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Microsoft Media Software Linux

Windows Media for Embedded Linux Systems 242

Posted by michael
from the DRM-not-optional dept.
ntmonkey writes "According to this article, Microsoft has authorized InterVideo to port Windows Media Player to Linux. However, WMP will not be available to normal folks...Microsoft will only allow it to be distributed via set top boxes and the like."
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Windows Media for Embedded Linux Systems

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  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:52PM (#5711419) Homepage Journal
    Or is it really fourth?
    • by blakestah (91866) <blakestah@gmail.com> on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:54PM (#5711452) Homepage
      No, the previous posts were Microsoft allowing the WMV9 encoders to be licensed for other operating systems. Previously, media tools from Microsoft could only be used on Windows (like Pinnacle Studio). With the WMV9 codec, licenses for tools can be purchased on any operating system, and much cheaper than MPEG4 licenses.

      This new release is about their media PLAYER, for which licensing is a separate issue.
    • "Third repost of this topic?"

      In light of the recent HD DVD's article, I'd say this isn't such a big deal. On the other hand, I don't exactly get my panties in a twist over dupe stories to begin with. So who am I to judge?

    • by ryants (310088) on Friday April 11, 2003 @01:12PM (#5711639)
      (Scene: Charles Manson in his jail cell watching television)
      If I haven't seen it, it's new to me!
      Family Guy Episode FG-102.
    • by Delta-9 (19355) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <9atled>> on Friday April 11, 2003 @01:13PM (#5711646)
      Lately I have found that the majority of /. stories are delayed mirrors of Google News Sci/Tech section. I generally check Google News for the stories, then come here about 2 hours later to see the dialog about the story. I knew this story would be making its way here sooner or later.
      • by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Friday April 11, 2003 @01:17PM (#5711674)
        "Lately I have found that the majority of /. stories are delayed mirrors of Google News Sci/Tech section. I generally check Google News for the stories, then come here about 2 hours later to see the dialog about the story. I knew this story would be making its way here sooner or later."

        Boy am I stunned that users are scouring reliable news sources to get their stories posted here.
        • Actually, this is probably one of the only stories on slashdot that I have found by following a link from a different site. Usually I go directly to the Slashdot site and read the last day's stories. And where did I find the link to Slashdot? Google!
      • by WasteOfAmmo (526018) on Friday April 11, 2003 @01:32PM (#5711788) Journal
        Actually I have to agree with you. It is only recently (few weeks) that I have added Google News to my default tabs that I open in the morning. Virtually every time I see something interesting in the Sci/Tech section I find it on /. within a few hours.

        Of course when I see it on Google I can still get to the sites linked in the headline to read the story :-) and later when /. catches up I can read all the comments to see what 'real' people think of the story. So in a nutshell it is the best of both worlds: quick media propaganda later reviewed/rated/commented-on by peers some of who even know what they are talking about and many that know more about the subject than I do.

        So far as the dupes go, it is easy to skip them or read the comments and laugh at the humor found in the comments of people whining about it.

        /., although it has its problems, still provides a relatively concise set of information related to my field without all the repetative fluff encountered while trying to glean the same information spread accross a multitude of more general sites.

        Merlin.

      • So? Isn't the main point of slashdot the discussion? If you just came here for the articles, then yes, Google news is as good or better.
      • Lately I have found that the majority of /. stories are delayed mirrors of Google News Sci/Tech section. I generally check Google News for the stories, then come here about 2 hours later to see the dialog about the story. I knew this story would be making its way here sooner or later.

        That is terrifying, when you realise that Google reports Slashdot stories. If Slashdot them reports these when they get to Google again, we are headed for the apocalypse.

        And just to document the last time I saw this story,

        • by Numeric (22250)
          You read the orginal story on Google News, then you see the story is posted on Slashdot w/ adiscussion. A few minutes later on Google News, you see the same story with a link to Slashdot...its like meta news reporting.
        • And just to document the last time I saw this story, it was four days ago (perhaps an improvement on the 2-hour dupe of an Apple story last week). The source in that case (Linuxdevices.com) seemed a more detailed story:

          I started reading this, got all agitated and thought, "No way, I haven't seen this before.", was about to follow the link to make sure it was accurate and thought, "Damn, what's wrong with me." ;-)

    • And people thought the Evil Bit joke was funny just over a week ago.

