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Microsoft Businesses Apple

Microsoft Unhappy With HP's iTunes Decision 1020

Posted by timothy
from the limiting-choices-incorporated dept.
rbrandis writes "The general manager of Microsoft's Windows digital media division David Fester has suggested that iTunes' emerging dominance would be bad for consumers, because it would limit them to the iPod, as opposed to limiting them to Microsoft based products. In a moment of what must have been an attempt at ironic humor he said, 'Windows is about choice - you can mix and match software and music player stuff. We believe you should have the same choice when it comes to music services.'"
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Microsoft Unhappy With HP's iTunes Decision

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  • i do have a choice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Triumph The Insult C (586706) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:47PM (#7958923) Homepage Journal
    and i choose to not use your "enabling" products
  • Bad for consumers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrLudicrous (607375) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:47PM (#7958924) Homepage
    I think what he really meant is that is would be bad for Microsoft.
    • by glenebob (414078) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:57PM (#7959046)
      You must be new... that's what it has ALWAYS meant.
  • NEWS FLASH! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aliencow (653119) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:47PM (#7958932) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft not happy that people take advantage of their own non-Microsoft monopolies!

    Why don't they sue Apple ? Hell, iTunes is bundled with OS X! Because they'll bundle a music store with media player soon enough... and try to kill iTunes completely.
    • Re:NEWS FLASH! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jared_hanson (514797) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:15AM (#7959678) Homepage Journal
      I think the bigger issue is with Microsoft bundling technologies with the OS that are impossible to remove from the OS.

      If you buy Mac OS X and don't want iTunes, simple. Drag the iTunes app to the trash and it is gone. No registry mess, just a clean simple removal. Try that with Internet Explorer. I'm betting you can't.

      There is nothing wrong with bundling, per se. It is when you use illegal tactics to force people/manufacturers to use your solution instead of an alternative.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @02:57AM (#7960537)
        If you buy Mac OS X and don't want iTunes, simple. Drag the iTunes app to the trash and it is gone. No registry mess, just a clean simple removal. Try that with Internet Explorer. I'm betting you can't.

        I just trashed Internet Explorer, now I'm sending this message from the public library while I reinstall Windoze. Doh! ;-)
  • choice? (Score:4, Funny)

    by stefanmi (699755) * on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:48PM (#7958936)
    ROFL! Talk about naked FUD. Choice, choice, choice. Yeah, that's the Microsoft Way, isn't it? NOT. What hypocrisy!
    • naked FUD? (Score:5, Funny)

      by martin-boundary (547041) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:19PM (#7959263)
      Cripes, when did this happen? I'm out of it for a little bit, and Microsoft becomes a spamming outfit! Naked FUD, Enlarge your CHOICE, end-user license SECRETS, listen to music FROM YOUR HOME...
    • Re:choice? (Score:5, Funny)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:22PM (#7959298)
      Microsoft offers choices...

      - Your free web-based e-mail account can end in either msn.com or hotmail.com... your choice!
      - You can browse the web with either Internet Explorer or MSN Explorer... your choice!
      - You can read your e-mail with Outlook Express or Outlook... your choice!
      - You can use Windows XP Home or Windows XP Pro... your choice!
      - You can use WMA files with any music player that has paid the appropriate fees to Microsoft, plenty of choices available in the market!
      - You can get WMA files from any music service that has paid the appropriate fees to Microsoft, plenty of choices available in the market!
    • Re:choice? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by whittrash (693570) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:35PM (#7959398) Journal
      This come from the Iraqi information minister? The Windows people are just shitting their pants because this will mean HP will beat them to market, they will have cooler designs and a better infrastructure in place when the battle for music dominance begins. This is a wedge into their tight little monopoly and they are freaking out. I am sure Apple will find a way to screw this up though.
    • by Faust7 (314817) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:41PM (#7959451) Homepage
      Microsoft shipped Internet Explorer 4.0 with Windows 98. Consumers had a choice then on whether or not to use IE... but they used IE.

      Now iTunes is shipping with Windows on HP machines. Consumers have a choice on whether or not to use iTunes.

      Sounds like the same "choice" as before--so what could Microsoft possibly be worried about? What reason do they have to worry?

      You get three guesses, and the first two don't count.
    • Re:choice? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Malcontent (40834) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @01:23AM (#7960095)
      The only thing worse then an evil bastard is a whining evil bastard.
  • by blurfus (606535) <slashdotNO@SPAMblurfus.com> on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:49PM (#7958946) Homepage Journal
    Windows is about choice
    Tell me Mr. Smith, what good is to have choices if they don't work?

