Play Windows Media files with QuickTime Player (free!)

Today, two more signs of the forthcoming apocolypse.

(1) Apple announces the first Macs with Intel Inside, as Steve rubs “man, can you believe how friggin’ **slooow** the PowerPC was?” salt into our collective wounds several times during the keynote. (Wouldn’t want to be [Kottke]( “Doh!”) right now…)

(2) With somewhat less fanfare, Microsoft delivers **Windows Media Components for QuickTime**.

Microsoft had a little — okay, a lot of — help from [Telestream][Telestream]. Windows Media Components for QuickTime looks to be their Flip4Mac WMV product re-branded, which is A Good Thing. It appears to support every Windows Media video and audio format you could ask for (even the latest Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile.)

There’s always a catch, and in this case it’s that encoding will cost you. Specifically, anywhere from $49-179 depending on whether you need to be able to create your own profiles, encode to HD, etc.

Kevin Unangst, director of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft, had this to say:

> Consumers and content professionals are demanding great ways to view Windows Media content on the Macintosh using the platform and tools they know.

Translation: “Um, Mac users hate our player.”

> The Windows Media Components for QuickTime, powered by Telestream’s Flip4Mac technology provide this important capability and live up to Telestream’s reputation for outstanding media solutions.

Translation: “It’s not that important to us *personally* (otherwise we’d have done it years ago), but luckily Telestream was happy to play in exchange for a little co-marketing love.”

Since these are QuickTime components, Windows Media files will be usable not only in QuickTime Player, but in **any** properly-written QuickTime-savvy software.

* [Windows Media for QuickTime][Windows Media for QuickTime]

[Windows Media for QuickTime]: (Get Windows Media Components for QuickTime)