January 8, 2003
Microsoft Announces Plus! Digital Media EditionBy: Arie Slob
Microsoft yesterday announced Microsoft® Plus! Digital Media Edition (DME) for Windows® XP, the ultimate photo, music and movie enhancement pack for Windows XP. Plus! Digital Media Edition provides a range of new experiences for anyone who enjoys digital photography, digital music and video.
"Plus! Digital Media Edition represents tremendous value for consumers who want to enhance their digital photo, music and home video experiences," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "For example, tens of millions of people have taken digital photos over the recent holiday season, and the new Plus! Photo Story feature enables them to tell the story behind those photos to friends and family around the world."
Plus! DME is the first Microsoft retail product offered for download via the Web; it is available for download and purchase (USA only for now) by visiting the Microsoft Plus! Web site.
Plus! DME includes the following applications:
- Plus! Photo Story - creates a whole new way to enjoy and share digital photos, allowing you to build unique video stories with narration and music, and even automatically add motion to the photos via pan and zoom effects that make the photos come to life. With the ability to import anywhere from one to 150 pictures per photo story, you can create visually stunning stories that cover a single moment in time, an entire vacation or even a whole year in highlights.
- Plus! Party Mode - turn your PC into the ultimate party jukebox, complete with visual effects, song and artist displays and an interactive guest book, while ensuring no one has access to any personal files and information.
- Plus! Dancer - turns the desktop into a dance floor with lifelike, high-definition 3-D characters that groove in time to the music that's playing. You can choose from more than 10 dancers who dance to a wide variety of styles, including hip-hop, disco and salsa.
- Plus! Analog Recorder - breathes new life into your music collection, as it creates clean, vibrant digital files using automatic hiss and pop reduction and automatic track splitting, while recording from analog audio sources, such as LP albums and cassette tapes.
- Plus! Audio Converter - a general-purpose conversion tool offering easy interchange between formats and file sizes. Files can be converted from MP3 and WAV to Windows Media Audio (WMA) or from WMA to MP3 (if a compatible MP3 encoding plug-in for Windows Media Player 9 Series is installed). Plus! Audio Converter also supports conversion from the new WMA 9 Lossless codec, for users who want to convert from a bit-for-bit perfect archive of their original CDs. Plus! Audio Converter also supports volume leveling, which ensures that all of your converted files have similar volume levels.
- Plus! CD Label Maker - an updated version of the original Plus! CD Label Maker that is included in the "Standard" Microsoft Plus! for Windows XP. Almost identical, with a single major improvement: It now supports MP3 and WMA data CDs, and the vast number of tracks such a CD would include.
- Plus! Alarm Clock - turns the PC into a full-featured alarm clock that can play music from your library of favorite tunes.
- Plus! Sleep Timer - allows you to fall asleep to the music you choose by gradually decreasing volume over time.
- Plus! Sync & Go for Pocket PC* provides a new way to get the latest digital content delivered to your Pocket PC. Whether you want to access content from top providers such as CBS MarketWatch, GolfSpan.com Inc., Indy Racing League, KenRadio.com, MSNBC.com, OverDrive Inc. and Warner Music Group or from your media library with your own custom playlists in Windows Media Player, Plus! Sync & Go enables you to automatically sync the content onto your Pocket PC.
- Plus! Effects and Transitions for Movie Maker 2 - Plus! Digital Media Edition takes the Windows Movie Maker 2 experience even further, adding 50 stunning new effects and transitions from Pixelan Software. For Windows XP users who have upgraded to Windows Movie Maker 2, the new effects and transitions will automatically appear in Windows Movie Maker 2 upon installation of Plus! Digital Media Edition.
Plus! Digital Media Edition also will be made available in French, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.
* Microsoft Windows Powered Pocket PC with Microsoft Pocket PC 2002 software, or Compaq iPAQ with Microsoft Pocket PC 2000 softwareGive your comments on this article.