Walt Mossberg

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Transferring a Windows Media Music File to iTunes

Here are a few questions I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability.

Is there a way to transfer a Windows Media music file to iTunes?

If the Windows Media file is copy-protected, typically because you bought it from an online store that copy-protects its music, iTunes cannot import or play it. However, if it is unprotected, which is typical for files you created from your own CDs using Windows Media Player, iTunes can import the file and automatically convert it into a format it can use.

I would like to purchase an iPhone, but run it on the Verizon network. I realize that AT&T has an exclusive at this time, but is there a way to do this on the secondary market?

No. The radio inside the iPhone is incompatible with the network technology used by Verizon and Sprint. That cannot be changed by hacking the software, or replacing the SIM card in the phone.

I need to buy a new laptop computer and am wondering if you think Vista is wise at this point or should I still stick with Windows XP if I can find it? I only do emails, browsing the net and some downloading of music and photos. I am retired and don’t know much about computers.

Vista easily handles the tasks you want to do, but it will require heftier hardware to work at acceptable speeds, and, assuming you are used to working with XP, Vista will require you to learn some new things. If you buy XP, you can get away with a more modestly equipped computer, and you will be working with a more familiar interface. So, in your particular situation, I would suggest an XP machine. But I urge you to make sure it gets upgraded to the latest revision, called SP3, which bolsters the security of XP, so it is closer to that of Vista. Depending on your setup, this upgrade may be delivered automatically by Microsoft, but you may have to agree to accept it.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online free of charge at the new All Things Digital Web site, http://walt.allthingsd.com.

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