website hit counter July 2004 - Posts - Chris Lanier

July 2004 - Posts

Microsoft's Music Store: Opening Soon?

According to an article on Silicon.com Microsoft's new Music Store (MSN Digital Music Store) could open as early as next month.  More from their aricle below.

The online music market, which archrival Apple's iTunes store is mopping up around 70 per cent of, could see a Microsoft play from August, according to the Financial Times. The FT claims that while details of a pricing structure aren't confirmed, the record labels are likely to give Microsoft terms similar to those they have given Apple - which would see Redmond peddling pop for 99 cents and 79p a track.

It's thought that the service will be run on a pay-per-download basis - in the iTunes style - rather than on a subscription model, favoured by some song shops, such as Napster. The song shop is likely to appear as a feature on the MSN homepage - giving it a potential audience of 350 million visitors a month.

http://networks.silicon.com/webwatch/0,39024667,39122766,00.htm

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NVIDIA's New Decoder Status (ForceWare MM and NVDVD)

This is right from NVIDIA.  This is good(In my mind) because we are now getting NVIDIA to work with their partners to give use the best product they can!

I would like update everyone with reguard to the status of NVDVD/FWMM 3.x and 4.x from NVIDIA.

1) We have decided to only ship 3.x with OEM, Retail and NVIDIA.COM hardware bundles. There are currently no plans to sell 3.x as a standalone application or decoder pack. The bundles typically include either the DVD/Music/Photos/Videos application or the full suite including TV, PVR, EPG, DVD Burning, etc. It is likely that the 4.x decoder will be available for purchase via NVIDIA.COM at some point in the future. The best way to get 3.x decoders today is via a board bundle. The best way to get 4.x decoders in the very near future is via TheaterTek 2.0 or MS MediaCenter 2004 systems from OEMs that have choosen to ship the NVIDIA solution.

2) There are many different types of decoder packages available out there today. Some are locked to NVIDIA hardware, some are locked to certain applications and some are fully unlocked and can be used on any manufactures hardware and any application. The choice of which style of locks are used is purely up to the OEM or retail partner. This should explain the situations in which same version decoders from different sources behave differently on different systems/environments.

4) 4.x is our newest version and includes support for hardware accelerated cadence based inv 3:2 pulldown as well as lots of other quality improvements. Cadence based inv 3:2 is the same feature that is in the VPP today but using hardware instead of software.

5) 4.x is the version that we have qualified for use with Microsoft MCE 2004 as well as TheaterTek 2.0. The team has worked very closely with TheaterTek and Microsoft MCE teams to ensure that the 4.x decoders are the absolute best that they can be.

Thank you for your continued support of NVIDIA Multimedia solutions.

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Alienware's Hybrid Flat Panel TV/Media Center PC

Alienware is innovating again, this time with an all-in-one, wall-mountable 30-inch TFT/LCD widescreen TV with an integrated Windows Media Center PC inside. Alienware DHD systems, which are based on Hy-Tek's TekPanel 300 enclosure, will feature “Intel Pentium 4 processors up to 3.4 GHz and the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 operating system. ATI Radeon graphics, configurable up to X800 XT Platinum Edition with 256MB DDR3 video RAM, and optical drives up to 12x DVD±R/RW, provide an unparalleled cinematic experience. Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound completes the package with superior audio quality.”
 
We not sure how popular this type of TV/PC combo device will be, but “Microsoft is excited about the introduction of Alienware DHD systems,” said Brad Brooks, Director of Marketing for the Windows XP Consumer Product Line at Microsoft Corp. “The integration of Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 within a self-contained, multi-functional LCD panel is a great example of the innovative designs that consumers are demanding that change the way they can experience digital media in the home.“
 
http://news.designtechnica.com/article4876.html
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More Little WMP Help Articles

Guide To Errors 80040200, 00040257, C00D109A In Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10919.aspx
 
CD Burning Problems With Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10918.aspx
 
Guide To Error 80040154 In Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10917.aspx
 
Guide To Error C00D0BBE In Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10906.aspx
 
Guide To Error 800C0008 In Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10905.aspx
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Cool! An iPod Mini As a Universal IR Remote!

