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Microsoft ends development of Windows Media Player for Mac

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 
Following a stream of unconfirmed reports on the Internet, Microsoft on Thursday said it has officially halted development of its Windows Media Player for the Mac and plans no future Mac versions of the audio and video playback software.

"We have no plans to provide future updates or product support for Windows Media Player for Mac," Adam Anderson, Microsoft public relations manager, told CNet News.com.

Anderson told the publication the decision to halt work on Windows Media Player for the Mac was a matter of prioritizing for Microsoft's Windows Media Unit.

"It's basically a business decision for Microsoft," he said. "Like any other company, we have business priorities. Our focus really is in delivering the best experience to Windows customers."

Microsoft will continue to offer for download the current Mac OS X version, Windows Media Player 9, which was last updated in November 2003, as well as an even older version for Mac OS 9.

In place of a new version, the software-maker is offering for free a Flip4Mac plug-in that will allow Mac OS X users to play Windows Media files (.wma and .wmv) from within Apple's QuickTime Player software.

The move comes just as Microsoft renewed its commitment to the Mac, agreeing to deliver new versions of Office for Mac for the next five years.

Last month Microsoft also announced that it had officially canned development of a new version of Internet Explorer for the Mac. There's no word on the company's plans for its other core Mac product, Virtual PC.
post #2 of 82
There isn't any problem for us users when WM is being played inside QT player, is there?
post #3 of 82
This kinda make sense to me really, it's actually a nice move from Microsoft.

I mean if they offer a plugin to play .wma and .wmv files in Quicktime, that means one less app to install and to run, and I'm pretty sure most Mac users only installed WMP to be able to play wma and wmv files anyway.
post #4 of 82
Good riddance. Windows Media Player is the worst piece of shit-ware I have ever had the displeasure of stumbling across. Hell, it's worse than Real One player. And that's saying something.
post #5 of 82
I totally understand MS's move. They need programmers to "finish" Vista...
post #6 of 82
I bought Flip4Mac a while ago, and it really works great. There were only ever a few files I ran into that didn't work so well. Everything else, it played as well as if not better than WMP. PLus, you could actually control them. I never was able to use the forward/reverse buttons in media player or jump ahead with the timeline thing.

Flip4mac is great.
post #7 of 82
Still though...when the mother company kills the baby, it's time to start telling other companies that use WMP as their preferred media to think again if they want a cross-platform solution.

MS has now officially dropped WMP support (even though it has given the Flip4Mac developers the green light on 'official' support) saying they'd rather focus on Windows.

To me this sounds like MS doesn't care at all about Mac users and wouldn't think twice about dropping *any* of their products if an equal or better solution were to come from a 3rd party developer.

And because this is their mentality, I encourage everyone to start (politely) asking sites that still use WMP to think of a more cross-platform solution such as H.264.
post #8 of 82
It really is a piece of sh*t. Have you ever tried scrubbing through a video and waited 5 seconds for it to catch up?
post #9 of 82
Well I do not think it really a loss for Mac people, the only reason I used it was to play those .wma and .wmv files that site who have not figured out how to user a better solution like mpeg or one of the other cross platform solution.

The thing that always bugged me about WMP was the fact you could not see the video when scrolling the video slider. When you do it the video freezes or goes black until you let go of the slider and the video startes again. Not sure if it works on a PC that way but compair to quicktime it suck when you trying to search a video selection to find what you are looking for. Image your VCR or DVD player froze or blacked out the video when you did or forward or backward search and you had to guess when to stop.

The other thing I never understood is that form time to time I would get .wmv files that WMP would say that it does not recongnize the file format. Verse on quicktime I never had .mov or .mpg that would never place. Grant it I always run into .avi files that do not always work correctly in quicktime but again those we made on PC.

I tell you the PC world can not seem to make up its mind what compression standard or codecs to use. And they wonder why PC people are frustrated.
post #10 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by Maestro64
I tell you the PC world can not seem to make up its mind what compression standard or codecs to use. And they wonder why PC people are frustrated.

