iPod to support Windows Media Audio? | iLounge News


iPod to support Windows Media Audio?

Connected Home Magazine’s Paul Thurrott predicts the recently announced Apple/HP partnership will bring Microsoft’s WMA format to the iPod.

“HP’s blockbuster deal with Apple will have one exciting side effect. The company will be working with Apple to add support for Microsoft’s superior Windows Media Audio (WMA) format to the iPod by mid-year. You heard it here first.”

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Superior?  Ya, right.  I’ve heard both and like AAC waaaaay better. Granted, it would be nice to play WMA files so you can go to the other music stores as an option, but as it is, I don’t have one WMA file on my 75GB music network drive as of yet.

Posted by Sven Rafferty in Irvine, CA on January 11, 2004 at 11:04 PM (CST)


*sniffs*  I smell a bit of a beat up here.

Also.. tell me why they’d support wma.. that wouldn’t make any sense at all. Apple want you to buy songs from ITMS.. not from Napster!

Posted by camson in Irvine, CA on January 11, 2004 at 11:14 PM (CST)


Wouldn’t that mean Apple would have to pay royalties to Microsoft for using their technology???

Doesn’t make alot of sense considering Apple is #1 when it comes to portable mp3 players and online music.

With the logic of this reporter, wouldn’t Apple have included WMA support when it first announced iTunes for Windows??  Just because HP is Windows based doesn’t mean the iPod will be too…

Posted by RoMoFo in Irvine, CA on January 11, 2004 at 11:35 PM (CST)


Thats a silly attitude to have. Just because they are at the top of the market, they can take an arrogant stance, hopefully this signals the end of that.

Posted by Adam in Irvine, CA on January 11, 2004 at 11:48 PM (CST)


Well said Adam.  Just because Sven doesn’t have any WMA files doesn’t mean the rest of the world doesn’t.  Wider file support is ALWAYS A GOOD THING, no matter what the format.  Sometimes you kids can be so prissy with your comments.

Posted by colinp in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 12:05 AM (CST)


It says it will be added to “the iPod”: that need not necessary mean it will be added as an update to our existing 3G products…

Posted by jogloran in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 12:05 AM (CST)


I think it kind of makes sense for apple to add WMA support to ipods since they make money from selling ipods. Adding WMA to itunes store, on the other hand, does not.

Posted by chok in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 1:20 AM (CST)


Not having WMA support on an ipod wil not stop people form using other music services.

Yes,there is a slight decrease in quality when you take a WMA song purchased form say Napster..then burn it to cd..then back to mp3 so it will work on an ipod. But not enough to ruin the song.

I do use other servies when itunes does not offer the music I want. Now to be abel to downlaod those songs ont the ipod w/o first burnign to cd would be nice.

Posted by JP in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 1:20 AM (CST)


Sure Apple would want you to use there music service…..but think of it this way. If you were the company….where would most of your revenue be comming from?

99 cent song downloads…
or 400 dollar iPods?

It would be a smart move to make the Apple iPod more flexible.

Posted by ILoveMusic in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 2:16 AM (CST)


Think of this way - do we have different CD formats? okay, I’m not talking about protected CDs now and when it was at it’s infancy but the CD itself in general, and remember CDs for quite a few years could not be copied or ripped; see where I’m getting at? many other media examples could be used. For us consumers and manufacturers alike, we only need / should have 1 format only - okay, MP3 is that format, and you can still convert CDs into MP3s - but because of P2P and our habit of getting things for free and trade them for free, a (loosely) protected format should be standarised just like when CD could not be directly/digitally ripped or burnt from the 80s to the early 90s - right now I’m betting on AAC.

In a business (and the real) world, the fight between MS and MPEG Group will end up with 1 format only, not only to save money for manufacturers in licencing fees (which BTW have been passed onto you and I) but also reduce confusion and simplfy the consumer market - you should be able to buy the same format from ANY store. Apple is controlling AAC/Fairplay at the moment because in the begining the lock-in model will ensure the survival of that format (and I do think it’s superior in many ways - not just sonic wise), in the future when iTMS get’s most of the market, everyone else will follow suit and the battle will be faught over price + content - which I believe will happen.

Supporting different format is only if you’re betting on another format in the beginning of the whole market (yes, it’s all about market) war and when the market stop growing (when everyone’s got an iPod for example), then you will see what I just described in the last paragraph.

Posted by voodoo in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 4:11 AM (CST)


So basically I’m saying the article is BS as the war has only just started and if Apple is the leader (which it is by far) it would never support WMA, when it does, it’s when it has waved the white flag - and not long after that AAC will disappear - Which I don’t see it happening as long as Apple keeps designing icons like the iPod - I have belief in them than anyone else right now.

Posted by voodoo in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 4:20 AM (CST)


iTunes music store was created to boost sales for the iPod. I know that most Apple fans (like me) don’t like Microsoft, but don’t let this cloud your vision. To support WMA will mean more iPod sales. Apple is after all more a hardware maker.

Posted by Daniel Young in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 4:39 AM (CST)


How often has it happened that Apple has started a revolution just to have it swept out from under them. Hopefully they have learned from this. If the iPod is to stay on top. It must be more compatible, or other companies will come along and say ” Thanks for the start again Apple, well take it from here” and next thing Apple knows the iPod and AAC are left in the dust. It sucks, I know but that is the way things are at this moment and time.

Posted by Daniel Young in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 4:49 AM (CST)


This is good. More windows weenies will buy iPods to play their WMA files.  Perhaps a Mac user or two will put a WMA file on their iPod.

More formats supported is always better.  But will 3G and 2G users also get the upgrade through firmware?  That’s to be seen.

Posted by Eriamjh in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 5:09 AM (CST)


don’t need it… won’t use it.

Posted by Randy in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 5:19 AM (CST)


Apple will never support WMA. Period. Thurrott is no reporter, and this is no news. WMA is inferior in quality, and heavily loaded with a Microsoft DRM that is far more intrusive to the consumer than AAC.

WMA is the Beta of today. The only company really pushing it is Microsoft (as Sony pushed Beta way back when). Unless Microsoft drops their licensing fees, AAC will win simply because it has much broader support in the industry - not to mention better quality. Oh, and that little bit about 80% of all legal downloads being in AAC format kind of helps.

The leader in mobile phone technology, Nokia, supports AAC and distributes hundreds of millions of AAC files a year. XM Radio - the satellite radio leader by a huge amount - transmits in AAC. And the iTMS sells 2 million songs a week in AAC.

At this point, WMA is fast fading memory.

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 6:47 AM (CST)


Gee, the iPod is going to start supporting one of the worst codecs on the market.  And this benefits the consumer how?

I would rather see Apple support non-proprietary and free formats like Ogg Vorbis or FLAC rather than inferior closed formats.

Posted by Mountain Man in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 6:47 AM (CST)


That first paragraph of mine above should end with “...that is far more intrusive to the consumer than AAC/Fairplay.”

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 6:48 AM (CST)


Mountain Man: You are on the right track. OGG will be supported before WMA is ever even entertained.

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 6:49 AM (CST)


The person who wrote this blurb obviously mistook themselves for someone who knew what they were talking about. So much so that they felt no risk in stating their opinion as fact… despite the fact that anyone who knows Apple knows that WMA support will not happen.

Posted by Biff in Irvine, CA on January 12, 2004 at 9:00 AM (CST)

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