REDMOND, Wash., May 16, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of Windows Media™ 7.1 updates for the Windows Media Player, Windows Media Encoder and Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK). By offering updated content creation technology for the recording of audio and video, these version updates offer a way for consumers, digital media professionals, IT professionals and software developers to take full advantage of the breakthrough audio and video quality of the latest Microsoft® Windows Media Audio and Video 8 codec technology released in March.
“Today consumers and developers alike can now enjoy the full benefits of our breakthrough Windows Media Audio and Video 8 technology,”
said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“These updates demonstrate our continued commitment to offer our customers the best software to create their personal digital music collections, distribute live and on-demand video over the Internet, or to help develop their own custom digital media solutions and software.”
In addition, with the release of the updated Windows Media 7.1 SDK, leading software vendors today announced their plans to support Windows Media Audio and Video 8 codec technology in their next-generation products. Companies announcing support include Anystream Inc., Media 100 Inc., Pinnacle Systems Inc.Sonic Foundry Inc., Syntrillium Software Corp. and ViewCast Inc. These companies join leading video production solution vendors, including Accom Inc., Avid Technology Inc., Chyron Inc., The Grass Valley Group and Optibase, that last month also announced support for Windows Media Audio and Video 8 in their future products.
Windows Media Player 7.1 — State-of-the-Art CD Ripping and New Enterprise Benefits
Windows Media Player 7.1 now includes CD ripping using the state-of-the-art Windows Media Audio 8 technology and provides new tools for enterprise customers that reduce deployment time and support costs.
Key improvements in Windows Media Player 7.1 include the following:
CD ripping using the Windows Media Audio 8 codec (WMA) for the best audio fidelity and the smallest file sizes. WMA offers the best quality at any bit rate and CD-quality audio at 64 Kbps – half the size of CD-quality MP3 files.
New Smart Transcode for WMA, to maximize music storage on portable audio devices. Smart Transcode for W MA will improve the quality of transcoding using the new Windows Media Audio 8. In addition, it will automatically convert existing high bit rate Windows Media music collections on-the-fly to smaller file sizes when transferring to portable devices.
In addition, Windows Media Player 7.1 will be a great player for enterprise customers with the new Enterprise Deployment Pack for Windows Media Player 7.1, coming later this summer. This new tool is designed to make it easy for network administrators, in a managed and cost-effective way, to offer the user benefits of Windows Media Player 7.1 in a Windows® 2000 environment. The new administration kit reduces deployment time and support costs with the ability to centrally manage settings in the player for every desktop including customized skins, proxy and protocol settings, limited access to player features such as CD ripping and online radio, and improved control over automatic feature and codec updates to the player.
Windows Media Encoder 7.1 — Enabling Professional-Quality Streaming
The Windows Media Encoder 7.1 offers digital media professionals an easy-to-use, powerful production tool for converting both live and prerecorded audio and video to Windows Media Audio and Video 8 for live and on-demand delivery. The new update includes new encoding features such as support for Windows Media Video 8 for streaming video and for streaming and download of audio files support for Windows Media Audio 8. For the best motion-picture-quality downloadable video, professionals should use the Windows Media Encoding Utility, supporting two-pass encoding and Windows Media Audio and Video 8’s True VBR (variable bit rate) technology.
Windows Media 7.1 SDK — Fueling Digital Media Software Innovations
Improvements in the Windows Media 7.1 SDK make it easier for developers to include support for the latest Windows Media Audio and Video 8 compression technology in their applications and solutions. Already more than 190 companies have developed products that support Windows Media; the Windows Media 7.1 SDK will offer these and other software and solutions developers the ability to tap the breakthroughs in Windows Media Audio and Video 8 and the Windows Media Encoder and build on them with their own innovations. Updates to the Windows Media SDK include these:
A new Windows Media Format Component SDK that enables applications to read, write and transfer files for streaming or downloaded delivery of Windows Media Audio and Video 8 content
A new Windows Media Encoder Component to automate the encoding process for custom solutions and enable remote encoding with Windows Media Audio and
The new Windows Media 7.1 updates for Windows Media Player, Windows Media Encoder and the Windows Media SDK are now available from http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ . The Enterprise Deployment Pack for Windows Media Player 7.1 will be available by midsummer.
About Windows Media
Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry’s only integrated rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation, and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software and hardware developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
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