Image Processing Reference
In-Depth Information
Digital Rights Management
An area where Windows Media excels over all the other platforms is in digital rights man-
agement (DRM). This is probably its most significant capability and the thing that endears
it to Hollywood and the TV companies, because they would like to control exactly how the
browsing and viewing experience is made available to the end user. Creating scenarios
where you can make content playable only for a specific time is where Windows Media
outshines the other players. These are the scenarios that Microsoft points out in the DRM
Direct license acquisition
Indirect license acquisition
Subscription services
Purchase and download single audio tracks
Video and audio rental services
DRM is a probably another significant reason why you would adopt this technology. It is
available to some extent on QuickTime (as evidenced by the FairPlay DRM implemented
in iTunes). Real Networks provides rights management on the basis of access control to the
content. However, that rights control evaporates once the content has been downloaded
and stored locally.
The Microsoft model depends on the player's being able to check back with the
rights owner for permission to play. This is an area of concern for privacy advocates
and civil liberties groups, but the important thing is that it works and is available now.
The rights-access control need not be a Microsoft-provided service—for example, the
Lysis DRM server is an example of how third-party suppliers are getting involved
with DRM.
Adding Multimedia Support
Windows Media is less capable on its own than Real Networks when it comes to adding
multimedia capabilities to the content. The QuickTime and MPEG-4 platforms are far
beyond what either Windows Media or Real offers in non-video support.
Multimedia Plug-Ins
The Envivio TV plug-in works with the player to deliver MPEG-4 systems-layer
interactivity. Other plug-ins, such as Anark, provide 2D and 3D capabilities within
the context of the media player. Anark is also available for the Mac OS, and if you
prefer another alternative, you should consider the AXEL
modeler from Mind
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