      No, it was not a joke, it was a sign of things to come...
    • This is a beta test of Slashdot's new Redundant Array of Imitative Articles, aimed at providing the highest level of journalistic reliability. The underlying CS concept is highly technical and cannot be explained in a simple post, but the gist is if you repeat something often enough, it must be true.
  • Ack! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Xpilot (117961) on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:52PM (#5711424) Homepage
    The Microsoft and Linux icons on the same topic... what an unholy combination! I thought I'd never see the day.
    • Re:Ack! (Score:5, Funny)

      by evilviper (135110) on Friday April 11, 2003 @01:18PM (#5711679) Journal
      So, for what?... the past couple days or so?... since the beginning of the multiple topic icons... you thought you'de never see this day?

      Umm, tell me, uhhh, what combination of lottery numbers do you think you'll never see win?
    • Re:Ack! (Score:2, Funny)

      by JediTrainer (314273)
      The Microsoft and Linux icons on the same topic... what an unholy combination! I thought I'd never see the day.

      Who's going to be the first to post a link to a Borgified Tux?
  • Like that will keep it off of home boxes. Anyway who needs WMP when you have Mplayer and Xine?

    I would be a lot more intrested in having QT ported to linux.
    • Yes, mplayer has got to be one of the most successfull media players available for Linux. Although, in the typical Linux fasion, it is not easy to get setup correctly, once it is configured for use with Nautilus it is the best movie player around. I have found only a very slim few formats that don't work, and it is fast, too. Mplayer is one open source application with dependencies on closed source librarys that I do keep on my system and use regularly.

      • It isn't *that though* to install. You just need to understand the type of video card that you are using. The MPlayer documentation is very intimidating for most people, so that's what makes it difficult (their own ability to process the documentation). But frankly, XV video and OSS/SDL audio will work on the majority of systems out there... Just pop the codecs into /usr/lib/win32 and do a standard compile with the gui option if necessary.

        But what Nautilus app are you using? Lumiere? I heard that the
    • You do, if you want to play any WMP protected content, such as the second session's WMF files on a copy-protected CD. Of course, if you really want to listen to Kenny G that badly, please, by all means, be my guest!
      • Thats easy to fix, just rip with EAC (exact audio copy) and have it build its own TOC. ...wait... EAC is only available on Windows. We should really be trying to port THAT!
  • This seems to be more for their XBox line of products and not for the john doe linux user IMHO.
    • Re:XBox? (Score:2, Insightful)

      XBox line of products

      Somehow I don't see Microsoft releasing a version of their XBox with Linux on it. If you read the article it is for set top boxes.
    • "This seems to be more for their XBox line of products and not for the john doe linux user IMHO."

      They're releasing WMP9 for the people who hack their XBOXs to run Linux?
  • by voot (609611)
    Don't most people go with linux to get away from m$?
    • Re:Break (Score:2, Interesting)

      You may or may not be right but I know that I still use Windows on my desktop (for the most part) but I went to Linux on my server for affordability, stability, and flexibility. I don't typically make decisions based on dislike for a company. I go for whatever product best serves my purpose. I also don't hate Microsoft anymore than I hate Walmart, Disney, AOLTW, Oracle, Sun, Apple, Vivendi, and all of the other companies that are evil as Microsoft but just not as good at it.
    • Re:Break (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Transient0 (175617) on Friday April 11, 2003 @01:17PM (#5711669) Homepage
      Unless they go with Linux to save a little money. Especially if they are a manufacturer.

      If you are producing a set-top embedded system and need to put an OS on it, it's WAY cheaper to use Linux than Embedded Windows. The only real cost associated with Linux is tech support, which can be a HUGE cost, but won't be in a system like this because access to the OS will be extremely limited so users won't have an opportunity to fuck it up.

      If you make this product using Linux, you are probably doing so to save on costs, thus maximizing profit for you and your shareholders. Chances are ideological issues about free software and open source play little or no role in that decision. As such, you would be more than happy to use a port of MS-WMP and related codecs if that is a convenient and efficient way to handle the media.
  • How long ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by B3ryllium (571199) on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:53PM (#5711438) Homepage
    ... until it gets ripped off a box and distributed for general use?
  • by Mainframer (530235) on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:53PM (#5711442)
    According to the usual routine, it should be freely available about 2 days before its official launch...
    • According to the usual routine, it should be freely available about 2 days before its official launch...