    Apple's iTunes just works... it's that simple.
  • by rborek (563153) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:49PM (#7958948)
    As bad as people may hate Microsoft or Media Player, it does support multiple players and platforms - not just the iPod. A list is available at http://windowsmedia.com/9series/Personalization/Co olDevices.asp [windowsmedia.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:50PM (#7958952)
    I am ever so grateful that once again Microsoft is looking after my best interests. We can all sleep well.
  • by TheWart (700842) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:50PM (#7958953)
    Dell says this:

    "According to the New York Times, Dell also suggests HP is making a mistake. A Dell spokesman said: "We expect competition and it's good for customers. Over time, however, customers will want industry standard choices.''"

    I am no English expert, but it sure sounds like they are tryin to say that WMA should be the only game in town, and are at the same time trying to play it off that they 'want' competition.
    • by zbaron (649094) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:07PM (#7959152)
      Over time we will see the industry decide what will be used as a standard for the distribution of digital audio, I guess Dell and friends just don't want the "industry standard" to turn out to be MPEG-4/AAC.
    • by marauder404 (553310) <marauder404 AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:15PM (#7959230)
      Actually, you're reading the whole article wrong. The article isn't about the music format -- it's about the music service. You're probably right in that Microsoft wants WMA to be the leading digital format, but what they really want is for a ton of companies to be offering music services, all competing against each other and, hopefully for MSFT, all using WMA. The primary benefit, of course, is market share.
    • by Soko (17987) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:16PM (#7959237) Homepage
      I think you're right. According to Carly,

      "The next big thing isn't the next gizmo or killer app or hot box. Customers want all this to work together and they want a seamless approach. We're very much going to make sure that the Microsoft and Apple worlds work together. That's part of the power we bring to this thing."

      meaning HP is treating Microsoft as just another supplier, where Dell can't.

      So, IMHO, because HPs CEO has more balls ;^D than Dell's CEO, they're willing to go against "industry standards", namely anything Microsoft tries to cram down thier throats, and give customers what they want.

      Yay competition!

      Soko
      • by El (94934) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:28PM (#7959350)
        Uh, 99% of Dell's business is selling Windows boxes, and they're making good money at it. ~15% of HP's business is selling Windows boxes, and they're losing money hand over fist at it. I'm sure HP would just LOVE an excuse to get out of the PC and Laptop business, and focus on other areas where they can make a profit. Now, which one of the two can AFFORD to piss off Microsoft?
    • by FattMattP (86246) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:20PM (#7959282) Homepage
      Over time, however, customers will want industry standard choices.
      A clue for Dell: iPod and iTMS is the industry standard.
    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:28PM (#7959354) Homepage Journal
      I am no English expert, but it sure sounds like they are tryin to say that WMA should be the only game in town, and are at the same time trying to play it off that they 'want' competition.

      Doubletalk is doubleplus good!

      Its a sentence constructed in a way that is meant to make its readers come off with a feeling that 1) Dell wants what's best for them, 2) Dell made industry choices based on what is best for the costumer (damned lie), 3) Dell's choice will become a standard, and therefore: if you buy a different standard than what Dell is selling you will be buying something that will be nonstandard in the future (ooooh, bad!).

      In other words: FUD.
  • by corebreech (469871) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:51PM (#7958966) Journal
    It has always been questionable as to whether they would get DRM to work in the first place. Now along comes HP, trying to make what are essentially incompatible DRM systems work together, and still protect content. The closest analogy I can think of is trying to have make a marriage work with two spouses at the same time.

    Anybody who has installed any kind of media player on Windows knows what I'm talking about... it's almost impossible to assign specific file types to Window's Media Player, QuickTime, RealPlayer, Winamp, etc., without all of these applications trying to steal the right to handle these file types out from one another. Now the same thing is going to happen, but with DRM in the mix?

    It's going to be a zoo. Nobody is going to stand still for this, especially when people start losing the right to access content they've already payed for.

    And just wait till this shit starts happening to everybody's porn collection. People will be running amok in the streets.
    • Wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:57PM (#7959036) Journal
      This is the same 'No American has a God given right to a job' Carly that said that EVERY HP product coming out after Q2 2004 will have DRM built in. Hell, she even wants to make recording like a VCR on your HP impossible unless the copyright holder agrees.

      She is no ones friend save for herself and her fellow exec. She thinks nothing of the employers/users/shareholder of HP.
  • MS = Choice = BAH! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spoco2 (322835) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:53PM (#7958988)
    Crap Microsoft, Crap indeed. You are now lying through your... well, backside. MS = Choice my arse.

    Microsoft is ALL about cornering you into using MS products...

