Coffeehouse Thread

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"Apple, Microsoft poised for streaming media battle"

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  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    http://neowin.net/comments.php?id=21191&category=main

    Personally I don't like it when websites use Quicktime (but I don't say anything) and can't wait for Microsoft to kick Apple out of the codec business.

    What does everyone else think?

  • User profile image
    Bogusrabin

    I think the URL is changed but anyway ...
    ( http://www.neowin.net/comments.php?id=21178&category=main ?)

    I think that sites should use some Open codec.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    An open codec without license restrictions may become a standard (and it might not even be Apple or Microsoft created)

    Also, can non-Windows clients view Microsoft streams - i.e. those that don't use Windows Media Player? Something that is cheap to implement and not restricted (i.e. don't have to pay Microsoft/Apple/Real to be able to use it).

    The Dirac codec looks like it has potential and the VideoLan streaming project is good.

    It would be great if Apple/Microsoft/Real actually contributed to projects like these rather than creating their own proprietary formats. Not likely to happen as Dirac and VideoLan are under a GPL license. Software would be so much better if large companies worked more for the best interests of the community. May sacrifice profit but will improve reputation - IBM's has probably got a lot better since it put resources into Linux and is confident of a victory against SCO (which is probably very likely as IBM has many resources and lawyers).

    Money could still be made - on the tools used to generate the video's, server software/hardware and support.

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    Personally, I prefer Microsoft's propeitory codecs as they do more with less.

    Microsoft doesn't charge anything for distribution, just a one time charge (10 to 30 cents depending on what it does) for the device that decodes, encodes, or encodes or recodes. Microsoft has provided free Windows Media decoding capabilities for Windows and Mac (approximately 99% of everyone) and free encoding capabilities for third party Windows software (WM9 VCM). They have been more than generous, I say we should adopt Windows Media as the standard.

    By the way regarding WM based DVDs, I'd love to get WM based DVDs, every DVD player in my house has the capability, unfortunately I haven't seen any WM based DVDs for movies that I'd like to purchase.

  • User profile image
    matt0210

    They have been more than generous, I say we should adopt Windows Media as the standard.

    Sure, remember Economics 101?? Saturate the market with something, have everyone jump on the band wagon, then charge for the next version. I doubt any of you honstly think Microsoft is going to offer WM for free for very much longer? See what Apple did with iLife! They introduced some real kick-* software that's great and easy to use. As the versions got more and more mature they suddenly started to charge for it. Right now they're at 49 bucks, bet you, however, it'll go up to 79 or 99 in the next version.

    Be careful to follow the 'free' from commecrial companies. I'm not saying it wouldn't be woth paying a bit for codecs and stuff, after all I was not too bummed out to pay 49 bucks for iLife. After all it's worth it. I you guys believe Windows Media is it for you, prepare to pay in the future....

    Just my 0,02€

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    Do you remember Word 1.0? Lotus charged $700 and Microsoft only charged $300. People jumped on the bandwagon and others said that the prices would raise soon after when infact, the prices were going down due to inflation and over time Microsoft lowered them even further.

    Matt0210, if still feel that way regarding Windows Media, then I must ask you to name one time that Microsoft raised its pricing.

  • User profile image
    Jaz

    WMP is on linux though?  MS and some linux company did a deal where WMV/WMA could be played on linux systems, for some fee though.  some one back me up

  • User profile image
    lenn

    Sure did, it is called MPlayer. You can see more about it here: http://www.mplayerhq.hu/homepage/design7/info.html

  • User profile image
    nektar

    Having standardized codecs benefit everyone. I believe that Microsoft's submission of their proprietary WMV9 for standardization is a welcome development. What we need however for deciding on codecs quality are not only our personal experiences and feelings but scientific comparisons of the codecs. Do you know of any official comparison available though?

  • User profile image
    lars

    I regard CODECs as an abstraction layer similar to printer drivers. They have knowledge about the specifics of the underlying format or device and act on behalf of an application. From what I've seen WM is happy to provide its encoding services to any host application. But it is not as generous when its time to decode content. Suddenly it's not to be taken for granted that any CODEC-aware application may decode the stream. That is not acceptable to me.

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    By being submitted to the standard bodies, the WM codec shouldn't have that issue in the future. It won't be an open standard, but by being a standard, any app that is licensed to use it can do so without fear or difficulty.

  • User profile image
    lars

    That would be sweet!
     
    Btw; why, oh why, won't Real Media just die!

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    sbc

    I think that between Windows Media and Apple's AAC format the WM format will come out top.

    The problem with the AAC format is that the only portable media device it works on is the iPod. However, WM will work on many more devices.

    The iPod may be superior in many people view, but you get a far greater choice with the WM format - many more devices can support it.

    If Microsoft (or Napster, Wippet etc) make software that is just as good (or better) than iTunes and someone releases a product like the iPod but much cheaper, then WM will end up dominating. The ability of the software to output in MP3 as well as WM format would be a very good selling point as well.

    Wippet seems to have the right idea, but unfortunately it's catalog is not as big as iTunes or Napster (probably because the music industry don't like the idea of Mp3's - they have less control over them). However, the ability of not being tied in via DRM is very appealing to users. It is also a lot cheaper than other offerings.

  • User profile image
    matt0210

    Hi Shining Arcanine, I wasn't poking at MS, just saying what makes business sense, and if there's one thing MS knows it's business!

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    matt0210 wrote:
    Hi Shining Arcanine, I wasn't poking at MS, just saying what makes business sense, and if there's one thing MS knows it's business!


    Your avatar makes that hard to believe.

  • User profile image
    Tom Malone

    I think microsoft needs to do several things if it wants to compete with apple. Firstly get some sort of play list support, and get the iPod to connect to wmp. Codecs should be standardisd i am fed up of having to download codecs, to watch varying content. Multimedia should be more like html, xml.

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