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Jobs Unfazed by Zune 440

Posted by Hemos
from the well-he-would-say-that dept.
twofish writes "In an interview at Newsweek marking the approaching 5th anniversary of the launch of the iPod, Apple CEO Steve Jobs seems unconcerned by Microsoft's wannabe iPod killer Zune. Earphone sharing will prove a more potent force for social networking than the iPod rival's wireless song-sharing feature, he reckons. 'I've seen the demonstrations on the internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever,' he says in the article. 'By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable.'"
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Jobs Unfazed by Zune

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  • Incredible Speaker (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@NosPAm.gmail.com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:23AM (#16452305) Homepage Journal
    It always amazes me how smoothly Jobs manages to deliver presentations, even when he's put on the spot. And without any of the dodging and doublespeak you expect from most company execs.

    I know a lot of Slashdotters hate iTunes for "DRM", "not HD(TV) quality", "too expensive", or whatever other B.S. excuse they can come up with, but...
    Q: No, but you've asked them not to raise their prices, when some of them wanted to.
    A: Our core initial strategy on the store was that if you want to stop piracy, the way to stop it is by competing with it, by offering a better product at a fair price. In essence, we would make a deal with people. If they would pay a fair price, we would give them a better product and they would stop being pirates
    ...THIS is why I support iTunes. They know they have to be competitive in the market, so they are. They keep prices acceptable, even in face of stupid, greedy record companies. Jobs makes no bones about it, and he tells both the labels and the consumers the same thing. There are no "backroom deals" going on here, just a company trying to deliver the best product possible at a price the market can afford.

    You won't find that sort of business done at Microsoft. Their strategy is:

    1. Announce a competing product with limitless fanfare. Doesn't matter if it sucks.
    2. Slowly improve it until the market finds it semi-acceptable.
    3. Leverage the Windows monopoly to CRUSH the competition.

    Didn't you hear? You can only use iPods with a Mac. With Zuma, you can be compatible with the millions of Microsoft Vista machines, out of the box! Plus, you know you're getting Microsoft Quality(TM) and Support(TM) when you purchase a Zuma. Those other digital music companies could fold tomorrow, leaving you with no music and no refund. Only Microsoft products can provide you with a guaranteed safety net! </standard-Microsoft-bull>

    I've seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable.

    You know, he's got a point. It might seem very impressive in a geeky way to Zuma a file across the room to the pretty girl (if you don't mind that I just used "Zuma" as a verb), but she is definitely not going to be impressed unless she's also a geek. You've also got the matter of the song being played in a vacuum, where your own thoughts and feelings on the tune are missing. Thus it holds no meaning. Besides, pod-jacking [wikipedia.org] gives you a much better chance of being able to talk to that pretty girl. ;-)

    • Good comments, but Jobs does have his own bits of doublespeak. When he says that customers aren't asking for compatibility he's either defining his terms VERY carefully or he's in denial.

      On the other hand he can't say "we can't adopt Microsoft's proprietary DRM instead of our own proprietary DRM because: (A) Microsoft will crush us, and (B) Microsoft's DRM is too effective for customers to put up with... the main reason we can get away with what we're doing in the iTunes Store is because everyone knows our DRM is little more than 'honor system'."

      Though it would be refreshing to hear that/ He could go on with "You know, back before we introduced DRM I pointed out that DRM is basically impossible to make more than 'honor system' anyway, and our success really proves how right I was."
      • by Have Blue (616) on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:05AM (#16452873) Homepage
        He's right that, by and large, customers aren't asking for compatibility. Nerds on Slashdot are asking for compatibility. The millions upon millions of laymen who bought the lion's share of iPods barely even realize it's an issue.
        • by Trillan (597339) on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:31AM (#16453243) Homepage Journal
          Because for them (and for me, honestly) it isn't something to "barely even realize" -- it really isn't an issue.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by $1uck (710826)
          I'm sorry but you're wrong. Yeah, so I bought my gf(not a slashdot-geek) an Ipod for xmas last year My brother (also not a slashdot-geek) figures he would be helpful since I bought my gf an Ipod and get here some giftcards to Napster (why Napster and not Itunes I don't know he didn't tell me his plans). Right there are two people who care about compatibility and realize its an issue.
      • by PygmySurfer (442860) on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:36AM (#16453297)
        On the other hand he can't say "we can't adopt Microsoft's proprietary DRM instead of our own proprietary DRM because: (A) Microsoft will crush us, and (B) Microsoft's DRM is too effective for customers to put up with... the main reason we can get away with what we're doing in the iTunes Store is because everyone knows our DRM is little more than 'honor system'."

        Maybe it's actually (C) Microsoft fucked everybody over who went with their PlaysForSure DRM, but we saw it coming, and developed our own system (probably not the reason, but it would be perfectly valid).

        I think Apple knows it's DRM is really a joke, but it's enough to appease the RIAA. Much as Jobs might want to throw that into the RIAAs face, I think he knows the RIAA would be too stupid to agree, and there's no way they'd let Apple strip the DRM from the iTunes store.
      • When he says that customers aren't asking for compatibility he's either defining his terms VERY carefully or he's in denial.

        Okay, which people have been demanding compatibility outside of Slashdotters who think Ogg still matters and Apple competitors who haven't been able to make a better product? iTunes is the software for the iPod, and if you buy music through iTunes, it's clear it's only for the iPod. Don't want to be tied to the iPod, then don't buy iPod music.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mikeisme77 (938209)
        I also support iTunes. I think 99 cents is a fair price to pay for a song (although I do wish more of the money went to artists as opposed to the studios, but that's a whole seperate issue--and something pirating only makes worse). I do have an issue with the DRM being unable to play on my Samsung MP3 player, but there are many, many ways around that (burning to CD and ripping to MP3; using QTFairUse6--technically illegal, but not tracable like downloading from p2p is; or recording the output from a song be
    • by glindsey (73730)
      I do hope you were calling it "Zuma" repeatedly as a joke, considering even the text you quoted referred to it properly as the "Zune".

