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Old April 20th, 2005, 10:35 PM   #76
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A little digging produced the actual NPD survey, or at least a portion of it. Check it out: http://www.macromedia.com/software/f...vey/npd_survey.

Interestingly, the avi, which is used to test Windows Media player, didn't load in either Netscape 7 nor Internet Explorer 6 on my computer. The player at least appeared in IE, minus image, while the player didn't appear at all in Netscape even though I know it's installed because I've played plenty of WM videos in Netscape.

If this happened when the participants took the survey, then many would no doubt have answered the question designed to test Windows Media player “No” even though the player was installed. I know I would have answered the question "No", as they just ask if you can see the image, not if so and so player is installed. (To be fair, many people don’t know what media players they have on their computers.)

We may have our passionate disagreements, but please let us keep the discussion civil. We can learn from each other so long as we don't let passion run ahead of reason.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 03:39 PM   #77
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nice post, chris... that bogus "survey" crashed the java viewer on my pc... so i guess that i don't have java installed ;-)

notice how they didn't ask if you had winxp installed? what a clever way to hide the true facts about the number of wmp player installs... because every winxp pc comes with wmp, and it can't be uninstalled... so if you have winxp, you have the windows media player.

other stats back up the overwhelming winxp/wmp domination of the 'net:

63.1% winxp/wmp: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

64% winxp/wmp:
http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2005/February/os.php

and then there are still all those win2k installs that came with wmp... ~15% or more.

i guess that we should give ernest's little npd survey some credit, at least they aren't using still images to twist the stats, like apple used to do... now the platform fanatics just leave out the true facts about the o.s. numbers instead.

if you are trying to figure out what this all means, the significance is that you don't want to put up web video in a format that people can't view... if they don't have the correct media player installed, they will typically leave instead of hassling with your q.t. content.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 05:48 PM   #78
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I noticed they left Windows XP out. A little odd since it's been out for four years; Windows 2000 has been around even longer. They also omitted Mac OS 9 and X. And in the browsers, no IE 6 or Netscape 6/7, or Firefox. This looks like a survey that would have been designed five or six years ago.

Another thing that could have skewed results is that, judging from the names of the pages in the address bar, they had separate tests for Flash players v2 and 3, Shockwave players versions 6 and 7, and QuickTime versions 3 and 4, while only one each for RealMedia and Windows Media player.

I tried the avi URL directly and got a message that Windows Media player couldn't play the file because it might not support the file type or codec. I then downloaded the avi, and file properties lists the video compression as IR45. I've never heard of that codec before.

I don't know if what Macromedia has up there is the whole survey or not, as they list it as an example. (I wouldn't think they would want to make it much longer than what's up there. How many animated fish can people take? It surely isn't Nemo, let me tell you!) If that is all of the survey then I can understand why RealPlayer, and in particular Windows Media player, scored so low.

Did the avi load for any of you? Has anyone else heard of the IR45 codec?
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Old April 21st, 2005, 09:35 PM   #79
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The avi file works the charm on my Win2K system -- the Java one doesn't, but all the rest do.

GB
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 03:02 PM   #80
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Dan Euritt wrote:
"now the platform fanatics just leave out the true facts about the o.s. numbers instead."

You conflict yourself again. You readily admit you are a platform fanatic yet you cite platform stats all the time. :-)

The name calling is inappropriate here. I can only assume you are directing the name calling at me and not yourself. I, unlike you, use and view both platforms equally.

The point remains that the platform count is not a valid count and that it is the flawed basis for your argument. To date, surveys are the only manner in which accuracy can be achieved.

