Amazon.com Says Audio Buffer Be Gone!

Microsoft scored
a coup over rival RealNetworks
Thursday when e-commerce giant Amazon.com picked its Windows Media Services 9
Series
software to play its song samples for music shoppers.


Financial terms of the deal were not revealed. Amazon selected Windows in
large part because of its Fast Streaming technology, a feature included in
Windows Server 2003 that offers an instant-on playback experience for folks
who use Windows Media Player 9 Series to sample music clips offered through
Amazon.com. Fast Streaming eliminates pesky buffering for broadband users
and provides improved playback responsiveness for dial-up users.


Loudeye will provide encoding for this deal, which extends to Borders.com,
CDNOW.com and VirginMega.com, all of which are powered by Amazon.com.
Loudeye hosts a digital music archive with access to more than 3.3 million
music samples from over than 300,000 CDs.


In endorsing Redmond, Wash.’s Microsoft, Curtis Kopf, director of digital
for Amazon, said: “The ability to provide instant-on, fast-streaming audio
samples with Windows Media 9 Series virtually eliminates waiting times and
enables our customers to have instantly gratifying listening experiences.”


Seattle’s Amazon currently offers streaming through both Windows and
RealPlayer software in its music store. Seattle’s RealNetworks also offers
playback with very little buffering, called TurboPlay. But Amazon’s embrace
of Windows in Washington, the hometown state to all three firms, is a clear
victory for Microsoft, which is looking to ensure that its digital media
tendrils branch out in peoples’ homes and consumer devices.


For example, Microsoft in April inked a
deal with DVD software InterVideo to port components of the Windows Media
Format to run on Linux-based consumer devices. The company believes
extending its media experience away from the PC will help it diversify
revenue streams.

News Around the Web