10 Things You Need To Know About Zune

Last week Microsoft confirmed the name of its soon to be released digital audio player. It’s called Zune, and here’s what you need to know about it:

  1. Worst product name since Windows Vista. I’ll spare you the puns because you’ll be seeing plenty of those in the coming months. Apparently this is what happens when you hire Zsa Zsa Gabor as a naming consultant.
  2. Zune is more than a device, it’s a “family” of products. The Zune family will apparently include a portable audio play, a music manager, an online music store, and other devices to be named later. Microsoft seems set on building a Zune franchise, but if their past is any indication this could be a dysfunctional family.
  3. Zune Won’t Support Plays For Sure. According to Engadget, the service and device won’t be Plays For Sure compliant. For those of you living in an iPod/iTunes world, Plays For Sure is the DRM standard Microsoft has been promotion for a while now. The fact that they seem to be abandoning the standard with the release of their new product line is classic Microsoft. The companies who’ve built their business around Plays For Sure are apparently out in the cold. Microsoft still supports Plays For Sure, it just doesn’t work with “the next big thing”.
  4. When written in Hebrew Zune spells “Fuck”.
    Transliterate the letters in Zune to Hebrew and you get something unexpected. Seriously, who named this thing?
  5. Zune Player Will Have WiFi Built-In. This is one of the more interesting Zune features. The built in WiFi will include some type of auto-discovery, similar to Bonjour, that will allow users to easily find and connect to other Zune users on the same network. Users will be able to share media and interact via social networking applications. Song sharing will, of course, be limited. The early reports indicate that a maximum of 10 users will be able to connect on one network segment (has anyone at Microsoft ever lived in a dorm?) and that users will need to bookmark a song for purchase before they can listen. Talk about pouring cold water all over a good idea.
  6. Battery Life Unknown. The batteries in early versions of the iPod nearly caused a consumer revolt. With built in wireless and a 400 MHz processor Microsoft would appear to be setting Zune up for a similar backlash. Expect the Zune to have a surprisingly short playback time per charge.
  7. Who’s Killing Who? While Zune has been continually referred to as an “iPod Killer” there is, apparently, already one Zune Killer in the works. Rhapsody is reportedly working on its own portable player to challenge both the iPod and Zune. The Rhapsody player will, of course, support Plays For Sure.
  8. Zune Will Be Viral. If you thought the hype surrounding Origami was bad, you haven’t seen anything yet. It’s almost as if Origami was a test campaign in preparation for the Zune release. The blogosphere is already littered with scores of Zune blogs. It’s starting to look like a fair number of these sites might be astroturf. Just wait for the video “leaks”.
  9. Zune will be expensive. The 30 GB version will reportedly be priced the same as a 60GB iPod at $399. Zune’s wireless connectivity and fast processor come with a price. The Zune user experience will have to be pretty amazing to get people to shell out that kind of money. It’ll be interesting to see if the Zune family includes lower priced models. Zune will hardly be an iPod killer unless it’s available at multiple price points.
  10. Zune Accessories. Microsoft is apparently attempting to convince iPod accessory manufacturers to produce similar accessories for the Zune product line. Unless Microsoft is willing to heavily subsidize this development with marketing dollars it could take some time for these products to develop. The iPod accessory market developed organically as the popularity of the device grew. Microsoft will need to sell an incredible number of these devices before a healthy market for accessories develops.

22 Responses to “10 Things You Need To Know About Zune”

  1. Jim says:

    What you don’t seem to realize is the name is part of Microsoft’s marketing campaign. “Zune: Fuck yeah!!”

    Seriously, this sounds nearly as bad as the Prism Durosport.

  2. zune says:

    The xbox 360 will be Microsoft’s ticket to success with the Zune product line.

  3. zune says:

    microsoft zune 249.95

    Up to date zune info: http://www.zunescene.com

  4. Gigi says:

    Zune is an another iPod copy…….
    Come on people… figure out something different and original – like iPod is !!!!!!!!!!
    I’ll NEVER replace my iPod with this “family thing” !

  5. Omni Malus says:

    The biggest problem is that everyone who would buy a Zune already has an iPod.

    So no market for the Zune. Sorry.

  6. Timberwoof says:

    ZUNE is a ripoff of ZVUE, a similar product that had already been selling for at least two years when the ZUNE was introduced. (Microsoft settled a lawsuit over that.)

  7. Kirk says:

    No, I’m pretty sure it’s a rip-off of the Putz DuroSport. That’s been pretty well documented by the people over at the DuroSport corporation.

  8. Someone says:

    i do not agree with choosing the ipod over the zune.
    -Wireless Sync
    -Larger Screen
    -May copy the ipod’s “click wheel” but bigger screen.

    Pricewise, I would go with the zune because
    Zune 80GB – 249.99 american dollars
    Ipod 80GB – 249.99 american dollars
    [on ebay ipods are around 155
    i could find a zune for less]
    But i still would choose the Zune.
    EVERYONE has an ipod.
    everyone nerds, geeks, dorks, jocks, everyone.
    I’d much rather have a Zune that isn’t as well known
    no one would want it , it wouldnt get stolen.
    but apple batteries last less than a microsoft battery does.

