Hollywood Bill and the Media
For now, home movies, MP3s and free downloads are what's driving this market.There was no subtlety in the Hollywood launch of Windows Media Player 9, the audiophile-quality upgrade of Microsofts media player. Windows Media Player 9 has dozens of enhancements, none of them readily apparent to 99 percent of the population. MP3s dont sound better, and most videos still begin the buffer process before playing. I suppose enhancements to the integrated CD burning feature will let some users avoid purchasing Roxios EZ CD Creator, but thats about it.
Thats not to say there are no differences. MP3s sound slightly fuller and have less treble than when played through Winamp with Winamps preamp off. Microsoft apparently "tuned" Windows Media Player 9 for a certain configurationprobably flat-panel speakers with a small subwoofer. Video performance is only slightly different. Its disappointing that Microsoft still does not include an MJPEG codec, although the player does handle a large number of formats. The clarity of video and the fact that the player still buffers almost 100 percent of the content already encoded makes Media Player alone a tough sell, even if its free.