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Microsoft to cripple MP3 capabilities
April 12, 2001 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Microsoft to cripple MP3 capabilities I don't think anyone has posted this yet; Microsoft's new Windows XP operating system is set up so as to cripple MP3 copying, in order to nudge users into using Windows Media Player format for all their music files. Of course, the latter is a proprietary format with copy protection built in. Not only does the built-in software not copy MP3 files at a higher sampling rate than 56kps, but third-party MP3 software apparently does not work properly. --As usual, this will not stop knowledgeable users from finding workarounds, but the goal is to make unprotected copying too difficult for the average Joe.
posted by Rebis (45 comments total)

 
Microsoft's never packaged mp3 software with an OS. So how do they figure their decision to continue to not package it now is going to "spell the death of the mp3 format?"
posted by chrisege at 12:22 PM on April 12, 2001


most computer geeks could care less about the average joe when it comes to computer usability and often times the average joe knows someone who isn't so average.

information is impossible to stop.

the only compressed sound file format i would use (other then mp3) is .OGG
WMA is a joke. if you think that WMA sounds better then a 192 kbps mp3 thats fine. you go on ahead and think that :)
posted by Qambient at 12:24 PM on April 12, 2001


The more I hear about windows XP, the more I am considering switching over to linux. Windows has always been more convenient for me to use, but suddenly it's not looking so "user friendly."
posted by Doug at 12:26 PM on April 12, 2001


do like i've just done, doug. set up a dual boot, Windows 2000 and Linux.
posted by jpoulos at 12:30 PM on April 12, 2001


chrisege: It's not about not including MP3 encoding software. This article doesn't go into it as much, but there's three basic points here:

1) High-quality WMA encoding is included
2) MP3 encoding is limited to 56kbps (most MP3s of speech are at least 64k)
3) Most other MP3 encoding software doesn't seem to work under XP.

I'd provide a link, but it's on Slashdot, which isn't responding right now.

Doug: I reccommend SuSE Linux 7.1. It's easy to set up and use like RedHat, but they follow the standards a lot closer than RH does. Plus, if you're willing to spend $70 instead of $40, you can get over 4gb of programs included on CD. I've heard good things about Mandrake, too, but they're based on RedHat. Just my $0.02.
posted by CrayDrygu at 12:35 PM on April 12, 2001


Do any of these guys ever ask themselves, "What advantage does this new technology offer to the consumer?"
posted by harmful at 12:37 PM on April 12, 2001


Harmful: no.

Others, "Microsoft says that while other software vendors' products may not be "optimized" to run with Windows XP, those products should run acceptably with the operating system"
What does "acceptably" mean?
posted by Outlawyr at 12:47 PM on April 12, 2001


harmful: I'm sure they do. But they only ask that after asking "Does this damage our rivals?" and "Does it consolidate our monopoly?" The record shows that once MS has destroyed their rivals in a particular market, they do a reasonable job of doing the right thing by the consumer. In exchange, they get to rape the consumer to the annual tune of several hundred dollars. And they lock out all other options, so even if the consumer doesn't really want to spend that money, they have no other options. I'm a diehard Linux user, but my life is continually complicated because I have to suffer through .doc overload. I fear the day when it won't just be .docs, but all media formats (including audio, video, and the web) that require Windows to work well or work at all. The fact that the Bush administration seems to think that as long as Bill Gates is wealthy then clearly his company is not doing anything illegal only compounds that fear.
posted by louie at 12:50 PM on April 12, 2001


There's not a whole lot in this article, people.

First, fine, Microsoft's included MP3 encoding software won't encode beyond 56 kbps. This is no different that the current setup; no MP3-encoding DLLs come with a stock Windows setup, and if you install Windows Media Player, the DLLs only support 56 kbps encoding. Only by installing another vendor's app do you get better than this.

Second, it's no news whatsoever that some vendor's product doesn't work on a beta version of an operating system. That's what betas are for, people -- to work out these bugs. Does anyone really think that (a) no vendor will work out the problems by the time WinXP ships, or (b) that all the vendors won't work out the problem by then?

Lastly, Rebis, the article makes absolutely no mention of some ephemeral inability to copy MP3s encoded at higher bitrates. None.

