WM: File types and applications

20060520165

Way back in the day I wouldn’t consider any audio player app other than Winamp. It’s classic look and interface was perfect. Then as an increasing number of websites published video content in an increasing number of formats (but largely .wmv) it seemed senseless to install extras for Winamp just to play content that Windows had the capability to play be default. So I switched to using Windows Media Player for everything other than .mov’s.

Version 11 Beta was released earlier this week. The interface is looks just like you seen in all those Vista screenshots. Two others:

Color Chooser
The sliding color adjuster lets you tint the player as ugly as however you like. It comes with a number of presets too. My recommendation: drop the saturation to make it black/grey (the blue doesn’t ever change).
Taskbar Player
v10 did this too. I really wish they’d drop the icon on the left as it’s pretty obvious what it is.

v11 also integrates with the new Urge music store. However I don’t buy music online and would prefer to never see its obnoxious icon at the top of the player. The only way I could get rid of it was to shrink the player size enough horizontally that it would disappear into the collapsible menu. Get it too small though and the tracktime jumps from the bottom by the control all the way to the top menu bar by the min/max/close controls. Terrible.

So I use Windows Media Player, now v11 Beta. The fun part about this is I hate Windows Media native file formats. There was a time when the video format squeezed file sizes a lot better than others as to make up for its terrible in-browser chrome (notice those .wmv’s over there?). No longer true. Quicktime seems the better option – great compression, sharp picture and more consistent cross browser/platform chrome. Given the proliferation of iTunes and vidcasts, the argument that people don’t have the QuickTime Player installed is irrelevant. As for WMA, well, Urge sells MP3′s right?

Despite all that I doubt I’ll ever install a different audio application on a Windows machine (standalone QuickTime please). Though Flip4Mac just might be useful pretty soon.

Comments

  1. majafa 20060520

    I like Winamp. Winamp is best. I will always use Winamp. Cursed are those that choose to use Windows Media Player over Winamp for audio files.

    As far as black MacBook…do it!

  2. majafa 20060520

    I forgot to mention that color adjuster does look nice though…

    Is Version 11 still in “pre-release” stage like IE 7, or is it in full release glory?

  3. matches 20060520

    I liked Winamp a ton, but it doesn’t play with iPods which is part of my reason for switching as soon as iTunes for Windows dropped.

    And this is just an FYI because they’re definitely working on it, but Flip4Mac doesn’t play with Intel Macs yet. I learned that at work, and it’s another reason WMV blows.

  4. waytoocrowded 20060520

    11 is Beta.

    Thanks for the tip on f4m.

  5. cr 20060521

    I also used Winamp for quite awhile and eventually switched to Windows Media Player because it simply worked better for me than other players. I still think there are issues with it and it sounds like v11 has some of its own, but overall, I can’t imagine switching to anything else at this point.

  6. Antonio 20060523

    Telestream will have a public beta UB version of Flip4Mac by the end of the month. It’s a pretty complex plugin, so I don’t blame them for taking the time to do it right. It supports WM7, 8, 9, 9 Advanced, ISO MPEG 4 V1.0 & V1.1, Microsoft MPEG 4 V2 & V2 along with multiple audio codecs. And not only that, but it’s a web plugin for AV playback.


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