The add-ons will let users watch DVDs and rip CDs into the MP3 format using the Windows Media Player. The software is expected to be available for download when Windows XP hits the streets on October 25.

WINDOWS XP TO ENABLE MP3S

Accommodation Of Popular Format Designed To Soften "Planet-Swallowing Alien Force" Image
Even Bill Gates has to do what the public wants every once in a while, rather than the other way around.

Despite paranoia that Microsoft was going to muscle out the MP3 format—"The Favorite Of Ex-Napster Users Everywhere!"in favor of its proprietary Windows Media in its upcoming operating system, Windows XP will allow users to rip MP3s. That is, users willing to cough up a few bucks in addition to Windows XP’s yet-to-be-announced list price.

The add-ons, from Ravisent, CyberLink and Intervideo, will let users watch DVDs and rip CDs into the MP3 format using the Windows Media Player. The software is expected to be available for download when Windows XP hits the streets on October 25. Pricing has not been determined, but you should be able to get cheap versions from bootleggers on the street, if you’re patient enough.

Not that you’ll have any need to rips CDs into MP3 this fall—surely you’ll be using Pressplay (with whom Microsoft recently pacted, as we reported on 7/12) and MusicNet for all of your digital music needs.

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