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MOBILE MEDIA: Amazon.com is introducing Microsoft's Portable Media Centers
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 08.07.04 - 20:25:26 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 8003x
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Amazon.com recently pre-announced two Portable Windows Media Center and made them available for pre-order.

Have fun with more of your digital entertainment
Windows Mobile-based Portable Media Centers are handheld entertainment devices that make it easy to store and play recorded TV, movies, home videos, music, and photos transferred from a PC with Windows XP--so you can enjoy to your favorite entertainment anytime and anywhere you want.

More music, more choices
Take your entire Windows Media Player music library with you, including all your favorite songs, artist and track information, playlists, ratings, and even album art. The Windows Media audio formats provide unmatched quality at smaller file sizes so you can take more of your favorite music with you - up to 5,000 songs. Support for Windows Media offers access to the widest selection of music and video download services on the Internet.

Every TV show you've ever quoted
Portable Media Centers let you do more than play music. Move TV shows recorded on a Windows XP Media Center PC or PC with Windows XP-based TV tuner card to watch up to 80 of hours of TV on the road. Store up to 80 hours of recorded TV. That lets you take every single episode of The Simpsons, from its 1988 premiere through the 2003 season, with you wherever you go. You can even connect to a TV or entertainment center to watch videos with friends and family.

Every movie you've ever loved
Now you can take up to 80 hours of your favorite movies with you wherever you go, whether they are recorded on your Windows XP PC, downloaded from the Internet, or created yourself using a digital video camera.* Windows Media Player makes it easy to sync content with your Portable Media Center, either automatically or just what and when you choose.

Every photo you've ever taken
Did you ever notice that most of your digital pictures end up stored away on your computer and that you never get around to printing them? Now you can take the tens of thousands of pictures stored on your PC with you and share with friends and family wherever you are--you can even display them in a slideshow set to music. Portable Media Centers make accessing and viewing your favorite photos and slideshows easier than ever.

All the stuff above bring me back to two serious problems I've figured out during the past months when I was looking deeper into Windows Media Centers and was using my Apple iPod:

  1. I want a single DRM solution which is interoperable with devices from different brands! As much I love and use my iPod and as much I buy songs from iTunes "all" I can do (while this is more than most other online music stores allows) is listening it on my iPod, my PCs (up to 5) as long as they have iTunes installed and I'm allowed to burn CDs. However I can not listen these songs on my Pocket PC, on my Smartphone or in future on (my) Portable Media Center as long as I'm not burning it to a CD to rip it from there again. :-(
    This reminds me a little bit on buying a Mercedes but the gas from Exxon is the only one which works.
  2. Copyright Protections and laws in different countries: More or less I'm not allowed to legally rip/copy a DVD in a lot of countries to file it on a PC for later use. But I think this is essential to make this kind of great devices a success! I want to watch the latest Hollywood movies on my mobile devices as well and as good the TV concept of Portable Media Centers is, watching recorded TV shows only isn't enough but I want to watch (legally) copied movies on my Windows Media Center at home as well as mobile with my Portable Media Center or any other mobile device!

Okay, but back too Amazon: Right now you can pre-order two different Portable Media Centers, one from Samsung and one from Creative Labs, both with 20 GB HDD and both for US$ $499. Unfortunately they don't accept pre-orders from Germany, already tried. :-(

Related Link : [More Information] [Pre-Order Here]