Its not even that, in regards to cross-platform-friendly videos it comes down to what codecs NOT to use. Adding MPlayer and/or VLC to a Mac (and old WMP) and there was only a handful of codecs we couldn't play. But those handful tended to be popular.
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post #11 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by xlsupreme
I bought Flip4Mac a while ago, and it really works great. There were only ever a few files I ran into that didn't work so well. Everything else, it played as well as if not better than WMP. PLus, you could actually control them. I never was able to use the forward/reverse buttons in media player or jump ahead with the timeline thing.

Flip4mac is great.

Being able to control the video was the main reason why I went looking for a file converter and found Flip4Mac. I paid for the 'Pro' version so I could convert the files to a QuickTime format.
post #12 of 82
I wonder what this means for Microsoft's DRM scheme though?

WMP on the Mac never supported their 'Plays for Sure' DRM and wouldn't play some of the WMP10 formats. Flip4Mac has the same problem there.

Without it, it means online DRMd music and video stores won't be able to offer cross platform DRMd goods. Now would be the time for Apple to open things up a bit with FairPlay as they've the only cross platform DRM.
post #13 of 82
I"m happy with the plug-in thingie, but more concerned about the IE matter. There are still far too many websites that will ONLY accept IE and not Safari. But I suppose that as long as we still have an older creaky version that will do?
post #14 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by spylaw4
I"m happy with the plug-in thingie, but more concerned about the IE matter. There are still far too many websites that will ONLY accept IE and not Safari. But I suppose that as long as we still have an older creaky version that will do?

I've not come across an IE only site in quite some time and when I did, most of them could be forced to load with Safari by changing the User Agent from the Safari Debug menu.
post #15 of 82
Great; next up is to axe Messenger and just bring support into iChat (giving us both MSN & Yahoo due to their merger).
post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by spylaw4
I"m happy with the plug-in thingie, but more concerned about the IE matter. There are still far too many websites that will ONLY accept IE and not Safari. But I suppose that as long as we still have an older creaky version that will do?

IE for mac is grossly outdated! It's the worst browser ever made. IE for PC is the same way. Speaking as a web developer, IE is horrible. You have to have special exceptions in your markup for IE browsers because Microsoft doesn't want to do things the way everybody else does them. And they think because IE has 80% of the market they can! THEY ARE EVIL!!

I've never run across a site that required me to use IE, but that's just me.

Also, the link to the Flip4Mac plugin is broken.
post #17 of 82
The link in the article to Flip4Mac is broken, but with a little clever editing you can figure it out. That said, if you just go to www.flip4mac.com you can get the latest 2.0.1 version instead of the 2.0 version on Microsoft's site
post #18 of 82
Looks like most of the freewares from Microsoft for Mac are ended, only ones left is Office and Messenger.

Don't know if Microsoft will stop messenger and encourage ppl to use Adiumx or any other sorta alternatives. Or messenger will become paid (integrated into office) app?
post #19 of 82
It's nice to see Microsoft ceeding defeat in multimedia format and DRM to Apple in this arena. Another nail in WMP and AV1's coffin.
post #20 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by Booga
It's nice to see Microsoft ceeding defeat in multimedia format and DRM to Apple in this arena. Another nail in WMP and AV1's coffin.

Do you mean AVI's?

I think compared to mpeg-4 AVI seems to be better. I prefer h.264 over AVI of course, but I think AVI still has some life in it.
post #21 of 82
the only problem i have with this is when i want to play windows media files.


it was a good alternative when i couldn't use quicktime.



the only other choice is fucking realplayer.


christ sakes.


we do need microsofts support here
post #22 of 82
when was the last time anyone here used Real Player?

I have it installed "just in case" but I can't even remember the last time it launched.. if ever.

WiMP for Mac has always sucked BIG TIME.. good riddance.

