Apple Computer is warning customers who use the Windows version of its iTunes software to hold off upgrading to Windows Vista until it can release a patch to fix a number of serious compatibility issues, one of which could result in a corrupt iPod player.

Apple, in a statement posted Thursday on its Web support forum, says upgrading from Windows 2000 or Windows XP to Vista may result in the inability to play songs purchased and downloaded to the desktop iTunes player from its online iTunes store.

Worse, however, is the problem that iPod users could encounter if they try to eject their digital music player from a desktop port using the “Safely Remove Hardware” feature found on the Vista system tray. That, Apple warns ominously, “may corrupt your iPod.”
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The fact that Microsoft is offering several flavors of Windows Vista should not be the primary concern when purchasing a new computer or upgrading an operating system, at least according to one analyst who suggests thinking about the kind of hardware you need first, and only then deciding what operating system you need or want to run on it.

Vista continued to eclipse technology news headlines on Thursday as everybody from industry analysts to tech bloggers to home users chime in on the arrival of Microsoft ‘s latest operating system.
It seems few of Vista’s hundreds of features are left to review. News reports are focusing on almost every aspect of the operating system. Although Vista is getting high praise on many fronts, some reviewers are pointing out issues such as game glitches, problematic voice-command features, and DVD restrictions.
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Add an elevated Command Prompt Windows power users know that a command prompt (Cmd.exe) is the fastest way to many tasks–much faster than digging through menus and tabbed dialog boxes. In Windows Vista, this is more true than ever, thanks to User Account Control. To get maximum mileage out of the command prompt, add a shortcut to the Start menu and configure it to run as an Administrator. Here’s how:

1. Click Start and type cmd in the Search box. This should produce a list consisting of one entry: the shortcut to the Windows Command Processor, cmd.

2. Right-click the cmd shortcut and choose Pin to Start Menu.

3. Click Start again. Right-click the Command Prompt shortcut you just added to the Start menu and choose Properties.

4. Click the Advanced button and click to select the Run as administrator checkbox.

5. Click OK to save your changes.

PCWorld did some testing and the end of the year, comparing Windows XP and Windows Vista running on the same machines, from an older Pentium 1.8Ghz notebook to a 2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo E6600 and Radeon X1600 graphics card. As always Microsoft has said Vista will run faster, but they have always said that in the past, and everytime, you usually had to have better hardware to run the same speed. Things to note, at the time of the testing, graphics card manufacturers were still testing and tweaking their drivers, so expect some improvement there, and they used an updated version of Photoshop for Windows Vista, so, it wasnt exactly the same.

Some of their conclusions say they did not see any improvements with Readyboost, the system actually slowed down some. The Dual Core machine had a big difference in the multitasking tests, Microsoft had already said there would be a difference because Vista was better at running multiple threads of code. The multitasking and gaming tests did not show much of an improvement in going from 1GB to 2GB of memory, but the comparisons to 512MB showed them to not go under 1GB of memory. The real difference will be whether you are using an integrated graphics card, a decent video card or a high end card, they concluded you should not run Aero if you are using an integrated card, while using a graphics card it did not affect the performance of the machine at all. So, PC is from the past couple years should run it pretty good, but may need more memory if it is less than 1GB. More »

mediaplayer

Windows Media Player 11 is another new feature included in Windows Vista. Windows Media Player 11 has a deeply integrated music library for both online and offline content, with an interface that looks more like a Web site than computer application. And with a new integrated feel, Windows Media Player 11 makes online, network, and offline content indistinguishable. Windows Media Player 11 also connects to additional hardware easily and offers easy-to-use tools for following the process of any task (downloading music, burning CDs, synching music, or streaming video, just to name a few). You can learn more about Windows Media Player 11 at this Windows Vista Community Web page.

One of my favorite additions to Windows Media Player 11 is the Global and Sync Status tools. In older versions of Windows Media Player, you never really knew what was going on during a task. Isn’t buffering finished yet? How’s that sync going? Will all of this fit on a CD? And which songs can I put on there, based on the song’s license? And, of course, why won’t this song sync to my MP3 player? Windows Media Player 11 has ended these aggravations with Global Status and Sync Status.
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