    PRIME example is their damn Movie Maker 2... quite nice program to use (I haven't used iMovie, so I can't compare), but then try and save... "Hmmm, I'd like to save to an open format that pretty much anyone can play... VCD or SVCD, or perhaps just plain MPEG would be nice." "Hmmm, I seem to ONLY be able to save to MS formats unless I have a few gig free to save out to a straight DV dump and then use someone else's program to convert to a more user friendly format, so really I'm forcing anyone who wants to watch movies I've made to have an MS compatible player"

    "Hmmm, MS can blow me, and blow me hard"
  • Betamax vs. VHS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by davejenkins (99111) <.slashdot. .at. .davejenkins.com.> on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:54PM (#7959000) Homepage
    Yes, it is an old example, and yes, it is simplistic-- but it is still very relevant: Betamax vs. VHS.

    Sony had a superior quality format for videotape (betamax), but wouldn't share with anyone. Meanwhile, Panasonic, Philips, and others all got together and agreed on VHS format. Competition brought lower priced machines, and eventually VHS killed betamax for home use.

    Microsoft is half-right: it is about choice-- but it must ALL be available for choice: the hardware, the OS, the apps, the data format. Only true, open standards under a GPL, LGPL, or other similar "free to evolve independent of any single vendor"-type license will work in the long run.
    • Re:Betamax vs. VHS (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Josuah (26407) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:02AM (#7959583) Homepage
      Sony had a superior quality format for videotape (betamax), but wouldn't share with anyone. Meanwhile, Panasonic, Philips, and others all got together and agreed on VHS format. Competition brought lower priced machines, and eventually VHS killed betamax for home use.

      So, seems like Apple is aware of this and thus sharing with quite a few people: Pepsi, Windows, HP, etc. And they certainly haven't been timid about signing up as many celebrities as they can to promote the iPod and the iTMS. It would've been kind of hard for a movie star to walk around with their betamax player, but the iPod is the new Air Jordan.
  • Honest Question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cmason32 (636063) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:56PM (#7959022)
    Is there anything preventing other companies from making an mp3 player that would play iTMS files? I realize that other companies can make players that play the AAC format, but is Apple preventing them from accessing the DRM?
  • by cyberworm (710231) <cyberworm@@@gmail...com> on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:57PM (#7959038) Homepage
    but can't all these players play mp3's? I've got an iPod and other than the slowness of using iTunes I've had no problem putting MP3's on it. Isn't that a free choice that I have, or are they trying to push people into using WMA or AAC only, in portable music players? And (as the article suggests) if they are working on playing wma on iPods, is there even a problem here?
  • AppleTurns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by computerme (655703) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:58PM (#7959049)
    AppleTurns site translated it this way:

    Check it out, this was the best a company spokesperson could muster to undercut the announcement: "Windows is all about choice... we believe you should have the same choice when it comes to music services." Translation: "Use any service you want as long as it sells Windows Media, buy any player out there as long as it plays Windows Media-- but for heaven's sake, don't buy one of those wretched iPod thingies or we'll be completely boned with our whole plan to monopolize digital media commerce and then we might actually have to start innovating for our paychecks for a change." Or, to put it a little more succinctly, "you can have any color you want, as long as it's black."
  • iPod vs Dell DJ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mage66 (732291) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:59PM (#7959059)
    The bottom line is that the iPod and iTunes provides a better user experience.

    I had a 5gb 1st Gen iPod, and I now have a Dell DJ (Dell gave me the credit, Apple wouldn't).

    I prefer the iPod.

    The DJ works ok, but the user experience isn't as good.

    There's no way to stop a playing song. Only pause it.

    Syncing music is not intutitive.

    Navigating through the tracks on the DJ takes FOREVER.

    It's just not as well thought out as iTunes and the iPod are.

    I'm thinking of selling my Dell DJ on eBay, and buying an iPod or an iPod mini.

  • Choice! (Score:4, Funny)

    by chunkwhite86 (593696) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:59PM (#7959066)
    Windows is about choice - you can mix and match software and music player stuff. We believe you should have the same choice when it comes to music services.

    Do not laugh at our choice. Microsoft is all many choices. We have so much choice it is silly. You must not listen to the apple! We will crush the infidels with all the choice that we are having!

    Sincerely, Microsoft Information Minister
  • by Soko (17987) on Monday January 12, 2004 @10:59PM (#7959068) Homepage
    Windows is not about choice - it is about having developers and service providers further entrench the Windows hegonomy, with little to no effort on the part of MS.

    HP made a choice, as the market seems to be doing as well.

    Let's see how well Microsoft lives with this.

