Not that I was planning to buy one, but if I was in the market for a mp3 player, the reviews of the new Zune player from the Big Monopoly would be enough to make me look elsewhere.
Like the one in today’s Post.
The new Zune digital-media player may be an all-Microsoft production, but it feels like it came from two companies.
One’s the smart, aggressive competitor that built the Xbox and Xbox 360 game consoles, carving out a franchise from scratch in a tough market. The other’s the clumsy, lumbering giant that can’t seem to avoid occasionally stepping on its own customers.
That combination won’t help the Zune grab market share from Apple’s iPod. Apple has dominated the market by emphasizing simplicity above all, and Microsoft aims to follow suit with the Zune, a wireless-enabled player that sells for $250.
But the Zune’s relentlessly proprietary nature suggests Microsoft drew the wrong lessons from Apple: It matched the restrictiveness of the iTunes Store, not its utility.
Just out of curiosity, I installed the Zune Marketplace software in the Windows side of my MacBook Pro and did some exploring.
I didn’t have any of the set up problems detailed elsewhere. However, using the program is just as clunky and buggy as others have found using it on “real” PCs.
As to the DRM (digital rights management), I have no problem with the system that comes with the iTunes store. Simply put, it doesn’t get in the way of what I want to do with the music I’ve paid for.
From what I’ve read about the Zune, however, the ham-handed DRM is just one of several deal-breakers for the unit.