Coffeehouse Thread

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The killer problem with WMP11

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  • User profile image
    intrepid

    Firstly let me state for the record - I hate iPods. However I wanted to discuss my feeling about Windows Media Player 11 and iPod compatibility.
    Microsoft is trying very hard to compete with the iPod with it's not-so-well-known Play For Sure system, but is fighting a loosing battle. I'll lay out the problem below:

    - Apple uses iTunes to increase sales of iPods and vice versa.
    - Microsoft is trying to lure customers away from not one, but two good products.
    - People wont just dump software and hardware that they know an love, it needs to be gradual.
    - Apple has great retailers pushing their products, Microsoft and partners also have the retailers... but no push.
    - Everyone thinks (inluding the press) that no-one makes an mp3 player other than Apple and every review compares competitors mp3 players to their iPod counterparts.

    Microsoft need to make WMP11 iPod friendly, no matter what the cost. Only then can they reclaim the market share.
    Anyone got anything to say about this? Do you think I am wrong?

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    I think they both share some blame here.  Apple when with m4p and MS with wma.  What the h*ll.  Why could they not get together and do mpX?  In regards to 11, do I not use MSN with 11 anymore?  Have to signup with Urge?

  • User profile image
    intrepid

    On WMP11 - No you don't have to sign up to URGE... and don't forget it's in BETA.

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    Also.  I like 11, but have a few fit/finish things:
    1) ITunes does "Get Info" better then 11's Properties.
    2) No 11 community page built into 11 that I can find yet.
    3) Still need simple password ability to protect library.
    4) Need "Feedback" built into the product (actually all products), not some link that takes 20 minutes to submit anything.

  • User profile image
    Escamillo

    staceyw wrote:
    I think they both share some blame here.  Apple when with m4p and MS with wma.  What the h*ll.  Why could they not get together and do mpX?  In regards to 11, do I not use MSN with 11 anymore?  Have to signup with Urge?
    The the other music stores, including MSN, are still available.

  • User profile image
    matt0210

    Intrepid, just for the record, why do you hate ipods? I used to own a nomad, zen and a few of those gastly stick-things. Now I'm on an ipod and it just works. There are a ton of things it doesn't have that the zen had but it has one killer feature. It works. Every time.
    I agree with you, making WMP11 work with the ipod is the only way the mainstream might consider something else. Don't forget, we're all tech-heads and automatic apple-haters. But the masses take what's popular. With computers it's windows, with mobile music it's the ipod.
    The problem with WMP11 and the ipod is the closed format. Didn't real try to hack into the ipod too? I doubt MS would scopp to that level. Things probably won't change much until apple has to, for whatever reason. Untill then they'd be stupid to let others in on their market. Just look at MS, they're fighting on every front to reveal as little documentation as possible about interops. They're not stupid either.

  • User profile image
    andokai

    Apple will not open iTunes or the iPod so there's really not a whole lot Microsoft can do. M4A is the the only DRMd file type that the iPod can play which Apple does not license so they are the only ones that can sell music for the iPod. This is the closed ecosystem Apple wants as it means they have no competition. Rember Real tried to get in on the act but it didn't last long. As a result this means the only thing that Microsoft can do is allow you to do is transfer non-DRMd music to the iPod which is probably only of benefit to pirates and those who still buy CDs. If this is the kind of support you want then check out XPlay. It's not free but it does everything I just mentioned with the added benefit of allowing you to pull music off your iPod. I'm not sure if it supports WMP11 yet though.

  • User profile image
    intrepid

    matt0210 wrote:
    Intrepid, just for the record, why do you hate ipods?


    I admit it's a brilliant product - of marketing. But it doesn't have anything that the others don't offer. But thats not why I hate it.
    I hate the stupid things because I work in one of Australias largest retail stores and all people ever ask is "do you have iPods" or "whats an mp3 player, is it like an iPod?". Maybe it's the uneducated public I hate - but either way someone has to answer for this "tazo" of the electronic world... and I hope it fades soon or I'll go postal!

  • User profile image
    Lee_Dale

    intrepid wrote:
    matt0210 wrote:Intrepid, just for the record, why do you hate ipods?


    I admit it's a brilliant product - of marketing. But it doesn't have anything that the others don't offer. But thats not why I hate it.
    I hate the stupid things because I work in one of Australias largest retail stores and all people ever ask is "do you have iPods" or "whats an mp3 player, is it like an iPod?". Maybe it's the uneducated public I hate - but either way someone has to answer for this "tazo" of the electronic world... and I hope it fades soon or I'll go postal!


    LOL people really do make me laugh sometimes, Apple should be praised for this! They made the best product end of story, you cant sell a crap product on marketing alone, the iPod is cool and cool sells, forget all the other stuff only geeks want, the iPod is intuative and good looking, that equals cool.

    As for WMP11 ive downloaded it but when i tried to install it told me to install roll out 2 for MCE but I havnt got round to it yet, maybe tonight, ah no not tonight Champions league final maybe tomorrow then Tongue Out

    I have some major gripes with WMP and syncing media with my Zen PMC, I wish somuch it was like iTunes and my iPod, lets see if WMP11 does any better

  • User profile image
    rhm

    intrepid wrote:

    I hate the stupid things because I work in one of Australias largest retail stores and all people ever ask is "do you have iPods" or "whats an mp3 player, is it like an iPod?". Maybe it's the uneducated public I hate - but either way someone has to answer for this "tazo" of the electronic world... and I hope it fades soon or I'll go postal!


    I can see how that would get annoying Smiley

    It would annoy me if iPods were rubbish or overpriced and were only popular because they were trendy, but actually they're well made and although they used to be expensive, they're now very competitively priced. In fact until very recently you couldn't buy the Creative equivalent of the 30Gb iPod Video (the snappily named Zen Vision:M) for the same price, let alone less. Amazon.co.uk now have them for a tad under 190ukp which is about the same price as you can buy the 30Gb iPod for, but still the Zen is thicker and heavier and there's no 60Gb version available at all.

    What does annoy me about the iPod is that by only supporting Apple's own (ironically named) Fairplay DRM, users can only buy legal downloads from Apple's own iTunes Store. Then having done so, you're stuck with buying iPods forever more, or lose access to the tracks that you bought. People complain about Microsoft all the time, but at least Microsoft licences it's tech. WMA might not be free (as in beloved of hippies, freeloaders and malcontents), but any music player vendor can licence it, which is what all major player manufacturers except Apple have. If iPods supported WMA I'd have bought one already, but it's telling that Apple would rather lose the business of people like me who value choice, in favour of controlling the market made of up people who don't.

    As for WMP11, Microsoft's efforts to tackle iPod dominance suck and Microsoft's licencees must dispair. There should be one really strong brand (WMP is *not* a strong brand), promoted heavily by Microsoft as well as the player vendors and music stores, that lets people know that all these non-Apple products are interoperable. It should also then make some effort to point out that by buying an iPod you are locking yourself into always buying iPods - put some value on that wide compatability and support WMA has.

  • User profile image
    Cairo

    WMA isn't open, either. It's Windows Media Audio, after all. Microsoft provides players, encoders and "music management" tools only for its own operating system.

  • User profile image
    Cairo

    rhm wrote:
    There should be one really strong brand (WMP is *not* a strong brand), promoted heavily by Microsoft as well as the player vendors and music stores, that lets people know that all these non-Apple products are interoperable. It should also then make some effort to point out that by buying an iPod you are locking yourself into always buying iPods - put some value on that wide compatability and support WMA has.


    So... all the Windows Media/Plays fur Sure stuff is comparable to the plethora of Linux distros out there. "They're all Linux! They're compatible!"

    Yet people still use Windows on the desktop.

  • User profile image
    cain

    I've been using iTunes for a while now and have bought a fair bit of music from the iTunes store.  I just downloaded WMP11 a little while ago and checked out the Urge store, and I would be already converted - they have 'all' the music by my favourite artist, while iTunes had none, that would be all it would take to win me over.

    The only problem is this stupid paragraph:
    "The Website, the Software and the Service is offered and made available only to users 13 years of age or older who are ressidents of the United States of America ("U.S."), its territories and possessions including the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Wake Island (collectively, the "Territory")."

    Is this going to stay this way?  Or will the rest of the world be able to use it eventually too?

  • User profile image
    rhm

    Cairo wrote:
    WMA isn't open, either. It's Windows Media Audio, after all. Microsoft provides players, encoders and "music management" tools only for its own operating system.



    Who said it was "open" (whatever the hell that means)? I said that Microsoft licence it. Apple could licence it if they wanted to. Maybe they'd be interested if they didn't control the majority of the music player market, but as it is, they're not.

    Of course people can bleat about free/open formats. If you want that, buy a music player that only plays mp3 (don't forget that that is patent encumbered though so maybe if you should try and find one that plays Ogg if you're being really anal about it). The only place you'll buy music from is dodgy Russian sites that pay no royalties.

    If you want to buy download music legally you have to chose between Apple and WMA-compatible players. If Microsoft and Apple switched places the justice department would be right on them for leveraging their player market share to force people to use iTunes Store and then lock them into buying iPods forever because Apple won't licence Fairplay. Apple only gets away with it because it's the smaller company.

  • User profile image
    phreaks

    Personally, I hate iTunes. I think the interface is inhibiting, and the format....

    IMHO, Rhapsody is way much better; but either way it is burdensome, since iTunes won't play Rhapsody purchased music and vice versa.

  • User profile image
    andokai

    cain wrote:
    Is this going to stay this way?  Or will the rest of the world be able to use it eventually too?


    I assume if it proves popular it will spread. Remember when iTunes launched it was US only too.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    My only concern (in relation to iTunes and WMA) is that you can't move from one to the other... If I could freely move all my legal music from any DRM-ed format to any other DRM-ed format then it wouldn't be bad at all... And then companies can compete on price and variety of tracks.

    As it stands I'm stuck on iTunes (not that I'm complaining -- the software might suck but I can playback in WinAmp and they are well priced and have a good variety).

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    andokai wrote:
    I assume if it proves popular it will spread. Remember when iTunes launched it was US only too.

    They still are for some things. For instance you can't buy TV shows on the Dutch iTunes.

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