    So… Zune

  9. Daniel Morales says:

    The Kirk who wrote this article doesnt know sh** about the Zune or Microsoft. This article is completely biased. DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE

  10. Jim says:

    Hey Daniel,

    You are right about the article being completely biased: around here, we call it “having a point of view.” It’s actually a prerequisite for writing stuff. Just parroting the Microsoft or Apple corporate line would be boring, don’t you think?

    You are wrong about The Kirk who wrote this article not knowing sh** (shoe? shut? shin? shaw?) about the Zune or Microsoft.

    Finally, putting DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE at bottom of a post that is over a year and a half old is not the most effective method of attempting to censor speech with which you don’t agree.

    Nearly as ineffective as that whole “squirt” thing.

  11. A man from israel says:

    Hey all
    I got an Ipod. Some of the first releases 4g.
    There’s one thing that makes me mad about Ipod.
    TheI Tunes. Why can’t I just Drag and drop items into it???
    I mean, man! This is the worst idea ever.
    The only solution for that, is the Anapod explorer.
    Another thing, Why Ipod converts All the Mp3 to its on format? Why can’t I share ipods music with my friend,
    By connect it to my friends PC. (some kind of A HDD or Flash USB, Flash OnKey)
    of course! You will need to convert all the songs back to the Mp3, of course, Itunes will delete all the old songs, instead add a new ones. it will do so, unless you add a new song to the old play list. But if you lost your Playlist, and wanna add new songs Via itunes forget it:) You will lose all the songs with in you ipod, Except the new once.
    I hate this process. Why can’t Apple make life easier.
    …. Connect your device, Copy Data, Go back to you Device Paste the data That’s it! :))
    You can paste the data to the Ipod, but Ipod Wont see this data. ha-ha very funny! When I realised that , i Said WHAT!? I took me 2 hours to understand How the Itunes works :)))
    Well, back to the ZUNE.
    First of all, ZUNE Don’t Mean “Fuck” In inglish
    Because, to make it sound like Fuck, you will need another I, “zIun” Ok!? :)) So, don’t listen to those who don’t know Hebrew.
    Zune, its not ZiuN, And Fuck it’s not Fck
    I Go for Zune because:
    The price for the 80g ipod classic is the same.
    Zune got a bigger screen.
    Build in Fm Radio.
    AV output
    WiFi for the Zune users (Data exchange)
    Well, this is not blueThoose, but at least something 🙂
    I like Apple, but I want to try something new.
    Anyway Microsoft has a strong name.
    I don’t think, that there’s might be a programming problems. I’m sure that the Zune usability will be much Friendly so to speak. You will never break you head with Itunes, playlists, and so on.
    Just Copy-Paste, or drag and drop:)
    I mean Apple is good, but they always makes life harder than microsoft anyway:)))

  12. nano says:

    hey man from Israel.
    – You can drag and drop songs from and to iTunes, I always do that.
    – Go to preferences / settings and change the format to .mp3, it’s easy
    – I did lose my playlist.. still ok as long as I have all my songs.

  13. Jason says:

    This critic does not know how to write effectively and it sounds like he has a hard on for apple.


  1. […] July 24, 200610 Things I Must Know About the Zune? According to Medialoper.com, there are 10 things I must know about the Zune. A few comments on a few of them: […]

  2. […] 10 Things You Need To Know About Zune – As the title says, Kirk gives you a rundown of what you need to know about Zune. […]

  3. […] Earlier this week I told you the 10 things you need to know about Microsoft Zune. While that list will get you through small talk at most cocktail parties, there’s one item that merits more discussion — the fact that Zune will not be PlaysForSure Compliant. […]

  4. […] The product name from hell. If last week’s revelation that Microsoft might have trouble marketing Zune in Israel wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that Zune is essentially a French-Canadian euphemism for “penis”. At least Zune’s naming problems are thematically consistent. […]

  5. […] We rag on Microsoft a lot around here. Zune, particularly, has come in for a lot of pre-sale criticism from these quarters. So we should praise them when they do something right. And today’s announcement that they have set up a deal with several studios to offer downloads directly to their Xbox Live service in just a couple of weeks smacks a whole hell of a lot of doing things right. […]

  6. […] We’ve been pretty hard on Zune here, noting several issues before it has even launched.. Nevertheless, I had still toyed with buying one, just to review it. It only seemed fair to maybe give it a try. After all, after surviving the Prism DuroSport 6000, how bad could it be? But forget all of that, because I read something last night that ensures that I will never ever buy one. Microsoft is giving a percentage of the money from sales of Zune to Universal Music. […]

  7. […] When Microsoft announced the Zune last July, we had pretty low expectations for the digital media player. So much about the Zune just didn’t seem right: […]

  8. […] Zune is possibly the worst product name in history. It has various obscene meanings depending on what language you speak. […]

  9. […] the Microsoft Zune Sucks:” 2.” Top Ten Things Wrong With Zune” 3.  “10 Things You Need To Know About Zune” 4. “Reasons why you should NOT get a Zune” 5.” Ten Things I Hate About The […]