REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 2, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the final version of Windows Media Player 10 will be available for download at 6 a.m. PDT on Sept. 2, 2004. The new player is designed to make it faster and easier for consumers to discover, download, play and transport their digital media, and includes the first built-in Digital Media Mall, which enables consumers to browse and acquire music and video from a broad number of online stores. The Digital Media Mall includes access in the United States to CinemaNow Inc., Musicmatch Inc., MusicNow LLC, Napster LLC, Wal-Mart Music Downloads and MSN® Music, a preview of which will be made available tomorrow. Windows Media Player 10 also enables consumers to transfer their music to more than 70 portable devices and automatically sync their entire media library — music, video, recorded TV and pictures — to new Windows Mobile (TM) -based Portable Media Centers, which Microsoft announced will be available tomorrow at retail.
“Windows Media Player 10 gives users the power of more music and choice, and for the first time makes it possible to sync high-quality music, video and photos to the latest portable devices,” said Will Poole, senior vice president of the Windows Client Division at Microsoft. “Windows Media Player 10 is a key element of Microsoft’s strategy to enable digital media everywhere, with even more to come later this year: more music and video, and more amazing devices for use in the home and on the go.”
“Creative’s customers can see a variety of enhancements to their digital entertainment experiences, both on the go and throughout the home, with Windows Media Player 10,” said Craig McHugh, president of Creative Labs Inc. “With the addition of Windows Media DRM 10 and the new Media Transfer Protocol, moving songs, videos and pictures to devices will be easier for consumers and more secure for content owners than ever before.”
“The improvements in Windows Media Player 10 are enabling customers to easily take content with them on the go, and to enjoy compatibility between their PCs, music players and a variety of popular download services,” said Gretchen Miller, co-director of marketing for the Consumer and Small Business Product Marketing Group at Dell Inc. “With Windows Media Player 10, we have the ability to enhance the capabilities of the Dell DJ and other devices, opening up more experiences, better ease of use and overall value for customers.”
New Features Make Digital Media a Breeze
Windows Media Player 10 offers a host of new and improved features:
New design. Windows Media Player 10 has a significantly updated look, making it quicker and more intuitive for users to perform common digital media activities. The player includes new ways to manage and enjoy a broader range of digital media — music, video, and now also recorded TV and more — and makes it easier than ever for consumers to create their own music CDs.
Choice of online stores. Windows Media Player 10 includes the first built-in Digital Media Mall, where users can easily discover, sample, and download music and video from a myriad of leading online stores and services, including MSN Music preview, Napster, Musicmatch, MusicNow, Wal-Mart Music Downloads and CinemaNow in the United States, with more stores and services to come later this year.
Enhanced device support. Windows Media Player 10 works with more than 70 portable devices, making it easy for consumers to take more digital music with them on the widest range of devices. The player also supports Windows Media Digital Rights Management 10, enabling consumers to transfer and play subscription and promotional content on portable devices, from Portable Media Centers available tomorrow to a range of new devices hitting the market this fall, including those connected via home networks. The new Auto Sync feature in Windows Media Player 10 will also work with certain existing and new devices, enabling users to automatically sync their music, video, pictures and recorded TV to portable devices.
Smart Jukebox features. Windows Media Player 10 includes features to help users find and play exactly the digital media they want, quickly and easily. Users also can rip their favorite CDs in their choice of the most popular formats; high-quality Windows Media Audio (WMA) and now high-bit-rate MP3 ripping capability are built in.
Windows Media Player 10 is the only media player to provide a solution for discovering and downloading music and video from a broad range of online stores and services, managing and playing media, and taking digital media anywhere on a wide range of devices. Whether consumers want to enjoy music while sitting at their desk, watch a video on the laptop at the cafe, take their favorite TV shows on a business trip with a Portable Media Center, or quickly transfer a playlist of songs to a device on the way out the door, Windows Media Player 10 delivers more choices than ever before.
Windows Media Player 10 for Windows® XP is available tomorrow, Sept. 2, in English, French and Korean. Other language versions are scheduled to become available in fall 2004. The player will be available for download from the Web at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/mp10/default.aspx .
About Portable Media Centers
Portable Media Centers are a new class of device that allows consumers to take all the digital entertainment that they store and manage on their Windows XP-based PC with them wherever they go. Windows Media Player 10 will quickly and automatically transfer photos, recorded television, home videos and music to a Portable Media Center. Creative Labs’ Zen Portable Media Center ($499) is available at major electronics retailers beginning Sept. 2; the Samsung YH-999 ($499) and iRiver PMC-100 (price TBD) Portable Media Centers will be available at retail later in the fall. Portable Media Center owners are able to download more than 200 films from CinemaNow Sept. 2, as well as condensed games, highlights and historic footage from MLB.com.
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