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iPod and WMA?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,442
11,828
Slashdot notes that a Mr. Paul Thurrott writes that "The company [HP] will be working with Apple to add support for Microsoft's superior Windows Media Audio (WMA) format to the iPod by mid-year."

Paul Thurrott has historically had anti-Mac bias with the dubious distinction of being unable to correctly draw a graph.

In November, when asked about supporting WMA, Steve Jobs said "We decided to support an open audio codec standard [AAC] rather than a proprietary one." .... "That's our plan and we're sticking to it. We're feeling real good about it too".
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,515
4,032
I'm not being petty with the graph thing.

If he makes up a number for a graph, I can't say I necessarily trust his word-of-mouth rumors either.

arn
 
Comment

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,515
4,032
oh... and my thoughts on this...

Assuming this wasn't a stipuation of the HP Deal, Apple has FAR LESS reason to do this than ever before.

With HP's backing, AAC is about to get an enormous boost. Apple may win the format battle because of this. No need to conceed WMA format.

If you had asked me back before iTunes Windows came out... I would have said - Yes, Apple should support WMA. But now... with the Pepsi Deal, AOL deal and HP deal. I say no.

Again... it may have been that HP would only do it with the WMA support... if so, then be that as it may.

arn
 
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jholzner

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,384
0
Champaign, IL
Originally posted by arn
oh... and my thoughts on this...

Assuming this wasn't a stipuation of the HP Deal, Apple has FAR LESS reason to do this than ever before.

With HP's backing, AAC is about to get an enormous boost. Apple may win the format battle because of this. No need to conceed WMA format.

If you had asked me back before iTunes Windows came out... I would have said - Yes, Apple should support WMA. But now... with the Pepsi Deal, AOL deal and HP deal. I say no.

Again... it may have been that HP would only do it with the WMA support... if so, then be that as it may.

arn

And when you add the possibility of a McDonalds deal and that this might not be the only deal of it's kind with HP...Apple has really accomplished alot in less than a year with the iTMS.
 
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Sabenth

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2003
887
3
UK
I happen to find this amusing i think a lot of the pc sector are highly shocked at this. Hp joining forces with Apple weres the logic. blah simple answer is this hp sees the market leader and joined forces.

Now i am not saying that Apple remain leader but i think that hp sees this as the right choice. why waste R&D on a player when everyone wants an iPod


as for the wma format well if its put onto iPod its great because we can use aac mp3 wma and god knows what else
 
Comment

synp

macrumors member
May 22, 2001
61
0
Originally posted by Sabenth
I happen to find this amusing i think a lot of the pc sector are highly shocked at this. Hp joining forces with Apple weres the logic. blah simple answer is this hp sees the market leader and joined forces.

Like all the Wintel makers, HP is looking for a way to differentiate itself. Every maker from IBM to Dell buys their chipset from either Intel or AMD, then bolts on some hard disk and graphic card. They're all the same. Buy a Dell, or an HP or an IBM and try running performance tests, they're all nearly the same. Try comparing user interface - it's exactly the same Windows XP everywhere. So what is going to set them apart? What is going to make you buy from one company over the other except for minute price differences?

One answer is iTMS pre-loaded and the iPod. Others might come up with something else.
 
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Selecter

macrumors member
Dec 31, 2003
94
0
West Virginia
Once the iPod runs any codec, any advantage in MS going at you with a wma product and throwing billions into the task is negated. It's not a poison pill if you control the player and the music store.

if iPod does wma with fairplay it puts MS in a very hard spot to figure out how to control Apple. They wont have any leverage to speak of, everything will be able to be played on the iPod. Apple wins.

it's obvious to me Jobs learned the lesson from the op system wars and decided if he ever got into a leadership position over microsoft again he was gonna make em pay. The time is now.

Who will MS cajole now? Dell is the only major player left, and Mike Dell hates Steve Jobs. Look for MS and Dell to hook up. The race is on.
 
Comment

HasanDaddy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2002
581
0
Los Angeles
We can't let WMA continue a life - AT ALL!!!

Arn is right --- Apple needs to stick to its guns and promote AAC

AAC is more compressed, and sounds excellent --- major innovation, technology, and hard work behind it!

Not only does WMA have HORRIBLE compression standards and quality, it also messes things up, in my opinion

I can't see an iPod system handling WMA --- it probably could, but it would severely reduce the speed and usability, by having to take too long to load the WMA files, or simply not playing them at a very good quality

So Apple needs to keep AAC going --- they did the right thing by licensing out the iPod design, now they gotta keep their teeth sunk into the AAC format ---- otherwise, were gonna let ANOTHER LOUSY, windoze format take over the market --- which would be BAD for everyone

AAC FOREVER!!!!

and btw --- I didn't know Mike Dell hated Steve Jobs --- good luck to WinDoZe on developing something better than the iPod --- I can just see it now - WinDoZe coming out with a music player that doesn't allow you to play because someone else is using its operating system, and you're not allowed to operate two things at once

