October 17, 2003
Microsoft Advice on Music Services

This Q&A Choosing a Digital Music Service for Windows Users has to be the funniest thing I've read all day. Basically MS dude is bashing iTunes and AAC because "windows users like choice" and goes on to say that (basically) it's crap because it doesn't play WMA, because WMA is the best because it's on WIndows Media Player 9, and it's the best.

Hmm.... first of all, he's incorrect on a couple of counts. iTunes will play mp3 and AAC files from anywhere that happens to distribute them in that form. Right now there aren't any (?) music stores using AAC except for the iTunes music store, but there are some dealing with MP3. iTunes doesn't play WMA, Microsoft's propriatory music format, it plays AAC, Apple's propriatory music format. Big shock.

Big shock, Microsoft is advocating a music format that only plays in their propriatory music player (WMP9) (or devices that have licensed the technology from them) and not Apple and their propriatory music player (iTunes).

Personally I wish that iTunes would support other music formats, .ogg specifically, but if they want to throw WMA in there as well, so be it. Heck, anything that'd put .ogg support onto the iPod would make me happy.

That said, personally I look forward to competition. Competition is good. Right now the iTunes music store is the only "real" music store out there (no, eMusic and mp3.com aren't real because I can't find Johnny Cash or U2 on them). If a bunch more services start up along with the bad of getting DRM more firmly embedded (I don't like the idea of DRM personally), we'll get cheaper prices, more interesting features, and companies trying to give more reasons for using their service.

Maybe this would help force the music industry to change the way they do things, and stop (or at least slow down) screwing the artists.

I wonder how long before Microsoft goes into the online music store business. MS and the RIAA, working together. Sounds like hell to me. If it took Apple to get the record industry to see what would happen with selling online music, I wonder what MS could do?

Posted by Arcterex at October 17, 2003 02:57 PM