Microsoft “aims to topple Apple” for digital tunes | iLounge News

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Microsoft “aims to topple Apple” for digital tunes

“‘This will be the year downloadable music ... goes legitimate,’ says Dave Fester, general manager of Microsoft’s digital media division.

Those jumping on board the digital music bandwagon can thank Apple Computer for getting it rolling. Apple opened its iTunes online music store in April and was the first to let patrons download individual songs for 99 cents, without having to commit to a subscription service.

The software giant aims to topple Apple as the early market leader by spurring the growth of a cross section of digital music suppliers and device makers all using the Windows Media format, it says.

‘The best part about Windows Media is that it unlocks choice,’ Microsoft’s Fester says. “You can buy from the store or use the device that gives you the best experience.”“

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Comments

41

I agree, it’s nice to have registered users.  Then for some reason they become accountable?  Or then you can somehow..get ahold of them outside of this little world?  I don’t know.

I never once claimed to be a computer expert.  There are few computer “experts” in the world. There are a lot of people who know their way around a computer—inside and out.  I do claim to be one of these people.

I’m actually impartial to any OS.  I use Windows occasionally, and I have to use a Mac for most of my courses.  I have experienced both OSs at good times and at bad times.  I was speaking entirely from fact as was taught to me by text book. But I

Posted by dethbrakr in Tacoma, WA on December 30, 2003 at 9:36 AM (CST)

42

Why do these discussions always end up in the trash talking arena of Mac vs. Windows ??  If any of you are half the computer geniuses you think you are then you would have one of each to get the best of both worlds.

As far as registration here goes, how many people do you think would actually give real data during registration?  The only reason for such a registration is to mine data for sale, period.  I’d rather give up some cash for upgrades then give out my personal info.

Posted by Jim on December 30, 2003 at 10:32 AM (CST)

43

Hey, Jim, I do have one of each (Mac and PC), in fact more than one.

You will not see me praise Windows.  You will see me praise Macs.  However, when you have zealots who will bash anything non-Apple, then you start to get multi-platformers like me, in addition to the WinDroids, PeeCee users, M$, etc (Mac people aore SO clever with rhymes), defending PC if only to get the facts right.

So, how does one keep every thread from degenerating into a Mac vs Windows debate?  Easy, tell the zealots to calm down and go easy on the name calling.

Posted by Ken on December 30, 2003 at 11:40 AM (CST)

44

Why can’t my iPod support WMA?  Why can’t I get music in any other formats than AAC on iTune?

If Apple would embrace WMA more than they do now, this article won’t even exist.  I am sure MS will be happy to work with Apple.  The question is, will Apple work with MS.

iPod rules the MP3 player world right now.  It does not mean it will continue to do so in the next 5 years to come.  People who developed iPod might be smart.  There are always someone else smarter out there.

Posted by lliang on December 30, 2003 at 12:37 PM (CST)

45

I could not believe I read that quote that Microsoft WMA is all about choice.  What? 

I have an iPod because I love the design and I can use it with Linux.  I gaurantee any Microsoft device will only allow you to use it with Windows XP (or current version; they have to keep you buying their OS). 

This is why I hate Microsoft.  They talk about choice, but the choice is based on the fact that you must use Windows.

Idiots.  All of ‘em.  And it’s great that even though they were convicted of antitrust practices that nothing has happened.

Posted by Michael Sherman on December 30, 2003 at 1:05 PM (CST)

46

“If Apple would embrace WMA more than they do now, this article won’t even exist. I am sure MS will be happy to work with Apple. The question is, will Apple work with MS.”

Shouldn’t that read like this:

If Microsoft would embrace AAC more than they do now, this article won’t even exist. I am sure Apple will be happy to work with Microsoft. The question is, will M$ work with Apple?

You see, AAC is actually an open source (developed by Dolby and others) - and many audiophile reviews rate it as a better format than WMA. WMA, on the other hand, is completely proprietary. Nothing open about it. No, I’m not talking about DRM. I’m talking about the encoding.

And the answer is no, M$ does not want to work with Apple. They want to control the media - which is exactly what WM? lets them do.

WMA is a minority player, both in terms of music sales and music player sales. Look who offer AAC-compatible players: Panasonic, Philips, iRiver, Compaq, Nokia, Sony, Toshiba, and Apple (of course)

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on December 30, 2003 at 1:21 PM (CST)

47

Atomic - I am a member of this forum, but sometimes i wonder why - a community is supposed to help each other, but so commonly here things just turn to arguments and offensive posts.

And another things that offends me is the reference to Microsoft as “M$” - surely insulting a company by referring to it in this manner degrades the strength of your argument by implying that you are biased?

Posted by dmeineck on December 30, 2003 at 1:38 PM (CST)

48

Atomic,

You are right.  My argument can indeed go both ways.