*I hate windoze*
 
Comment

dashiel

macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2003
876
0
Originally posted by Selecter
Once the iPod runs any codec, any advantage in MS going at you with a wma product and throwing billions into the task is negated. It's not a poison pill if you control the player and the music store.

if iPod does wma with fairplay it puts MS in a very hard spot to figure out how to control Apple. They wont have any leverage to speak of, everything will be able to be played on the iPod. Apple wins.

it's obvious to me Jobs learned the lesson from the op system wars and decided if he ever got into a leadership position over microsoft again he was gonna make em pay. The time is now.

but if the ipod supports WMA apple no longer controls the store, napster, wallmart, buymusic, et al will have their music playable on ipods (can you imagine the advertising campaing, "walmart music is now ipod compliant, and only $.89 for the same songs!).

the problem with apple is they will never be able to compete with dell or microsoft for leveraging cheap manufacturing deals. the ipod will always be more expensive than competitor's products.

if, however, the ipod becomes impossible to ignore (60-70% market share) by napster, buymusic, wallmart and any new startup, that's when apple wins. those stores have the option of allowing non-DRM mp3/AAC files, which i highly doubt the RIAA will allow, or offering DRM'd mp4/aac... because apple owns the hardware they can insist on the DRM being fairplay. now apple controls both the store and the player. they just have to wait as other stores either sign up for AAC or die off. the more stores that support AAC the more ipods get sold.

then once apple has 60-70% of the player market, revenue from the iTMS and license fees from the other smart companies. they can use the economic leverage (or the combined buying power of their licensees) to offer downloads at the same price as microsoft.

then as a death blow to microsoft you could offer WMA... though i think WMA would already be dead by that point.
 
Comment

johnnyjibbs

macrumors 68030
Sep 18, 2003
2,959
119
London, UK
Yes, I agree that HP has gone with "if you can't beat them, join them" here. Why compete with the iPod and crash and burn like the others?

On the other hand, HP is probably nervous about keeping Microsoft on their side, hence they would really like WMA support. But I doubt it's written in the contract with Apple. I don't think Apple is that desperate that they need to agree to terms like those. They are too stubborn for that anway!

As Arn says, the HP deal is a reason not to back WMA, as AAC could really start to take off, especially with the developments regarding RealNetworks and the Sony PSP...
 
Comment

rweidmann

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2004
7
0
wma support is good

why no add wma support. there are people in the windows world that have their music encoded this way. Why make the reencode? You also wouldn't want them to drop MP3 just because AAC is better now. Also it is quite clear that there will be consolidation in the online music market and i think it would be good if apple put itself in a position to aquire customer bases of those going out of buisiness. Therefore they need to give these people a way to play the songs they bought with old service. Nobody will switch to itunes if it means losing all the music you have already paid for.
 
Comment

Lancetx

macrumors 68000
Aug 11, 2003
1,984
591
Texas
Thurrott is a moron with no facts to back up any of his theories. He's obviously got an axe to grind, so I'd take any opinion of his with an enormous grain of salt. :rolleyes:

If HP/Compaq is going to pre-install iTunes on every new system, why would there be any need for WMA support on the iPod? It makes absolutely no sense and I would be shocked if this happens at all. A big part of Apple's reason behind the alliance with HP is not just to sell more iPods, but it is also to promote the iTunes music store and AAC. Adding WMA support would largely defeat the purpose of that...
 
Comment

x86isslow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2003
889
10
USA
does that wmp sh--- come bundled with windows? i think it would be even more significant if hp refused to ship windows bundled with wmp.
 
Comment

maradong

macrumors 65816
Mar 7, 2003
1,058
0
Luxembourg
Originally posted by arn
oh... and my thoughts on this...

Assuming this wasn't a stipuation of the HP Deal, Apple has FAR LESS reason to do this than ever before.

With HP's backing, AAC is about to get an enormous boost. Apple may win the format battle because of this. No need to conceed WMA format.

If you had asked me back before iTunes Windows came out... I would have said - Yes, Apple should support WMA. But now... with the Pepsi Deal, AOL deal and HP deal. I say no.

Again... it may have been that HP would only do it with the WMA support... if so, then be that as it may.

arn

My words :) No really, that s what I thought as well when I read those lines.

BTW, read the commentars @ http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/01/12/0243216 it s pretty funny.
:rolleyes:
 
Comment

sparky76

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2003
158
0
Why not add WMP to the iPod? Apple has admitted that ITMS does not make money, other than by selling more iPods. If everyone could buy their music where they wanted and still use an iPod, surely that would be better for Apple's bottom line - what it's all about after all.
 
Comment

the_mole1314

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2003
774
0
Akron, OH
The war is on, and Apple is winning. M$ dropped the ball on MP3 players, and they sware that the media devices are iPod killers, but that's not going to happen.

Go for the blood Apple.
 
Comment

ewinemiller

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2001
445
0
west of Philly
Originally posted by HasanDaddy
We can't let WMA continue a life - AT ALL!!!

Arn is right --- Apple needs to stick to its guns and promote AAC

AAC is more compressed, and sounds excellent --- major innovation, technology, and hard work behind it!

