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Windows Media Player 9



Til orientering om Windows Media Player...

<Disclaimer: Lang mail>

Jeg arbejder som nogen af jer måske ved, med streaming media til daglig, og deltager derfor på internationale mailinglister om dette emne. Jeg deltog igår i en særdeles interessant debat på en af disse mailinglister. Jeg har indsat de vigtigste indlæg herunder. Diskussionen opstod, fordi MS har "glemt" at fortælle, at udnyttelsen af deres nyeste streaming teknologi (WM9), kræver at alle i hele kæden, opgraderer til XP/W2K, dvs. både producerende,distribuerende og slutbrugeres operativsystemer. Med MS's nyeste licensbetingelser, betyder det, at hvis man begynder og udsende i dette format, så vil man bidrage aktivt til at låse ens slutbrugere fast til MS's styresystemer.

DR og TV2 vil i løbet af kort tid, begynde udelukkende at udsende via Windowsmedia på internettet... såfremt forpligtelserne i public service kontrakten skal opfyldes, mener jeg kulturministeren bør gribe ind nu, og forklare DR og TV2's ledelse, at dette er i strid med public service kontraktens krav.

Alternativet:

<mail 1>

At 06:12 PM 3/27/03, Steve Mack wrote:
At 12:00 AM 3/27/2003 -0600, you wrote:
"Greg" <sslug@sslug>, just forwarded to me the following LINK from Microsoft:

http://www.kbAlertz.com/redir.aspx?kbs=87478

After Checking out the above Link:
I find the following mind-boggling:
1) What took Microsoft 6 Months to figure out this simple problem?
2)Why did Microsoft release Encoder 9 OUT of Beta, while they KNEW this most basic flaw one of their PRIZED features of the new encoder?

I don't understand the anger. The new features of WM9S were NEVER touted as being backwards compatible. In fact, at the workshop I attended they went to painful lengths to state that the newer codec features, such as different resolutions for different bitrates, multiple audio codecs for different MBR files, etc., would require WM9S to play back, which of course also requires XP. Certain aspects would work, but "overall WM9S would be a much better experience with XP."

As I see it, you've just defined MS' latest hostage-marketing-technique... it's clear to me, that the primary goal for Microsoft with WM9, is not to bring better quality to streaming media, but to lock-in end-users, content-owners and distributers, to their operating system.

If they wanted to, they could make their player available for their older
OS's, but instead they forces people to upgrade. With their new licensing
policies, they signs up users for an everlasting subscription to their
operating system, and WM9 is the first free fix, that is meant to get
people hooked on their dope...

That's what makes me angry.

Otherwise it's a fine product, that I would like to use. But I don't want
to be a part of MS' marketing strategy for their operating systems, which
they forces me to be, if I start serving content for WM9 to my clients.

Get it ?

Regards,
Erik Lange

</mail1>

<mail2>
At 07:01 PM 3/27/03, Jason Bigue wrote:
The fact is, WM9 works just fine on Win2k.  You don't need to upgrade to
XP to take full advantage of it.

While it's an easy task to slag MS for not supporting Win9x or NT, there
are simply a number of features of WM9 that are not possible to
implement on the other Oses (which themselves reaching their end-of-life
dates).  You'll notice that there's a lack of other software
technologies that also don't work on these Oses- DirectX, for instance.

WM9 may not be an open standard like mpeg4 and does have constraints on
what software it will work with, but the fact is that it's a great
product and performs wonderfully.  I give MS credit for producing a
great product.  And hey, if you don't like it, you have alternatives :-)

You just don't get it...


I may as a content producer or distributor have other alternatives, but my end-users who has no reason to upgrade unless I start serving them WM9-content, won't have an alternative, if I serves them WM9-content!

It's very clever of MS, to distance themselves from the battlefield this way, where it is the content producers and distributors, that will do their dirty work...

Allow me an analogy: In the eastern block during the cold war, KGB had a saying for the peace-movement in the west, who supported the communist ideals. They where called "useful idiots".

If you just uses WM9 and doesn't take into consideration the political aspects of your choice, you are the useful idiot of our time!

But hey, be my guest... the good guys won in the end, anyway ;-)


Regards, Erik Lange

</mail 2>

<mail 3>
At 08:27 PM 3/27/03, Jason Bigue wrote:
> Is it your clients who can't live without the WM9-quality,
> or is it you who wants to serve it to them, and thereby
> places an (artificially created) need in their minds ?

Actually, we don't serve streams- we measure them.  So clients come to
us and ask us to monitor certain formats.  In the last few years we have
really seen the overall percentage of MS content increase relative to
Real.  And in the past 3 months we've seen the percentage of WM9 content
increase considerably.  Given this, the relative quality increases, and
the fact that the server's still in Beta we are expecting to see a major
increase in WM9 streams in the coming year.

Fair point of view.


<Sarcasm>
So, it's your clients (content owners) who are the useful fools ;-)

Don't you feel an obligation to enlighten the mislead ?
</sarcasm>

I try and remain vendor neutral where my clients are concerned.  I love
the fact that RealServer runs on FreeBSD- I use it like crazy in the
office.  And it's sitting next right next to a .NET server that's
streaming WM9 content for comparison testing.  So when clients ask what
I think about each format I can give them honest impressions of each
technology and allow them to make up their own minds.  I try and keep
politics out of it.

I can't see how you can seperate the political and economical impact of a technology-choice, from an objective comparison of formats.


<snip>

</mail 3>

<mail 4>

At 09:11 PM 3/27/03, Jason Bigue wrote:
> So, it's your clients (content owners) who are

> the useful fools ;-)

Lol :-)

:-)



Licensing terms aside, I have to root for any company that's really
pushing the bounds of streaming technology and pushing it to the public.

