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All posts tagged "Zune"


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Zune Experience Coming to Windows Mobile

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Talk" @ 02:28 PM

http://www.cio.co.uk/concern/infras...=allchantopdate

"CIO: Why has Microsoft developed Zune?

Ballmer: At the end of the day, one of the big trends is that all content is going digital. And if we don't have the software and services that are useful, helpful and valuable for the consumption of music and video, we are sort of not really a player. Now, we built the Zune hardware with the Zune software - and what you'll see more and more over time is that the Zune software will also be ported to and be more important not just with the hardware but on the PC, on Windows Mobile devices, etc."

What can I say other than IT'S ABOUT FREAKING TIME. I feel like I've told this story 1000 times by now, but here it is again: about four years ago I was at a Mobius or MVP event (I can't remember which) and a Microsoft person came up to me and asked me if I thought they should scrap Windows Media Player Mobile on the device and instead implement the Portable Media Center interface as the way end users would access their photos, videos, and music. I said "Yes, absolutely" before he was even finished talking. The first generation PMC hardware might have been pretty suck-tacular, but the UI was easy to use. The Zune is an evolution of that UI, and while the Zune still needs improvement on a number of levels, the Zune UI is very easy to use - easier to use an an iPod in my opinion. If Microsoft really cared about the consumer market, they would have implemented that media UI years ago and we'd be having a different discussion today. They didn't because they're focused on the enterprise market first and foremost, but that's slowly (oh so slowly) changing.

Putting the Zune software onto Windows Mobile gives Microsoft a bunch of advantages: first, it lets them stop developing Windows Media Player Mobile, a piece of software that has sadly languished for years, hardly getting any updates or improvements. Secondly, it gives end users a great UI for media consumption, and assuming they go all the way with this, it gives users a media management solution (the Zune desktop software) that enables them to easily manage music and podcasts, and somewhat more easily manage photos and videos.

I see this as a win-win all around if implemented properly. I can't see a single down-side to this - what do you think about it?


Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Online Music Ripoff

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Digital Home Talk" @ 02:00 AM

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/features/218...poff/page1.html

"Why is DRM so contentious? Surely it's designed to protect the rights of artists and record companies in a climate where, as one international music industry body claims, illegal downloads swamp legitimate music store downloads by a ratio of 20 to 1? The problem is DRM doesn't affect the pirates, who upload and download DRM-free files often ripped directly from CD. Instead, it affects legitimate buyers in a range of deeply irritating ways. The first roadblock comes down to Gates' talk of "simplicity" and "interoperability", or rather the lack of both"

I think most people who know anything about DRM hate it. They hate dealing with the limitations of the technology, both intentionally built-in or as a direct result of poor technical planning/implementation. Unlike a good protection scheme which is invisible to the end user, DRM is too limiting to the average customer, and does nothing to stop hardcore music pirates. Plus, when a store goes down and its licenses stop renewing, the customer is the real loser. Sure you can burn your songs to a CD and re-rip them (or do it virtually), but the process is time-consuming and you lose audio fidelity. Another option is to free your purchased music using tools like FairUse4WM (above) or Hymn, or just buy DRM-free in the first place. Check out the article if you need yet another reason to hate DRM.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

"Zune Phone" a Nokia?

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune News" @ 12:30 PM

http://www.zunescene.com/nokia-zune-phone/

"Nokia is currently working with the Zune team on integration of Zune Marketplace content according to a well placed source within Microsoft. The joint development is directed at content delivery rather than a hardware device according to the source. It has long been assumed by many tech followers that Zune content and software would find it's way onto Windows Mobile devices, thereby offering competition to the unfortunately popular iPhone. The interesting thing about the Nokia Zune partnership is that Nokia does not support Windows Mobile. It appears Microsoft may be developing a two front war against the iPhone, namely Windows based smart phones and more abundant 'non-smart' phones."

Take it or leave it, but Zune-Scene's reporting that if and when the Zune team releases a media player client for a mobile phone (a.k.a. the "Zune Phone", "zPhone" or "Pink and Purple project"), it won't be on Microsoft's own Windows Mobile platform as widely speculated, but on rival Nokia's series of smartphones. As with past Zune-Scene reports, this one is short on detail (e.g. no release date, lots of plausible deniability) and high on outlandish claims. While keeping this in mind, I should also point out that Zune-Scene's sources have been right on a number of these scoops in the past. This should be fun to watch as it develops.


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