Play WMV videos in Quicktime on your Mac – for free

This made me smile a wry smile.

For what seems like ages, there has been a rumbling argument among web videomakers about which format(s) to make and distribute video in. People who work on Windows tend to find it easier to make and distribute WMV. People who work on Macs tend to find it easier to make and distribute Quicktime movies.

However, the real deciding factor ought to be how easy it is for visitors to your site (and subscribers to your feed) to play (and otherwise re-use) the video.

Most people agree, if grudgingly, that more people can use Flash video than anything else. But Flash video can be clumsy to edit and produce. Next in market share is probably Windows Media, due largely to the sheer number of Windows PCs which came with Windows Media Player pre-installed. Trailing in third is Quicktime. Available by default on Macs, and available as a (possible but irritating) free download from Apple for Windows machines.

But raw current market share is not everything. If your video is good enough, it might tempt people to install the required player even if they didn’t have it before. Or, at least, so goes the argument often advaned by Mac users to justify only distributing Quicktime movies.

The argument goes along the lines that since Quicktime can be installed on all systems, then quicktime can have as large a userbase as Flash.

And so on to what made me smile. Microsoft is now offering a Quicktime plug-in for Mac users to allow them to play Windows media files right in their familiar Quicktime player. So now relatively convenient players for all three major formats are available as free downloads. The playing field is level once again, and we are back to installed user base: Flash, then Windows Media, Then Quicktime.

Will we see all these Mac evangelists who have been urging every Windows user to install Quicktime rushing to install the WMV plug-in?

Read more at: play Windows Media files (.wma and .wmv) directly in QuickTime Player

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