Every now and then, I feel like MF is turning into Slashdot, bashing away at Microsoft for silly reasons.
posted by delfuego at 12:51 PM on April 12, 2001


From Article: "The new restrictions in Windows XP won't prevent other vendors' software applications from recording MP3 music at a higher fidelity, but early testers of beta versions of Windows XP already complain that the most popular MP3 recording applications -- which compete with Microsoft's format -- don't seem to function properly, apparently because of changes Microsoft made to how data are written on CD-ROMs under Windows XP."

The one thing that bugs me is that software companies (not the developers themselves) in general, always take their own proprietary spin on standard tools and technologies to force a decision between products (suppose that MS feels that they are the authority on software and data sharing standards much like soundblaster and hayes once had for hardware). Nowadays, you can code in Borland C++ or Visual C++, but don't expect to port one to the other without serious headaches. MS has created that distinction in many products and has carved that niche that gives them leverage against competitors (not to mention a huge amount of financial backing to buy out other companies). While sometimes being counter-productive to intuitiveness and convenience, they always ensured that they can have the upper hand when people are willing to shell out money.

Delfuego: Every now and then, I feel like MF is turning into Slashdot, bashing away at Microsoft for silly reasons.


Because they won't stop flanking technologies that the industry is willing to cooperate on. Try not to generalize people on MF btw.
posted by samsara at 12:59 PM on April 12, 2001


All they're doing is capping Windows Media Player 8's maximum bit-rate for encoding mp3s to 56kbps (as of XP beta 2, this artificial limit be changed with a reg hack. WMA copy protection can also be disabled in beta 2. Whether these make it to the final version remains to be seen).

Nothing is stopping users from downloading third-party encoders which will continue to encode at any bit-rate.

As for WMA being a joke, Microsoft have made huge improvements with version 8 of their encoder. I don't know I'd go as far as saying that a 64kb WMA is better than a 128kb mp3, but to my ear they are certainly close.

As Chris said, Microsoft have never bundled an mp3 encoder so it's not like they're removing functionality. All they're doing is included an encoder with only partial mp3 support. This is hardly the death knell for mp3.
posted by Monk at 1:01 PM on April 12, 2001


The rumors seem a bit exaggerated. XP apparently defaults to 56K for MP3s, which is hardly worth using, but Slashdot [hmm, they seem to be slashdotted, otherwise I'd stick the URL in here] has a registry hack that resets the default to 128K. (Learn hex and set it to what you like.) I'd like to see more info declaring that MSFT had deliberately crippled third-party MP3 software in XP, however unshocking that news might be.

OTOH, it does look as though we're in for an arms race in digital "rights" management hacking/cracking, a la the (IMO brilliant) DirecTV hack.
posted by retrofut at 1:08 PM on April 12, 2001


Samsara, Microsoft isn't doing anything to the MP3 standard except providing an encoder with their new operating system, something they never did before! Yes, this encoder is limited, but so is HyperTerminal and the calculator -- and yet the industries for replacements for these are just fine.

All this hype is directly proportional to the Microsoft-is-evil tone of the original article. If the article had, on the flip side, highlighted the addition of an MP3 encoder where none had been there before, people wouldn't be nearly as affronted as they seem to be under the current circumstances.

Oh, and lastly -- I'm not generalizing about all MFers; that's why I prefaced the statement with "every now and then."
posted by delfuego at 1:11 PM on April 12, 2001


Windows is not the only OS in the world that can record MP3s. Go ahead and let Microsoft shoot themselves in the foot. People will eventually wake up and realize what Microsoft is doing and seek alternatives.
posted by camworld at 1:14 PM on April 12, 2001


Microsoft isn't alone, Real Networks, Liquid audio, and I bet even Beatnik would prefer it if the mp3 format was dead, so they could replace the unencrypted, open, simple mp3 format with their own proprietary, paid, and heavily-licensed version.

I've bought a couple audio books-on-mp3 from audible.com, and they're a hybrid, encrypted, locked down format. I can't begin to describe how crappy the user experience is when downloading, installing plugins, then playing books through their crippled software.

mp3 is simple and works for everyone, but nobody can call it their own, or shoehorn a zillion features no one is asking for, so companies in the business of controlling formats would love to see mp3 die and replace with their own.

