Home > Multimedia, AV > Windows Media 9 Primed for Digital DecadeWindows Media 9 Primed for Digital Decade Eugenia Loli 2002-09-05 Multimedia, AV 30 CommentsBill Gates unveils Windows Media 9, after nearly four years of development at a cost of about $500 million. It challenges RealNetworks for digital dominance. About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 30 Comments 2002-09-05 4:07 pm “During his speech, Gates described a future in which millions of homes will be connected wirelessly, while residents used various electronic devices to share music, videos or other content.”Great, so once all these people are connected, the DMCA and various MS EULAs will prevent anything being transferred in a P2P fashion after all. How exciting…Eron 2002-09-05 4:11 pm Just imagine MS being in bed with the RIAA and Holywood! Sometimes, I wish Gates and his people were a bit stupid, or at least a bit less persistent, but naah, we’re completely out of luck on that one. 2002-09-05 4:41 pm it’s called Quicktime and iTunes. =) 2002-09-05 4:44 pm I find it hard to believe Bill is going to develop *any* technology that, in essence, is just wireless p2p where people can share audio, video, and misc. other stuff.I mean come on, they have to know they’d get in deep if they did that. 2002-09-05 4:57 pm Isn’t there a new version of WinAmp coming out that can handle all of one’s video playback needs? I already use WinAmp over WMP8 because of its (imo) better interface and overall speed. If it could handle all the major video formats (via drop-in codecs or something) then I’d never need anything else. 2002-09-05 5:17 pm 6.4 forever 2002-09-05 5:48 pm Yes, Winamp 3 does include support for video. I dont even use WMP anymore. 2002-09-05 6:14 pm Corona’s claim to fame is that it is the first Codec that can provide full-DVD quality video over an ADSL or cable modem connection, IIRC. That is one of the results of all the R&D resources put into it and why Microsoft is chasing all of these TV and film media people.I don’t think RealNetworks or Quicktime can say the same yet, but I might be wrong. 2002-09-05 6:36 pm When I say that Corona is full-DVD quality over ADSL, that also includes the sound as well – it is 5.1 Dolby Surround. 2002-09-05 6:43 pm 6.4 forever indeed , 7.x and up is so chubby …6.4 rules , 7.x is one of the million reasons why NOT use an up to date M$ OS … allways said it , and i ‘ll keep on repeating it : Win2k + SP2 is and will be the last descent os from M$ …and btw : 500 000 000 $ ????? wtf … i’d REALLY have to find myself a job at M$ :p 2002-09-05 7:03 pm Does quicktime support 720p video?Real’s MPEG4 implementation seems to be a good competitor to WM9 for video over low bitrate connections. Be interesting to see who wins this one.Winamp3 as it is right now is still beta for video use. Just look at the SDK examples for doing playback, and note the hacks to do 30fps playback.Corona has its own 5.1 WMA. Not sure if it is a Dolby licensee… ?BTW 6.4 is a COM-based mess. There are dozens of better players that are faster and freeware and make use of better interfaces as opposed to all the WMP abstraction layers, IMHO. 2002-09-05 7:27 pm Wasn’t MS also courting the DVD steering committee to use Corona as the next DVD codec? 2002-09-05 7:35 pm First of all, DD 5.1 is 384kbit/s and thet is the lowest bitrate, and that is what is used for digitalTV (unless I have gotten it wrong). It is 5.1, it is digital, it is not especially good, and it can’t even being to touch DTS. DD should be around 500 at least. I have no idea how much Ogg 5.1 would need (I would guess that the .1 channel would need some tweaks to be working properly. They should be able to do it without much trouble if they wanted though) but it is free and highly interesting. Where can I patch my amp?Next we have full DVD image quality, at 10Mbit/s maximum bitrate. I have never seen anything with less bandwith requirements that comes close, and that includes (s)vcd, divx, quicktime, mpeg4, real media, windows media, etc.I realise the need for low bitrate formats, with the best kind of trade-offs. Both for legal and illegal use (let’s face it, a formats acceptans is very much depandant on the movie pirates scene). Let us speak about that instead of DVD quality at ADSL speeds (0.5-2MBps).The only thing that I find interesting is what is going at a very slow pace right now, ogg tarkin. It has new ideas instead of the same old with new packaging.I imagine most people who use version 8 will upgrade to 9 at some point, and I am very sure that M$ will make sure new formats will only be available for v9. How considerate of them. What I fail to see is what the heck I as a user will gain from this. I want to avoid having to install extra software, I want to start/pause (and some more) with keys, I want the normal standard controls and I want real fullscreen (hello quicktime player who can’t do this *Grr*). I also want to be able to play any stupid format someone might come up with without having to do anything (automatic download is nice).What happened to making a piece of software that is not flashy but useful? 2002-09-05 8:25 pm Microsoft is not a Dolby licensee, although Corona is the first streaming codec to offer 6 channel sound (but it is not Dolby though). Sorry Kon, my bad.John, of course you are right. What I should have been saying is “HDTV-quality” rather than “DVD-quality”. I stand corrected, although Corona can meet the DVD-standard 480lpi level from hard-storage easily (but not streaming over the web though) and it is being implemented by a whole slew of DVD chipset makers…Leading DVD Chip Manufacturers Embrace Microsoft Windows Media:http://www.microsoft.com/PressPass/press/2001/Dec01/12-11DVDChipsPR…Microsoft Makes the Case for Corona:http://www.emediapro.net/r10/2002/news0702_08.html“…Its Fast Stream technology offers “instant-on, always-on” viewing and listening, which means no buffering delays for HDTV-quality video over the Web, Aldridge said…” 2002-09-05 9:44 pm Anyone think we’ll be able to get the 9.0 codec in the 6.4 player ? I mean, serious .. 