Fortune’s iTunes vs. Windows Media Player 10 comparison is confusing and misleading

“Don’t you hate it when a band covers your favorite song with a new version that’s inferior to the original? Microsoft’s new music service, MSN Music, which makes its debut in mid-October, is not nearly as bad as, say, William Shatner covering the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” but it’s no Apple iTunes Music Store either,” Peter Lewis writes for Fortune.

MacDailyNews Take: So far, so good. But, later in his article, Lewis gets downright perplexing and totally confusing.

Lewis writes, “Windows Media Player 10, in contrast, is Exhibit W of the Microsoft ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ school of software development. Windows Media Player 9 was so anemic that it was often referred to as WiMP 9, but version 10 is much more robust. Unlike Apple’s iTunes, WMP 10 is truly a media player, capable of displaying music videos, album art, film clips, and photos as well as managing song libraries and radio stations.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Weird, huh? We fired up iTunes just to make sure we weren’t hallucinating. Apple’s iTunes displayed music videos, album art, film clips, photos and allowed us to manage our song libraries and radio stations. Does Lewis know that Microsoft has already admitted that they tried hard to copy Apple’s iTunes? Does Lewis understand that the world’s first and most robust media platform, Apple’s QuickTime (the one Microsoft also copied for WMP), is the underlying technology that powers iTunes? We still cannot believe that the normally thorough Lewis wrote this and that Fortune is publishing it. Are you a flabbergasted as us? If, for some reason, Lewis meant to distinguish WMP as a “pure media player” unlike iTunes, he should have made it clear that every single one of his list of WMP features are also included in iTunes and that Apple did it first, as usual. Perhaps an editor mangled the sentence structure, so that its meaning is not what Lewis originally intended? We’re very confused. Fortune’s readers will be, too – most without knowing what’s wrong with this article. In the hope that this can be fixed or explained: Lewis’ email at Fortune is


  1. How do you play movies in iTunes? Not the online trailers, I’m talking about movies or clips on your hard drive. And how do you view photos in iTunes? I don’t think you can, which is good, I like having separate applications, but I’m not sure what MDN is referring to.

  2. Nobody researches jack squat anymore, they just push whatever agenda they have. Then when it blows up in their face they think they can just say “I’m Sorry” and it’ll all go away. Compared to RAthER this is nothing, but people seriously need to be held accountable for the “news” they report.

  3. iTMS is not a media player. We have separate apps for different media. So while iTMS uses quicktime, and can play videos on the store, you can’t store video in your library and get it to play that. iTunes is not about media, it is about music.

    We have Quicktime player for watching clips and DVD player for watching DVDs. We have iPhoto for looking at photos.

    So OS-X is BEHIND WMP in that it’s up to the user to organise his video files. It’s not a big problem, but perhaps something Apple can address. It’s not something that really needs to be addressed in a hurry though, because people have tens of video files versus thousands of songs and photos. I have my video nicely organised in the Movies folder.

    So it’s behind in an area that simply doesn’t matter (yet).

    It’s likely IMO that XP sucks at proper multi-tasking, so to have four open apps for us is no problem, but on XP, it’s better to have one app to do many things, becasue it cuts down on thrashing the system.

  4. Yes WMP is the jack of all trades, master of none..

    Cool name , though..

    Seriously, what has this guy said other than.. WMP plays movie files, views pictures and plays music?

    And why on earth is that a good thing.. Convergence sucks.. WMP is perfect example of Microsoft’s idea of innovation:


  5. “So OS-X is BEHIND WMP in that it’s up to the user to organise his video files. It’s not a big problem, but perhaps something Apple can address.”

    THank god apple doesn’t listen to you!

    You should use a Mac sometime.. having separate Apps rocks.. you can update them separately and the UI is not compromised (If you think WMP UI is fine.. then you will go into convulsions when you see iTunes, or iPhoto)

  6. JB:

    Seems that a significant number of reporters and analysts went the the “Dan Rather School of Journalism” after failing out of the “Norman Bates School of Motel Management”.

  7. mike – didn’t you read what I’d written ?

    Is there anything that’s actually untrue in what I’ve said ?

    As for using a mac sometime, I use one every day. I have a G5 2x2Ghz that I ordered on the day they were announced. I hac an iPod that I bought on they day they were released. I have a cinema display. I use a one button mouse. I have Final Cut Pro.

    I told someone today that the Star Wars DVD they’d ordered were remastered on a cluster of 600 macs.

    You don’t have/know that without being a bit overboard on Apple.

    IF you read carefully, I’m having a dig a windows. One of the few places they have an edge is organising a few video files. Imagine how stupid someone would be for not switching while citing the reason as being “OS-X Sux. I can’t organise my 37 video files in iTunes.”


  8. just one word describes that crappy “media” thingy Billy Gates makes…

    and that word is “Rebuffering”…..

    while I dont really care what its doing every time i see that annoying word…. I do know that when I use QuickTime for streaming….

    I never see “rebuffering”….

  9. great point about compromising the UI like WMP does.

    with iPhoto, iTunes, Quicktime, etc you can have very robust applications. if they stuck all that in iTunes, you would greatly compromist the UI, and in a digital media world, who wants that?

    A: Windoze users.

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