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Chapter 14. Creating Digital Output > Creating Windows Media Files

Creating Windows Media Files

As the name suggests, Windows Media Video is Microsoft's video compression technology. To play files encoded in this format, viewers need Microsoft's Windows Media Player, which ships with all Windows computers and is freely downloadable at www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia. Microsoft offers players for all relevant Windows flavors and Macintosh (8.01 to OS X), but no Linux or Unix version (quel surprise!).

Like the RealNetworks technology, the Microsoft technology can produce files that support multiple-bitrate connections, but only when streaming from a Windows Media server (which is available only for Windows XP) or from a RealNetworks Helix server. Microsoft's most recent release of Windows Media 9 supports multiple-resolution files within the multiple bitrates, but if you're working at this level, you should use Windows Media Encoder, not Studio. Studio is a great tool for casual Windows Media encoding, but doesn't expose all relevant encoding controls and doesn't support real-time encoding.


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