WMA / Janus – the Muppet?

Everybody knows itunes and how it works. But, the 2nd most popular format forjanice_trans.jpg music is Windows Media Audio, aka WMA. Why? Because with WMA you can protect it in very sophisticated ways. You can rent the music by the month (like Napster and Rhapsody) or you can purchase it outright to be played back on 5 computers (like on Buy.com). Any way a distributor wants to protect an audio file, you can do it with WMA. The industry term for this protected format is Janus.

10-12playsforsure_lg.jpgThis is a neat technology for business (although quite clunky for users) and it is being used all around the internet. The codename “Janus” however was never meant to be mainstream, so, starting early in late 2004 Microsoft started branding all protected WMA devices and files as being “Plays for Sure” – all devices were Plays-For-Sure compliant, all files, all everything had this attached. For Sure

janice.jpgI always thought the “For Sure” part of this was strange. I stared thinking about it more and eventually realized that it reminded me of the muppet that always ended phrases with “For Sure!” For the longest time i couldn’t remember the muppets name, then it came to me – her name was Janice! Even better, Janice was the musician Muppet. On TV, she regularly jammed with Linda Ronstadt, Elton John, and Linda Lavin.

You see: Janus -> Plays “For Sure” -> Janice. All having to do with music. Am i reading too much into this? Maybe, but i think it’s a terrific coincidence.

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