Feeds

MS sabotages MP3 quality under Win-XP

How else to push WM audio?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

Being an OS monopolist has its privileges, and making the competition look bad on your ubiquitous desktop has to be one of the sweetest. So it comes as no surprise that the Redmond Beast has apparently decided to equip Windows XP with second-rate MP3 software, thereby limiting the recording and playback quality of MP3 files which compete with its Windows Media Audio.

According to a superb story in today's Wall Street Journal, MS "plans to severely limit the quality of music that can be recorded as an MP3 file using software built into the next version of its [PC] operating system, Windows XP. But music recorded in the Redmond software company's own format, called Windows Media Audio, will sound clearer and require far less storage space on a computer."

Microsoft's cover story for this diabolical bit of market extortion is that it merely wishes to protect copyright holders by pushing an audio format with superior digital rights management capability, and spare itself the onerous burden of a $2.50 license fee for a deluxe, high-fidelity version of MP3 recording software.

But Journal clearly isn't buying that line. "The industry doesn't want [MP3] pushed, and Microsoft and RealNetworks don't want it pushed. The consumer is going to eat what he's given," the paper quotes former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chief technologist David Farber as saying.

The new restrictions in Win-XP won't prevent other apps from recording MP3 music with high fidelity, the Journal says, but notes that beta testers have reported heaps of bugs among MP3 recording applications run on XP.

The problem there might be the usual early difficulty with new drivers, but then again, there are obvious motives not to rush to resolve it.

"Microsoft says that while other software vendors' products may not be 'optimized' to run with Windows XP, those products should run acceptably with the operating system," the article concludes with a nice hint of skepticism. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.