I guess it’s back to talking about music labels. This time it’s been found that around half of the songs available on the zune marketplace will not be sharable. So essentially universal music (who already get a cut of the zune sales) are making the pretty crap zune sharing feature even crappier.
I’m not a huge fan of the zune but it’s not about the hardware. It’s that software that makes a huge difference in the overall usability and enjoyment of a product and is one of the reasons the iPod and iTunes have been so successful. Microsoft have simply not done a good enough job with it as far as I’m concerned. The software seems buggy from what I’ve heard which I’m not surprised about, (if you’ve compared the install of IE7 to firefox 2 you’ll probably have seen it coming anyway). While that’s typical MS it’s the deliberate crippling of features that really ruins in. The Zune could have been great without all the DRM and other restrictions. Microsoft of all people should have just told universal to get lost with their restrictions because they, unlike many companies have the money to be able to. Even though they would have lost some great artists from their marketplace they would have gained the respect of the tech and music consumers which would probably be more successful for them anyway.
I think now when you consider the usability issues, the size of the player combined with a more pixelated screen, universal feeding off them and even the social aspect of the player going down the drain, don’t buy one unless you plan on using your own music. Load it with stuff from eMusic. Like I said in my last post, I wish they would just realise that music is a commodity and that people will always buy music. They don’t have to be wasting their time crippling digital music and suspecting people. Ignore the bad things going on and really try to make the experience better for people.
As of this moment I doubt anything will change soon. I just don’t understand why they don’t get that $2 billion has been spent on downloaded music in 2006 and that people are buying this music with DRM in place. How many would that be if it was restriction free? I’m sure it wouldn’t be far off double that total or more.
Update: The other day they were holding a meeting to discuss the future of the industry and certain people did give a negative opinion of DRM. Maybe they’re starting to get it?