This is very interesting to me!  Take your PocketPC, iPod, a PC Sound Editor and make a Universal Remote with an iPod!  It sounds cool, it looks cool, it is cool.

For a quick video click on http://www.engadget.com/common/videos/pt/ipodremote/ipodremote.wmv

This is not what most people will use an iPod for, but I must say it's cool that you can do this.

Read More: http://features.engadget.com/entry/6336778455600767/

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ATI Releases The HDTV Wonder!

HDTV is the technology of the future. It offers much higher resolution and clarity than analog TV and over twice the resolution of DVDs. The FCC has mandated that it replace analog TV. Broadcasters in the USA are well on their way to achieving this objective:

  • Over 50% of TV shows and growing are currently broadcast in HDTV
  • Over 80% of USA households get five or more DTV channels

Until now, a special TV costing in excess of $ 1000. was required to receive HDTV (High Definition Television) signals. Thanks to the HDTV WONDER, the PC is ready to become the home’s first HDTV device. Now you can enjoy crystal clear HDTV broadcasts on your current PC monitor at a very affordable price.

http://www.ati.com/products/hdtvwonder/index.html

There is also a nice little review of the package at htpcnews.com

Pros:
Great bundle
Excellent Price Point
Good Reception
 
Cons:
High CPU use while viewing HDTV
Software is a bit buggy
 
http://www.htpcnews.com/main.php?id=atihdw_1
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Little Collection of WMP Help Articles

Guide To AVI Playback In Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10453.aspx
 
Guide To MPEG Playback In Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10633.aspx
 
Format Tag 55 Error In Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10723.aspx
 
Guide To Error's C00D11BA, 80040256, and 00040258 In Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10725.aspx
 
Guide To DVD Playback In Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10726.aspx
 
"Special Features" For Windows Media Player for Windows XP
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10727.aspx
 
Guide To Error C00D11CD In Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10729.aspx
 
Guide To Error's C00D116a and C00D119a In Windows Media Player
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/10730.aspx
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New WMV-HD Trailer: Halo 2

You can now download a 1080p trailer for Halo 2 on the Xbox.  Check out the link below to grap it.

http://ftp.gamepro.com/pub/gamesnet/microsoft/Halo2movietrailer1080.wmv

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Interesting PMC Purchasing Data

“A new report from The Diffusion Group finds that more than 40% of Internet households are interested in purchasing a Prtable Media Center device.“

Graph and Source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/7/prweb141123.htm

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Microsoft's New Media Group

Microsoft had announced it had formed the new "Media/Entertainment & Technology Convergence Group," which Blair Westlake, former Universal Television & Networks Group chairman, will head. Reporters have asked why Microsoft would form the group and put in place someone with existing ties to the entertainment industry.

Microsoft is determined to make sure that Windows plays a necessary role in the creation, protection and consumption of digital content. The company's longstanding intellectual property policies and approach to theft--a.k.a. piracy--are assets when talking to content owners. In addition, Windows is the largest distribution platform on the planet, and that's a potential asset to anyone looking for new ways to distribute digital content.

Source: http://www.microsoftmonitor.com/archives/003360.html

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New WMV-HD Trailer: The Bourne Supremacy!

Universal has taken a ince big step and released a WMV-HD movie trailer in WMV format.  It's 720p with WMA Pro 5.1 sound.  If you have a fast connection, I would check it out!

http://www.thebournesupremacy.com/trailer/highdef_trailer2.html
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Channel9 Portable Media Center Demo Soon!

It appears Mike Hall hit up the PMC team today for a demo of the soon to come Portable Media Center.  I have a post with the video included as soon as it hits the web. :)

http://blogs.msdn.com/mikehall/archive/2004/07/22/191235.aspx

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WMV-HD Playback Tool Alpha Released

The tool performs tests that simulate the behavior of a computer system during WMV-HD playback. It reports the ratings of your processor, video subsystem, and memory subsystem, and it provides an overall rating of your computer. The tool also provides insights on potential system bottlenecks.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/content_provider/film/wmvhdtool_intro.aspx

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MS's "Next Media Group's" Media Browser!

