Review by Dom Bommer.
Windows Media Player 9
NARCISSISM and vanity are a pursuit and pastime of the rich and famous. A quality equally endorsed by Bill Gate's and his Microsoft Company for the pursuit of being at the heart state of the art software.
Presentation of this latest mp3 and DVD player on first glance, it appears that little has changed. Positive aspects show that as Microsoft grows the compatibility with portable packages such as mp3 players and car stereos. The one-man dream of world domination and Big Brother has a rather uncomfortable property that draws closer to reality than one would like.
But putting it under the microscope, Windows media player 9 reveals new aspects such as a change to the WMA format for audio songs. Greater compression and sound quality are barely noticeable, unless you own a stereo system with large amounts of audio output channels. But again, the subject of improvement in this area as always proved subjective and unreliable.
Improved output of Mpeg files combined with new Codec also seems to have a great leap forward, making images and videos more presentable, setting the standard by which Windows intends for its competitors. However, there is evidence that much of the same old flaws of it's predecessor.
Deleting URL's from your file window is nigh on impossible. The unimaginative screensavers that the player displays seem only to have uprooted and continue to mesmerize the insane and culpably drug induced viewers in the rather banal way it has done in the past.
Often a case for vanity of the latest software upon the insistence of Microsoft to influence its possession is the cause for it being on a computer. But this latest piece of software realizes that maxim 'if it is not broken, then don't fix it' and certainly the improvements leave much to be desired for the future of windows media player. It is more likely to be favoured by the rich and famous of Hollywood, than the local pub for its jukebox. And with the opposition company REAL hot on the coat tails of this release, their improvements to their own media software 'REAL player' are more likely to win the hearts of the public than this offering.
all two stars out of five!
Show Listings for the Southport Arts Centre.
Rock Band - Saturday 1 February 8pm Tickets £5 FAG ASH LIL plus support
Film - Tuesday 4 February 7.45pm Tickets £3.50 (Film Guild Members Free)
THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (15)
Folk - Wednesday 5 February 8pm Tickets £15 (£13 concessions) FAIRPORT
CONVENTION plus support Andy Gutteridge
Venerable folk-rock institution, still going strong.
Local Bands - Saturday 8 February doors open 7.30pm Tickets £4 (£3
BAND NIGHT featuring Ill Concept, Buzztone, Kick Out, Split Level Head
Film - Tuesday 18 February 7.45pm Tickets £3.50 (Film Guild Members
Free) THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE (15)
Jazz - Tuesday 18 February 7.30pm Tickets £5 (£2.50 concessions)
Sefton Music Support Service present
FOOLISH HEARTS Steve Berry - Nikki Isles - Anthony Kerr - Paul Clarvis
Drama - Thursday 20 - Saturday 22 February 8pm Tickets £7 (£5 concessions)
Gambolling Arena Theatre Company present
THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES Award-winning play by Eve Ensler. Children's Theatre - Saturday 22 February 2pm Tickets £5 (£4
concessions) Family Ticket Discount
Action Transport present
WARRIOR SQUARE (8 years plus) A moving play about loneliness, friendship and hope.
Folk - Sunday 23 February 8pm Tickets £10 (£8 concessions) THE BIG SESSION
Oysterband take to the stage with Eliza Carthy, Rose Kemp, Jim Moray,
Benji Kirkpatrick & James O'Grady for one almighty session.
Drama - Thursday 27 February 8pm Tickets £8 (£6 concessions) Roger Llewellyn in SHERLOCK HOLMES THE LAST ACT!
This highly original one-man play explores the mind of the real man,
the man of passion, humour and dark secrets.
Blues - Friday 28 February doors open 8pm Tickets £8 (£6 concessions)
THE NIMMO BROTHERS Guitarists/vocalists Stevie and Alan Nimmo, along with Lindsay Coulson
(bass) and Dave Raeburn (drums), are one of the best young bands on the
Film - Tuesday 4 March 7.45pm Tickets £3.50 (Film Guild Members
THE LADY & THE DUKE (PG)
Dance - Wednesday 5
March 7.30pm Tickets £8 (£6 concessions) HENRI OGUIKE DANCE
COMPANY A welcome return from BAND NIGHTthis sparkling young
company led by one of the brightest creative talents on the
contemporary dance scene.
Local Bands - Friday 7 March doors open 7.30pm Tickets £4 (£3
Acoustic - Saturday 8 March 8pm Tickets £12 (£10 concessions)
One of the greatest guitar players on the planet.
Drama - Saturday 15 March 8pm Tickets £8 (£6 concessions) Guest House Theatre Company present
HORNY HELMETS Viking heroism makes its last stand in this outrageous epic comedy.
Film - Tuesday 18 March 7.45pm Tickets £3.50 (Film Guild Members
Free) MEMBERS' CHOICE (film title to be confirmed)
Ballet - Wednesday 19 March 7.30pm £17.50, £14.50 All concessions £2 off, buy 2 full price tickets get 1 child ticket
Vienna Festival Ballet presents SWAN LAKE
World Music - Thursday 20 March 7pm Tickets £5.50 (£4.50 concessions)
Sefton Music Support Service present TJAMPURSARI - MUSICAL WORLDS IN COLLISION
Gamelan musicians from Indonesia and members of the Halle Orchestra
collaborate on an exciting new performance project from Java.