Not only does WMA have HORRIBLE compression standards and quality, it also messes things up, in my opinion

I don't understand the religious fervor over codecs. I'm 34, I was in high school and college when listening to rap and/or hair metal at high db in a small car was cool. I worked in the construction industry to put myself through school. With my abused ears, I couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant, much less tell the difference between 128 bit WMA, AAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, or original source, through a pair of nub headphones in a office full of talking people or in a moving car.

I suspect that most folks who love one format or another because of some level of quality don't really have the system and/or quiet environment to tell the difference (when sampled at a reasonable rate) in a blind test anyways. Sort of like that experiment way back where most supposed beer connoisseurs couldn't tell their favorite brand in a blind test.

Plus, I've got kids now, who cares how high quality the latest Kinder music or Barney CD sounds when ripped. That's all I get to listen to at home anyways.

All I care is that all the stuff I've ripped over the years can be played in my favorite portable music player. Unfortunately it's a little too late, I reripped everything to stuff it on the iPod, but I can see how this would save many HP customers some serious time. It's a good thing. WMA sounds good, buying music through the iTunes music store has DRM too, so who cares.
 
Comment

jwoodget

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2003
5
0
Canada
Windows Marooned Audio

It's all about control and who gets to own the process. WMA is controlled entirely by Microsoft. They can modify the codec and keep changing the rules. Why should Apple play tag when there is nothing to gain and much to lose? Microsoft can also change the DRM conditions at will. Why in hecks name would Apple cede that to Microsoft?

Apple is in a one on one battle with Microsoft over digital formats. Simple as that. Allowing a user to run WMA files on an iPod would "save" re-encoding effort (wow....). Hmmm... did JVC offer a way for betamax users to play their beta tapes in a VHS machine? Winner takes all including defining who gets to play in their playground.

The battle isn't over yet, in fact its only just started and in this digital audio race, Apple is currently way ahead. Owners of WMA/DRM encoded files are starting to feel the pinch. Have they backed the wrong horse? You can always re-encode from a (non-protected) CD but stuff downloaded from WalMart et al. won't play on an iPod, iPod mini, ....
 
Comment

beg_ne

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2003
452
0
Originally posted by sparky76
Why not add WMP to the iPod? Apple has admitted that ITMS does not make money, other than by selling more iPods. If everyone could buy their music where they wanted and still use an iPod, surely that would be better for Apple's bottom line - what it's all about after all.

Nope, this is a war and the stakes are high, and those who choose wrong will have to pay some price.

Letting MS in on iPod/iTunes hurts Apple and hurts the AAC format.

Take a look in the latest version of WMP, see any support for AAC? No? Why is that? Notice that MS isn't even bothering to support the AAC standard, and I'm not talking Apples version with fairplay. If MS was in the dominant position they would be trying to gut AAC as we speak, and it could still happen.

Given that WMA is proprietary and under the control of a single company, it means MS is accountable to noone, whereas AAC is a standard supported by a group of companies.

A couple versions down the road MS will make some big hoopla about how WMA11 has advanced DRM that only they can provide and it only works on their latest and greatest OS and all the sheep out there will blindly follow them while the rest of us are left in the dust...i'm sure MS would offer us all great deals on trading in our iPods for one of their "great" media devices though to help ease our transition...:rolleyes:

MS is pushing content providers hard to use their WMA/WMV formats, if Apple concedes it gives MS all the more ammo to use against REAL standards. If we just sit on our hands and let MS do whatever we want someday and it might not be that far off EVERY type of media in our lives could be under their control, all CD's could be WMA only encoded CD's, all DVD's could be WMV encoded, your digital cable/satellite stream could be in WMV.

It won't be fun when every new DVD released is encoded in WMV11 and MS is still "evaluating" updating WMP for Mac after 18 months.
 
Comment

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,092
23
UK
The day apple supports wma is the day I eat my right hand (eaten yours neatgekko?)
 
Comment

Rincewind42

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2003
620
0
Orlando, FL
Originally posted by sparky76
Why not add WMP to the iPod? Apple has admitted that ITMS does not make money, other than by selling more iPods. If everyone could buy their music where they wanted and still use an iPod, surely that would be better for Apple's bottom line - what it's all about after all.

iTMS doesn't make money because it doesn't have a high enough volume of sales. Basically the fixed costs are barely covered after you take away the per-song costs. If iTMS sold more tracks it could actually make money, so Apple does have reasons to want iTMS to sell more songs.
 
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Purple Worm

macrumors member
Jan 7, 2004
50
0
Great Britain
Apple will never support WMA, there is no reason to support this non-standard, inferior format and doing so would harm iPod sales IF the iTunes store remains the market leader. Nuff said. The End
 
Comment

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,858
1,416
Falls Church, VA
No way is this one accurate

Thanks arn for keeping this one to a page-2 story. Allowing wma format onto the iPod just doesn't fit with Apple's strategy. And why would HP want this technology to be implemented? They have, after all, endorsed Apple's iTunes Music Store, which uses AAC.

By the way... This idiot says that WMA is supoerior??? That should be proof enought that he's an idiot.
 
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