I guess the only other app is that Remote Desktop app they have.. uhm.. that still exists right?

I'm REALLY looking forward to next Office update with Spotlight support. Entourage search has ALWAYS been very very painfully ... retarded.. just like it's Windows counterpart. At least there Google Desktop can search through Outlook emails.

Anyway, they should take their luke-warm multi protocol approach to Messenger and go all the way and use Adium as a base and then add their bells and whistles like Video and Audio chat support. MS:Mac support on the Adium project would be AMAZING!
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post #23 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by Elixir
the only problem i have with this is when i want to play windows media files.

Do keep up!

http://www.flip4mac.com/wmv.htm
post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by ZO

I'm REALLY looking forward to next Office update with Spotlight support. Entourage search has ALWAYS been very very painfully ... retarded.. just like it's Windows counterpart. At least there Google Desktop can search through Outlook emails.

Ok, how many people here use Entourage?

I prefer Mail, Address Book, and iCal.
post #25 of 82
This Flip4Mac solution is good and bad.

Good becasue Flip4Mac is great software. WMP was crap, and I'd rather use Quicktime.

Bad because this takes MS off the hook on making its media DRM cross platform. There are a lot of sites who use WM and many who use WM DRM.

Flip4Mac also doesn't seem to play all WM 10 codecs and soon we will have WM 11.
post #26 of 82
It doesn't seem to support streaming audio - which is the only reason I ever use WMP. There are online radio stations that for some reason only stream via WMA-streaming.

The Flip4Mac plugin-in admits it cannot play them when you try to load them.
post #27 of 82
I've used MS email apps on Mac since the beginning when Outlook Express came out for Mac...

I always look at every new Mail release to see if its time to switch to a 'free' email app, nicely integrated with the OS, etc.. but Entourage still beats Mail for a LOT of things (advanced options especially, message handling, etc).

Anyway.. I'm not likely to change any time soon.. Entourage is a really great productivity application that is very well integrated with the rest of MS Office for Mac and I use all those apps on an almost daily basis. The Project Center is great for work too..

If you're not in a business environment, maybe Mail is enough for you, but MS Office, sadly enough (although I DO like it) is the de-facto standard in the business world.. and thankfully MS have done a superb job with it for Mac
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post #28 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
This Flip4Mac solution is good and bad.

Good becasue Flip4Mac is great software. WMP was crap, and I'd rather use Quicktime.

Bad because this takes MS off the hook on making its media DRM cross platform. There are a lot of sites who use WM and many who use WM DRM.

Flip4Mac also doesn't seem to play all WM 10 codecs and soon we will have WM 11.

WM10 is still WMV9 codec.

In Windows its just the player which has been upgraded to #10...
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post #29 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by ZO

If you're not in a business environment, maybe Mail is enough for you, but MS Office, sadly enough (although I DO like it) is the de-facto standard in the business world.. and thankfully MS have done a superb job with it for Mac

Yah, I understand some people needing more advanced functionality.

The only microsoft product I use is Office. And I think it's better than Window's Office. Go figure. Someone told me that Window's Powerpoint doesn't support the presentation view that Powerpoint for mac has. Is that true? I use keynote, so it doesn't matter to me. But it seems odd that powerpoint for mac would have more features than powerpoint for Windows.
post #30 of 82
there are commonly heard reports of the Windows Office dweebs often going to the MS Mac group to, uhm, "share ideas"... and some have been re-directed to the Windows group.

You can tell

Office 2003 for Windoze is actually half decent!

There could be compatibility issues with older versions of Office (like Office '97 or maybe even 2000). So far all docs I made on Mac open fine in Office 2003 at work
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post #31 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by DeaPeaJay
Ok, how many people here use Entourage?

I prefer Mail, Address Book, and iCal.