      But might wanna hold off on the download for a while, because the usual routine also prescribes that there will be serious root-level exploits exposed once every three days for the first couple of years.

  • Indeed. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by numbski (515011) <numbskiNO@SPAMhksilver.net> on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:53PM (#5711445) Homepage Journal
    "If you register the player online, which involves answering some very personal questions and effectively allowing Microsoft a good look at your PC, then you get the full version. Otherwise you're left with a cut down version.

    "If they applied this tactic to Linux users, imagine the information they could get their hands on."

    Indeed.

    Even if they ported it, would you use it with those stipulations?

    One word. MPlayer [mplayerhq.hu].
    • Hah. The data they would get would/could be limited by the user permissions of whoever's using the box.

      Also, I'd expect MS to get a lot of people named "Jazz Jackrabbit" downloading their media player.

    • Re:Indeed. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Rinikusu (28164) on Friday April 11, 2003 @02:55PM (#5712391)
      So, like, what would they see?
      "HEY BILL! LOOKIT THIS! We got the source for Linux! Now we can crush them!"

      "Muhahahahahaa.. they shall crumble before the mighty microsoft when they realize we have their trump card!"

  • by cowmix (10566) <`mmarch' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:54PM (#5711453) Homepage
    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/04/07/225206 &
  • by cdrudge (68377) on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:54PM (#5711454) Homepage
    so now will the movie theaters run linux?

    Hey...it was highly rated in a previous story [slashdot.org]. If the Slashdot gang can repeat stories...why can't I repeat comments.
  • How long until someone gets this for everyone else in linux? I suggest a contest -- the winner gets more porn!
  • It's called mplayer [mplayer.hu].

    On a more serious note, Micro$oft has released NetShow for Linux [microsoft.com], which is very old and unusable.
  • Why would Microsoft do something like this if they are so dead set against other operating systems? Why, they wish to become the new video disc media format duh. I mean a new standard is going to come out of the blue laser crap anyway Microsoft might as well try to become the coedec of it. =].
    • Becuase Micro(?)Soft knows that as long as there are people running linux out there, there will be a market share they don't have their grimey fingers in. This way they can get a chunk of change off the sale of the boxes. Or at least get the advertisement from their mediaplayer being on the boxes. I mean even if the person looks at the icon, that's one more place where microsoft has it's name/trademark. Remember when you NEVER thought you'd see Microsoft Software on a Mac? The plague is spreading.
    • There was a time when MS was not interested in the Internet. But after thier strategists realized the marketing value of the Internet, they decided to go after it. Perhapes by justing licensing the codec, MS is opening its eyes to the potental of Linux without admitting it.
  • Even if M$ do go through with this how long before someone will hack the STB and post it on the web somewhere? Then again we could just all use mplayer :)

    Rus
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The deal includes Windows Media codecs, file formats, streaming protocol and DRM -- everything that is needed to access Windows Media. However, the Windows Media Player itself will not be ported.

    AC
  • Normal (Score:5, Funny)

    by rirugrat (255768) on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:57PM (#5711496)
    However, WMP will not be available to normal folks...Microsoft will only allow it to be distributed via set top boxes and the like.

    Microsoft is right. Most Linux folks are not normal.

    Chris

  • Microsoft continues to extend its world lead and is being nice to Linux :-)
  • dupe or NOT? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ehudokai (585897) on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:59PM (#5711509)

    This may not be a dupe as it clarifies that Microsoft is not going to allow the port of WMP to be used in regular linux boxes, so all of the discussions about GPL licensing are mute!

    Way to go Microsoft! You never let us down in our expectations of your imperialist powers

  • Yar! (Score:5, Funny)

    by rabtech (223758) on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:59PM (#5711513) Homepage
    Yarrrrr matey! We be the pirates o' the seven operatin' systems!

    *wink-wink* *nudge-nudge*
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sure, I knew you could.
  • by ZombieFrog (119809) on Friday April 11, 2003 @01:01PM (#5711529) Homepage
    Sounds like a prime candidate for a legal paradox that could destroy time itself!

  • No, not about the fact that this is a dupe. That's par for the course nowadays...

    I mean, is anyone surprised that Intervideo's only doing this for set-top boxes and the like? I mean, hell... their LinDVD software is STILL only available for embedded and OEM systems. Regular users can't buy it. Why should we expect anything less for Windows Media?

