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Do you like your music in Apple format (AIFF), Microsoft format (WMA), Real Networks style (RA), or in a public standard (MP3 or Ogg Vorbis)? Anyone listening to Internet radio stations or other online sounds is familiar with the frequent need to choose between format and player (typically, for streaming, between Real Networks and Windows Media). This is not a technological issue: the various sound formats all provide acceptable quality. Under typical listening conditions Such as walking along a street with traffic next to You or in in office with small and inadequate speakers; any difficulty you have hearing the music won't be from the encoding method's limitations. Instead, we have a set of companies who think the best way to dominate the online music business is to tie the format and player together to lock in customers. We're in the middle of a contest to see whether one company can dominate the legal downloading business by controlling the format in which music is sold. The article looks at whether Apple, Microsoft, or someone else can establish a monopoly, so that people will buy only their software and audio format.