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Thread: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

  1. #1
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Post Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Looks like it's the end of the road for Microsoft's Zune. According to The Register, the division has been re-assigned:

    The Zune unit was disbanded and broken up in February, and once the new hardware is finished, the focus will be on services for the PC, phone, and TV.

    The software and services portion of the Zune unit were absorbed by Microsoft's Media Room and Media Center TV businesses. The hardware people were taken over by Microsoft's Windows Mobile unit.

    Do any Orgahs own this player? Any personal experience with one? I've never fingered the thing in detail, so I can't give any first-person thoughts on why it tanked.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    i knew it was wise to not buy one.
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    Probably Drunk Member Reverend Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    I own one and it's better than the iPod. Never had any problems.

    It's a real shame the Applenazis automatically blackballed it just because it was released by Microsoft.
    Last edited by Reverend Joe; 04-21-2009 at 22:35.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    If the Zune had sold well, I don't see how Apple fans could have made any difference. They also don't like Windows, but last I checked it's doing pretty well.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Member Member Alexander the Pretty Good's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    What are you talking about man? I haven't even heard of this thing...

    /

  6. #6
    Probably Drunk Member Reverend Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    If the Zune had sold well, I don't see how Apple fans could have made any difference. They also don't like Windows, but last I checked it's doing pretty well.
    That's because Windows is a major operating system already, not to mention being much more gamer-friendly. The Zune, on the other hand, was seen as an accessory, and with the iPod already well-established, nobody wanted to buy it because it was Windows.

    Of course, when the next generation of iPod came out -- itself a Zune ripoff -- everyone gobbled it up.

    Last edited by Reverend Joe; 04-22-2009 at 00:31.

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    In the shadows... Member Vuk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    From what my friends have told me the Zune is better than the ipod. I have never had either. :P
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Okay, I may have never owned or handled a Zune, but I know for a fact that the explanations for its failure in the marketplace being put forward in this thread are bogus.

    Important things:

    The Zune entered the market after the iPod, the Creative Zen and just about every other portable media player. They were late to the party.

    Microsoft was pushing a music standard for about two years before the Zune came out. I think it was called "Plays With Windows," but I could be wrong on the branding. The point was that it was an open consortium of music publishers, device makers and Microsoft creating a single, unified music platform with DRM that could be used on any device. Good idea, right? Well, guess what? When the Zune came out, it wouldn't cooperate with that standard. Any music you had purchased under the previous regime? Unplayable. Stuff you bought for the Zune? Unplayable on any "Plays With Windows" device. That was a mistake, a serious one.

    Lastly, the Zune was DRM-tastic. To keep the Music Industry happy, Microsoft slapped its DRM onto any file you put on the Zune, even one you created. So let's say you made an MP3 of you drunkenly singing "Twinkle Twinkle" and wanted to listen to it at the gym -- the Zune would convert the MP3 file to contain its DRM, so that you could now never legally un-encrypt that file ever again. Oh, you'd still have the original, but still, adding DRM top stuff that doesn't have it ain't gonna make you popular.

    Also note that in an effort to get extra-bonus-violated by the Music Labels, Microsoft agreed to give the RIAA a percentage on every Zune they sold. That's just irritating.

    So, late to the party, won't cooperate with a years-established standard, adds DRM to all files, and spends a part of its budget giving oral pleasure to a dying industry.

    As I said, I never owned or handled one, but it had a lot of things rolling against it. To blame it on Apple fanbois is to miss out on recent history more or les completely.

    In response to my point that Windows is doing just fine despite Apple fanboi ire:
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Joe View Post
    That's because Windows is a major operating system already, not to mention being much more gamer-friendly.
    I don't understand this comment at all. Apple Mac existed before Windows, but it didn't become the dominant OS. This would suggest that there are other factors at work than timing. Also, gaming in Windows was a complete an utter nightmare before OpenGL and DirectX. Ask any geezer about configuring a 286 boxen to play DeathRace.
    Last edited by Lemur; 04-22-2009 at 19:27.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Yep, the Zune was much better in my experience. I've owned 3 different ipods of different types and they all broke within a year. Absolute crap product IMO. 3 different Apple product failures hints at systemic issues within the company.

    On the other hand, my friend lent me his Zune that his parents gave him to work out with after he got the latest ipod and it worked great - no issues. It had a better interface too, imo. I was sad when he asked for it back when his ipod died on him. As far as I know its still working fine as I see him in the gym with it every now and again.

    I think Apple fans did hurt sales. Its been mocked incessantly since it came out, so that now your choice in MP3 player is as much a fashion statement as anything else. I don't have any personal connection to the Zune so I'm not particularly sad to see it go, but it is too bad that the ipod has lost some competition - as now there is even less need to make them functional long term...

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    Honorary Argentinian Senior Member Gyroball Champion, Karts Champion Caius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Thats why I own a music reproductor that sends and receive sms and calls also.




