|adam hyde on Mon, 27 Mar 2000 12:40:11 +0200 (CEST)|
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|[Nettime-bold] windows vs real|
REDMOND, Wash., Mar. 14, 2000 -- Recent industry announcements -- including today's announcement that RealNetworks, Inc. has licensed Windows Media technology -- show that Windows Media is taking major steps toward becoming the industry's universal format for digital media. In addition to RealNetworks, Liquid Audio, Yahoo!, AOL, and dozens of other key companies now support Windows Media, opening the door to the first common, open and secure digital media format for major portable digital music devices, digital media players, jukeboxes and content providers.<<<<
This industry momentum is underscored by Media Metrix' SoftUsage Report, which shows that the Windows Media Player was used more than any other multimedia player among U.S. PC households in December 1999. Adoption of Windows Media Format has grown dramatically in recent months, winning support from top record labels, makers of leading portable music devices and digital media players, and large corporations such as Hewlett-Packard Co., Aetna and SAS.
"Windows Media is simplifying the delivery of digital media for content providers and driving competition in the industry to deliver more and better products," said Will Poole, general manager of the Digital Media Division, Microsoft. "As a result, Windows Media is making it easy for consumers to enjoy their favorite digital music and video in any application and on any device."
Microsoft openly licenses the Windows Media Format, which has been incorporated into the major digital media players including Sonic Foundry Siren, AOL Winamp, Lycos Sonique, MusicMatch Jukebox, Midisoft’s Internet Media Player, iCast iCaster, and Microsoft’s own Windows Media Player. Licensing the Windows Media SDK allows companies like RealNetworks to add Windows Media playback and encoding abilities to their applications. By eliminating the constraints of multiple formats and incompatible players, Windows Media will give consumers the ability to listen to their music regardless of the device or player on which it is played.
Until now, music labels and artists have had to deploy multiple formats across multiple servers to offer consumers a broad range of content. The adoption of a single format that works with a variety of digital media players and portable music devices greatly reduces infrastructure and production costs associated with offering multiple formats. Content owners get the benefit of Windows Media’s built-in digital rights management technology, making it a perfect choice for content owners who want to protect their music from illegal distribution on the Internet.
"By supporting the high-quality Windows Media Format and DRM technology, Liquid Audio is providing customers with increased flexibility and choice for digital music distribution," said Gerry Kearby, CEO of Liquid Audio.
Microsoft’s Digital Media Division provides Windows Media digital audio and video technology for personal computers and consumer electronics devices. The Digital Media Division focuses on four areas: Broadband Internet, Digital Music, Consumer Electronics and Business and Solutions.