Over at Channel9 again, Kevin Schofield from Microsoft Research shows off their “Media Browser” technology.  If you are wanting to see where Windows and Media is going, here's your chance to get an inside look.  Check out the link below for a video of the “Media Browser”

http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=14275

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Cutting Down on WMP Newsgroup Posts

I'm not cutting the number of posts I make in the WMP Newsgroups.  Basically the big reason is time.  Not enough time to do this, that, etc.  Since some 90% of the questions have been answered in the past and can be found by a simple search.  By dropping posting 100+ a day, I open up more time for this blog.

I will still be helping people with Digital Media issues and Windows.  I will still be found at AVSForum, The Green Button, and other MS Newsgroups (Newsgroups in lower amounts).

And now I have got my new formula for posting.  I will be posting 3 times a day, each time for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, I'm out.  And my new sig. to match this is NOTE: Replies are to help benefit others in helping you and reproducing issues, not necessarily for me to get back to you.

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View MLB Games via Portable Media Centers

At the official league Web site, http://www.mlb.com/, Major League Baseball games, condensed games, archival footage and select classic games will be available for download and transfer to a Portable Media Center, making it easy to watch games anytime and anywhere you want to be.

The MLB.com service will be available as a subscription package or on a pay-per-view basis. Baseball footage available to watch via portable Media Centers will include the fan's choice of any or all of the following daily game coverage:

  • Full game downloads. Full game replays of Major League Baseball games.
  • Condensed games. All the action, in a fraction of the time! Complete game replays, minus the pitching changes, between-inning breaks or long at-bats. All the action of an MLB game in about 20 minutes.
  • Extended game highlights. Fans can check out an extended, hosted highlights package from any MLB game in a daily highlight reel.
  • Weekly bloopers and homerun reels. A specially produced weekly wrap-up of the best homeruns and bloopers from around Major League Baseball.
  • The Leadoff Show. A hosted preview showcasing the best upcoming MLB player and team matchups.
  • Classic footage. Fans can relive baseball's greatest moments with full video and audio game rebroadcasts from classic MLB games.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2004/jul04/07-09MLBAmazonSalePR.asp

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Demo of Windows Media Connect

Over at Channel9, Jason Flaks demos Windows Media Connect.  Jason is the Program Manager on the Media Connect Team at Microsoft.  These devices are very cool, get a first hand look at the link below.

http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=13002

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Vacation!! (July 10-19)

More about it when I get back. :)
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Introducing Portable Media Centers

Amazon.com has put up their page to pre-order your Portable Media Center (PMC) today!http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/feature/-/534383/ref%3Dms%5Fpmc/002-6303917-8454446

Windows Mobile™-based Portable Media Centers are handheld entertainment devices that make it easy to store and play recorded TV, movies, home videos, music, and photos transferred from a PC with Windows® XP--so you can enjoy to your favorite entertainment anytime and anywhere you want.

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The Problems With Online Music Services

iTunes Music Store, Napster, MusicNow, BuyMusic, RealRhapsody, and many more.  All of this services allow you to purchase music on the internet in compressed formats.  To some, it's great.  Never leave the house and build your either music collection.  To others, it's a waste of money for what you get.

All of the music stores use either AAC or WMA.  Okay, sounds good?  No!!  Both of these are lossy formats.  You can not and will not get “CD Quality” from one of these formats (Assuming the original source is a PCM track).  To add to that you are basically paying about the same price as you would for a CD at the store or online.  And then the factor that kills it for me.  DRM.  Yep, no question DRM is here to stay, I've got no problem with that, but think about it.  Why should I pay $10 for a CD online, and not be able to do exactly what I wish?  Plus, there are different DRM systems out their.  Apple has Fairplay, Microsoft has Windows Media Rights.  Both are so so for what they do, but both still have many issues.

For these issues I think Online Music Services will fail if they do not change. (More on what they should do later.)

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