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Summary:

It’s not too surprising that Steve Jobs dissed the Zune during the Macworld Expo keynote last week. But even some of its proponents are having trouble defending the device. Case in point: Jerry Holkins, writer of the popular webcomic Penny Arcade, whose cartoon alter ego is […]

It’s not too surprising that Steve Jobs dissed the Zune during the Macworld Expo keynote last week. But even some of its proponents are having trouble defending the device. Case in point: Jerry Holkins, writer of the popular webcomic Penny Arcade, whose cartoon alter ego is the character Tycho.

In a post on the Penny Arcade web site, he wrote about his experiences at CES, where he had hoped to use the Zune’s wireless song sharing features:

Near the Microsoft booth I was happy to see many devices speaking wirelessly – so many I had to scroll! – until I realized that they were named after genres, and were (in fact) the display units, which added greatly to my shame.

The two times I had an opportunity to share files were interesting – once on the floor itself, and once in the plane on the way back. In both cases, my offer was rebuffed. This actually feels terrible when it happens, because you’re trying to show someone something that is important to you and they don’t care. But let’s be clear: when someone is listening to music, that’s private. They are actively eschewing the outside world, and here you are – with some song they’ve never heard of – interrupting their lives.

The wireless features of the Zune clearly aren’t as well thought out as they should be, as he finishes by noting:

Let me also state that your music stops when doing this – even for someone that buys into the device philosophically, I mean… Jesus Christ, guys.

Penny Arcade! – The Pilgrimage, Part One

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  1. Hey, this squirting thing is obviously for friends, huh? I agree with your overall experience – listening to music is private. It is something I do when I have time that doesn’t involve interacting with others – certainly when I have earplugs in my ear! If I want to listen with others, we’ll use a music box that has open speakers, and we’ll do it at someone’s house, where we won’t have nosy strangers to complain about the noise and we can all listen to the same music at the same time!

    “The Social” *sounds* good. At least until you really analyze where and how people use personal music devices. That is where Micro$oft blew it. It was obviously a ploy to try to undercut Apple; unfortunately for them, they didn’t do their homework!

  2. I would like the iPod to incorporate something like this. People would say “COPYING THE ZUNE WTF” but really it’s a natural progression. iTunes shares with other computers on the network, why not the iPod?

  3. So this guy interrupts strangers, they tell him to buzz off and that is Microsoft’s fault?

  4. the fact is

    it’s not thought for the right use

    of course it would be useful and fine to “share” music

    but music for my OTHERS DEVICES (computer, an other zune or phone), for the device of MY friends, and NO DRM to limit and render the whole features useless.

    my friend will simply got my mp3/mp4aac or the url to buy the music he hears at my home.

    I urge industry for traceable watermarking in files we buy. not for drm. if all music people buy in itms was watermarked with their identity and credit card information, it will stop people to try to circumvent drm and copy their itms tunes.

    of course there are way to remove watermarking and recreate the exact data, but it’s complex, industry can use DMCA laws to forbid distribution of “watermark remover” and people will still be afraid to spread their bought file to anyone on internet but THE FAIR USE would be still possible :

    to copy the files to whatever computer/devices we want and use OUR LEGALLY BOUGHT stuff for OWN USE as WE want or we could imagine in future!

  5. FUDsucker Proxy Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    So this guy interrupts strangers, they tell him to buzz off and that is Microsoft’s fault?

    So this guy tries to be sociable and “squirt” a fellow Zuney, using THE most hugely touted feature of his new toy (the Zune’s ONLY perceived “advantage” over iPod) and is rebuffed at the receiving end … hmmmm.

  6. Multiplayer.ro » Blog Archive » Zune: Penny Arcade’s Tycho gets squirts rebuffed Thursday, January 18, 2007

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