Flamenco - Friday 21 March 8pm Tickets £10 (£8 concessions) JUAN MARTIN'S ARTE FLAMENCO PURO (Spain)
This truly awe inspiring guitarist, composer and all-encompassing
musician is joined by two dancers and a singer to present Flamenco in
an authentic setting.
Children's Theatre - Saturday 22 March 2pm Tickets £5 (£4 concessions)
Family Ticket Discount Cornelius & Jones present
THOR THE GIANT KILLER (age 5 plus)
A humorous dramatisation of two Viking myths.
Blues - Saturday 22 March doors open 8pm Tickets £8 (£6 concessions)
EUGENE HIDEAWAY BRIDGES An outstanding vocalist, guitar player and a fine songwriter.
Film - Tuesday 1 April 7.45pm Tickets £3.50 (Film Guild Members Free)
MULHOLLAND DRIVE (15) Drama - Friday 4 & Saturday 5 April 8pm Tickets £8 (£6 concessions)
Lip Service present WITHERING LOOKS
Award winning comedy.
World Music - Friday 11 April doors open 8pm Tickets £8 (£6 concessions)
LO'JO (France) plus DuOud (France) Lo'Jo play a high-class multi-cultural pop which takes in French
chanson, rock, Arabic and African influences. DuOud are two oud
African lute) playing Parisians.
Acoustic - Saturday 12 April 8pm Tickets £10 (£8 concessions) BLUE TAPESTRY - celebrating the music of Joni Mitchell & Carole King
with Chris While & Julie Matthews
Jazz - Sunday 13 April 7.30pm Tickets £12 (£11 SMJC members) Southport Arts Centre in association with Southport Melodic Jazz Club
present THE GEOFF EALES TRIO One of Europe's most exciting and imaginative jazz pianists.
Film - Tuesday 15 April 7.45pm Tickets £3.50 (Film Guild Members Free)
Local Bands - Saturday 19 April doors open 7.30pm Tickets £4 (£3
concessions) BAND NIGHT
Concert - Friday 25 April 8pm Tickets £10 (£8 concessions) ANN BREEN
Best known for her single "Pal of My Cradle Days".
Children's Theatre - Saturday 26 April 2pm Tickets £5 (£4 concessions)
Family Ticket Discount mac Productions present MAGIC EARTH, MAGIC SKY (age 4 plus)
Stories from around the world woven by multi-talented performers on a
stunning, magical set.
Blues - Saturday 26 April doors open 8pm Tickets £8 (£6 concessions)
NINE BELOW ZERO 'CHILLED' One of British rock 'n' rolls most enduring and respected R & B
Film - Tuesday 29 April 7.45pm Tickets £3.50 (Film Guild Members Free)
LATE MARRIAGE (no certificate)
AMATEUR & LOCAL COMPANIES
Recital - Saturday 1 February 1.30pm Tickets £3.50 Southport Music Festival - MID-DAY RECITAL
Musical - Wednesday 5 & Thursday 6 February 7.30pm Tickets £5
Another Planet Workshop presents ANNIE Jr
Concert - Thursday 6 February 7.30pm Tickets £4.50 (£3 concessions)
MAYOR OF SEFTON'S CHARITY FUND - YOUTH CONCERT
Musical - Saturday 22 - Saturday 1 March 7.30pm Tickets £6 - £9
Southport Amateur Operatic Society presents ME & MY GIRL
Recital - Saturday 1 March 1.30pm Tickets £3.50 Southport Music Festival - MID-DAY RECITAL
Concert - Friday 14 March 7.30pm Tickets £4.50 (£2.50 concessions)
FARNBOROUGH ROAD JUNIOR SCHOOL & MERSEYSIDE POLICE BAND
Saturday 22 March 7.30pm Tickets £10 (£8 concessions) Formby Choral Society presents
HAYDN'S THE CREATION
Musical - Wednesday 26 - Saturday 29 March 7.30pm Hoghton Players presents
THE Z00 & HMS PINAFORE
Concert - Thursday 3 April 7.30pm Tickets £3 (£1 concessions) Sefton Music Support Service present
JUNIOR ROYAL NORTHERN COLLEGE OF MUSIC
Recital - Saturday 5 April 1.30pm £3.50
Southport Music Festival - MID-DAY RECITAL
Family Show - Tuesday 8 April 7pm £5.50
Birkdale School for Hearing Impaired Children present HAPPY TALK
Musical - Thursday 10 & Friday 11 April 7.30pm Tickets £6 (£4
concessions) Another Planet Workshop presents WEST SIDE STORY
Musical - Wednesday 23 - Saturday 26 April 7.30pm Southport Operatic New Generation presents
Southport Arts Center for more information.