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December 11, 2006

Seeking the social

Posted by David Hunter at 11:51 AM ET.

CNET’s Ina Fried took Zune in hand and went searching in San Francisco for “the social:”

Welcome to the social.

That’s the promise Microsoft makes with its new Zune. Unlike the solitary iPods, the digital music player lets you make new friends and discover new music. Using its built-in Wi-Fi, it can send a song to another Zune, and that song can be played up to three times before the recipient has to either buy it or lose it.

Well, it had been two weeks since the Zune had hit stores, and I was ready to sample a stranger’s tunes. Equipped with a demonstration unit–courtesy of the folks in Redmond–I set out to try to find some fellow Zunes and their playlists.

Follow the link for the full odyssey, but let’s just say it was a tough quest. See also the slideshow and map.

Filed under Argo, General Business, Marketing, Microsoft, Public Relations, Zune

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One Response to “Seeking the social”

  1. Sony and Universal snub the Zune social -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] I thought I’d heard all the complaints about the heavily touted Wi-Fi music sharing feature of Microsoft’s Zune personal media player (”Welcome to the social”). Aside from the difficulty of finding another Zune owner to be social with, the tunes you “squirt” (Microsoft’s approved terminology) to others are restricted to 3 plays in 3 days, whichever comes first. Now it turns out that there is yet another inhibitor to squirting fun: It appears Sony Music and Universal Music Group are marking certain artists of theirs as “prohibited” for sharing, meaning that just because you’ve paid for a song, and even managed to find another Zune user on the planet Earth, doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily get to beam that JoJo track to another Zune via WiFi magics. In a non-scientific sampling of popular artists by Zunerama and Zune Thoughts, it looks like it’s roughly 40-50 percent of artists that fall under this prohibited banner, and the worst news is that there’s no warning that a song might be unsharable until you actually try to send it and fail. Oh well, maybe you can just hum a few bars or something — just make sure the labels don’t hear you! I guess Microsoft left the flashing green dollar sign off the tunes list interface. Of course the best part is that the Universal Music Group is scoring a tax on every Zune sold. Filed under Coopetition, Technologies, DRM, Sony, Microsoft, Argo, Zune, Universal Music Group [...]

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