You know, I can’t say for sure who refused to work with who.  My suspection is either side is not willing to give in an work with each other.  If Panasonic, Philips, iRiver, Compaq, Nokia, Sony, and Toshiba can do WMA, why can’t iPod do it?  Also, if AAC is indeed open source, why can’t I find any in stores other than iTune?  After all, iPod is the hottest MP3 player around, it would only make sense for all online music stores to do AAC to really expand their market, right?

Regardless of what, I don’t think MS should take fault on everything.  After all, MS don’t have a MP3 player or online music store (yet).  MS can only benefit if iTune do WMA too.

Posted by lliang on December 30, 2003 at 2:53 PM (CST)

49

“...I am a member of this forum…”

Then I guess you’re posting anonymously for fun, eh?

Look, I refer to Microsoft by the short “M$” term because that’s exactly what Microsoft is to me… dollars. I am a Windows application developer by trade and have been an NT network architect and administrator in the past. I’ve made a career off the swiss cheese that is known as Windows, but I’m very happy that I can do the vast majority of my work on a Mac. And any of my network admin friends would say the same.

Yes, I am biased. I am biased toward Microsoft professionally - as that work pays my mortgages - and I’m biased toward the OpenBSD-based Mac for being the clearly superior OS. I won’t go into why I feel that way, there are plenty of other resources from which one might educate themselves on that topic.

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on December 30, 2003 at 3:00 PM (CST)

50

Seriously, calling MS as M$ is so 1999.  At least be more original.  If you think you are being cool and sardonic by calling MS as M$, think again.  Would calling Apple @ssple be cool too???

Also, Atomic Bomb, who said “AAC is actually an open source” - get it through your heads, AAC is not open source.  AAC is as proprietary as WMA.  Fruthermore, standard is what consumer say it is, not a company, be that company Microsoft, Apple, MPEG-LA, Fraunhofer, etc.

To me, I am glad WMA is around.  Competition makes everyone move forward.  Case in point, surely it is not pouplar but at least MS has it out first: where is 5.1 AAC music which was available in WMA?  Where is HDTV content in QT?  Where is that darn Pixlet?  MS has had 720p and 1080i material out with the debut of WM9 and now commercially with the T3 DVD.  Sure, QT has that high def Matrix trailer but that is it.

If Apple were to convince studios (Pixar??) or even come with material that is MPEG-4 in HDTV resolution plus surround AAC, I would support it in a second over MS’ format?  But there isn’t any!  And tell me how MS is not competing fairly in this aspect?

Zealots… please calm down.  Heck, I am an Apple user and I don’t defend Apple when they make mistakes or are behind the ball.

Posted by Ken on December 30, 2003 at 3:09 PM (CST)

51

“... If Panasonic, Philips, iRiver, Compaq, Nokia, Sony, and Toshiba can do WMA…”

Um, they make AAC supporting players. Not WMA.

Why are the other stores based on WMA? Because they are all essentially the same couple of stores being rebranded in an effort to save money. A couple of companies out there have WMA licenses and they rebrand their stores for the plethora of me-toos who want a piece of the digital music action. Apple went with AAC because of its superior compression and the ability it gave them to put the FairPlay DRM on top of it to match the fair use rules they negotiated with the major music labels. That’s why you don’t have any of the archane restrictions with iTunes that you do with the plethora of knock-off stores out there.

By the way, I was wrong. Dolby, AT&T, Sony, and others developed AAC (MPEG-4) as a standard, but it is not open source. Licensing is generally cheaper than WMA licensing from M$, though. For information about licensing, go here. There is an open source AAC format, but its future is unknown.

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on December 30, 2003 at 3:14 PM (CST)

52

“... If Panasonic, Philips, iRiver, Compaq, Nokia, Sony, and Toshiba can do WMA…”

Um, they make AAC supporting players. Not WMA.

Why are the other stores based on WMA? Because they are all essentially the same couple of stores being rebranded in an effort to save money. A couple of companies out there have WMA licenses and they rebrand their stores for the plethora of me-toos who want a piece of the digital music action. Apple went with AAC because of its superior compression and the ability it gave them to put the FairPlay DRM on top of it to match the fair use rules they negotiated with the major music labels. That’s why you don’t have any of the archane restrictions with iTunes that you do with the plethora of knock-off stores out there.

By the way, I was wrong. Dolby, AT&T, Sony, and others developed AAC (MPEG-4) as a standard, but it is not open source. Licensing is generally cheaper than WMA licensing from M$, though. For information about licensing, go here. There is an open source AAC format, but its future is unknown.

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on December 30, 2003 at 3:18 PM (CST)

53

Yeah, you’re right Atomic.  You’re always right.  I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Thanks for clearing that up for me, as always.