It's not just Microsoft, all these companies are control freaks.
posted by mathowie at 1:24 PM on April 12, 2001


The fact is, though, that many people - many many people - now have a vested interest in the MP3 format. I know I've got a gig's worth, and I'm not about to convert them all to WMA or the like for no apparent benefit. Clearly, MS will have to instead tout the XP integration ("Listen to your music on the taskbar!") instead of touting something that'll be a genuine benefit. There isn't any in this case.

I can only hope that it's as successful as the MiniDisc format; while Sony pushed, people said, "For cryin' out loud, I just converted all my records and tapes to CDs and now you want me to do it again?!" MD has a niche market, a very small one. MP3 as a format will only go away if ignorance and marketing prevail.

Matt, you bring up a great point about MP3 not being company-specific; incredibly, the same thing can be said about the net in general.
posted by hijinx at 1:36 PM on April 12, 2001


Thoughts on Apple's MP3 software, anyone, as an alternative?
posted by ParisParamus at 1:45 PM on April 12, 2001


Paris: I discovered iTunes on Tuesday and have ripped over sixteen hours of music with it since then. It's by far the best MP3 ripper/player I've seen. It's simple, works exactly like you'd expect, and doesn't appear to be crippled with any weird lockdown stuff.

Basically, it works like this: you stick in a CD, wait a second or two while it queries CDDB, then click "Import". If it's not in CDDB, you can click the song titles and rename them just like in the MacOS Finder (and upload the names if you want). The tracks go into a default folder (which you can change) and are listed in the iTunes "Library". It can even play a CD while you rip it.

It supports playlists (which have a "Burn to CD" button) and you can put mp3s in the library listing whether iTunes ripped them or not.

I'm amazed Apple can get away with it.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:03 PM on April 12, 2001


As delfuego says, the Windows Media Player MP3 codec has always limited the encoding rate. And I can't believe that anyone who's wanted to encode MP3s in the last few years hasn't come across the codec prepared by Radium.
posted by holgate at 2:07 PM on April 12, 2001


The only CDs I've ever ripped, me lawyer, writer, wannabe techie have been with iTunes. Seemed too easy to be true. The more annoying (or limiting) Windows gets, the more attractive the alternatives look. I've heard almost nothing in the press about iTunes, however...
posted by ParisParamus at 2:12 PM on April 12, 2001


This discussion sucked on Slashdot, and it sucks here too.

The latest version of WMAs do sound good, this isn't a huge surprise considering the technology is younger than the MP3 standard.

As many have pointed out, this is just MS's included encoder. To the best of my understanding, the reason it's limited to 56 kbps is not because MS is evil and hates MP3s, rather due to licensing restrictions (there are some fuzzy legal issues with regard to creating MP3 encoders).

The registry hacks are interesting, hopefully they won't be patched up before the final release (why expose your hacks now before the final version? I don't know).

I can't imagine they'll enforce WMA copy protection though, doesn't it conflict with copying to portable devices (or older players)? (Isn't this why most MP3 encoders don't use the copyright protection -- I know RealJukebox had an option for it back when I used to use it).
posted by fil! at 2:13 PM on April 12, 2001


There is a lot more to this technically.

In a nutshell, MS is going to lock down the sound path all the way THROUGH the device driver (including adding static to non-licensed sound) and require you to license content from providers. Providing that middleman service will be very profitable to them. Here's the plan in thier own words:

MS - How License Acquisition Works

MS Secure Audio Path

MS - FAQ On Digital Rights Management

Register - Welcome to .NET - how MS plans to dominate digital music sales
posted by dand at 2:46 PM on April 12, 2001


I can't imagine they'll enforce WMA copy protection though, doesn't it conflict with copying to portable devices (or older players)?

Audible.com's copy protected MP3 format required me to update the firmware on my Rio500, so it is in fact possible that WMAs will carry all sorts of wacky protections on them.
posted by mathowie at 2:48 PM on April 12, 2001


And I can't believe that anyone who's wanted to encode MP3s in the last few years hasn't come across the codec prepared by Radium.

What about a new user who just wants to make a copy of her CD on her hard drive? I would hope that your statement wouldn't include someone new; why should a new user have to be deluged with codecs?

In any event, it sounds like iTunes is the best bet. Apple knows this and is advertising it. Time'll tell if it's successful.