    Also keep in mind that the CEO of Intervideo said a few years back that those of us using software like DeCSS to watch DVD's on our Linux boxes were pirates o
  • Who is ordinary folk? You mean the person who bought set top box is extraordinary?

    I repeat : It is not a crime to earn money with software, YET.
  • TiVo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jargoone (166102) on Friday April 11, 2003 @01:16PM (#5711664)
    This is potentially big news for TiVo. With the recent release of Home Media Option, there have been some complaints about the software not supporting WMA. My music is in mp3 format, so I don't really care, but if it can help increase interest and development in Home Media Option, I'm all for it.
  • by evilviper (135110) on Friday April 11, 2003 @01:26PM (#5711750) Journal
    But users will not be able to download a copy of Windows Media Players for their Linux machines. The resultant technology will only be available to manufacturers for integration into their products.


    However, Mike Davis, senior research analyst at Butler Group, suggested that it is not entirely unthinkable that Microsoft will offer a downloadable version for Windows.

    So, you can't download a copy of WMP for Linux, but Microsoft MIGHT offer a downloadable version for Windows? Excuse me?
  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Friday April 11, 2003 @01:33PM (#5711795) Homepage Journal
    This is only for embedded devices. You will not see Windows Media Player for the version of Linux which runs on ordinary computers. Microsoft does not have a monopoly in embedded devices, and probably never will: Linux is beating Microsoft in that market. Therefore, if Microsoft wants its media player to exist in that market, they have to (gasp!) compete by doing drastic things like offering it on other operating systems!

    This isn't the first time. Microsoft offers its technologies on other platforms when they don't have a monopoly. FrontPage server extensions have been available for Apache for quite some time, for example.

    When you see Windows Media Player downloadable for x86 Linux with the X Window System -- then it's news.

    However, it's important to avoid using Windows Media anywhere it is found. This is an area Microsoft wants a monopoly in, and it would be a very bad thing if they achieved it. Choose MPEG, OGG, Real, etc. streams when you can find them -- b**ch and moan to webmasters when you can't find them.
    • What exactly is the difference between the "Embedded version of linux" and "the version on home computers" ???
      The embedded version is simply a normal version of linux (yes, we do mean redhat, debian, even mandrake ...) with very few packages installed. There is NO difference between the 2.
      • The embedded version is simply a normal version of linux (yes, we do mean redhat, debian, even mandrake ...)

        That's not technically true. You can't really take a copy of Redhat, only choose the packages you need, and install it on an embedded device. Even if the device is based on x86 architecture.

        But, even if that was the case, you still wouldn't be able to install Windows Media Player for Linux on your RedHat desktop. That's because you wouldn't be able to get a copy of WMP for Linux. Microsoft wi

        • I know for a fact that you can take a copy of Redhat, and only choose the packages you need (that means bash and a kernel), and install it on an embedded device, because I did it.

          Although I must say that I switched to debian a few days later.
      • The embedded version is simply a normal version of linux (yes, we do mean redhat, debian, even mandrake ...) with very few packages installed.

        Not an embedded system is specifically tailored to both the hardware and it's task. Regular distributions are rather too bloated for this kind of thing.
      • No differences other than the fact that they don't usually use x86 CPUs, have a RT process scheduler, run from nvram, etc.

        The big problem would be getting a ARM (or whatever the embedded arch is) binary to run on an Intel CPU, you'd need an emulator of sorts and it would probably be too slow anyway.
    • by GoRK (10018)
      When you see Windows Media Player downloadable for x86 Linux with the X Window System -- then it's news

      Interesting that it wasn't much of a news item back in 1997 when they did exactly this with Windows Media Player 1.0...
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday April 11, 2003 @02:23PM (#5712136) Journal
      Choose MPEG, OGG, Real, etc. streams when you can find them -- b**ch and moan to webmasters when you can't find them.

      Why? MPEG is licenced by the MPEG-LA, who are being a little unfriendly about licensing MPEG-4. Realplayer is a horrible piece of software, with an applaing UI, sneaky terms and conditions and worst of all poor quality playback. I choose the highest quality stream I can. This means I listen to Ogg Vorbis audio where availible, and watch QuickTime 6 or WMV (both of which are MPEG-4 or MPEG-4 derived) where availible.

