After months of searching I think I’ve finally found something good to say about the Zune. It’s very possible that Microsoft’s new media player will be the death of DRM as we know it.
Before the Zune, DRM was merely a frustrating choice that consumers had to make. To legally purchase digital music released on a major recording label your choices were iTunes or one of several PlaysForSure music stores. Buying any more than a few songs from either source meant that you were essentially locking yourself in to one of the two proprietary copy protection schemes, or running the risk of having to repurchase your collection if you switched brands at some point in the future.
By presenting yet another proprietary DRM solution, Microsoft’s Zune further adds to the confusion consumers are experiencing over incompatible media players and music formats. The result? Microsoft seems to be baffling consumers, confusing the media, and scaring away content providers.
Thanks to the Zune the case against DRM may finally be reaching a tipping point.