I think a bigger part of the problem is that more and more people will just use Windows' built-in crapola because it's there. Why should they go get Winamp? They've got Media Player. And Microsoft gives them all the reasons to stay, and eventually (I'm sure) will come up with "compelling" reasons for users not to go elsewhere.
posted by hijinx at 2:51 PM on April 12, 2001


I can't imagine they'll go through with enforcing WMA copy protection. No file format that makes life harder for the user (i.e. any that require encryption) will ever succeed. What I can't understand is why these companies would even waste their time trying to kill mp3, when they know:
1. In the case of M$, it'll just push users to other OSes
2. Hackers will create a new file format (ogg vorbis for example)
posted by bradlauster at 2:51 PM on April 12, 2001


In a nutshell, MS is going to lock down the sound path all the way THROUGH the device driver (including adding static to non-licensed sound) and require you to license content from providers.

And so there will be rogue drivers, certification hacks, you name it. Of all the warez crowd, there are few more sophisticated than the audiowarez groups. This has traditionally been because professional audio software is prohibitively expensive for home users: lots of copy protection (Cubase had a hardware dongle, f'rinstance) and an equal amount of effort to crack that protection. MP3 codecs have been reverse engineered, and encoders developed from scratch, to escape legal action from Fraunhofer.

Unless MS is going to install spyware and send the boys round when you edit the registry or switch drivers, they're simply not going to counter people who want to beat copy protection. As hijinx says, the best solution for MS isn't technological: it's by encouraging user apathy when it comes to finding alternatives.
posted by holgate at 3:16 PM on April 12, 2001


From dand's 3rd link above. (FAQ on Digital Rights Management):

All PC systems today are vulnerable to attacks that seek to replace device drivers. For example, a media file is vulnerable to interception on the way to the sound driver after the file has been decrypted and downloaded from the DRM system to a media player.

Attacks?!? Yup, all those nasty worms, viri and web server break in's were done through the sound card driver!

I'm a little worried. XP will probably be a default OEM installation sooner or later. Coupled with HDD copy protection schemes that have been bantered about lately, this could cause a shift in what is percieved as ownership of digital media.
posted by sauril at 3:18 PM on April 12, 2001


bradlauster:
No file format that makes life harder for the user (i.e. any that require encryption) will ever succeed.

Then how do you explain the popularity of RealMedia?

1. In the case of M$, it'll just push users to other OSes

I would like to believe that this is the case, but there is only one real competitor, and switching costs are still very significant. I doubt there are enough people both able and motivated enough to switch that Microsoft would even care. Besides, the real money is in OEM licenses, and Microsoft still owns the entire game out there.

2. Hackers will create a new file format (ogg vorbis for example)

Fine. So you can rip a CD and turn it into ogg vorbis and play it, share it with other ogg vorbis users, and keep your free music - but if the rest of the world gets locked down, it's not going to be a very long-lasting victory. The mass market eventually swallows everything. What do you do when you want to play your ogg-vorbis file in your car? On your walkman? When the new album you want doesn't come on a CD?

I'm all for music liberation and the end of the fascist mess bred by current copyright law, but just saying "we won't use it" doesn't make you immune to the record industry's machinations. They have lots of money and they will figure something out if we don't constantly beat them to the punch.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:30 PM on April 12, 2001


dand et al: those Microsoft articles aren't specific to all sounds, just ones encoded with DRM (digital rights management) codecs; it doesn't appear that MP3s are included whatsoever. (Likewise, I can't imagine that the sounds that you use for your system beeps and whatnot -- usually WAVs -- would be impacted.) Notice that this entire system (the Secure Audio Path technology) is implemented in WindowsME, and yet people don't seem to have a problem playing or using their MP3s there...