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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Quote Originally Posted by Caius View Post
    Thats why I own a music reproductor that sends and receive sms and calls also.
    This is likely to be the death of most "mp3" players. The tech is there to have one device that plays music, acts as a cell phone, text device, PDA, portable web device, navigation system, watch, calculator, etc. Except for specialized players like the Shuffle, I'm guessing that iPods themselves aren't long for this earth. Apple will want everyone to just get an iPhone. They may need to open up the iTunes store to do it though.
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    Honorary Argentinian Senior Member Gyroball Champion, Karts Champion Caius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    This is likely to be the death of most "mp3" players.
    Indeed. That happened to Walkman, Diskman, and so on. I think it is cheaper to buy a cellphone that allows you to hear radio, your music, to navigate, and most of the activities that were "apart". Until they merge cellphones and computers... cellphones with music are the way to go.

    Needless to say that cellphones of this era can play videos. Like an "mp4" can do. Even new televisors can reproduct music stored in cellphones!




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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    This is likely to be the death of most "mp3" players. The tech is there to have one device that plays music, acts as a cell phone, text device, PDA, portable web device, navigation system, watch, calculator, etc. Except for specialized players like the Shuffle, I'm guessing that iPods themselves aren't long for this earth. Apple will want everyone to just get an iPhone. They may need to open up the iTunes store to do it though.
    the iphone would be great, if it wasnt for the bad service provider.
    now, if they used verizon....
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    Probably Drunk Member Reverend Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Edit:myah, forget it.
    Last edited by Reverend Joe; 04-24-2009 at 04:42.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Reverend Joe and I are having a nice PM exchange, and I'm going to take the liberty of reprinting a little bit here, since I think it's relevant to the thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Joe
    Anyhow, I refuse to back down from my fashion argument. You might argue whatever you want against Microsoft, but everything I have heard and experienced about the Zune was superior to the iMac.
    If fashion were determinative for buyers, we'd all be using those horrid iMacs with the candy colors, and everybody would be driving a VW bug or a Hummer. Fashion matters, but not nearly as much as clothing designers think. Remember, the original iPod was square, white, heavy and ugly. The Zen was much cooler-looking.

    Here's the real deal: The music device is only half the equation. That's what most manufacturers never understood. Apple was (in this instance) smart: There was an outstanding music software package for Windows and OS X (and I forget its name, which is shameful, 'cause I used it). Apple bought the company outright, killed the Windows side, dumbed down the features so any idiot could use it, and turned it into iTunes. Then they thumb-wrestled with the music industry and convinced them to make their catalogs available on iTunes, arguing that (a) it's only for Macs, so why worry? and (b) we will never, ever port this to Windows, so why worry? (These promises were very similar to the age-old "Baby, just let me put it in a tiny bit.")

    So Apple got all three elements in place before anybody else: Hardware that sorta worked, a front-end music management software that blind nun could use, and buy-in from the music labels.

    Microsoft initially countered with the "Plays With Windows" coalition, which they then shafted when they introduced the Zune. I never saw the player or their software, but I've heard they were both problematic (remember, Microsoft doesn't get dangerous until version 3; this is a Holy Truth).

    Moreover, by the time Microsoft was bringing in the Zune, the music industry had twigged to the fact that these newfangled music recreation computer devices might have an impact on their business model, and they were not in the mood to play nice. So Microsoft had to offer then a percentage on every player sold (something Apple refused to do) and slather DRM out the posterior orifice.

    Seriously, look at the big picture. There was a lot more going on than Apple fanboi interference.
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    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    I don't think the Zune failure is complicated at all, it was just late to the party, period. Apple had sold unimaginable quantities of music that you had to fiddle with more to make work with a Zune than an iPod. Microsoft then made the curious decision to abandoned their own standard and force new Zune owners to 'start over' with any DRM'd music they wanted. Game over.

    Fandom, IMHO, has nothing to do with it, I refuse to believe than any significant percentage of iPod owners consider themselves Apple fans, and the percentage of Mac owners is utterly insignificant relative to the quantity of iPod sales. I own 3 iPods and an iPhone and I am not an Apple fan, the devices just work. Never had a problem with them I couldn't fix myself. I even picked out a portable DVD player because it had a dock for my old iPod video. iTunes used to be really awful, but they got it to a functional state awhile ago and, frankly, I can tolerate it even if I don't love it.

    In fact by the time I first got a chance to play around with a friend's Zune I and my wife already had phones that served as our main on the go music players, making the Zune not just late but nearly irrelevant in my experience.


  17. #17
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Color me confused. A new, HD Zune is announced, after Microsoft broke up the Zune group. What gives?

    The Zune HD: a new hope for Microsoft?

    Microsoft has announced the Zune HD, a multitouch device with a 16:9 OLED screen, a Web browser, and HD radio support. We dig through the details and talk with Microsoft about why the Zune "platform" will soon be as important as the Zune "device."
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

  18. #18

    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Why do people waste their time bothering with such accessories?

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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    These things don't do it for me. I like the idea of netbooks getting smaller and smaller and easier to use on the go. These are cell-phone-esque wastes of time.
    Last edited by ICantSpellDawg; 06-03-2009 at 04:36.
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    Probably Drunk Member Reverend Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Goodbye, Zune, We Hardly Knew Ye

    This technology frightens and confuses me... maybe I should just switch to all LP's and my computer for everything that is purely digital. Music on the go? That just ruins the experience of being on the go!

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