As many of you may have heard, MTV had partnered with Microsoft to create yet another online music store called “Urge”.
This online store is based on Microsoft’s proprietary DRM software built into the Windows Media Player.
In the FAQ for Urge, there is a question:
Does URGE work with the iPod?
and the reply to the question is:
Music you download or purchase from URGE is in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format and protected by the Windows Digital Rights Management (DRM) software which is not compatible with the iPod. Apple has currently only made the iPod compatible with another format called AAC.
What a bunch of typical Microsoft marketing gibberish.
First of all they do not explain that Windows Digital Rights Management (DRM) software is made by Microsoft and hence is a Microsoft technology that Microsoft decides not to develop for the Macintosh OS platform. Calling it “not compatible” is not telling the readers the full story. Particularly for layman. This is yet another typical Microsoft marketing tactics to mislead the reader.
The other incorrect statement is about Apple’s technology.
The Apple iPod MP3 players uses Apple’s DRM technology called “FairPlay”. Both Windows DRM and Apple’s DRM (aka “FairPlay”) are proprietary technology from respective manufactures.
As for “AAC (Advanced Audio Coding)” is the audio encoding format that music purchased from Apple’s iTunes Music Store (iTMS) is encoded in. The AAC format is part of the open (“standard body accepted”) format that is part of MPEG-2 Part 7 specification. The AAC format is also adapted by many other MP3 player manufactures (Sony for example) as the preferred format, and is an accepted international standard by the MPEG group.
Contrary to what Microsoft uses, its WMA (Windows Media Audio) format is a proprietary compressed audio file format developed by Microsoft.
The fact that the music purchased from the Apple’s iTMS is encoded in AAC format does not mean that it is incompatible with any other MP3 players other than iPod. The thing that makes these music not playable on other MP3 players except for the Apple iPod is the “FairPlay” DRM that Apple use to protect these purchased music.
So, please be an educated reader. Do not believe totally what you read; including this article. Look into what the author say and make your own decision when you have all the information.
As usual I have provided independent references here in my article to assist you in understanding what I have wrote.