Zune Gets Personal

Media is a very personal, ego-driven, expressive part of people’s lives and so it stands to reason a media-player is going to arouse just as many emotions. Couple that with most geek’s natural over-emotional, sensitive nature and you are in for a very passionate fight.



There are so many wireless uses for the Zune that I don’t think people have really “got it” yet. Get past the geek ideas of wanting to wirelessly download or wirelessly connect to every device you own and you have some awesome uses:

- Go to a music store and get a music sampler beamed to your Zune. Yeah, you could just download that stuff but going to a music store still has an indie-vibe to it. It’s still where you find hipsters and those uber-indie bands.

- Hit up a concert or a promo area and get exclusive tracks on your Zune. A remix no-one has heard yet or concert/album art not available on the CD.

- A promoter hits up the local hipster bar and offers to beam you some new tracks from the band he’s pimping.

Given time I think all of this would be easily do-able from just a basic cheapy laptop. Load up the Zune Beam software or whatever and you have become a new distribution source.


Chris Pirillo doesn’t think there is an ecosystem for the Zune but he must not have a 360. The XBox Live Marketplace, if linked with Zune, will be awesome. Download trailers, music videos, game trailers, etc. all using a point system that is familiar and established. Buying things from the Marketplace is so easy it’s almost like crack.

Go a step further and allow the Zune to also be used like a memory card and you are rocking. I bought a 360 memory card just so I could drag my profile around to my friend’s house but I’d ditch it in a second if I could do the same to a Zune instead.

Plus, if I could transfer downloaded games to my Zune I can grab that 1GB “Lost Planet” demo and take it to a friends and play instead of waiting while he downloads it just to show it to him.


A lot of people’s Zune Downsides don’t apply to me. A few that I’ve heard mentioned that just don’t fall in my “care zone”.

- No support for FLAC/Ogg/My Codec. Everything I own is in LAME encoded MP3. Yeah, yeah, those other formats are “better” but I don’t care, everyone plays MP3 and that’s what I’m sticking with.

- No support for video codec blah. See #1.

- Can’t play DRM’d music from source X. Umm, why are you buying DRM’d anything? Either buy the CD and rip it yourself or visit one of the Russian sites to get non-DRM’d music.

- No podcast management in the software. Non-issue for me since I don’t get podcasts. I love to listen to my music and read my news. I absorb information about 10x better by reading than I do by listening, plus I can read *much* faster than anyone can speak.

- Accessories are lacking. Phht, again, non-issue for me. If it comes with headphones I’m set. Then again I have a Sonos music system for home so I don’t need a fancy DMP speaker dock. Plus, there are enough generic, works with everyone accessories out there that I’m not really lacking.

- I use Windows so cross-platform doesn’t turn my head, plus remember how cross-platform iPod was at first? For the youngsters that would be “not at all”. In 6 to 12 months from launch I’ll lay a case of beer that you’ll have Mac/Linux tools to work with the Zune.

- Needs wireless downloading on-demand. Hmm, maybe in “the future” where you can actually get a wireless signal outside your home. Where do these people live that actually can get a high-speed wireless signal in enough places to make wireless download on-demand even feasible?

Love it or hate it, the Zune has at least done something a lot of other iPod-challengers haven’t, that is getting people discussing it. While version 1.0 of the Zune may not seem like much, I’m banking that Zune 2.0 or 3.0 will rock your world.