    Oh, and to all of you who say "Watch how high the price of Windows goes for HP", Microsoft won't dare do anything of the sort. Having both IBM and HP actively looking to kill Windows is not something Microsoft shareholders would appreciate.

    Soko
  • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:00PM (#7959070) Journal
    Then why does it do everything possible to destroy it? Lotus 1-2-3 for Dos, WordPerfect (countless times), DR-DOS, OS/2, OpenDoc, Go/pen computing, Netscape, Java - and those are only the examples I can think of off the top of my head.

    In fact, there has never been a more monopolistic, closed technology advocate than Microsoft. If someone comes up with something original, or something that's superior to anything Microsoft can engineer, then they'll be driven into the ground by the full force of the Microsoft machine.

    I use Microsoft products (eg, Windows 2000, Office) and I also use non-Microsoft products that compete directly with the company's offerings (eg, Opera, Winamp). I'm not pro- or anti-Microsoft. What I am is pro-choice. And, frankly, that's one thing Microsoft can accurately never claim to be.
  • After all . . . (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mikey-San (582838) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:00PM (#7959072) Homepage Journal
    If you can't beat 'em, FUD 'em.

    Remember, kiddies, that Microsoft is never about competing. Otherwise, they'd still be working on IE for Mac OS X, instead of complaining that another browser beat them.

    Take your toys and go home, I say. We don't want you here.
    • Gollum! (Score:5, Funny)

      by finelinebob (635638) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @02:41AM (#7960461) Homepage


      MS: Where would you be without me? (gollum gollum). I saved us. It was me. We monopolized because of me!

      HP: Not anymore.

      MS: What did you say?

      HP: Apple looks after us now. We don't need you.

      MS: What?

      HP: Leave now and never come back.

      MS: No!

      HP: Leave now and never come back!

      MS: Arrrgh!

      HP: LEAVE NOW AND NEVER COME BACK!

      [HP is panting and looking around and realises MS is gone.]

      HP: We told him to go away! And away he goes Preciousss. Gone, gone, gone, HP is free!

  • by sstory (538486) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:01PM (#7959081) Homepage
    Windows IS about Choice.
    Also,
    Slavery is Freedom
    and
    War is Peace

    If I remember my Orwell right.

  • by TellarHK (159748) <tellarhk.hotmail@com> on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:03PM (#7959099) Homepage Journal
    There're two basic methods of Innovation at work here, Apple's brand and Microsoft's. Microsoft wants to leverage the choice of software tools made by third-party developers (that they haven't driven under by co-opting technology from) to promote a "choice" among applications on the Windows platform.

    Apple wants to provide the "choice" of a Non-Windows platform and non-Microsoft technology. And Apple, for all their ills as far as co-opting technology in ways distressingly similar to Microsoft, has never been known to utterly decimate the competition or actively belittle or disparage them. What Apple does when they add new features to the OS is to simply set the bar higher for 3rd party developers.

    Apple bothers me in some things, but when it comes right down to it, I don't see Apple trying dirty tricks in the background to drive anyone away from creating music services for the Mac platform. Microsoft would just -love- to push vendors into a MS Music Store lock in.
    • by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:47PM (#7959492) Homepage Journal
      Microsoft = "embrace and extend" - aka "we'll use rabid business practices to force you out of existence and call it 'innovation'"

      Apple = "our product is smaller, lighter, faster, more stylish, and in almost every way better. And it has a slick marketing campaign. You Suck."

      Of course, the clearest indication of choice in this issue is right before your eyes
      • iTunes for Mac OS
      • iTunes for Windows
      • Windows Media Player for exactly how many non-Microsoft Operating Systems?
  • by Amiga Trombone (592952) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:05PM (#7959125)
    HP believes that it is better positioned than any other company to bridge the gap between Apple and Windows. Fiorina told the Times: "The next big thing isn't the next gizmo or killer app or hot box. Customers want all this to work together and they want a seamless approach. We're very much going to make sure that the Microsoft and Apple worlds work together. That's part of the power we bring to this thing."

    This is probably the only remotely interesting initiative HP has embarked on since Carly took over.

    Let's hope it's more successful than most of them have been.
  • by Arkham (10779) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:12PM (#7959190)
    As you can see in this document [apple.com], iTunes supports quite a lot of different third-party players, including Nomads, Rios, and others.

    What these other players do NOT support is AAC-DRM files like those sold by the iTMS. I'm sure Apple would be happy to license their DRM scheme to a third-party mp3 player if they wanted to do so and the price were right. Money talks.
  • by Stevyn (691306) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:15PM (#7959227)
    Microsoft said they were about choice! Now the linux zealots can all flame them on slashdot and go to sleep happy. The apple users can chime in their love for ipods and itunes. The windows fanboys can chime in how wma is surperior and that it will take over and crush apple and linux. Once the rubble has settled the 1862 ogg users can tout a new media format world order and reign for the next 1000 years. Good times a commin'!

