HP: No WMA for iPod

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001
    A recent article from Wired confirms that the iPod will not be going the way of the Microsoft Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. An earlier Page 2 rumor detailed a report by a questionable source that HP is working with Apple to bring the WMA format to the iPod. Showing this to be false, HP's digital entertainment product marketing manager, Muffi Ghadiali, told Wired that they will not be supporting the WMA format for now:

    This confirms the earlier report we received, from a rather relabile source, that there are currently no plans to bring WMA support to the iPod.

    In a related note, a recent statement from Microsoft, regarding the Apple/HP iPod partnership, indicates a difference in opinion between HP and Microsoft as to just what constitutes customer confusion.
  2. macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2003
    Probably more accurate to say "there are no current plans".
  3. macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2003
    Stavanger, Norway
    Hurrah! :)
    I think that´s a good move on Apple´s behalf. Keep them to iTMS and off other music stores - therefore exposed to the Apple-brand more often.
  4. macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2003
    Interesting move... I still think that adding WMA support (or, not subtracting it) would be a good business move, but an equally interesting question is, why doesn't Microsoft's media player support downloads from the most popular music store?

    Microsoft is saying that it is a bad move to go with the Apple solution, even go as far as to throw in the word "incompatible" just to scare of customers. But, if the iPod is compatible with the computer it was purchased with, and the music store and software it is bundled with, how is it incompatible? Because it doesn't work with other products that the customer DIDN'T purchase? Huh?

    Microsoft is abusing the term choice in a horrible way. That, or they think that customers are used to the Wintel cycle of "buy product, realize it sucks, throw away, repeat" when in actuality they will buy the HP, buy the HP iPod, and be happy. The choice was made, Microsoft, now stop bitching that they chose someone else.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2002
    If Apple wants a larger share of the "MP3" player market then they should put WMA on iPods.

    Steve claims he makes no money from selling music; therefore, he must make money from selling iPods. WMA would sell a lot of iPods.

    Follwing Steve's logic, Apple could get close to 100% of the MP3 player market just by adding WMA.
  6. macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    I don't want them to support WMA. If they did, that'd give WMA the vast majority, and AAC would die. AAC is a better format (like you all don't know), but here's some empirical data.


    Why should iPod help WMA become more universally accepted?
  7. macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2003
    San Francisco
    This is very good news. The key for Apple to maintain their lead in this market is to win others to AAC. Apple can innovate and win in a marketplace that is not skewed by Microsoft's monopoly forcing others to adopt WMA. I hope Apple follows the HP-Apple iPod deals with other PC makers. This has the side benefit of helping to get Quicktime on more and more desktops. Maybe we will see the use of Quicktime on more websites and a break with the crappy WMA only trend.
  8. macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2004
    Wonder what the fudge thurott is gonna say about this. All i know is I'll wait till someone posts it on the forum and not give him hits on his page.
  9. macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2003
    WMA R.I.P.

    Maybe Apple should support WMA when Microsoft supports AAC! Why should Apple cave when they have all the cards? Apple is doing the right thing by refusing to support WMA. It's actually a little ironic if you think about it: Apple uses an open source codec but is being accused of using proprietary tactics by not supporting a proprietary standard.

    And one more observation should be made. The more you download the more of an investment you are making. I know I don't want half of my digital music in one codec and the other half in another; I want only one. So, now that I have an investment in Apple iTunes and AAC I don't want to use anything else. Once Apple has you then it is doubtful that you will go anywhere else. So, if Apple keeps their quality high and innovation interesting, they will not loose the market share they have now regardless of how many new music stores come online. Let the WMAs of the world duke it out for their 25% of the pie. Microsoft couldn't do digital media right if thier company's life depended on it.

    So, my question is why don't the other digital juke box makers support AAC? Let them get left behind by refusing to support open standards. With HP on board it is a very real possibility that AAC will start gaining more acceptance.
  10. macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Poor Microsoft

    Uncle Fester says HP-Apple = LESS choice??

    All these HP PC's will surely come with Windows Media Player etc. as part of Windows, just as always. They'll ALSO now have iTunes. And HP buyers, like everyone else, will be free to choose ANY music players, and online store(s) that they wish. They need not select an HP iPod, and need not use iTunes at all.

