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[News] Zune Set to Become Another Budget Drainer?

Jobs: Apple Not Worried About Zune

,----[ Quote ]
| In a question-and-answer session with Newsweek, Apple CEO Steve
| Jobs slammed Microsoft's Zune music player, saying he was not
| impressed with the Redmond company's entrant. Jobs said the music
| sharing abilities of the player were too complicated and slow.



Microsoft might be too little, too late

,----[ Quote ]
| Apple, though, learned from its mistakes and made the iPod work
| with Microsoft Windows-based PCs -- a move that arguably spurred iPod
| sales and created a situation in which Apple's iPod now claims about
| 75 percent of the U.S. market for digital-media players. More
| importantly, this has led to a perception among consumers that if you
| don't own an iPod, you're using something that's second best.
| It's that environment and perception issue that will prove to be the
| biggest hurdles for Microsoft to overcome, if it wants to make any
| impression among consumers who are in the market for portable music-
| and video-playing gadgets.


10 Ways Microsoft Can Salvage their iPod Killer

,----[ Quote ]
| Dear Microsoft:
| I can't help but noticing that this latest iPod killer situation is
| unfolding along the same lines as Origami. It's not too late to call the
| whole thing a 'market research experiment,' or to rebrand all your
| products under a new name to distract attention away from this
| boondoggle: Active-, Direct-, -.net, -Live!... how about -Kaboom! ?


Zune: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

,----[ Quote ]
| The fact is, this meager offering here is not an iPod killer. Nothing
| Redmond can produce in this product line will make much of a dent in
| Apple's lead. This shareholder only hopes Microsoft can avoid
| embarrassing itself too much.


Microsoft's Zune Won't Play Protected Windows Media

,----[ Quote ]
| In yesterday's announcement of the new Zune media player and Zune
| Marketplace, Microsoft (and many press reports) glossed over a
| remarkable misfeature that should demonstrate once and for all how DRM
| and the DMCA harm legitimate customers.
| Microsoft's Zune will not play protected Windows Media Audio and Video
| purchased or "rented" from Napster 2.0, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Unlimited,
| Movielink, Cinemanow, or any other online media service. That's right --
| the media that Microsoft promised would Play For Sure doesn't even play
| on Microsoft's own device. Buried in footnote 4 of its press release,
| Microsoft clearly states that "Zune software can import audio files in
| unprotected WMA, MP3, AAC; photos in JPEG; and videos in WMV, MPEG-4,
| H.264" -- protected WMA and WMV (not to mention iTunes DRMed AAC) are
| conspicuously absent.
| This is a stark example of DRM under the DMCA giving customers a raw
| deal. Buying DRMed media means you're locked into the limited array of
| devices that vendors say you can use. You have to rebuy your preexisting
| DRMed media collection if you want to use it on the Zune. And you'll have
| to do that over and over again whenever a new, incompatible device with
| innovative features blows existing players out of the water. Access to
| MP3s and non-DRMed formats creates the only bridge between these isolated
| islands of limited devices. 


"There's the spirit of sharing, which Zune encourages by letting Zunies
swap music over a built-in wireless network. But all things must pass --
in this case, within 72 hours. You'll have three days in which to listen
to each song three times, at which point it is summoned back to the
great server in the sky. Doesn't matter if you're passing your parents a
recording you made of your kid being cute -- Zune will banish it. Unless
Microsoft is willing to let other companies join in the fun, your
chances of sharing anything will be limited by the number of other Zune
owners within a 50m radius. Perhaps that's the new digital rights
management strategy -- Zero Users, No Exchange."


Muted welcome for Microsoft Zune

,----[ Quote ]
| As part of the Zune launch Microsoft flew some influential music bloggers
| to Seattle for a preview of the player and the service.


New Zune Software Eerily Similar to Democracy Player...

 ,----[ Quote ]
| Take a look at the new Zune player software. Notice anything strange?
| It's the fact that the interface is a blatant ripoff of the open
| source Democracy player. Microsoft once again has to take other
| companies ideas and turn them into their own. Almost the same basic
| scenario of Mircosoft ripping off the iPod with Zune.


Could Zune face patent trouble right out of the box?

,----[ Quote ]
| I've speculated that Zune's music sharing features could see a rocky
| road legally, or be so restricted as to make sharing irrelevant as a
| selling point for the fledgling device. It's really tough to put out a
| product these days without stepping on someone's patent, and Zune is
| no exception to that rule of 21st century business.


,----[ Quote ]
| "It's not going to happen with the Zune, it's going to be a closed
| architecture. You'll not be able to load tracks directly form online.
| You might be able to -- stream them from another device, but then who
| cares? I think it's going to be an utter disaster and failure."


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