I agree with you on one point though, whenever I find a cite with WMV, I typically leave and not hassle with it. I don't encounter much of it though. :-)
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 07:38 PM   #81
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i think that ir45 is an old intel legacy codec that won't work under osx... you might try downloading the intel video 4.5 codec from the apple website, and see if it'll play inside of qt, but only in mac classic mode.

all that's left is to prove is how many computers don't have the qt player.

right now there are at least 822 million computers accessing the 'net: http://www.c-i-a.com/pr0305.htm

some stats claim 888 million internet users: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

remember when apple bragged last year about 250 million qt downloads? what did that amount to, less than a third of all 'net computers?

every winxp pc has a mandatory installation of the windows media player, and you can't uninstall it... and at least ~80% of the world's computers have winxp or win2k as the o.s.

so wmp is the clear winner in media player penetration, by a long shot... even a mac platform fanatic can read those numbers ;-)
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 08:17 PM   #82
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Dan,

You're right, it is the Intel Indeo video 4.5 codec. Interesting thing is, the video plays fine in RealPlayer and Nero Showtime. Go figure.

Whoops, spoke to soon. Windows Media player plays it just fine locally on my computer. It still won't load in the browser for the survey, though.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 06:11 AM   #83
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On prior episodes, Dan wrote:
"i have become assimilated"

"every winxp pc has a mandatory installation of the windows media player, and you can't uninstall it... and at least ~80% of the world's computers have winxp or win2k as the o.s."

"i just proved that the wmp player is on 85%"

"63.1% winxp/wmp:"

"the bottom line here is that pc operating systems make up around 96% of the desktop computers on the 'net"

"so we have at least 75% of the internet that is wmp9-capable."

-----------------------

Citing the OS installs "number of the week" and its native media player as the basis for media format is like saying 90% of drivers smoke because 90% of cars have cigarette lighters (made the number up to make a point). It's flawed logic and all the name calling and ad-hominem attacks in the world won't change it. Nor will it change that WMP won't play an ISO standard MPEG-4 video because MSFT wants to own and control the internet video format with their proprietary WMV-9 format. This is what the EC convicted them of doing using illegal means and in addition to fining them ~6 million, now require MSFT by law to ship a version of XP without the media player.

So, as content producers, we each get to make a choice. A moral choice having nothing to do with fanaticism, name calling or subjective opinions of image quality. Support the convicted monopoly proprietary model or a competitive free enterprise model?
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 01:47 PM   #84
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chris, i was thinking that you were on a mac, but it looks like you're on a pc... and that bogus npd "survey" still won't work with wmp inside your pc browser, even tho you have the codec installed.

the whole "survey" scene is such a racket... companies pay for bogus data that is way too small of a sample size to be representative of anything, just so that it can be used to help sell product... and platform fanatics post it all over the 'net, you should see how many flash sites are quoting that npd "data" as if it was gospel that came down from on high, lol... a malfunctioning "survey" of 2,000 pc's out of a lot size of 822 million pc's is a joke!
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Old April 25th, 2005, 10:19 AM   #85
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Ernest,

I believe there is room for both open standard and closed standard video formats. I don't see a problem with WMP not playing an MPEG-4 file. If I need to play an MPEG-4 file I can use the QuickTime player. And WMP can play an MPEG-4 file if you have the Nero suite installed. Microsoft also has a downloadable codec pack for WMP (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...cdownload.aspx) that includes an ISO MPEG-4 codec, though it didn't work on the two systems I tried it on.

Microsoft's stance on MPEG-4: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...WM7/mpeg4.aspx

And it will probably surprise you, but the Mac version of Windows Media Player supports MPEG-4 ISO files: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...x/default.aspx

Both Apple and Microsoft want to control the computer world; Microsoft just happens to be at the top of the heap right now. So in that regard I don't trust either company. MPEG-4 just happens to be one area where Apple supports open standards.

Lest you think I'm against MPEG-4, I'm not. In fact, I'm looking forward to the H.264 support in QuickTime 7. I just think that a healthy mix of video compression standards pushed by different companies will produce competition, which will result in further improvements. MPEG-4 shouldn't be the only codec supported and used, and neither should the Windows Media video codec, or the RealMedia codec.

Dan,

Yes, I'm running Windows, XP to be exact. But I think both platforms are good. I've used OS X (and 9, ugh!) when I apprenticed at an illustration/graphic design firm.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 05:49 PM   #86
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Chris,

I find the ideas you express about MSFT and this format issue naive. It's like being leary of BMW of dominating the sedan market instead of Toyota, Honda, GM, and Ford. At least there, you have healthy competitive free market. In contrast, MSFT was convicted (twice) of abusing it's monopoly position and using illegal means to thwart competitors. The EC judgement in particular was on the issue of media format. So, I disagree with the blanket statement you made.

