WMA vs. MP3 vs. AAC
by ericbtx - 6/27/07 3:34 PM
In Reply to: huh? by macaw68
The second person who replied is correct. WMA is a digital audio format that competes with MP3; the major difference is that WMA files can be protected and MP3 cannot. I have bought protected WMA files from music stores like Urge and MSN Music, and now I am subscribing to the Napster To Go service, which also uses protected WMA files.
I like how I can listen to the WMA files on any of my computers, stream them to my Xbox 360 and play them through my stereo, or download them to my Sandisk Sansa. Music downloaded from iTunes uses a protected AAC format which will not play on anything I own except for my laptop. The reverse is also true - none of the WMA files I have already bought will play on the iPhone or on any iPod.
Yes, iTunes can convert WMA files into AAC, but not if they're protected, so that wouldn't work for any of the the music I have bought from music stores or downloaded from Napster To Go. (And yes, I've heard that EMI is now selling AAC files with no protection, but they still wouldn't play on my Sansa or Xbox 360.)
Maybe someday every player and every music store will use the same formats and protection; until then, I'll have to stick with Plays For Sure devices. (Which, BTW, already includes several PDA phones sold by my cell phone carrier, Verizon.)
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