMP 10 can play various flavors of music file and the itunes music store sells songs for ipods/itunes?
    Are those two things not mutually exclusive?
  • ... is listed under the "Options" window... Considering the lack of a privacy policy, I guess it would make sense...
  • "...unlike Apple's iTunes Music Store, which offers music that is only compatible with Apple's iPod portable player, WMP 10 will work with songs from virtually any other online music store."

    Ironically, 'virtually any other online music store' does not include the Itunes music store. And why are we comparing an online music store to a software application anyhow?

    Itunes will play AAC, and MP3, but not WMA.
    WMP will play WMA, MP3, but not AAC.

    Seems both software apps are equally limited in regards to what f
  • In Windows XP (released in 2001, see my review), Microsoft upped the anti with Media Player for Windows XP... (emphasis mine)

    Huh... Is that anti as in Antitrust?

  • We get to see what Paul Thurrot's taste in music is - and it's just what we expected all along from a windows gimp: Yanni, John Tesh, Streisand, and Van Halen.

    Seriously, this is the first thing I've ever read by him that wasn't annoying.
  • by chmilar (211243) on Friday September 03, 2004 @01:35PM (#10150740)
    The iPod has over 50% marketshare.

    iTMS sells over 70% of online music.

    Who cares if WMP10 works with the wanna-be players and music stores? It doesn't work with ones most people are actually using.
  • by plazman30 (531348) on Friday September 03, 2004 @01:35PM (#10150741) Homepage
    You know, all the reviews pan Apple for providing their songs in a "proprietary" format, which is called AAC. AAC is actually a patent encumbered open standard.

    Well, all the other stores, be they MSN Beta, Napster, or buymusic.com all provide songs in WMP format, which I believe is a PROPRIEATRY PATENTED FORMAT, last I checked.

    The reason why iTunes and the iPod don't use WMA is because Apple DOES NOT want to give Microsoft a cut every time a Mac or an iPod is sold.

    People seem to forget that the iPod and iTunes happily play MP3 files, as well AIFF, and WAV files as well as AAC.

    There was also a note about the MP3 decoding chips inside the iPod. The exact same chip is used in a number of other players that are Windows only. That chip will happily decode, MP3s, AACs and WMA files. Apple pays the licensing for AAC, but refuses to pay to license WMA. Well, the makers of the other players don't want to pay Dolby a license to be able to play AAC files, hence why their firmware doesn't use the AAC. They could easily turn on AAC and write a plugin for iTunes and the thing would work with iTunes then (at least the non DRMed stuff).

    Since I have an iPod, I started ripping stuff to 192K AAC, but have since switched to 256 VBR Lame MP3 files. My iPod has no issue with these files whatsoever and iTunes plays them happily.

    If Apple and Microsoft wanted to use a REAL open standard (just because most PCs ship with WinXP, and WMP is FORCE BUNDLED with them DOES NOT make WMA a standard), they would offer songs in MP3 or Ogg Vorbis format.
    • Check again (Score:4, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday September 03, 2004 @04:44PM (#10152869)
      WM-9 is an open, patent encumberet standard controlled by SMPTE. MS did that so they could be a contender for HD-DVD and BluRay. Both require open standards, though patents and fees are fine and expected.

      Also they cannot use a format like MP3 or OGG, without adding DRM which kind of defeats the point. The record industry requires the use fo DRM, hence Apple's FairPlay shit.

      Windows Media Player will also happily play MP3 files, as well as any other kind of file Windows has a DirectShow codec for. Want OGG support? Install the OGG DS codec and it's there.

      Please: Educate yourself before you argue against something. It weakens your argument and makes you look silly when you harp on things that aren't true.
  • by blakespot (213991) on Friday September 03, 2004 @01:40PM (#10150845) Homepage
    The list of Paul Thurott's questionable reporting [macrumors.com] is long. The guy is a massive Microsoft stooge [ipodhacks.com].

    blakespot

    • but his background and his approach are easy to discern.

      Although he has his own stand-alone pundit site, he also works for Windows IT Pro [winnetmag.net], which delivers "News about Windows and Microsoft. No fluff."

      Asking him to talk in reasonable terms about a battle between Microsoft and Apple is like asking Guy Kawasaki in 1986 to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of PCs and Macs. Just look at what puts bread on the table for Thurrott.

      Basically Thurrott seems to believe that Windows is "all about choice

  • WMP != ITMS (Score:3, Funny)

    by myov (177946) on Friday September 03, 2004 @02:15PM (#10151281)
    Unlike Apple's iTunes Music Store, which offers music that is only compatible with Apple's iPod portable player, WMP 10 will work with songs from virtually any other online music store.

    Huh? Why is WMP being compared to ITMS? Apples to Oranges (no pun intended). WMP = iTunes/Quicktime. MSN Music = ITMS. Either somebody meant to say iTunes somewhere (but it still doesn't make sense), or this is an attempt to misinform the reader.

    Given that Paul Thorrott is behind this, I'm not suprized.
    (go ahead and search for him. Find something where he hasn't found some way to manipulate things to put MS on top. If he isn't on Microsoft's payroll, he should be)
  • Sheltered life (Score:3, Insightful)

    by polyp2000 (444682) on Friday September 03, 2004 @03:38PM (#10152193) Homepage Journal
    Even more spectacular is that it is free. Microsoft gives it away.

    Jeez, I can think of many many programs that "Spectacularly" for free, are even more "Amazing" and they really are free, you even get the source code! If you want to see some really spectacular stuff that comes for free, why not try one of the many great linux distro's that are out there!

    Where has this guy been the past few years? Seriously though what is so "Amazing" about Microsoft giving the program away? It would be "Spectacular" if they were giving away a product that were truly free, and free from DRM mechanisms, and isnt aimed fair and square at attacking the iTunes brigade.

  • It's unfortunately all too common to expect this kind of FUD from Microsoft and their mindless proxies, like Thurrott. Of course, when Microsoft says they're all about choice, what they mean is they're all about enabling users to "choose" Microsoft.

    John Gruber unspins the inanity [daringfireball.net] much better than I can.

    This "choice" nonsense that Microsoft is FUDing is shamefully disengenuous.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

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