Apple is on a standards strategy not a world domination strategy. MSFT is overtly not supporting MPEG4 because it wants the control point of owning the video format as a way of controlling competitors. You need to read up on the industry. Here's an article quoting Gartner Research and Frost & Sullivan on why they think Apple has the right strategy with QuickTime and why MSFT with WMV does not.
http://www.macworld.com/news/2004/06...=1087152097000

Playing an ISMA MPEG-4 in WMP on a Mac results in "Cannot play back the file. The file format is invalid." Nero on Windows plays it just fine.

There can be no "healthy mix" as you propose because of MSFTs control. The way to a healthy market is through standards. Implementors compete on a level playing field. We have it elsewhere and it works.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 10:09 PM   #87
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Ernest,

I think we will just have to agree to disagree. As I already said, I've used Macs and I think they are good computers. I'm not a Windows/Microsoft fanatic. If a company has behaved unethically, they should be punished. That said, I still believe there is room for all the formats, provided none of the companies behave unethically.

Is that a satisfactory position for you? ;-)

Just out of curiosity, what would your ideal computer world/video format world look like? Everyone running Macs streaming MPEG-4 video through QuickTime? :-)

Like I said, just curious.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 06:12 AM   #88
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Well that is a more reasoned position. I think you'll find opnion and evidence that one party has acted unethically. There's been many lost court cases and out of court settlements as testimony.

Standards create interoperability and the largest market. DV is an example. First, as a standard, it created a huge market that had previously been fragmented by 8mm, S-VHS, Hi-8, and others. All the equipment manufacturers built to the spec. Because of standards, DV cameras, decks, firewire cards and NLEs all became interoperable. This created a healthy competitive ecosystem. The consumer video market exploded.

Standards are the backbone of the internet. A standard video format is just as important as a standard image format. As long as the standard is adequate, standards trump marginal technical differences. When there's a standard, everyone who wants to build an internet capable device (computer, PDA, smartphone) has equal access to the technology and isn't locked out of providing a player or creation tools.

As an example, the standards body for cell phones is 3GPP. THey've chosen MPEG-4 as the standard for video. Phone manufacturers are free to use whatever HW/SW OS they want to implement a player. They aren't locked into a format owned by a single company/competitor. So, my position is that similar to DV, producers and consumers of web video should standardize on MPEG-4 part 2 now, part 10 later (aka H.264) so it doesn't matter what HW/SW platform the surfer is using. Don't like MPEG4? Go to 3GPP or ISO whatever and argue the case. Submit somthing better. Drive improvements to the standard.

Finally, there are critics of MPEG-4. It isn't perfect. Neither was 802.11, DV and IEEE 1394 but the industry worked at smoothing out the kinks and moved the standards forward. The same should happen in web video but isn't. One reason is that MSFT has a monopoly position on the install base and refuses to support the standard in favor of it's own. This links back to the ill-logic that install base should drive format decisions for producers. If you've read this thread and others, you'll see it stated numerous times by posters and pundits that there are a number of factors that should go into the decision. Adoption is one but not the only one.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:07 PM   #89
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Ernest,

Thanks for the reply. Your more in-depth explanation gave me a better understanding of why you take the position you do. I understand your reasons better now.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 12:19 PM   #90
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Just to clear up a bit of hooey here, WMP9 is not required for WMV9. WMP8 downloads the codec automatically. I think only WMP6.4 needed a hotfix to load the codec (I think that was a misdirection correction). WMP7 should load it automatically also, but I have not used it for about 3 years. So, it is not true that because you do not have WMP9, you cannot use WMV9. Therefore, not having XP does not exclude using WMV9.

As for Real, that has to be one of the worst players ever written. Even if their codec was the best, their player ruins the experience. The only reason they have any foothold is their inclusion and preference in the AOL bundle.

Lots of ABM here.
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