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. Bill Gates faces an enormous dilemma every day, to market products that are just as good as Apple�s without being soundly chastised for copying what Apple has developed.

    The problem is, however, Apple�s products reflect �convergence� of design, functionality, and elegance. So Gates is left to build his Frankenstein monsters as piece meal projects or as bastards of invention and we can see the final results: vaporware (Longhorn), insecure ware (IE and XP), and irrelevant ware (Portable Media Center).

  2. “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.”

    Apple has thusfar not acknowledged the market (ahem.. Acquisition) for movies. iMovie is great for creating movies… but Apple’s “who wants to watch a movie on an eMac” policy means there is no Movie Management software.

    While the iPod has flourished on the backbone of filesharing for music, the movie market isn’t the same…As for buying movies online in some cruddy format like AVI … and needing a place to organize all that stuff.. erm.. not quite mainstream yet.

    You’d like a Quicktime drawer to organize your stolen movies huh… Well at least there’s a Movies section in every single Finder window in Panther. That might be a nice place for the average frustrated Win/Switcher to start putting his/her movies…

    Create a movie in iMovie and it will end up there. Zany.

  3. Well, the biggest issue Apple has to adress when it comes to watching movies, is built in full screen playback. People don’t watch their movies in small windows. And paying $30 just to be able to watch it full screen?!?! At this area, WMP is superior. (And of course I know that there are free alternatives, among them my favourite VLC, but this SHOULD be free in QuickTime!)

  4. Apple is not “behind” WMP, they just have a different approach.

    Microsoft developed WMP as a do it all program.

    Apple have the iLife suite of Applications that work seamlessly together – end of story.

    This is a bit of a beat up storywise. I wish MacDaily News didn’t view every report concerning Macs as a thinly veiled attack on the platform.

    Regarding the inclusion of the email addresses of article writers for readers to contact, I feel MDN should discontinue this practise. It paints Mac users in a very poor light.

  5. Mike – You just don’t seem to be able to understand what I’m saying

    We seem to be talking at cross purposes.

    I do believe that we’re actually in agreement, but you seem to be so angry about something that you’ve failed to understand the first post (OK, I wasn’t quite as clear as I could have been), but then you’ve failed to understand the explanation too.

    I’ll try one last time.

    WMP can organise movie clips.

    No bundled OS-X app does this.

    The obvious assumption is that OS-X is deficient. WMP is somehow better.


    You said : “Apple has thusfar not acknowledged the market (ahem.. Acquisition) for movies. iMovie is great for creating movies… but Apple’s “who wants to watch a movie on an eMac” policy means there is no Movie Management software.”

    I said: “So it’s behind in an area that simply doesn’t matter (yet).”

    (so we agree)


    “there’s a Movies section in every single Finder window in Panther”

    I said: ” 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 we agree).

    As for stolen movies, I have precisely none. I do have 79 video clips nicely organised in my movies folder though and easy to access in subfolders with column view.

  6. ” I do have 79 video clips nicely organised in my movies folder though and easy to access in subfolders with column view.”

    And you either stole them from filesharing or created them yourself..

    If you stole them, then the Finder is perfect.. if you created them, they’re in the Finder already..

    You want integration into one of the iLife apps. iMovie perhaps? Why… you have the finder.. you’re not making playlists with the movies, you just play one at a time, per sitting…

    You want integration with Quicktime, like a drawer, like in Preview? Why? so you can scroll through 79 screenshots to find your file.

    Until you can find the problem, don’t expect it to be solved anytime soon… MS integrates Windows Explorer clumsily into WMP… I don’t see that as particularly clever.

    Let me know when you decide what the actual problem is with the Open Movie… item in the Quicktime menu that you want WMP-like redundant navigation.

  7. Hey Mike go easy on Hywel. He was making some good points as were you and the differences are pretty minor.

    For the sake of argument (not!) one could envisage it being useful (e.g. to families, academics, advertising folks) to organise ones video files, and while the Finder/Quicktime player combo is the low end way to do it one can’t easily access meta data like one can on music in iTunes e.g. subject name, description, video parameters, etc.

    It would not have to be a very complex application, in the same sense that much of iTunes is a database application with Quicktime technology underpinnings. There may be a small niche at present, and the future Finder in future OS X releases may have better meta data capabilities that it may not be necessary. It probably could be built via scripting language and even available in Dashboard. The main work would be done by Quicktime.

    I think the heat generated by this discussion is unnecessary (except to warm our respective cockles!) and the main comparison is really between the Windows Media Player technology and Quicktime … comparing to iTunes is barking up the wrong tree without a paddle! 😎

  8. iTunes lets you import CDs you own into a digital format.
    What about importing movies from a DVD you own into a video file ?
    Then, having an app to organize them would make sense (if computers shipped with 1 TB of disk space, that is)…

    Just a thought…

  9. OK Mike. I give up. I’ve tried my best to explain why we agree, but you’re obviously astonishingly stupid and blinkered (or is that blindered in the US?).

    Just to clarify. I did not steal any of the fucking movie clips. Some I created (FCP, BTW will not put things automatically in the movies folder), and some were downloaded from the web (not P2P). If you have Quick Time Pro, you can save quicktime clips. So I have some Apple ads, some movie trailers and some flash funnies.

    If you have another go at me you’re either a) too stupid to understand; b) just a fucking troll or c) ron.

  10. Recognize a troll when you see one.
    he’s dogging the Mac community intentionally. He knows EXACTLY what he is doing with the article. Lawyers call it mud slinging ’cause it sticks and anyone writing to set him straight tells him it worked.

  11. How is it possible that, in his article comparing iTunes and the new WMP, that he failed to mention that all of the new functions of WMP were ALREADY available in iTunes and that Microsoft has ADMITTED to copying them?
    Oh wait, I see…another misleading, �Apple bashing�Windows-is-the-way, just believe me!� @#$%&! story.
    I thought he was better than that. Most people are afraid of others hearing the the whole truth and being able to make their own decisions based on it?
    Typical Apple bashing.
    He is now as credible as CBS…
    I just tried to email him for a response and it bounced back.

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