Print 30 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Nov 1 at 3:33 PM

Windows Media Player 11 and URGE
WMP11 is released to the public

Microsoft has released the final version of Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP. Version 11 sports a redesigned user interface and incorporates seamless integration with MTV's URGE music service.

According to Microsoft, the URGE online catalog provides customers with over 2 million songs by over 110,000 artists. Microsoft is also boasting that its improved search engine in Windows Media Player 11 provides faster results than any other media player on the market.

  • A visually driven experience using thumbnail and album art, an elegant and simple design, and customization capabilities for more personalized interaction
  • Improved device experience with new shuffle sync and reverse sync options, device exploration using the library view, and intuitive help icons that ensure seamless and intuitive syncing and burning of rights-managed content
  • Highly simplified navigation capabilities, enhanced shortcut options, and dedicated category views for all media types, including music, photos and video
  • Better access to content with deep integration of services that blurs the line between online service and media player experiences
  • Industry-first audio fingerprinting capabilities that recognize and import track information for unidentified or misnamed audio files
  • New formats for ripping and music playback, including Windows Media Audio Professional and WAV Lossless

The final version of Windows Media Player can be downloaded from the official website.

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By rushfan2006 on 10/31/2006 9:25:20 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not a audiophile by even the farthest stretches of your imagination. To me as long as something sounds on par with a good cassette then I enjoy the music with no real complaints.

However, reading this thread and others I see there are TONS of audio formats around these days....lossless I know is what you want for good quality, but what is THE premier format for highest quality? What I'm asking is basically what is the "king of them all" format right now?

By Aikouka on 10/31/2006 11:06:53 AM , Rating: 2
MP3 really... it's probably the most widely supported format by any software or hardware player. Typically for any high-definition/multi-channel audio, I tend to see AC3 being used the most though.

By Spivonious on 10/31/2006 2:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
I do consider myself an audiophile, and if you want the best quality, you don't encode it at all. Just keep it in .wav :)

As far as the MP3 vs WMA vs AAC, the WMA sounds the best to my ears. MP3 cuts out too much of the high frequencies and AAC is too compressed (the audio term, not the computer term).

By mindless1 on 11/1/2006 3:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
Many formats can reproduce well enough that the human ear cannot discern the difference. It becomes more a matter of what the target device (player) supports, including bitrate, and whether content protection is necessary. Next is consideration of processing power needed to decompress versus storage savings at higher compression rates (whether lossless or not), and in mobile devices, the power used for either.

A good cassette is a pretty low target though, I'd consider that about equivalent to 160KB/s MP3, as both have different degradations but it's subjective- I'd rather have extra noise added in some cases rather than artifacted treble. Towards this end I also ended up turning off DNR on tape decks in some instances but some say I have better high frequency hearing than average.

If you really find cassettes acceptable, you might make archival copies in FLAC format and use MP3 160/192 for portable use. Minor additional bitrate vs quality savings on other lossy compressed formats have lesser merit in these days of large flash and HDD players.

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