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Dr. Mac: Rants & Raves

A Rant To Microsoft, And A Rave About iTunes Goodies
October 24th, 2003
Episode #4

Rant: An open letter to Dave Fester (General Manager of Microsoft's Windows Digital Media Division)

Dear Mr. Fester,

I just finished reading your article entitled, "Q&A: Choosing a Digital Music Service for Windows Users," on Microsoft's Press Pass Web site and I've got say, you really pissed me off.

Press Pass uses the tag line, "Information for Journalists," but this article was chock full of disinformation, distortions, half-truths, and total bullshit like:

"…users of iTunes are limited to music from Apple's (sic) Music Store."

I've used iTunes (and its progenitor, SoundJam) since time immemorial and I listen to MP3, AAC, AIF(F), and/or WAV files from a variety of sources, most of which DID NOT come from the iTunes Music Store.

As the General Manager of Microsoft's Windows Digital Media division, I'd expect you to know that iTunes can rip audio from almost any source and play almost any digital audio file you throw at it.

Oh, wait a second… iTunes doesn't recognize Windows Media files. I believe that's the point you were trying to make. If so, I don't consider the lack of Windows Media support a limitation, nor, I suspect, would most Mac users. In fact, given the draconian digital rights stuck on most Windows Media files available for purchase today, I'd be more likely to consider the lack of WM support a benefit.

But I digress.

The bottom line is that while it's OK to have your own agenda and put a Microsoft spin on what you publish on Press Pass, it's not OK to publish fiction and pass it off as fact.

You ought to know better.


Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus
Writer, raconteur, and rabid F.U.D. hater

Rave: Volume Logic --Cool, Free, Gotta-Have-It Plug-In for iTunes

I work with words all day long, and two of my favorites are, "cool" and "free." And I love them even more when they're used together.

Volume Logic is a cool, free (for now) plug-in that every iTunes user ought to check out.

It provides real-time digital remastering that improves the (already excellent) quality of iTunes output by producing a consistent volume level and spectral balance in real time using a state-of-the-art 5-band dynamics processor that examines and adjusts the audio thousands of times a second in real-time, before the audio is sent to your speakers or headphones. So your audio files are not modified--they just sound better when you play them.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Octiv used Rogue Amoeba's Audio Hijack technology to get their audio processing technology to work within iTunes. (Audio Hijack enables the recording of audio from any application.)

Dave Hamilton calls Volume Logic awesome and I agree. If you listen to music with iTunes, you've got to try it.

Volume Logic is available as a public beta until December 31, 2003; download a copy.

Rogue Amoeba offers a line of Audio Hijack audio capture utilities. Check them out at the Rogue Amoeba Web site.

Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus has been a Macintosh user for a long, long time and has written 49 computer books including Mac OS X Tiger For Dummies and GarageBand for Dummies. He also offers expert technical help and training to Mac users, in real time and at reasonable prices, via telephone, e-mail, and/or unique Internet-enabled remote control software. For more information on Bob and his services, visit

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