Me too!


But I don't see MS as a wellfare-organisation, and have no illusions regarding their motives ;-)

Staying afloat the streaming "industry" is tough.  Anything we can do to
make streaming audio and video more mainstream (like streaming higher
quality at lower bitrates to a wider audience) serves all of us!

I agree - but I just can't ignore their motives on a longer term... and then I have to consider the costs of their "humanitarian-initiatives" ;-)


Allthough MS is trying to market their sponsorships of 3rd-countries IT infrastrucre around the world, as they are only interested in the well being of humanity, I find it hard to belive - and if I was a stockholder in MS, and thought it was true, I would say they have misunderstood what running a bussiness is all about... so I _have_ to take that into account, considering what system to use - so have my clients, IMHO.

Don't get me wrong.. I must sound as a convinced anti-MS-activist - I'm not!

But we're in these years laying the ground for the future information society, and I believe we have an obligation to take all things into consideration, to achive the full potential of the future information society.

We have now lived with various video formats around the world for 50 years - I used to be in the television industry, and believe me, it's a pain in the ass, to recieve an NTSC-tape and getting it converted to PAL here - in must be the same in the states, just the other way around.


If we're talking about improving the possibilities for information exchange world wide, the least we own eachother, is to not repeat the mistakes of the past.


Allow me to qoute from my companys "About us"-text:

"We believe that future tools for New Media creation and delivery must be at least as universal in standards and use, as videotapes and videorecorders today. Both from a technicians practical point of view, we believe that New Media creation and distribution standards must be developed as versatile as possible and have chosen to share our experience and develop future tools as Open Source software, but we also believe that general technical knowledge for communication should be free for al humans to use - just as single musical tones and the note-system is free for any musicians to use and change.

Like a note-system to a musician is a defined logical standard for representing tones in a composition, we're defining a framework of individual components for New Media content creators and publishers. As a single note, that doesn't become a tune before it is combined with other notes in a new composition, our "notes" are logical representations of physical or virtual media devices and content, such as storage networks, recorders, editors and presentation displays, which in them self are as useless as a videotape without a VCR or a VCR without a monitor, but put together forms effective New Media tools."

Cheers,
Erik
http://www.mmmanager.org

</mail 4>

<mail 5>

At 12:04 AM 3/28/03, Eiren O'Keeffe wrote:
Wow. Talk about a thread gone wild.

I think there are some points that may have been missed (or I missed them in
the thread) however getting back to the technology arguments :)


Although Microsoft will understandably not deliver core technologies to other platforms, particularly as many others don't have the underlying facilities, you CAN license the technologies to deploy on other platforms such as Linux if you so desire and incorporate it into devices for playback.

I believe audio/visual communication over digital networks will be a common way to communicate in the future.


I don't believe in having to pay a license-fee for using my right to free speech, which will be the case, do we accept patented protocols as standards for basic human communication of the future.

Wheter they forces you to pay for their OS, or collects a license fee for using their technology on other platforms - same deal :-(

Would you have accepted British Telecom's demand for licensing fee for hyperlinking, which they claimed to hold a patent on ?

If you can't imagine to pay every time you use a hyperlink on one of your webpages, why do you accept to pay for expressing yourself in audiovisual comunication over the internet ?

At present you may not have much of a choice, if you want to have a decent quality of service for a broad audience, but just as Linux and OpenOffice.org has given you a choice regarding OS and office-packages, you will get a choice in the future - unless you allows yourself to be locked-in forever by some closed source software vendor, that beeing MS, Fraunhoff or somebody else.

Darwin is a step in the right direction, and lately Real has seen the light with Helix - now we just need video in ogg, then we have a complete production line. So it's quite natural that MS is in a hurry and uses every trick in the book (and some not in any book), to get people hooked on their drug, before it's to late and people wakes up and smells the coffe.

The number and variety of devices coming out that support WM9 has really
taken off and there are more daily (Creative Labs).  This sounds pretty
standard and if you're talking open, how open is open?

Read the definition at: http://www.opensource.org


"Shared source" is _not_ open.

You still pay for
MPEG-4 and other formats so I'm a bit sceptical of the whole argument on
that aspect.

Right - MPEG-4, MP3 are in that sense just as "bad" as WM9, the patent-owners just haven't started to collect the big bucks yet, so people haven't noticed... It's the typical drug-dealer tactic, of "first fix is free". When you're finally hooked, the dealer got you just where they wants you to be... fucked up and having no choice but to obey their demand.


Although there are some potential gotchas with the 9 platform we've been
running a 9 Series platform globally delivering to clients from NT to XP
Tablet PC's; atypical corporate environment.  What's quite amazing overall
is that we can still deliver from a Windows 2003 server to all of these
clients (including mobile devices) that span quite a range in age and
capability.  I think it's pretty cool that a virgin NT machine can still
work connecting to a 9 server today.

Can you also deliver to those that doesn't pay MS for their OS or licenses their technology at a price set by MS ?


Well, then it's wrong on a longer term... IMHO.

The MBR issue can be dealt with programmatically as well, so though it's a
headache the plumbing is there to resolve it if you're willing to cut some
code.

I'm willing to cut some code, but I'm not willing to help MS, or anybody else, to take away the humanity's right to free speech.


Software is mathematics - how anybody has been allowed to patent that 2 plus 2 equals 4, is a mystery to me... but that's actually what has happended...

Cheers,
Erik

</mail 5>


Hilsen, Erik -- Min Fritz-chip forstår mig ikke...

TCPA / Palladium FAQ:
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/rja14/tcpa-faq.html


Hilsen,
Erik
--
Min Fritz-chip forstår mig ikke...

TCPA / Palladium FAQ:
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/rja14/tcpa-faq.html



 
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