Zune FUD

There’s an amazing amount of Zune FUD on the net these days. I’ve owned several generations of iPods and I’m looking forward to the release of Zune. It will be the first portable player to support MP3, AAC, WMA, WMV and H.264 (though apparently H.264 support will be through transcoding at launch; native support will probably follow in a future firmware update). The 3-play/3-day limit on wireless music sharing is a major handicap, though.

Microsoft Zune

5 thoughts on “Zune FUD”

  1. I haven’t been able to figure out, the 3-play/3-day will be applied to non Zune store music (riped cd’s)? I too look forward to something new.

  2. The 3-play/3-day limit is probably the first thing you’re gonna touch, eh? hheheheh
    Finally there will be something like the Zune to offer higher specs into portable video/music in a reasonable price. I love the wifi idea and there’s simply way too much things they can do with it =`]

  3. I think the main reason that there’s negativity around the Zune is that the wifi is basically worthless. And a big part of this is the WMP 11 now defaults to placing DRM on CDs that you rip. It’s cool that it plays all these formats, but it’s still a Microsoft product with Microsoft ideals.

  4. terevos, there’s a lot of negativity towards that setting. I use WMP 11 as my default music player these days. I saw this setting immediately, (either on install or shortly thereafter), laughed and switched it to MP3. WMP 11 doesn’t force you to use DRM, especially if you know better. It’s kind of insulting an absurd, but in a way this is to our advantage. Tech-savvy users will turn the setting off, and people who have never heard of DRM will recieve a little education when they suddenly have to rerip all of their CD’s the proper way.

    The more people who really dislike DRM and see it as an anti-consumer tactic, and are willing to either strip it or boycott it, the better.

  5. I agree that is is good that the Zune will play MP3, AAC, WMA, WMV and H.264. On paper it seems like a decent product feature-wise, but I think Microsoft has hashed it out next to the iPod too closely.

    I do own an iPod and use a Mac so please note my potential bias here, but I think the Zune is another one of Microsoft’s anti-competitive products. Microsoft can afford to use their unique ability to lose billions of dollars in creating/marketing a product. Similarly they have done this with the x-box in my view (lost more than 4 billion just to get into a market… most companies simply can’t afford that).

    Just the term ‘iPod-killer’ makes me cringe because it suggests to me that their only goal is to knock other companies out of the market.

    Ultimately Microsoft is not competing against Apple though… Apple is not the company I feel sorry for because they are very wealthy and are a market leader… it will be really tough to crack their dominance in my view. Companies like Sandisk (#2 in MP3 players) and Creative (#3) already have established user bases which are bigger than Microsoft’s, and I think these (and to an even greater extent the even smaller players) are the guys who are going to be hard hit the most because they will lose more of their already minuscule market share, and do not have the same kind of resilience that a company as big as Apple has. Particularly in the MP3 player market where it is a market leader.

    So… long story short. I’m not saying ‘boycott the Zune it’s going to suck’. I just think we need to be cautious about supporting Microsoft in entering unchartered waters because they have the money and power to push products into the market and harm everyone else in doing so. As can Apple, don’t get me wrong here… they’re a big wealthy company!

    The only analogy I can thing of is back in the days when I played Warcraft 2. I was crap at it and could never finish those last few levels… I just didn’t have the right battle plan. What I could do though is cheat by typing in ‘glittering prizes’… know that one? It gave me pretty well unlimited gold, oil and lumber. This meant that no matter how crap my tactics were I could just keep building more guys. Eventually the computer’s gold mine would explode and they would be left without resources so were forced to concede.

    Microsoft is a bit like me aged 10 playing Warcraft 2… they can just keep throwing grunts and ogres at the competition until they run out of resources.

    I’d prefer it if the market was more like a game of chess where everyone starts off with the same resources and it is simply the smarter player who wins.

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