    So... compared to when HP pre-installed WMP alone without adding iTunes... this new plan represents a LOSS of choice?

    Poor Microsoft is less and less able to dupe people with that kind of logic these days :)

    And those who think Apple should add WMA in order to sell more iPods should remember:

    1. One of the best things about Apple's offerings is that all the pieces work together as an unparalleled system.

    2. iPod is already the best selling player, without WMA.

    3. Short term gains from the (few) people who have already bought WMAs would be offset by long term losses when Microsoft-controlled music is promoted. (Damage the iTunes Store and in the long run Apple damages iPod sales too.)

    4. WMA owners can rip from CD-R to AAC if they need to--but most people are buying music from Apple anyway.

    5. Microsoft is whining because they KNOW Apple has made good choices.
  11. macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2003
    North Carolina
    Missing the Point?

    I respectufully submit that those of you calling for Apple to support WMA with the iPod are missing the point.

    In a digital music realm dominated by WMA (and, thus, MS), only MS' handpicked hardware flunkies will survive and only MS itself will thrive. (Just like now...Dell, Gateway, ets. scratch out an existence selling tons of machines for pennies of profit while MS swallows profits by the handful with Office and Windows).

    You can be sure that if WMA wins this battle, there will be no more "2 million unit years" for the iPod.

    Fortunately, Apple seems to know this also.
  12. macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2003
    Re: Poor Microsoft

    An interesting question will be which media player will lauch mp3 files by default? My guess is it will be iTunes. Yup, poor Microsoft.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2003
    Re: WMA R.I.P.

    Now, that's not ENTIRELY true. AAC is an open standard, but FairPlay ISN'T open. It's proprietary. Since ITMS serves up AAC wrapped inside FairPlay DRM, it's serving up a proprietary solution. Now, unless I'm mistaken, Apple isn't licensing FairPlay, but Microsoft does liscence WMA, which in fact makes WMA the more open format.

    Now don't get me wrong, I think WMA sounds awful, and I have bought songs through iTMS and own an iPod and all is well and good in the world, but it irks me when people talk about AAC being open when they're really talking about AAC/FairPlay which is closed.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 10, 2003
    as a user stuck using windows, i worry when i hear that both wmp and itunes are bundled oem.

    on my computer, i have to watch a war between quicktime, wmp and real for the rights to play files, and since each program wants to play them, my computer suffers from chronic system hangups.:(
  15. macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2002
    Re: Re: WMA R.I.P.

    I wouldn't use the word open with either, especially WMA.

    But technically, AAC is the more open of the two, because it is a product of the MPEG working group. It is the DRM which is proprietary.

    It is really stupid to argue.

    All I know is I click "buy song" and it's on my computer. Plug in the iPod, and the song is in my pocket.

    If I want to share it, I'll burn you a CD. Simple as that.

    And guess who makes a patent royalty of every blank CD? Sony.

    Now that's something to talk about.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2003
    Re: Missing the Point?

    This is totally flase. The vast majority of digital music is currently encoded in the MP3 format. Anyone who knows what they are doing doesn't encode their music in WMA. AAC also makes up for over 70% of the legal downloaded music. Microsoft is trying to dominate the digital music industry with their WMA format, but have thus far failed. Apple's smart move here is just killing off WMA faster.


    Edit: I can't read....you are right, I retract the above reaction to your post (which I took out of context by mistake), and if the mods would delete this post, that would be most welcome.
  17. macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2003
    North Carolina

    "trying to dominate the digital music industry with their WMA format, but have thus far failed. Apple's smart move here is just killing off WMA faster"

    I'm sorry. I thought it was fairly clear that I was positing a theoretical future where WMA was dominant.

    I agree with what you are saying. It was, in fact, one of the main points of my post.
  18. macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2003
    Charlotte, NC
    Supporting WMA keeps looking like a bad idea the more I think about it.

    Microsoft wants everyone to use WMA so that they have to use Windows and other Microsoft products to play their music. Thus the monopoly is continued.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2003
    Re: Missing the Point?

    Hmmm. I agree with not supporting WMA, but don't lump the PC producers into one category. Dell turns more profit in a quarter than Apple has in the last 10 years.

