Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Microsoft lose their tiny minds

I have written about Microsoft's Zune player before (to deafening silence from commenters everywhere) and Daring Fireball has some more interesting information on the music licensing: Microsoft have agreed, amongst other things, to pay Universal $1 for every Zune sold, in addition to Universal's cut of the songs sold on the "Zune marketplace".

But what about this marketplace? Do you use... well... your card to buy songs using, well, money? No! The people at Microsoft have, instead, decided to lose their tiny little minds!
Zune users must buy and download music from a dedicated Zune music store—or rip their own CDs and copy them on to the player.

Zune owners can buy individual tracks using a points system—79 Zune points equals 99 cents which buys a single—or subscribe to the service monthly, giving users access to two million tracks.

What the fuck? 79 Zune points equals 99 cents which equals a single? What the hell were they thinking? Were they thinking that, because iTunes Store songs cost 99 cents in the States but 79p in Britain that this was somehow going to convince people on both sides of the Atlantic that they are getting value for money? What the... I mean, what spanner came up with that system?
Mr Mossberg also criticised the payment scheme for the Zune marketplace, pointing out that users have to buy £5-worth of points at a time, even if they intend to buy only a single track.

And again, what? So, I can go onto the iTunes Store and spend 79p—and 79p only (and, yes, I do that quite often, especially in my impecunious state)—or I can go onto the Zune marketplace and buy £5 (or is it dollars, Beeboids?) worth minimum? So, wait, hang on? How many points to a pound?

No, wait hang on, let's assume that they mean 5 dollars so that would be... er... five lots of 99 cents (which actually equal 79 points) but with four cents left over so I actually have 395 p[oints but I've still got 4 cents left over so when I've spent 123 dollars and 73 cents then I will be able to get an extra song. I think. But if it's actually pounds, then there are about... er... how many dollars to the pound? Er, so where was I...

You see? Microsoft have lost their tiny, weasel-like minds...


Shotgun said...

Why would any fucker have a Zune or a fucking Ipod when they can buy a Zen which the others systems are based on, and download songs from anywhere, or just chuck mp3's at it? I bought a DVD with the top 40 albums on it in mp3 format for £5 and they are all nestling nicely on the Zen and it took about 20 minutes...

Fuck microsoft and fuck apple tunes and get soemthing that is really costs effective for fucks sake.

Chris Fleming said...

Not to mention the pointless wireless connection.

Can you download new tunes using it. No.
Can you connect to Network Shares and Listen to Music. No.
Can you download new podcasts using it. No.

Can you send Music to other people. Well Kinda, but only if they also have a Zune, and then they can then only listen to the track 3 times. Even if you own the copyright to the Music this is the case.

Also Congratulations to Microsoft for producing the first Hard Disk Music Device that cannot be used to move files around.

Anonymous said...

The fact that MS caved in to Universal and will pay them fees per DEVICE sold, AS WELL as per track, means that I would not touch this device with a Barge-Pole. Fuck Microsuck, fuck Universal, fuck the RIAA!

wrinkled weasel said...

My weasel-like mind tells me that this is all too much for the over fifties to understand.

Are you discussing some kind of drug? As in, "Got any Zunes?"

Devil's Kitchen said...


You can put simple MP3s on an iPod too (indeed, my iPods is mostly full of CDs that I own. Though, of course, technically that's still illegal).

I bought my first iPod for two reasons:

1) I'm an Apple freak. They are my football team, if you like, and I root for them like a team. So, I buy their products.

2) MP3 player support for Macs -- yes, Zens too -- was really ropey at the time. Some just plain didn't work.


Yup, I covered that nonsense in my first article about them.


AntiCitizenOne said...

Just get a smartphone, copy all the MP3 files you like onto it and use it as a MP3 player and phone. SD sticks are well cheap now.

Devil's Kitchen said...


Yes, that's true but then why would I do that when I can have my entire music collection at my fingertips? I get a sudden craving to listen to a particular song: it's there. I want to organise a 5 hour playlist for the train down to London: I can do it, on the move, with every track I own. I am a completist, you see, and a tech freak...

Besides, I am still regularly having to carry around files several gigs in size: one cannot do that with a phone...


Myrddin Wen said...

Shotgun is correct, pop down your local car booty and get a dvd for a fiver with all the latest albums on it, fuck MS and the DRM nazis, I've got a nice little Nokia N91 with a 4G HD, fully loaded with mp3s and video.

Myrddin Wen said...

And anyone who feels the urge to carry several gig of computer files around, and is then annoyed his phone can't take it, is definitely a geek.

When all you need to do is, ahem, gaffer tape 4 40G mp3 players together with a powered USB hub.

Raw Carrot said...

Completely agree. Bunch of asses and morons.