Media Player from Microsoft tries to mimic Apple iTunes but works only with Windows XP and not with

“Microsoft has released its latest weapon in the online music wars, a preview of its new Windows Media Player,” The Mercury News reports. “Not surprising, the beta, or test, version of the forthcoming Windows Media Player 10 mimics many of features found in Apple’s popular iTunes software.”

“Like iTunes, Microsoft’s new media player will allow music lovers to connect directly to online music stores. Purchased songs will download directly to the player. Plug a MP3 player into your computer and the Windows Music Player will automatically update your music library,” The Mercury News reports. “The new Windows Media Player goes one step further than iTunes by letting you seamlessly synchronize video and photo files as well as music. But the player only works on the Windows XP operating system. Windows Media Player 10 is compatible with more than 60 portable players. But not, of course, with the iPod.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft copying Apple? So, what else is new? iTunes works on both Windows (more versions of Windows than even Microsoft’s beta Media Player) and the Mac platforms, plus iTunes works with the market-dominating iPod and iPod mini. Microsoft idea of offering choice seems to mean “as long as the choices spring from Microsoft.”

36 Comments

  1. What a bunch of visionless hacks. A complete rip-off of Apple, again. But oh boy . . . it goes a “step further” by becoming a sprawling do-everything mess with no focus, too many choices, and in typical Microsoft style, a complete lack of elegance.

    They’re nothing more than a bunch of ruthlessly aggressive marketing thugs. Their day will come.

  2. visionless maybe, but it works with 60 players. Whilst they all blow now it will not be like that forever. I love my iPod but you have to imagine that someone at some point will make something at least competitive. As things stand I think that the decline of market share to Mac Levels is on the horizon … The whole game is about COMPLEMENTS … and iTunes only has 2…. soon people will want more. Apple has to wake up soon … I hope they do.

  3. excuse me syncs video files..

    if you think these fat media player things are gonna take off and you’ll all of a sudden feel compelled to sit like a bump on a log and watch seinfeld episodes on a gameboy sized screen, think again…

    as usual.. msft with the boring names and the jack of all trades approach to software… what a mess

  4. Java:I love my iPod but you have to imagine that someone at some point will make something at least competitive.

    An infinite number of monkeys placed in front of an infinite number of typewriters will eventually be able to pound out the works of Shakespear too. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet on either count. It may happen some day, but so many music players have come and gone that had comparable features but none of the style and feel that has made the iPod so successful, and that, my friend, is where all others have and will fail. If they ever get that part right, then I think there may be some competition for the iPod. But as we’ve seen, price isn’t enough to topple the mighty iPod. Discerning music lovers will not be disuaded by a cheap price on a poorly designed player. And simplicity is key as well. Like OS X, the iPod interface does not get in the way of the music, it is full of features but it allows you to select what you want and just get on with whatever you’re doing.

    Simple.

  5. If Apple implements video out for the ipod so you can save movies on it and watch them on your TV, the number videos in you ipod is gonna be so limited that I am sure syncing by hand would not be too much of a chore. That said, I don’t think it would take that much for Apple to implement auto syncing if they do add this feature. Knowing Apples penchant for the elegant I am confident they would have this auto syncing from the start. The same goes for photo files if they add a color screen to look at photos on.

    I agree that I doubt if people would watch video on a teeny screen tho.

  6. Apple Europe will present a special music-focused event in London on June 15.

    The company describes the event thus: “The biggest story in music is about to get even bigger,” and is inviting selected members of the press to the event in London. The show starts at 11am.

    Fun!

  7. Someone forgot about Apple’s Pixlet technology. Makes sense to implement this into a video iPod if such an animal exists.

    On top of that, we don’t know if Apple has created another codec to handle this task.

  8. java,

    While the history of Macintosh marketshare up until this point has not been a happy one, I’m not so sure it is such a certainty that someone will create something truly competitive with iPod. You have to realize that iPod and iPod Mini are not just these first-to-market, elegant machines that play digital music files, but they are also part of the whole iPod experience, which includes seamless integration with iTunes software, the ever-growing and soon-to-be internationalized ITMS, and most importantly of all, the iPod image. The “war” is a long way from being over, but if the majority of consumers continue to view iPod as the only worthwhile – the “real” – choice for digital music, then they really could continue to dominate without the need to complement their offerings with those 60+ other ones (the majority of which are complete junk, and on death’s door anyways).

    Of course, the really nice thing is that unlike Macintosh, they could with a simple firmware update choose to support WMA or any other format and change the rules of the game completely. I really do think (well, hope…) that this time around they are watching the ball much more closely than most people realize.

  9. “The new Windows Media Player goes one step further than iTunes by letting you seamlessly synchronize video and photo files as well as music.

    *COUGH* iMovie, iPhoto via iTunes *END COUGH*

  10. I think with 4 gen iPods everyone will be able to pick their colors and this will lead to even bigger sales. If I could get my 4gen iPod in a nice metalic blue men I would luv it. If apple does this sales will go through the roof!! I mean everyone loves the white but the ability to choose different colors, iPods will sell @ the same rate as the mini.

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