I'm writing about the "Zune" again? Must be a tear in the fabric of the universe. Says David Pogue at the NYTimes:
Over the years, mention of the word “Microsoft” has set off a variety of emotions. Some consider how Microsoft achieved its success, and feel anger. Some consider how Microsoft borrows other companies’ ideas, and feel indignation. Some consider recent battles with Windows, and feel frustration.
At least he sees the potential of an "all your ears can eat model. Maybe Zune is the gizmo that cracks it open.
Thanks to things like Spotify, I don’t really need to have a huge library of songs constantly on my computer. So, host my library on the Windows partition, then keep a smaller one/use spotify for when I’m in Mac OS X. I get to use the Zune HD and my preferred OS.
Who'da thunk I'd have two posts in the same morning about a gizmo I've never even seen?
But, reading just the short excerpt above, you can see what a Tower of Babel all this is for a typical user. A separate operating system just or music? Granted, that's what a Mac user (like me, now) would have to face if they want to use a Zune.
But the point is, if the content is "in the cloud," then it shouldn't (ultimately) matter what platform, device, or operating system you're using.
And again with the Spotify? I have no idea how well Spotify the service actually works, but I'll tell you what does work: Spotify's PR department. I've never seen so much hype for a service that your typical user can't even use.
Point taken, though, re: iTunes. That remains a closed eco-system, and some of its particulars are getting pretty stale.
But perhaps the biggest part of the new Zune 4.0 experience is that Microsoft is giving Zune Pass music subscribers a way to stream music over the Web by logging into their Zune.net accounts on any
Mac or PC. We're still a far cry from being able to sync a Zune with a Mac, but at least Zune Pass users can now dig into the Zune Marketplace's deep catalog and stream music wherever and whenever they want.
Not quite sure what to make of this report, since the "Zune" is completely foreign to my experience (I don't know if I've ever even seen one). I mean, I regard the Zune with pretty much the same disregard as the rest of the world — as something of a joke, an iPod wanna-be latecomer. But if it can deliver, as this article from CNET suggests, "music wherever and whenever" users want, than perhaps it is bridging the gap that iPod/iTunes seems unable or unwilling to bridge.
But maybe the most interesting aspect of this report comes in the comments, some of which come from users of Lala.com. For example,
I was seriously getting hopeful that it would download the songs since
I use Lala, a web service, for about 80% of my music anyhow. I wouldn't
have mind the lack of a Mac desktop client if I could only download the
The interesting part of that comment is the "I use Lala… for about 80% of my music anyhow." I don't quite get the complaint re: Zune or the Zune Pass program. I wonder if these means I'm going to have to buy a Zune to find out WTF?