I [sort of] have to use Entourage 2004 at work. I haven't figured out how to use Mail with Exchange since my firm upgraded its Exchange server. At any rate, my situation gives me a front row seat to Entourage in all of its suckiness. If Microsoft were honest, it would chuck Entourage and replace it with a MacOS X port of Outlook. If.
post #32 of 82
Two other players worth checking out, that play a certain number of WMV files are VLC and MPlayer OS X.
post #33 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by hanxu
Looks like most of the freewares from Microsoft for Mac are ended, only ones left is Office and Messenger.

Don't know if Microsoft will stop messenger and encourage ppl to use Adiumx or any other sorta alternatives. Or messenger will become paid (integrated into office) app?

Well, that Microsoft woman on stage (the one who looked incredibly uncomfortable speaking in public) said some messanger update or something was coming in March. I gotta admit, I wasn't really paying attention
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post #34 of 82
This is bad news indeed. Sky does not work using Flip4mac yuou have to use Windows Media plugin.

I don't care if Betamax is better than VHS... The fact is that more and more web sites are using .wmv and clearly MS are getting agressive with Apple, this means they must be worrid about what Apple is going to achive. Apple will have to develop a quicktime plugin that works for all wmv codecs.
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post #35 of 82
Quote:
This is bad news indeed. Sky does not work using Flip4mac yuou have to use Windows Media plugin.

Have you let the developers of Flip4Mac know? ( There is a support forum for this )

Quote:
I don't care if Betamax is better than VHS... The fact is that more and more web sites are using .wmv and clearly MS are getting agressive with Apple, this means they must be worrid about what Apple is going to achive. Apple will have to develop a quicktime plugin that works for all wmv codecs.

This is so true. Like it or not String Windows Media is on so many sites, whether we like it or not. We just have to live with the beast until the sites are given a viable option for change - remember things they have to take into account: availability of player installed standard (or almost standard) and ease of use of getting the server software running and streaming.
post #36 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by ajmas
Like it or not String Windows Media is on so many sites

Maybe I'm in the minority here by somehow missing sites that use it. Got any "popular" examples that do?
post #37 of 82
FWIW, the new Flip4Mac WMV version 2.0.1 *does* support at least some live streams.

The nice thing about MS ceding the market to Flip4Mac is that now we have an "officially endorsed" player that has developers that actually take bug reports and attempt to address them.

Honestly, I feel that Microsoft endorsing Flip4Mac and licensing the player for free release is actually the best service they've provided to the segment of the Mac market that needs to use Windows Media.

No longer must Mac users depend on a group that admits its primary responsibility/goal is to make sure that Windows Media works well on the Windows OS. Instead, we have a Mac software developer that takes some responsibility for fixing bugs and resolving issues.

Now, if MS would give Flip4Mac a license to use Windows Media DRM, that would solve the last big remaining problem with the format on the Mac.

Also, FWIW, I do encourage anyone who finds a site that doesn't work to post on Flip4Mac's forums about it, giving full details, and then they can attempt to support it. The only thing they can't do, and hopefully this is temporary, is support sites like MTV Overdrive that use WM DRM.

Popular sites that use Windows Media:
  • MTV Overdrive
  • VH1 V-Spot
  • Comedy Central
  • CNN
  • TBN networks (TBN, JC-TV, The Church Channel, Smile Of A Child)
  • MSNBC
  • Yahoo! Music / LAUNCH
  • Movielink
  • Vongo (Starz!)
post #38 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by bdkennedy1
It really is a piece of sh*t. Have you ever tried scrubbing through a video and waited 5 seconds for it to catch up?

5 seconds??? You must have a quad processor G5...
post #39 of 82
Quote:
WM10 is still WMV9 codec.

Ok, I read somewhere that they had new codecs for 10.

So the biggest issue then is WM DRM.
post #40 of 82
Quote:
Originally posted by Flounder
Well, that Microsoft woman on stage (the one who looked incredibly uncomfortable speaking in public) said some messanger update or something was coming in March. I gotta admit, I wasn't really paying attention

She should've worn her white suit.
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