Bill Quick finds out something you might want to know before you start loading up your Microsoft Surface tablet:
I backed up all my music files to my SDHC card from the iTunes library. I’d used iTunes to rip my CD collection, and it had automatically created the files in the .M4A format — which, as it turns out, Windows RT-8 doesn’t like at all. After a lot of headbanging, I discovered that Windows RT-8 likes MP3 files. As an experiment I converted a bunch of the M4As to MP3s, copied them to the SDHC chip, stuck it back in to the Surface and, presto! — both the Music Library and the Music App picked them right up. So right now, in the background, I’d converting 15GB or so of M4A files to MP3 — which I figure will take the rest of the day. It’s a one time deal, though, and since I’ll be doing any music buying through Amazon and not the damnable iTunes store, I’ll be getting my stuff in MP3 format anyway.
This is fairly typical of Microsoft. As a test, I hauled out an XPdient copy of Windows Media Player, threw one of Apple’s AAC files — these are the ones with the .m4a extension — at it, and watched it choke for lack of codec. Apple, in turn, doesn’t think much of Microsoft’s .wma format either.
Curiously, while messing with this I found half a dozen files with the .m4a extension which turned out not to be AAC at all; Winamp, which doesn’t flinch at AAC unless it’s DRMed (signaled by the .m4p extension), balked at playing them but would at least let me open the info panel. Turns out that they were actual Apple Lossless files from the How to Destroy Angels EP, which I’d evidently never gotten around to importing into iTunes.