I like Macs, and always have, but according to your comments, the only thing you disagree with are my comments about the graphics.  Everything else rings true.

For a long time people used Macs primarily for graphics and other creative tasks.  I understand that.  But what I was referring to, was that people can do anything graphics-wise on a PC just as they can on a Mac.  People used NT workstations (which is what I was referring to as PC’s) and other higher end workstations for the highest end graphics - not just Macs.  They have for many years now.  Maybe you should step out of your Mac-centric world for a moment and look around.

I don’t just see what Macs can do, I see how many people have been using PC’s and other platforms for their graphics intensive tasks, and how people more and more are migrating to PC for these things, and I’ve seen it for many years now.  Lightwave for instance, wasn’t even available for the Mac until a small number of years ago - but it was available for NT for the longest time.  Adobe I’ve read somewhere, is discontinuing it’s Premiere based SW for Mac.  What about Avid video systems - they run on PC’s as well as Macs.  Pro Tools systems have been running on PC’s for awhile now (this of course being the music side of things).  Anything creative that is very high end is done on PC’s just as it is on Macs.  Any of the highest end graphics, 3D and animation, video editing, and DAW software runs on the PC - not just Mac.  This, along with everything else I mentioned that people use PC’s for in the other industries I talked about from a previous post, shows that PC’s are for the most advanced users, which was all I was trying to say.  I was never knocking a Mac for what it can do.  Just trying to shed some light on how much more PC’s are utilized for the most intensive tasks, the majority of the time.

But I apologize… this isn’t supposed to be a Mac vs. PC thread.  I guess I couldn’t help myself.

Back to the online music wars…

Posted by Z on December 30, 2003 at 3:30 PM (CST)

54

From Bill Gates’ mouth:

http://www.osdata.com/pict/gates.mov

Z: Premier? Lightwave? Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were referring to professional tools. In terms of mid-level consumer apps, those are somewhat adequate.

The real tools being used are Shake, Logic, Maya, and Final Cut Pro. For example, it was Shake that rendered the Lord of the Rings trilogy (along with a little bit of Maya).

And why isn’t it Mac vs. PC? That’s always so fun!

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on December 30, 2003 at 3:51 PM (CST)

55

I didn’t realise i was posting anonymously? I have my username filled in in the name section etc, my username on this forum is dmeineck?

Posted by dmeineck on December 30, 2003 at 3:57 PM (CST)

56

dmeineck,

You have to log in to not post anonymously. Even if you use your user name in the Name field of the post section, that won’t be linked to your actual user account. Unfortunately, it sometimes appears as if you aren’t logged in when you are. I assume iPodlounger is aware of that.

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on December 30, 2003 at 4:16 PM (CST)

57

Atomic Bomb, who thinks he knows everything, said “As someone working in that industry, I can only say that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.”

Really?

My best friend, who works at ILM (you may have heard of them) has an SGI, a Mac and a Win2K box in his cubicle.  The renderfarm in his division is all Linux.

There is no superior platform anymore.  Everyone hs a reason to use what they use, so drop your know-it-all attitude and join the real world, where our computers are tools, not symbolic of our lifestyles.

Posted by stark23x on December 30, 2003 at 5:53 PM (CST)

58

“...where our computers are tools, not symbolic of our lifestyles…”

When has anyone asserted otherwise?

Posted by Atomic Bomb in Mid-Atlantic on December 30, 2003 at 8:30 PM (CST)

59

All,

Regarding WMA vs. AAC, and format choices for iPods:

Apple’s goal is to sell more macintosh machines, that’s a given.  They would choose the format that gives the best mix of audio quality, portability, and accessible DRM profile. 

An open standard would be preferred.  MS controls
WMA in its entirety, and it’s licensing costs and schemes.  If iTunes and iPod players were updated to
support WMA, Apple would incur licensing fees for all newly-shipping iPods, and every single copy of iTunes downloaded, from the moment they began to offer WMA compatibility.

You don’t advance your own technology platforms by buying into your opponent’s.  Quicktime doesn’t need
WMA compatibility, either.

Posted by Matthew on December 30, 2003 at 8:51 PM (CST)

60

I haven’t even dealt with WMA. Why? AAC works, and I’m happy. It works with my iPod, and I’m happy. Microsoft hasn’t put any harm to me personally, but from what I hear about Longhorn, it’s pursuing complete digital file rights management, or some kind of control that makes me want to throw things at people. So expect a bit of a shift to Apple when Microsoft rolls out the vice grip that will be Longhorn. Someone, please correct me if I’m wrong, but the day things become Longhorn exclusive, I’ll be forced into buying a Mac- not that I don’t want one, but I don’t feel the necessity for one…yet.

Posted by Sam on December 30, 2003 at 10:50 PM (CST)

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