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(Fwd) [IRR] Yahoo Broadcast[.com] dumping RealFnord for Window

Hi Emacspeak list 

In light of the recent discussions about the difficulty of using 
newer RealAudio players on Linux, I thought this (worse) news might 
be of interest .. 

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date sent:      	Mon, 20 Dec 1999 17:18:57 -0500
From:           	t byfield <tbyfield@panix.com>
To:             	irregulars <tbtf-irregulars@world.std.com>
Subject:        	[IRR] Yahoo Broadcast[.com] dumping RealFnord for Windows Media Player RSN
Send reply to:  	t byfield <tbyfield@panix.com>

----- Forwarded 

Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1999 16:39:49 -0100 
From: "nettime's_roving_reporter" <nettime@bbs.thing.net>
To: nettime-l@bbs.thing.net
Subject: <nettime> Yahoo Broadcast/Microsoft deal

The attached is a found memo from Ken Freedman, WFMU Station Manager,
regarding WFMU's live netcasts.  FMU has been broadcasting via
RealAudio live over the net 24 hours/7 days for years now, starting
with Audionet (later renamed Broadcast.com), and more recently through
Yahoo Broadcast.  (Yahoo bought Broadcast.com earlier this year.)

What's about to happen is this: Yahoo is going to announce that
they're dumping RealAudio in favor of the Windows Media Player.  (THIS
HASN'T BEEN ANNOUNCED PUBLICLY YET.)  Among other things, this means
that UNIX/Linux users will no longer be able to listen to ANY Yahoo
(formerly Broadcast.com) webcasts.  Clearly there's been some kind of
deal cut between Yahoo and Microsoft.  This is obviously a big
power-play by MSFT against their arch-enemies Real Networks and the
UNIX world.  RA may be a piece of junk, but this move is a step toward
domination of netcast technology by Microsoft.

This also means that groups who have been forced to use
Broadcast.com/Yahoo to do their netcasting for them are about to lose
all their UNIX listeners.  They've now got to find other means to do
their webcasts or find the (lots of) money and equipment to do it

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1999 13:26:06 -0500 (EST)
From: Ken Freedman <ken@wfmu.org>
Subject: My Dinner with Yahoo

OK, I spoke to the Radio Services and Operations Directors at Yahoo today,
and it's even worse than I thought.

Yahoo's switchover from Real Audio (RA) to Windows Media Player (WMP) is
going to happen any day now - before 12/31. It's all a big secret, they
asked me NOT to post anything about this on the FMU website or provide
links so our listeners can prepare by downloading WMP ahead of time.

Contrary to what the Yahoo PR robot lady told me on Friday, there will
be NO overlap period whatsoever between RA and WMP. One day this week
or next, they will simply turn off the RA streams and turn on the WMP
streams. All the current WFMU archives - of [WFMU programs] JM in the
AM, The Green Room and Seven Second Delay will simply disappear at
that time.

I asked them about linux and unix users and they acted like I was speaking
gibberish. They said that everytime they "improve" anything they get
complaints. In this guy's view, they are simply taking online radio to
"the next level."

He said that RA is a piece of shit, and WMP can get around firewalls where
RA can't. He said that anyone who says that WMP has problems buffering
(inserting dead air into the audio) "is crazy." 

They have plans at Yahoo to create a free software product called "Radio
2.0." This is a radio interface that will overlay WMP. He envisioned that
people could have a "WFMU Radio 2.0 button" on their "My Yahoo" page which
would take them "directly" to our  stream. When he says "directly" he
means that people would still have to hear an audio commercial first, but
they are going to get rid of the pop-up banner ad, and they are going to
stop "mandating" that people go the broadcast.com site before listening.
(That "mandate" was totally unnecessary with RA, perhaps one of the
reasons they are ditching RA. The way RA actually works was always at odds
with the way the broadcast.com folks WANTED it to work.)

Every time I expressed concern to them about the listeners we will lose,
they both said that this happened everytime they "improved" things. 

The Radio Director denied any kind of deal with Microsoft or any falling
out with Real Networks. he said they were "in touch" with both companies. 

I asked if AOL users would have any trouble with WMP, since AOL-Netscape
are not aligned 100% with Microsoft, and he said he knew of no reason for
AOL users to have any problems with WMP.


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