O'Reilly Network Weekly
Open Source Roundtable
Sponsored by IBM developerWorks
Windows Media Player 7: Did Microsoft Get it Right?
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Microsoft has released the latest Windows Media Player, version 7, and David Strom says in his latest Web Informant newsletter, that this is the way people will access digital music in the future.
Microsoft has learned from watching others, adding features like skins and visualizations that we've seen on MP3 players. They've also built in a sophisticated media browser that helps find music and radio stations.
The new Windows Media Player has to compete not only against competitors like Real Networks -- which is making alliances with both Apple Computer's QuickTime and AOL -- but also against services like Napster and Gnutella, where users get music for free. Ziff-Davis' PC Magazine gives Real Network's RealSystem 8 a higher grade on the quality of its streaming audio. That quality should get even better when streaming Quicktime.
But Strom says that Microsoft has broken through what he calls "a conspiracy against the user" by bringing together a comprehensive way to organize and listen to a variety of types of audio in one application, from music ripped from CDs to MP3s to streaming radio stations.
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