  20. macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2002

    From my person experience with Apple, this whole..confusion thing they're coming up with is b#$% s%^&.

    Dell and Microsoft are just a bit ticked off and jealous, that the number 2 PC company has partned with Apple, and...that they're not going to be using windows media format.

    HP has recently considered itself the Apple of the PC world. This is no different. And, drawing from my own experience with Apple, more people were interested in quicktime, AAC, and mp3 than the windows media format. Apple has proven that there is no confusion, and will be no confusion. If confusion was to come forth, it would be the doing of Microsoft and Dell.

  21. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    Re: Re: Missing the Point?

    Ummm.... I won't reserrect this thread, please refer to the lengthy discussion in the last post about HP/WMA/iPod... however, WMA doesn't always sound like crap and "knowledgeable" people sometimes rip in WMA. The problem with AAC today is there there is no lossless compression for audio. So, with AAC, you will always lose a audio data. With WMA 9 lossless, on the other hand, you retain all of that data. When I took the time to rip my 1,200 CDs, I did so in a lossless format.... I did this because I was somewhat "knowledgeable." Now, there are excellent slternatives to WMA lossless (APE, FLAC, etc.). Unfortunately, none are as easy to use, manipulate, and as portable as WMA.

    While I agree that a 192 AAC counds better than a 192 WMA, Lossless or uncompressed audio files will always sound better than lossy compressed ones. Again, you can refer to yesterday's post and thread on this topic...
  22. macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2003
    A Higher Level
    Why would you have to use windows to play WMA files. Versiontracker offers players for WMA files that's not MS owned.
  23. macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    And you can kindly refer to my post yesterday, most likely in the same thread, which emphasized the need for you to shut the hell up about WMA lossless, because there's no reason to use a closed, proprietary codec controlled by a massive corporation. APE and FLAC are FREE, OPEN-SOURCE lossless compression codecs as you already seem to know. As for them not being as flexible or easy-to-use, sorry, I can't swallow that. There are plenty of quality FLAC and APE plugins for popular Windows players like Winamp. Most portable WMA players don't support WMA9 lossless, as it's basically a different codec with the same name. If you're technologically "smart" enough to rip in lossless, taking the extra step to support a non-closed lossless codec shouldn't be too difficult. Otherwise, you're just another in a sea of whiners.

    Send feedback to Apple and let them know you want support for encoding and decoding FLAC and/or APE within iTunes, and OGG if you feel so moved. It wouldn't be hard, it'd take maybe 5 minutes of your time, and if enough people suggest it they might actually do it! Think: no cost to them, and audiophiles will be happy. I sent in my two cents yesterday, but alone they mean nothing! Volume, people!

  24. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2002
    Dane in L.A.
    Apple is trying to win something that in the end will benefit the user. OK, so they might look like they are forcing it a bit, but if the user end up with a better solution in the end, isn't it worth fighting for.
    It looks like beta vs. VHS all over again, maybe this time quality will win ?
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    Excellent point! I have done so and will again... FLAC or APE on iTunes would be amazing! For now, my archive format is different because WMP actually does a pretty good job of ripping CDs. For CDs with nicks and scratches... actually for any CD, assuming you have the time... EAC is the best ripping tool out there. EAC supports APE and FLAC.

    Were iTunes to support FLAC, APE or some new lossless AAC, however, my life would be complete ;) This is, BTW, why I'm screaming about this... Apple should add support!

    Think, however, about the implications...
    1. Some people may want the choice to buy higher-resolution music.
    2. For those people, Apple would have to quadroople storage for iTMS... actually 5-6x, assuming they're keeping copies of the lower res formats. This additional storage will be costly (dirves, arrays, backup, remote replication, Disatser Recovery, storage mgt software, storage manager types, etc.).
    3. Apple probably doesn't want to call attention to the fact that people are getting second-rate audio files... especially since the existing AACs sound great on iPods and most stereos.
    4. The RAAC can differentiate their CDs - especially the new SACDs and DVD-audios - from inferior losy AACs.

    IMOHO, it is for reasons like this that we won't see lossless compresson in iTunes any time soon.

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