8.0 is just too damn slow, even with all the crap turned off and it using the 6.4 skin. 2002-09-05 9:47 pm “BTW 6.4 is a COM-based mess. There are dozens of better players that are faster and freeware and make use of better interfaces as opposed to all the WMP abstraction layers, IMHO.”Which ones? Can can they do asf, mpeg, divx, smr, etc? 2002-09-06 12:57 am btw winamp 2 supports video play back with codec download. Its playback isn’t as nice as wmp, qt or rp but its not bad. 2002-09-06 1:58 am …or perhaps I should say, what wonderful player?Maybe WMP9 loads streams faster, but I’ll never know because all my web-based radio stations insist on using these idiotic popup windows that are ssllllloooooooooooooowwwww – even when they manage to connect.Wow. I can’t even play anything in the nice, new player because the stations won’t give out their stream URL’s. I now have to wait an extra ten seconds fiddling with the stupid player windows, not mention the fact that I must install a bunch of third party controls just to access this stuff.Even RealONE Player works better! What a waste of time! 😛 2002-09-06 3:39 am mmm, it’s complaining that it won’t run on Win 98 only on the 98 SE version.. never noticed a difference between them you would think that windowsupdated covered that.$500mil. well spend. 2002-09-06 4:03 am the future will come from xiph.org. This proprietary nonsense will die a lovely death. 2002-09-06 5:16 am I just installed Windows Media Player 9, the sound quality is simply AWSOME, WinAmp’s quality is very nice but WMP 9 is simply the best! 2002-09-06 6:23 am Ronald: it’s called Quicktime and iTunes. =)Haha, very funny. Nice lame attempt. Read up about Corona before you talk out of your ass – the main features of Corona are the new formats.Jeropa: Wasn’t MS also courting the DVD steering committee to use Corona as the next DVD codec?DOubt it. MPAA would swiftly reject such a notion: they have already invested a lot in current DVDs, they won’t change it and render all current players useless.John: The only thing that I find interesting is what is going at a very slow pace right now, ogg tarkin. It has new ideas instead of the same old with new packaging. New ideas with no working code, no prototypes…..kreechah: the future will come from xiph.org. This proprietary nonsense will die a lovely death.Yeah, first, let them make a good video codec first, then a good streaming audio and video codec, then maybe the future belongs to them.BTW, I just installed the beta, very nice. I love the audio. There isn’t any videos to try out right now, my the audio itself is good enough for me. Wish it had the UI of Winamp – now that would be nice. 2002-09-06 12:05 pm Anyone else able to enable the mini player taskbar mode? 2002-09-06 2:55 pm Anyone else able to enable the mini player taskbar mode?Crashes everytime I try. WMP 8 could with Power Pack… 2002-09-06 3:41 pm Winamp3, ZoomPlayer, RadLight, Sasami, etc.Some of these have some good functionality for AC3 output, ability to use filters from DVD players, remote control integration, the list goes on.It will just be a matter of time before they support WM9 too. (6.4 doesn’t support WM9 codecs BTW) 2002-09-06 4:30 pm they are spending 500 million on things that arent even supposed to be bundled with the os. 2002-09-06 6:50 pm Haha, very funny. Nice lame attempt. Read up about Corona before you talk out of your ass – the main features of Corona are the new formats.It wasn’t a lame attempt. It’s true. Windows Media Player is catching up slowly to iTunes. WMP9 still suffers from insane UI and usability problems. Why do you think an application that is bundled with the o.s. is having such a hard time dominating the Microsoft market and yet AOL’s Winamp is still whopping WMP’s ass?I still don’t know why there isn’t a minimize to small player to taskbar in the Player settings? It’s a nice touch but why keep it hiding from user? 2002-09-07 10:28 am they are spending 500 million on things that arent even supposed to be bundled with the os.Nice one. Truly lame.(BTW, tell me one profitable company selling an OS and making a lot of money out of it at a price below $200, retail? Don’t answer Apple, they make most of their money from hardware).Ronald: It wasn’t a lame attempt. It’s true. Windows Media Player is catching up slowly to iTunes. WMP9 still suffers from insane UI and usability problems.When was the last time you use WMP? WMP 7.0 sucked, it was disgusting. WMP 8 was nice, my father loves it (loves it better than WinAMP). I still use WinAMP because I was first introduced to WinAMP, then later use an WinAMP clone, XMMS – that’s the reason why I like WinAMP. I’m already used to it.Ronald: Why do you think an application that is bundled with the o.s. is having such a hard time dominating the Microsoft market and yet AOL’s Winamp is still whopping WMP’s ass?WinAMP had better sound quality than WMP 8.0, plus with WMA codecs, it can kick WMP’s ass. The same goes for AIM and WM, Real and WMP.But notice, these players AREN’T iTunes and Quicktime! And believe me, I would rather use WMP than iTunes and Quicktime. The sound quality, for one, is so much better. There is so much features (like the audio leveling for CD burning feature) that iTunes nor Quicktime has.Besides, doesn’t this proof that even with a monopoly, Microsoft can’t dominate another market? I think it also proofs that Netscape dropped the ball, not Microsoft killed them.Ronald: I still don’t know why there isn’t a minimize to small player to taskbar in the Player settings? It’s a nice touch but why keep it hiding from user?It is well placed. It has the same amount of clicks, well, more or less, than WinAMP minimizing to the system bar (the place next to the clock). 2002-09-07 10:34 am Don’t get me wrong. Both iTunes and Quicktime are great consumer products. It is just that iTunes really needs to remove that clutter that iTunes 1 didn’t have, and QT really needs someone who can make a good port to Windows. 2002-09-07 7:03 pm If it doesn’t, it’s a waste of time, HD space and registry mess.