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iPod to support Windows Media Audio?

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Sunday, January 11, 2004
News Categories: iPod

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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Comments

21

Randy, I agree with your analysis on WMA’s sound quality and such, but don’t write off Microsoft.  To say that WMA will be a fading memory is a grave mistake. Remember Mac once use to be the number one home computer, the number one school computer and the number one UI based computer, all which is no longer true. 

Since Microsoft owns over 90% of all PC’s installed with their OS and Mac with only 3%, WMA really only needs 6% of Windoze users to download their format to “win”.  Granted having the iPod be Windoze friendly greatly helps Apple, it doesn’t really make it a slam dunk, either.

Microsoft has billions more then Apple and they’ve slammed down many consumers throats crap they didn’t need.  They buried Netscape with their inferior (at the time) browser and they’ve killed off many other great companies with superior technology.  AAC won’t be too tough for them to kill, either.  I am Borg, and resistance is futile…

Posted by Sven Rafferty on January 12, 2004 at 7:01 AM (PDT)

22

I would like to have all options while playing my music.I use a Apple 30 GB 3G iPod and here are my questions:

1 Will HP’s new device support AAC? (Or only MP3, AIFF and WMA since its Windows based / oriented)

2 Will my 3G iPod be able to play WMA files via a firmware upgrade, or is there hardware component involved that decodes the WMA files? (Making Apple iPod’s inferior to HP iPod’s?)

Posted by Gaurang on January 12, 2004 at 7:25 AM (PDT)

23

superior Windows Media Audio

Another MS sycophant creeps out of the woodwork…

“Integrity”?  What’s that?

Posted by Byron on January 12, 2004 at 7:28 AM (PDT)

24

Gaurang: 1. HP has no “new device”. The HP device is literally an iPod with a blue face and a different logo on the back. The specs, support, etc are exactly the same as the iPod since it is exactly the same device.

2. No version of the iPod (or the hPod) will never play WMA files.

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on January 12, 2004 at 7:29 AM (PDT)

25

(that should be “No version of the iPod will ever play WMA files.”)

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on January 12, 2004 at 7:35 AM (PDT)

26

WMA, AAC and MP3 are all inferior formats. No matter how high the bit rate I can hear the difference between these files and the original CD. Unless and until the files available from the various music services equal the quality of CDs then I’m not interested in buying from them. That the iPod would support WMA is more or less irrelevant. The iPod is a way to carry around bad carbon copies of songs so if they’re WMA, MP3 or AAC makes no real difference. That said, I think the article is BS. Apple is pushing the AAC format. There’s no way that they’ll concede defeat to Microsoft this quickly.

Posted by Chris on January 12, 2004 at 7:51 AM (PDT)

27

Here’s more Apple stupidity…

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/computing/choney/20040112-9999_mz1b12choney.html

Posted by boogie_doggie on January 12, 2004 at 8:29 AM (PDT)

28

I believe Apple is doing far more than just trying to sell a lot of ipods. I think the idea here is for AAC to be the defacto legal file format. If they can get the critical mass then they will be further along towards that goal .

That is what I believe the real purpose of the Pepsi deal. This deal is for more songs than the total that have been sold on itunes. That will take Apple a lot further on the path to establishing dominance for AAC but not all the way by far. This is just the beginning, someone will probably step and challenge Apple at some point. Will it be Microsoft. Probably and if Microsoft decides it wants to challenge then Apple will need as big a lead as they can get.

Posted by Edmo on January 12, 2004 at 8:46 AM (PDT)

29

can’t see how it would hurt. The way I see it is that you have two groups who are too stubborn to cooperate in making life much more enjoyable for others.

I don’t use wma, nor would I ever.

Posted by Fiddytree on January 12, 2004 at 9:18 AM (PDT)

30

Windowsw Media is in direct compition with Quicktime is it not? why would Apple want to give them a leg-up on anything?

Posted by Dean0 on January 12, 2004 at 9:25 AM (PDT)

31

superior Windows Media Audio (WMA)

And it’s not even the 1st of April yet wink

Posted by Rasmus on January 12, 2004 at 9:36 AM (PDT)

32

Here’s more Apple stupidity…
 
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/computing/choney/20040112-9999_mz1b12choney.html

What I see is a woman purchasing a custom engraved iPod knowing full well that it would be a unique unit and subject to certain restrictions (such as no refunds) and then, lo and behold, she finds that she can’t make a straight exchanged at her local Apple store thanks to the custom nature of her (defective) iPod.  How does this make Apple stupid?

Posted by Mountain Man on January 12, 2004 at 12:18 PM (PDT)

33

I am not a huge fan of WMA but since atomic bomb is such a zealot, I had to respond.

“WMA is the Beta of today. “

Beta is known to have superior quality than VHS.  By using that analogy are you admitting that WMA is better than AAC?

“The only company really pushing it is Microsoft (as Sony pushed Beta way back when). “

WMA may be a codec created by Microsoft, but there are more hardware and software companies pushing WMA and WMA compatible players than there are companies pushing AAC.

“Unless Microsoft drops their licensing fees, AAC will win simply because it has much broader support in the industry”

As of today, the licensing fee for AAC is higher than WMA.  And see above for borader support.

“not to mention better quality.”

Completely subjective and a whole other debate.

“Oh, and that little bit about 80% of all legal downloads being in AAC format kind of helps.”

80% sounds a little high but I agree with the general argument here.

Posted by Ken on January 12, 2004 at 12:19 PM (PDT)

34

What does it matter whether the iPod supports one, or two DRM-laden codecs?

There certainly seem to be plenty of #####’s in the world willing to pay CD-quality prices for substandard-quality music, downloaded in DRM-laden formats.  If Apple wants to tap into yet another bunch of morons… more power to them.

Wake me up when Apple gets around to adding a codec that doesn’t have built-in DRM… otherwise, I’ll just keep waiting for Rio and iRiver to perfect their devices, since they at least support OGG.

Posted by IDSmoker on January 12, 2004 at 12:20 PM (PDT)

35

Ken: Would you mind putting an ending tag on your italics next time? I threw one in for you at the beginning of this comment.

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on January 12, 2004 at 12:30 PM (PDT)

36

not going to happen. even if hp would like to have wma support on the ipod, I don’t think apple will let them - after all, it is against apple’s policy and contradicts with apple’s plan to standardize the aac format.

Posted by nick on January 12, 2004 at 12:42 PM (PDT)

37

Get real. The entire point of allying with HP is wider adoption of AAC. We’ll see WMA on an iPod device on the same day that Bill Gates sells Microsoft to Apple.

Posted by david on January 12, 2004 at 2:48 PM (PDT)

38

Here’s something that may be of interest to some of you:

http://www.geocities.com/zoolander272002/wmaandogg.txt

You guys can check it out on your own, it’s no hoax.  WMA and OGG pictures are clearly there.  Now, whether this means something or nothing at all is a different question

Posted by MeshAir on January 12, 2004 at 4:17 PM (PDT)

39

“Ken: Would you mind putting an ending tag on your italics next time? I threw one in for you at the beginning of this comment.

By Atomic Bomb”

I think you’re mistaken, zealot boy.

Posted by MeshAir on January 12, 2004 at 4:18 PM (PDT)

40

Oops!

Looks like I borked the board with my italics!  Hope this fixes it.

Posted by Mountain Man on January 12, 2004 at 6:16 PM (PDT)

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