With user generated content sharing all the rage, along comes Microsoft and their interpretation of “sharing” as it applies to their new “Zune” MP3 player. New York Times tech writer David Pogue took it for a spin and wrote this:
“Microsoft is leaving nothing to chance here. The Zune will be available in 30,000 stores nationwide â€” versus 10,000 for the iPod, Microsoft says. Zune commercials will run several times during each episode of popular TV shows, bearing the slogan â€œWelcome to the social.â€ (Either thereâ€™s a noun missing there, or theyâ€™re using â€œsocialâ€ as a noun, as in â€œice cream social.â€)
The bigger problem, though, is the draconian copy protection on beamed music (though not photos). You can play a transmitted song only three times, all within three days. After that, it expires. Youâ€™re left with only a text tag that shows up on your PC so that â€” how convenient! â€” you can buy the song from Microsoftâ€™s store.
This copy protection is as strict as a 19th-century schoolmarm. Just playing half the song (or one minute, whichever comes first) counts as one â€œplay.â€ You can never resend a song to the same friend. A beamed song canâ€™t be passed along to a third person, either.
Whatâ€™s really nuts is that the restrictions even stomp on your own musical creations. Microsoftâ€™s literature suggests that if you have a struggling rock band, you could â€œput your demo recordings on your Zuneâ€ and â€œwhen youâ€™re out in public, you can send the songs to your friends.â€ What it doesnâ€™t say: â€œAnd then three days later, just when buzz about your band is beginning to build, your songs disappear from everyoneâ€™s Zunes, making you look like an idiot.â€
[ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE]