I just got a couple new DVD's and figured I see how playing a DVD on my new PC would be like. After all watching something on a 21" CRT is gonna be bigger and nicer than a 15" LCD, right? well I must say I am very unimpressed with the performance in Windows XP and Windows Media Player 9. I thought I would share what I have learned.
I have a 15" PowerBook G4 and am used to playing my DVD's in OS X. And I must say the controls for DVD playback in WMP9 are really bad. Only a few of the controls have a keyboard shortcut associated with them. I guess I was just hoping that the DVD controls would be better in Windows Media Player. I find no controls for Angle, Enter, and there is no keyboard way to get to the menu system of the DVD or to move through tracks. Also, and this is just a personal note, the scaling of the video to a smaller version to show the UI of WMP9 when in Full Screen Mode when you move the mouse is horrible. Sometimes this is jumpy in itself, and is also very annoying.
what really gets me is how much the video skips in Windows. Though the same DVD's do not skip on my PowerBook. Even though the DVD-ROM drive on my TiBook is really messed up, it still does not skip or jump around. (I did try many of my DVD's in Windows and they all skip to some extent). Now why is this? my PowerBook is a 2+ yr. old 500 Mhz G4 and my PC is a very new 3 Ghz P4. I have not once had the video skip on my TiBook. I even took the time once to kill all the background processes once before firing up WMP9 and the video still skips. And once, today, I was in the middle of watching X-MEN and WMP just up and disappeared. I was watching Storm zap Toad one second and the next I was staring at my desktop.
I just had higher expectations for Windows. I ended up hooking my 21" monitor up to my TiBook, that solved the problem of the jumpy video. I guess I will chalk this up to something else that is better done on Mac OS X.
Oh yes, my PC did come with DVD player software. I got whatever bundle of software that comes with a DVD-A05 drive. I have yet to really hear of any DVD player software that is really any better than WMP, so if you know of any I for one would like to know about it.
I rummaged through my Start Menu and found PowerDVD XP (version 4). funny thing is that this application does not show up in that window that shows up in XP when you insert a DVD into the computer. WMP9 and RealOne show up in the list, but not PowerDVD. I will have to watch a couple DVDs with PowerDVD to see if things are better. One thing that I find interesting is that Windows does not come with a built in (1st party) DVD decompressor. WMP9 has to rely on a 3rd party decompressor (in my case PowerDVD). Since WMP9 and PowerDVD are actually using the same "backend" to play the video there should be no difference in quality in either app (WMP9 or PowerDVD). But there is something that tells me that the video will jump less using a dedicated DVD player such as PowerDVD.
Talking about bundled software, of all the bundles software that came with the components of my computer, the Audigy2 card, the 9700 Pro, the LITE ON CDRW, the DVD-A05, none are worth using. Save maybe for the copy of NERO 5.5 that came with the LITE ON drive. Of course that will not let you burn using another drive (such as the DVD-A05 drive) so thats not even really a great bundle. PowerDVD seems to be a good piece of bundled software as well. I have not had the time to mess with it though. I plan to look into it and do a comparison/review of it though.
Recently several bogus mp3 files meant to resemble the file attributes of songs from Madonna's new album "American Life" were flooded onto Peer2Peer networks for music pirates to download. When Madonna's fans went to listen to her new songs instead of enjoying her music they heard the message "What the f*ck do you think you are doing?".
This was an attempt by Madonna's managment to slow down the spread of her album online, forcing fans to either buy it, or do without listening to her music, hoping to increase sales on the album.
Unfortunately for Madonna and her managment, thanks to an unknown hacker, Madonna fans could visit her website to download her full album and remixes and no longer needed to worry about downloading bogus mp3 files. While visiting the site fans could see the hackers message to Madonna that stated: "This is what the f*ck I think I'm doing..."
So what does this mean? Music pirates will get their music!
Holy Cow Batman! My sites are back up and running! It is so good to be back to my old site. Like sleeping in your own bed again. Thanks for the refugee camp Jake!