Blog Post

Too Much Zune?

Engadget says Zune is here. Good, iPod has some competition. It has features up the wazoo (sp?) It has wireless connectivity, a 30 gig drive, FM Radio, three inch screen, plus all the usual trimmings. John Biggs says it is going to do social networking as well.

(Like MusicGremlin perhaps?) Wifi and its impact on battery life of digital devices is well known, but will the social network component make up for that? Is Zune giving you a sense of feature creep, or do you think in this case more is more?

25 Responses to “Too Much Zune?”

  1. Sonu 'Stone' Shankar

    Gates once made a statement, quite a while ago that the age of standalone-mp3 players were nearing a close. I strongly believe that the mobile phones of tomorrow will be packed (a few models are REAL close to being as good as JUST an mp3 player) with enough to be better than an individual camera, mp3 player or umm… phone!

    In terms of social networking, Bluetooth has been around for HOW long again?

  2. The first Zune should’ve been iPod nano-sized, not iPod sized. And iPod nano-priced, not iPod priced.

    Since the mini and nano appeared, they’ve been best sellers by far. The iPod made a comeback, but it’s still in second, primarily because of its video playback. The 2006 Zune will have neither the small size nor the video playback.

    Because Zune’s differentiator is sharing, it needs its community of Zune owners to grow quickly – theoretically, the network effect will make linear Zune sales growth cause exponential value growth. But at the suggested $299, it is too expensive to grow a community, especially as Xmas gifts. It needs to be priced at $149 or $199.

    Poor product analysis by MS will cause it to miss its window of opportunity. By next year, the arrival of 802.11n’s low-power mode and lower prices for flash will lead Apple to put it in the iPod, to share not only music but movies.

  3. After thinking about it – I am sure that this device will be as successful as the Ultimate TV and the Origami, both of which are absolutely fantastic products that are taking over the market by storm.

    This just in – Origami sales can now officially be counted on TWO hands.

    Ultimate TV is poised to make a comeback as soon as they can figure out how to stop making the hard disk space disappear. The last 10 customers still using that product really would love that fixed ASAP.

  4. It’s to bad we are paying so much attention to a Toshiba Gigabeat with a radio in it. Microsoft has never been known for being able to release a good 1.0 product and this will be no different.

  5. After looking at pictures on engadget and other blogs I think the zune player will have to go on a slim fast diet pretty soon. Although I am not too thrilled about its looks I think if MS do it right this may be turn out to be a good player after all.

    Most reviewers seem to think that the wifi song sharing is a non-feature, mentioning that they wouldnt want to be sharing music with strangers. Well how about sharing with friends and associates.I have friends who have similar/different music tastes and this would be good way to expand what I normally listen to.

    If MS can integrate a streaming server (a la tiversity or something of that sort) into the zune desktop app it would enable streaming of audio (possibly video) to the zune player over wi-fi which would be useful IMO.

    Overall I think I will wait for version 2.0. For now my quirky but feature rich Sony Vaio VGF player will do.

    DaScud

  6. While a lot of Apple fanboys (I’m one) may be defending the iPod against the Zune (I actually ike the brown one now that I’ve seen it a few times, it’s very HGTVish) I think implying that only Apple fanboys need to suck it up is totally off the mark.

    I have to guess that many more non-Apple owning people own iPods than those that own other Apple products. Otherwise the Mac marketshare would be greater than it is.

    The only people I’ve ever heard wish their iPod had some sort of wireless built-in are hardcore geeks. Most people I believe could care less. Just like I bet most people could care less if iPods can now play Pac Man (though I think it’s cool but unikely to sell any extra iPods).

  7. for my daughter (13), the iPod has become the sad means of youthful expression for the aging hipster (me). It’s too popular to be cool anymore. No kid wants what their parents have. So something has to replace it. This looks interesting. And the iRiver Klix is apparently hot according to her.

  8. Rahul Gandhi

    I think the wireless connectivity has potential, as long as there is an option to turn it off when not required. Is that an option?

    Another important aspect is which media player it synchronizes with because some are more user-friendly than others. Also, people are so used to iTunes now that it will be take very effective marketing and branding to get existing users to switch.

    Overall, I think it has promise. We’ll just have to wait and see until the first sales numbers get released.

  9. bricktop
    “Creative ought to drop their suit against Apple and close ranks with MS who should pay Creative a “licensing fee” the way Intel throws around marketing dollars to hobble the competition.”
    apple settled with creative and a part of that settlement was that if creative won against anybody esle apple wud habve to pay less.

    I think apple will make creative sue msft… funny isnt it

    1. Isn’t listening to music a personal thing? This sounds as intrusive as bluetooth based ads – something that majority of users don’t need or want. After all, who has a better sense of the pulse of the mobile music users need? Apple or Microsoft?

    2. There are already third-party companies that are building recommendation and music discovery solutions around iTMS (iLike and Garangeband.com come to mind). Is wifi music sharing for “discovery” purposes that big a deal?

    3. There may be a market for this among pre-teens who’s music tastes are fully developed. Hard to tell since I am not a pre-teen and not zuned in to that market.

    Conclusion: I am afraid that the sharing feature will be a much bigger turn-off than on. BTW, I like the brown Zune.

  10. If the music swap works as described, this is a true innovation for MS and we’ll start to see real competition and an innovators’ horse race. I doubt Apple will acknowledge Zune for the next 12 months or more until significant sales numbers come out that we can make projections with. In meantime, Creative ought to drop their suit against Apple and close ranks with MS who should pay Creative a “licensing fee” the way Intel throws around marketing dollars to hobble the competition.

    Disclosure of Digita Music Devices:
    Home: Sonos w/ 3 zones + Rhapsody
    Work/Travel: Treo – 2gb sd card
    Gym: Creative NuVo

  11. I get the sense that this won’t be enough much like Xbox wasn’t enough. But I do think they probably have the right platform approach to make this work down the line just like Xbox 360 is a vast improvement.

    The crazy thing is that brown one. My first thought was they are idiots. But every blogger who got their hands on one said the brown one is hot.