Windows iTMS: Use Windows Media?

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Will the Windows iTMS stick with AAC, or will it use Windows Media?



On the one hand, it may be easier to implement Windows Media because it's already there on the PC. I'm not even sure if it would be possible to implement Apple's DRM on the PC, but I don't know for sure about that.



On the other hand, I'd hate to see Apple give Windows Media, a Quicktime competitor, any extra backing. In addition, they'd have to have multiple versions of each song: Windows Media and AAC.



Also, the iPod would presumably have to get Windows Media compatibility.



I hope they can avoid Windows Media. I think one of the ways Apple could push the iPod and AAC is to make the Windows iTMS Windows Media-free. Then if PC people wanted to uses iTMS, the only player that would work would be the iPod. And already, the iPod has the largest market share (or one of the largest) among music players, so people would be drawn to iTMS over some of the other services that don't work with the iPod.



I think Apple is in a situation where they could actually have the dominant market share in two spheres - Music Stores and Music Players. So I hope they go for it and wave buh-bye to Windows Media.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    I would highly doubt it. Most Windows folks use mp3 anyway (at least the ones I know). A lot of people who jump on this will be iPod owners too...so they'll want either mp3 or AAC.
  • Reply 2 of 37
    pensievepensieve Posts: 661member
    It better not be. Apple has a different vision of fair use than other companies, particularly MS. They need to make their product stand out both on ease of use and respecting the user.



    As much as Apple is a company with an eye towards making a profit, I have to think that they like us and want to make our lives better. This is NOT something I could say for other companies. I hope this philosophy is translated into WiTMS.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Using WMA would be an admission of MPEG-4's inability to populate the market. Using WMA would mean you'd have to buy two copies of a song just to play it on Windows and iTunes while keeping the same fidelity or filesize. Using WMA would lower the sound quality. Using WMA would tie Apple's hands to a proprietary format it doesn't even control. Need I go on?
  • Reply 4 of 37
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    A macrumors page 2 article says that iTunes 5 will have WMA support. It doesn't say iTMS songs will be WMA format, however.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    iTunes 3 and 4 have icons for WMA files, so support has been in the works for a while...



  • Reply 6 of 37
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Eugene

    Using WMA would be an admission of MPEG-4's inability to populate the market. Using WMA would mean you'd have to buy two copies of a song just to play it on Windows and iTunes while keeping the same fidelity or filesize. Using WMA would lower the sound quality. Using WMA would tie Apple's hands to a proprietary format it doesn't even control. Need I go on?



    I hope you're right, and it certainly makes sense, but

    1. I still wonder if Apple would be able to implement their Fairplay DRM on a Windows system, and

    2. I know I've seen other references to Windows iTMS using WMA, maybe in a magazine article or something. But I suppose they could just be wrong or misinterpreting iTunes support for WMA with iTMS songs being in WMA format.



    I'd guess that the new iTunes will be able to play WMA, but that the iTMS will still only have AAC. Then when the Windows iPod dumps MusicMatch for Windows iTunes, Windows iPod users will be able to sync their WMA files to their iPods and play them.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    So I guess we'll have to start taking bets on how long it will be until AAC protection scheme is cracked.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    wmfwmf Posts: 1,164member
    Apple should have little trouble implementing their DRM on Windows; it's not integrated with the OS. It'll still be weak, but they don't care.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    yeah, it will be AAC, Apple would kkcrazy to choose another phormate
  • Reply 10 of 37
    willoughbywilloughby Posts: 1,457member
    If Apple uses WMA as the format for the Windows iTMS than I'll eat my keyboard one key at a time. There is NO WAY that will happen.



    Apple will want to lock the user into using iTunes so there's no reason to use anything other than AAC.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Willoughby

    If Apple uses WMA as the format for the Windows iTMS than I'll eat my keyboard one key at a time. There is NO WAY that will happen.





    heh, you can have my old one that I spilled Milk on, damn apple warranty.... well, you can find it in a garbage can at the Tyson's Apple Store...
  • Reply 12 of 37
    I can see them adding WMA playback in iTunes, but limit ripping to wav, mp3, aac.



    And the Music Store surely will be aac.



    Wouldnt it be good to include WMA playback so that Windows users will have one less headache in migrating to iTunes?
  • Reply 13 of 37
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    As far as I know, all of the music in the iTMS has been encoded in AAC from the start. You wouldn't want an on-the-fly format conversion from AAC to WMA... that would degrade sound quality. Apple wouldn't want to go back and re-encode mountains of music that weren't originally encoded in WMA.



    Besides the fact that I think Apple wants to use Windows iTunes and Windows iTMS to further champion the AAC format, unless Apple has all of their music already saved in AIFF (or another lossless format), I can't see iTunes music being sold in any format other than AAC.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    What I find potentially interesting...



    iTMS uses WebKit in Mac OS X. Will the Windows iTMS be driven by KHTML? If yes, how much effort would it take to repackage it around a full-fledged web browser interface?



    Hmm...
  • Reply 15 of 37
    bartobarto Posts: 2,246member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Eugene

    iTMS uses WebKit in Mac OS X.



    I assumed it did too. Apparently, it uses its own engine.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    baumanbauman Posts: 1,248member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Barto

    I assumed it did too. Apparently, it uses its own engine.



    Yeah, from what I hear is that it's all XML.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Eugene

    What I find potentially interesting...



    iTMS uses WebKit in Mac OS X.




    No, it's a WebObjects application and it's communicating with the servers using custom XML.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    willoughbywilloughby Posts: 1,457member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JLL

    No, it's a WebObjects application and it's communicating with the servers using custom XML.



    What do you mean by "WebObjects applicaton"? You can't write a desktop application using WebObjects, can you? I think the iTMS webpages are generated using webobjects (like php or asp) but iTunes itself is a regular desktop application written in ????? (objective c?)
  • Reply 19 of 37
    Answering the last three (edit: four) comments:



    The iTMS server is running a WebObjects program.



    It sends/recieves data to/from iTunes as XML.



    WebKit can handle XML.



    Considering the browser-based UI for the store (back/forwards buttons etc.) I would be highly disappointed if iTunes didn't at least share some code with WebKit.



    After all the whole point of Sherlock and Watson was to put a superior Cocoa interface on to services available as XML/HTML, so if they were going to write something from scratch anyway, they would/should have done it in cocoa.
  • Reply 20 of 37
    Mac Rumors has a report that the new iTunes 5.0 will be compatible with WMA. It also suggests that the iTMS site will be redesigned and useable by both Mac and Windows users. No separate sites. This, of course, would make sense as Apple always aims for ease of use. We'll know next Thursday.
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