Home > Linux > Turbolinux Announces Support for Windows Media Turbolinux Announces Support for Windows Media Submitted by Roger Braun 2004-04-27 Linux 21 Comments Japanese distributor Turbolinux announced that their next distribution will include support for Windows Media files, including DRM. The development cost are said to be around $75,000, including license fees paid to Microsoft. About The Author Adam Scheinberg Vice President, Information Technology at Massey Services, Inc • President, Board Member, The Mockingbird Foundation • All Things Web, Umphrey’s McGee • Web Developer • Father • Foodie • Music Snob • OS enthusiast Follow me on Twitter @sethadam1 21 Comments 2004-04-27 8:57 pm > Why should I care? MPlayer supports Windows Media, and I > don’t want the DRM anyway. why should i care if you care? i do not think then this distro was intended for you and you only. do you also go to other sites about other things you do not care about and ask why are they posting things that do not interest you? 2004-04-27 9:00 pm Why should I care? Don’t use it then. Who cares if you don’t care. 2004-04-27 9:11 pm “Why should I care? MPlayer supports Windows Media, and I don’t want the DRM anyway.” TurboLinux isn’t even marketed for students in the USA. Its’ main market is Asia. Anyway, MPlayer uses a hacked DLL. Btw you might want to be able to use some DRMed audio if that’s the only way to listen to an online radio… :/ 2004-04-27 9:11 pm Re: “With 10F, Turbolinux becomes the first major Linux distributor to ship a media player capable of streaming pure Windows Media format audio and video.” First? I’m confused by this since isn’t Kaffeine that ships with distros such as SuSE Linux capable of playing Windows media? Also MPlayer has supported this format for quite some time so I don’t understand why TurboLinux believes they are first? Even being capable of playing encrypted DVD’s is no shocker since distros such as Linspire already offer this. Someone please explain if I misunderstood what they are saying in their site newswire. If they are talking about offering the streaming radio stations included with WMP then forget it. I found most of Microsoft’s WMP links are infested with spam, pop ups and spyware. 2004-04-27 9:15 pm This indeed is great news. Finally, a Linux company is putting its money where its mouth is. If Turbo Linux really made an arrangement with Microsoft to _legally_ offer support for Windows Media audio and video and also getting DVD playback support with a recognized brand software house out-of-the-box at the same time, it really gets them to another level in comparision with another Linux distros. Although I and many other readers here do not need such fancy features (since MPlayer can handle just about anything you throw at it and Xine works perfectly as a DVD player – even with proper menu support), it surely will appeal to the Linspire/Lycoris kind of user and even Joe User who happens to be looking for a Linux distro to replace his Windows or (unlikely) Apple box. They also ship the Flash player and Java plugins by default, which is more than Windows can claim. A truly media ready desktop operating system. TurboLinux could also extend such agreements with MainConcept to ship the Linux version of MainActor, just like SuSe does. This would make their Linux distribution a contender again in the Linux market and probably get them back to the USA (and Europe?) market in a confortable position. 2004-04-27 9:24 pm I don’t see anything in the press announcement that implies that they have *legal* Windows Media support. In fact, what they do mention is their own graphical front end to Xine. So, I’m a bit confused where the legal Windows Media support came from… 2004-04-27 9:26 pm I believe this matters because they are the first to support DRM media (of any kind) in linux. If that is successful, maybe Apple would provide support for iTunes in linux desktop. This would be an interesting test case. Also players like Mplayer and Xine do not legally offer windows media support. I believe the legality of what they do is dependant on where in the world you live/use the software. So this is good news for desktop support for linux. Naren 2004-04-27 9:33 pm “I believe this matters because they are the first to support DRM media (of any kind) in linux. If that is successful, maybe Apple would provide support for iTunes in linux desktop. This would be an interesting test case.” LSongs (from Linspire) is there. How about integrating itms4linux and Playfair in it? VLC also supports “Fairplay’ed” AAC’s. And i think “DRM” and “$75,000, including license fees paid to Microsoft.” have to do with each other, though i cannot proof. 2004-04-27 9:34 pm Apple you better pay attention to this! 2004-04-27 9:40 pm I got the news from heise.de, which you won’t be able to read if you don’t know german *g*. A quick translation of the important parts: “The japanese financial magazine Nihon Keizai Shimbun wrote that Turbolinux has developed a software that will play multimedia files using the Windows Media format. Turbolinux has spent around 10.000.000 Yen in developing this product that will play even DRM-secured music and video files. Included in the development costs are license fees paid to Microsoft. Depending on the sales Turbolinux has to pay additional fees.” I hope my english is understandable… 2004-04-27 10:15 pm I think it’s a good thing that Microsoft is coöperating with a Linux company. 