/jason
posted by delfuego at 3:42 PM on April 12, 2001


Samsara, Microsoft isn't doing anything to the MP3 standard except providing an encoder with their new operating system

I know that...I think you missed my point, which was intended to be closer to what Matt expressed by companies having technologies to call their own. The simple fact is, Microsoft isn't evil. They just have the most money and pull (due to the coincidence of also owning the OS). The root of all the stress this article invokes can be isolated down to one thing: It attacks the very notion that we deserve to have things in an unrestricted way, and also do without paying for them. However, when dealing with digital media that can be perfectly copied, the rationale gets tricky. And as for competition, we all saw what happened when IE was brought out to compete against Mozilla....when Word was introduced to compete against WP...Excel for Lotus123, quattro pro etc. - The initial runs were never too impressive, but eventually saturated the market enough to lock out most competition. Just my take however, which is indeed very biased.
posted by samsara at 3:45 PM on April 12, 2001


I agree with Mars, MP3 is so popular that newer and better formats rarely get past the MiniDisc phase. For example the VQF format never really took off due to poor support by the mp3 players, even though it made very small files that sounded as good as 128kbps MP3s.
posted by riffola at 4:03 PM on April 12, 2001


It'll be interesting to see how much Microsoft's user base is eroded by the alternative operating systems. Linux for the techies, OSX for everyone else, and OSX with a terminal window for techies who value a good UI. I couldn't resist ;)

Microsoft obviously isn't going to lose a great many users, but at least a few people are going to get pushed to other OSs. I wonder how large the numbers will be?
posted by jragon at 4:36 PM on April 12, 2001


After the FUD of this clears - and the FUD over the next brouhaha that gets slashdotted here and the one after that and the one after that... - a simple fact will remain: even us die-hard Mac folks already know that Microsoft customers aren't about to abandon the mothership, in dribbles or in droves. The incredible inertia of the Wintel behemoth will keep Melinda's kids in new school clothes for many years to come. It sounds like a serious uprising if you read it here, but it's just a couple of geeks in a lather when compared to the overwhelming number of computer users who never even question what comes on the new Dell or Compaq computer.

But if, as jragon says, Mac OS X attracts some new Mac users, I'd seriously doubt they'll come from the M$ camp. Instead, I'd bet they are more likely to come from the "I want an alternative OS but I also want a consistent, usable GUI" crowd who are using Linux now, but are pretty seriously disillusioned with having to deal with the available GUIs.

(For the record, the Mac OS, both X and pre-X, supports MP3 via QuickTime, which is installed by default, and the new, fuller featured iTunes, which is a free download from Apple's website. Apple's obviously chosen to make digital content the core of positioning Macintosh computers for home users.)
posted by m.polo at 4:54 PM on April 12, 2001


agreed m.polo.

Kudos to holgate: who said:

As hijinx says, the best solution for MS isn't technological: it's by encouraging user apathy when it comes to finding alternatives.

Indeed, apathy and inertia are very powerful weapons Microsoft wields very well.
posted by artlung at 5:48 PM on April 12, 2001


Indeed, apathy and inertia are very powerful weapons Microsoft wields very well.

And god bless them. This is business, not a social cause.
posted by owillis at 7:22 PM on April 12, 2001


Frankly I find this one of the most interesting ploys:

What is Secure Audio Path?
[...]With the release of Windows Millennium Edition and Secure Audio Path technology, the data path inside the operating system is protected during transfer from the media player to the sound card. This will reduce attacks based on false plug-ins because these components only have access to encrypted data. A certified Microsoft component verifies that all downstream components (including the sound card driver) are also certified. It does not decrypt the data stream if it detects unauthorized or compromised components in the execution path.


Sure there will probably be rogue drivers and such as holgate has pointed out, but a certified Microsoft component?! Sounds to me like Microsoft is now using it's grip on the OS market to control the sound card business... The gatekeeper collecting the tolls...

bradlauster:
No file format that makes life harder for the user (i.e. any that require encryption) will ever succeed.

Mars:
Then how do you explain the popularity of RealMedia?

Mars, really now... I'm surprised at you... Exactly which RealMedia format are you talking about? Certainly not RMX...

2. Hackers will create a new file format (ogg vorbis for example)

Vorbis guys? Hackers? LOL...

And as for competition, we all saw what happened when IE was brought out to compete against Mozilla....when Word was introduced to compete against WP...Excel for Lotus123, quattro pro etc.

And when MS Money came out to compete against Quicken, and when <something> came out to compete against Photoshop, and when WiMP came out to compete against RealPlayer, and when MSN came out to compete against AOL. Yeah yeah... Microsoft isn't invulnerable. They have (many) failures. The difference between them and most other companies is that they have enough claws embedded into the market to sustain some serious blows without falling off into the abyss.

encouraging user apathy

Almost oxymoronic. no?