      Sure, it would be nice if all video were distributed in Ogg Tarkin with an Ogg Vorbis soundtrack, but in the Real World(tm) it takes money to develop this kind of technology, so you can either get it from academia or a company like Microsoft. If you get if from academia, then you are likely to have to write your own implementation based on a number of research papers, maybe with some example code for doing part of it. If you're really that troubled by a potential MS monopoly in this area, then contribute to Ogg Tarkin, and provide companies with a Free alternative to use. At the moment Ogg is a strong contendor to AAC, since it is of similar quality, but with no patent royalties to worry about. There is no real free alternative to MPEG-4.

      ###End Of Rant

    • You know what? If a company makes a product that is good... makes it affordable... makes it friendly and non-restrictive as possible... and makes licensing/support/etc sane.

      Why the hell not use it? The only thing I would find makes WMP scary to me is the bloat, and the DRM. If it comes to open source, then DRM can be dealt with, bloat possibly trimmed.

      Just because it is MS, doesn't make it bad. They're a big company, but linux et al are growing too, so I'd rather they learn some lessons and reform - kee
  • Wouldn't Microsoft want to release an end-user version for Linux for the exact same reason they ported it to Mac OS (and then again to OS X)?

    And, um, by the way, does anyone know what that reason would that be?

  • XP Media Center (Score:2, Interesting)

    by realfake (302363)
    I wonder if move indicates that Microsoft doesn't expect either XP Media Center Edition (or WebTV) to monopolize set top boxes.
  • What's this?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Friday April 11, 2003 @02:26PM (#5712155) Homepage
    Only dedicated devices powered by Linux?

    I'm so VERY disppointed... NOT.

    MPlayer would be better for such manufacturers to look into. Sure, it may use those codecs, but the interface is all OSS and that's good. Furthermore, using a ported Windows app wouldn't alleviate those pesky codec licensing problems anyway. So really, there's no advantage to using MS's MPlayer in your Linux device at all... unless there's something technical I'm unaware of. Anyone care to enlighten me?
  • ...you need a WMA to Divx encoder for Linux!

    And "these are not the droids your are looking for".
  • ... for Linux. Theyve lost the race with MS Office, lost Exchange, SQL server races long time ago, but the media thing is big. Once Linux gets a slew (already has?) of smooth Media Player like apps (MPlayer? XMMS?) that do DivX, MP3, WMA, RA, QT and the kitchen sink format, Windows will really lose its Desktop edge. Then the only two things will be left are DirectX and software compatibility. Wines already improved alot, but all companies that havent died yet in the dotcom bust, are thinking of porting to
  • by puppetluva (46903) on Friday April 11, 2003 @03:53PM (#5712816)
    Embedded Systems makers beware, supporting this will eventually invalidate the reasons you chose linux in the first place!

    This move by Microsoft is to prevent Ogg Vorbis and other free codecs from dominating the Linux embedded market. Once Microsoft has the dominant codec, they'll stop supporting Linux and force you to buy some flavor of embedded windows or other platform they control to stay in business.

    As soon as Microsoft has finished using its codecs to control the media-format choices in the embedded and desktop market, they will charge out the wazoo for this stuff and pry your Linux options out of your hands. DON'T FALL FOR IT. This is not a new strategy, most people LEARN of it through Micrsoft.
  • I wonder.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by timerider (14785)
    ...if someone finally notices that the very same thing came through here three days ago?

    Here's a little cut&paste from slashdots search function, search term was "intervideo" with no restrictions:

    Windows Media for Embedded Linux Systems
    On April 11th, 2003 with 198 comments
    ntmonkey writes "According to this article, Microsoft has authorized InterVideo to port Windows Media Player to Linux. However, WMP will not be available to...
    Section: Main > Microsoft
    Score: 0.5

    Windows Media Format Could
  • You can rightly accuse Microsoft of many things but being dumb isn't one of them. Due to their lack of headway in the embedded systems market and the extreme popularity of Linux in this same market Microsoft is smart enough not to mortgage the Windows Media farm on the success of their embedded OSes.

    The cynical among us might think that by porting Windows Media to Linux and then "enhancing" the Windows versions faster than the Linux version you could lure Linux-committed companies to make an "easy port" to
  • Mine already works under Linux using Wine without any need to port the code. These guys [codeweavers.com] did a good job.
  • If a quality, free, open audio compression framework (ogg vorbis) has failed to dent the mp3 stranglehold on the consumer market or radar (portables, DVD players that play mp3's, toasters that play audio, car players, etc....) how in the hell will the closed, crappy, M$ born WMA stand a chance?

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