2004-04-27 10:21 pm What is itms4linux? And AFAIK playfair and the vlc memory trick are not strictly legal. Again for us in the US as consumers it is an issue using that stuff without the vendors blessing. I do not personally agree with all the DRM stuff (Makes me wish I could work for Lessig), but I am not going to risk my family’s financial well being in order to use that code. My primary desktop is linux, but I can’t listen to my itunes music with out jump through the aac->cd->mp3 route. Same for WMA protected stuff. So this kind of effort is great from a real world consumer (maybe just in the USA) point of view. My understanding of LSongs was that it did not support DRM. But if it does, then what this sounds like is that Linspire and Turbolinux developed this stuff in parallel without talking to each other. Though I can’t imagine linspire paying Microsoft to legally support WMA9. This situation is going to get worse with the DVD-HD approach which by default uses WMA as the standard. Naren 2004-04-27 10:52 pm DVD-HD won’t in anyway be worse. In order for Microsoft to even have the DVD Forum look at WM9 as a codec for DVD-HD, Microsoft had to strip it of it’s proprietary status. You can download details of how it works and implement it yourself royalty free. It’s just like any other standard out there. I’m no fan of Microsoft as the next guy, but just because Microsoft is in the headline, doesn’t necessarily mean that the world is going to end. 2004-04-27 10:56 pm And also they haven’t even decided on a standard yet. http://news.com.com/2100-1041_3-5166786.html Read the last 2 paragraphs. 2004-04-27 11:11 pm I know that Linux (or at least its apps) can already play Windows Media files, but can it play the encrypted stuff natively without having to convert it to something else? 2004-04-27 11:45 pm “What is itms4linux?” Excuse me, itms4all. Linux isn’t the only platform for which ITMS isn’t available. This program fixes this, partly. It is an implementation of the ITMS protocol written in Perl. Homepage: http://hcsoftware.sourceforge.net/jason-rohrer/itms4all/ Live: http://www.downhillbattle.org/cgi-bin/itms4all.pl I agree on the Playfair part. I don’t know wether LSongs supports DRM, but this [referring to Turbolinux add-on] together with itms4all and this addition could add DRM and [in the end] become a ITMS4Linux implementation. And again, other platforms as well, since LSongs is written in PyQT and itms4all in Perl. If the Turbolinux MS/DRM add-on was written was licensed by Turbolinux from MS it is probably under a NDA, making it impossible to become FLOSS and perhaps other implications. But that’s pure speculation. NOFI to Turbolinux -from what i understood it is a nice Linux distribution and the mentality in Japan regarding (hard) working is quite reflecting in the company too (a video showing people sleeping at the company!) – but you can’t expect a Linux distribution aimed for the Asian market to become [widely] adopted in other parts of the world just because of this feature. Oh well, perhaps it’ll become more popular. 2004-04-28 12:37 am Don’t say anything just to say something : the first divx 3.11:) codec was a hack of a microsoft codec allowing the encoding of the sound track in mp3. Ok, it’s a fact. but it has nothing to do with mplayer… Mplayer allow the use of some old windows codec in order to be able to watch some movie. Ok, it’s a fact. But even if you don’t install those non open source codec (they ‘re still free because they’re all freely downloadable on the net from their providers), you’re still able to watch any movie available….. Mplayer is just the best mediaplayer ever.. opendivx, divx4, xvid, mpeg, flc, avi, quictime, real.. it just can play anything in anything …… I wonder how many of those cheap dvd player are based on the mplayer’s source or in the work of oss communauty (remember sigma design when they recognised they used all the xvid codec in their firmware for the xcard ?) 2004-04-28 3:07 am the first divx 3.11:) codec was a hack of a microsoft codec allowing the encoding of the sound track in mp3. Ok, it’s a fact. but it has nothing to do with mplayer… I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t his point, anyway. Mplayer allow the use of some old windows codec in order to be able to watch some movie. Ok, it’s a fact. But even if you don’t install those non open source codec (they ‘re still free because they’re all freely downloadable on the net from their providers), you’re still able to watch any movie available….. They’re free as in gratis, not as in libre (you should know the difference as I believe you’re French). To my knowledge, Real is prohibiting the use of its codec if you don’t install their application… I’m not sure for QuickTime but I think they do the same. The situation is a bit different with the WM formats as Microsoft licenced it to third parties. However, the WMP DLLs that you can get on the Internet for Mplayer/Xine are not necessarily legal: to what I’ve seen, you need a MS Windows licence to use them. Can they enforce this? I don’t know. However, this can be a potential legal minefield. 2004-04-28 8:38 am They’re free as in gratis, not as in libre (you should know the difference as I believe you’re French). To my knowledge, Real is prohibiting the use of its codec if you don’t install their application… I’m not sure for QuickTime but I think they do the same. The situation is a bit different with the WM formats as Microsoft licenced it to third parties. However, the WMP DLLs that you can get on the Internet for Mplayer/Xine are not necessarily legal: to what I’ve seen, you need a MS Windows licence to use them. Can they enforce this? I don’t know. However, this can be a potential legal minefield. This is probably why TurboLinux chose to license the CODECS, $75,000 is a small price to pay compared to the possibility of Microsoft bringing out the big guns and start using TurboLinux as an example of how “Linux doesn’t respect intellectual property”. Nothing would please Microsoft more than a Linux distribution company walking into a legal minefield and be caught out. It is up to the Linux distributors, like TurboLinux, to make sure that every line of code, every binary distributed with their distribution is 100% kosher and is compliant with all relevant licenses and laws. 2004-04-28 5:00 pm Linux distributions generally don’t include MPlayer. I’ve yet to see MPlayer + hacked DLL’s being part of a distribution. Here’s an open implementation of iTunes: http://craz.net/programs/itunes/ it is currently broken because of Apple’s new update but is expected to catch up soon. 2004-04-28 11:57 pm Is it just me, or is Linux becoming more and more like Windows all the time? All this stuff just detracts from your beloved ‘freedoms,’ yet you people go for ir anyway! Why not just buy a Windows license for crying out loud?!