Regardless, for the most part, I agree with m.polo. This is a ripple in the pond. All of this crap will be irrelevant in a few years. I crtainly can't foretell exactly how it will happen, but the music industry can't get much more totalitarian before there is some sort of change. If you thought Napster made a wave, wait until the next. And by the next, I don't necessarily mean some new progam that breaks the law. It could be the overturning of the laws as the concept of Copyright and its associated laws are brought into the technological age. Or it could be the conceptual obsolecence of material possission of music media.

We don't have much use for the Pony Express anymore...
posted by fooljay at 11:52 PM on April 12, 2001


owillis said:
And god bless them. This is business, not a social cause.

I disagree. Technology is worthless. It's the social change a new invention brings that makes it worth having (or fighting). Decisions about new technology, especially information technology, are social decisions.

MP3 compression is only important because of the potential social change it represents. The format and the culture around the format allow us to store and distribute music with almost no friction. This is a powerful development, not because it was so hard to get music before, but because hits the foundations of some major businesses with a fat, juicy earthquake. It is bigger than music: it represents an idea, a whole new way of relating to information and property. That's why it's dangerous, that's why so much energy is being spent on fighting it. It has nothing to do with making files smaller and everything to do with what people decide to do with those files.

There were no riots over JPEG.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:57 AM on April 13, 2001


I get a little tired of people complaining about Microsoft bashing. Wake up, folks. Microsoft IS evil. They try to destroy standards and competition, and have made people accept that computers must be unreliable and with a difficult, poorly designed interface. They deserve anything bad that happens to them.

I can sit down at my Mac and burn 128kbps or higher MP3s all day long, totally unrestricted, for free. Anybody can play them. And I didn't have to do any stupid registry hacking to do it. THIS is why Microsoft is evil - they set out to ruin anything posititive in the computing experience.
posted by Spirit_VW at 3:31 PM on April 13, 2001


And 85% of people are too sheepish to ever say to themselves "this shouldn't be so annoying"; "why is it like this?"; "isn't there a better way?" And they always will be.
Vive le 15%!
posted by ParisParamus at 3:41 PM on April 13, 2001


Consumer report: I've got Mandrake Linux 7.2 and the various pieces of included Media software seem to play mp3s much better than Windows Media Player 7.
If it weren't for it's annoying little problems I'd never bother to use Windows.
Okay, here's something I've been thinking about. The problem with Linux seems to be that there really is too much choice about what bits and pieces you put together to make the system. Given that OS's are becoming more and more fragmented (that is to say that they are being seperated into more distinct bits,gui micro kernal etc.) at what point will someone just come along and take the best bits and say "right this is SexyOS" and market it with a bit of flare?
posted by davidgentle at 3:51 PM on April 13, 2001


I think you guys are jumping to conclusions a little quickly. Spirit, I too can burn 128kbps (though I usually do 192) MP3s all day long, totally unrestricted, and for free. I highly doubt Windows XP will stop me from doing it. Sure, the masses will be "fooled into using WMP" or whatnot, but how many of those from the masses were collecting 10s of gigs of mp3s anyways? History has proven that if you really want to get something on your computer, be it warez, mp3s, pr0n, or anything, you will be able to do it. I don't think Microsoft will ever be able to put in the countermeasures that would cause droves of users to switch to Macs.

Windows already tries to force WMP on you, and for the casual computer user, who really cares? If you don't want to use it, you don't have to. Even though IE is embedded in the OS, you can use Netscape if you want. But IE is better now. Maybe with time WMP will become better than other programs out there. I doubt that will happen if they limit mp3s to 56kbps, but who knows? If it sucks, I won't use it. It doesn't really matter if the majority does. There have always been alternatives.
posted by swank6 at 12:29 PM on April 14, 2001


"...at what point will someone just come along and take the best bits and say "right this is SexyOS" and market it with a bit of flare?"

I'm biting my tongue to not make the obvious point here.
posted by jragon at 5:50 PM on April 14, 2001


I don't know about anyone else, but I'd love to hear what you're not saying jragon...
posted by fooljay at 8:39 PM on April 14, 2001


jragon is saying the SexyOS is called Apple OS X.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:17 PM on April 14, 2001


Mac OS X isn't yet Mac OS Sex, but if you give it a year... it might have a shot.
posted by kindall at 9:28 PM on April 14, 2001


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