    If microsoft did this once a month, IT productivity would go up 10%.
  • WHO is David Fester? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:29PM (#7959361) Homepage Journal
    "We are going to produce a patch that should be up within a week," said Microsoft's David Fester, group product manager for Internet Explorer. "We'll put up that patch as quick as we can."

    Internet Explorer Bug Makes a Return Visit [wired.com]

    In 1998 he was the management flunky most directly responsible for all those MSIE bugs.

    "On the one hand, they say they're pursuing standards, but they're implementing and pushing proprietary technology with their development community," Microsoft product manager David Fester said. "Microsoft has pledged 100 percent standards support for some time. The truth is in the pudding and the products."

    Pot, Kettle Black (netscape, microsoft , standards, name-calling) [com.com]

    Wednesday's Windows Media announcements are specific to XP, said David Fester, general manager of Microsoft's Windows Digital Media division. "These are companies that are doing things specifically around XP," he said. "As you know, our Windows Media effort is broader than just XP."

    Windows Media announced for MAC/Linux/Solaris (not) [com.com]

    "This is unprecedented, but we realized we need to work together [with Netscape] for the common good. We decided we should not propose separate standards for privacy software." David Fester, Microsoft, June 97

    More Outright Lies from David Fester [tprc.org]

    Tell me again why I want to listen to *anything* this man has to say.
  • by spanklin (710953) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:40PM (#7959441)
    Does this mean that Microsoft is now beleaguered?
  • by Luckboy (152985) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:40PM (#7959442)
    Microsoft wants everyone to use their WMA technology, obviously developed by Microsoft.

    Apple wants us to use AAC, developed by Dolby.

    Last time I looked my stereo, TV, DVD player, Car Stereo, etc etc etc all carry the Dolby logo, not the Microsoft logo.

    It's a simple choice.
  • by 1 inch punch (319701) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:41PM (#7959447)
    This is 1984, all over again. Only this time, the roles are reversed.

    This is affirmed by the fact that the 1984 ad that was played during MWSF had an iPod digitally grafted on to the woman throwing the hammer.

    Apple is now the dominant manufacturer of portable music playback devices and has assumed the role of IBM. The licensing of the iPod and iTMS is a move straight out of the IBM playbook 20 years ago.
  • by tenzig_112 (213387) on Monday January 12, 2004 @11:50PM (#7959507) Homepage
    Three months ago I saw this parody article, and now it's come true. Some the quotes in it are now downright prescient:

    Under Anti-Trust Pressure, Apple Releases iTunes for Windows [ridiculopathy.com]
  • by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:28AM (#7959775) Homepage Journal
    MSSpeak - We give you CHOICE in the PDA market

    Real World - We charge all vendors equally and make all our money off of the applications you have to buy to interact with these devices. MS Office, Exchange, and we make it next to impossible for someone to convert Lotus Notes into your Windoows CE, er Pocket Windows, er Pocket Windows 2002, er 2003, er hey you need a new PDA every year from our 'choice'

    While my Palm 3.0 OS still works and I can still load what's latest and greatest on it.

    MSSPeak - iTunes is a closed format, they don't offer choice.

    Apple makes a player. It uses FairPlay's DRM. Apple doesn't own fairplay, and there is nothing stopping anyone from releasing players and/or portables to support this. Though people haven't, except one major one... HP.

    However here's another handy dandy pocket windows media os that you ahve to buy all new items for in six months or so that should do everything but support AAC from Apple, but that's OK we have WMA and it even has a true lossless CODEC for you audiophiles - Apple Doesn't! Their software is lossless! BTW our Pocket Media OS will let you play a widescreen movie on a 2" LCD and you'll like it because we said so. Apple is insane saying that no one wants that because we make it and you buy it because we said it's there!

    Whatever. Granted other than AAC that iTunes using being a bit to tight on the compression for my taste *I* like it and I've bought a few hundred songs. Would I care if it died tomorrow and some other vendor came out with a killer app? Heck no, but then again iTMS is the only one in the 10s of millions of songs sold. If 5% of the computer population can do that....
  • by John.P.Jones (601028) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:33AM (#7959810)
    If Microsoft is wrong then we should be able to design and build a third party media player that can play iTunes Music store songs and a plugin so Winamp can play them.

    Otherwise Microsoft is right... Oh wait you can just Burn a CD in iTunes and rip the CD into mp3 right in iTunes. Nevermind cary on nothing to see here.

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