      And you better believe Microsoft would weep with joy if people started using "Zune" as a verb.
    • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:39AM (#16452527)

      *Sigh* Another victim of the Reality Distortion Field (TM).

      You know, he's got a point. It might seem very impressive in a geeky way to Zuma a file across the room to the pretty girl (if you don't mind that I just used "Zuma" as a verb), but she is definitely not going to be impressed unless she's also a geek. You've also got the matter of the song being played in a vacuum, where your own thoughts and feelings on the tune are missing. Thus it holds no meaning. Besides, pod-jacking gives you a much better chance of being able to talk to that pretty girl. ;-)

      You know damned well that when (not if) iPod comes out with wireless, his tune on that will change in a hurry. Kind of like Intel was slow until Apple was using it.

      Of course, he'll have an answer about how impersonal wireless was until Apple did it. And he'll be partly right. But for now, wireless is a Zuma advangage - right now, the guy can podjack (zumajack?) the pretty girl, then when she likes the song, he can Zuma it to her. That would be pretty cool. MS should let users associate a text message with the song, that would be better. Also, would be even cooler if it didn't disappear immediately, but whatever.

      I like my iPod and my powerbook, but Steve's just a little *too* slick for me. It makes me not trust anything he says, whether he's right or wrong, simply because if you let yourself get caught up in his spin, you *will* believe whatever he says.

      • Well similar to my previous comment on this story. Saying Power PC was better then Intel Pentium Chip and Saying Intel Core 2 Duo are better then Power PC, is like saying I am a better runner then an Olympic runner because 20 years ago I could walk faster then him running, (if he could even run). But I changed my mind I guess the Olympic runner can now run faster then me, I guess I am a flip flopper. When Apple does release a wireless iPod it will be designed better then the zunes and be useful, and on p
      • by rlthomps-1 (545290) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:55AM (#16452737) Homepage
        You're actually missing Steve's point. He's not saying wireless sharing of music isn't a useful feature, he's saying that it's too complicated to be useful right now. So yes, he'll change his tune but only after Apple finds a way to do it "right".
        • by shashi (56458) on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:21AM (#16453085) Homepage

          That's basically what Jobs has done all along. He's shown that he's never one to completely disregard in the future what doesn't work today. He's just a perfectionist and doesn't want to throw in the latest bells and whistles until he feels it is ready for your everyday user to consume. That's one thing that Microsoft doesn't get—they want the most features possible and so they end up releasing a lot of stuff, that while it sounds cool, often doesn't work as advertised until a couple of service packs later.

          I also wanted to address a point from the grandparent, which your point actually addresses (albeit a little broadly):

          You know damned well that when (not if) iPod comes out with wireless, his tune on that will change in a hurry. Kind of like Intel was slow until Apple was using it.

          That's a bit of a misinformed statement. Intel was slow. PowerPC was kicking Intel ass up through the early G4's. Unfortunately, IBM didn't keep up with R&D for their consumer PowerPC chips to stay competitive with Intel. So, like a good businessman, Jobs did was right for the consumer and switched his product to use the more competitive parts.

          I assure you that once Steve Jobs feels the time is right for things like iPod wireless, or iPhone, or whatever else "everyone" is clamoring for, he'll do it.

          • by ronanbear (924575) on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:57AM (#16453581)
            Zune's wireless sharing isn't a killer app. Jobs knows this. Ballmer should. From a technical standpoint all the ingredients are already in place in the Zune for this to be genuinely useful. Random wireless p2p sharing isn't really practical. Where the wireless sharing would be really useful would be having a base station in Starbucks, GAP, airports etc where you could download songs for free. The M$ DRM there makes more sense. But that would require a pull model instead of Microsofts push model.

            You could still have a song of the day to allow people to try out new music. Record stores might like something like that. Instead of listening to headphones in a store you push a button which sends the song to any zunes within range (which accept it). You get 3 chances to decide if you like it and then buy the song. But, such usage is totally at odds with Microsofts marketing.

            In fairness, Apple have made similar mistakes at times. Podcasting started and grew without them. They were very quick to tap into it though which comes back to your point about Jobs being a perfectionist who doesn't want to release something until it works perfectly. Incidentally the Zune sharing wouldn't fit too well with the iTS as it functions currently. It would however be perfect for the wide range of playsforsure stores.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Gilmoure (18428)
            I'm still waiting for my iNewton. That'll be sweet.
        • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@NosPAm.gmail.com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:36AM (#16453301) Homepage Journal
          [Jobs is] saying that it's too complicated to be useful right now

          Give the man a prize. This was exactly Jobs' point. He didn't say anything to suggest that he's opposed to the idea of wireless transfers, just that the Zune sucks at it. If the iPod were to add this feature, it would probably require you to cross the room, stand next to the girl (again, giving you that chance to talk to her), and very simply and painlessly initiate the file transfer. Knowing Apple, you'd probably be able to broadcast your current playlist to nearby iPods, allows you to pod-jack without even pod-jacking. Which would be in support of existing market needs (something which Apple excels at) rather than trying to force a feature onto the market that no one is asking for.
      • by skribble (98873)

        Ummm yea and when he zumajack's the girl it's only good for 3 plays. That's like taking your date to White Castle, leaving in the middle of the night and not calling her again.... smooth.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Gilmoure (18428)
          The kind of women you can take to White Castle and then sleep with usually are best not seen by the light of the rising son. Only makes sense to beat feet while the eeevil Mr. Yellowface is away.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tim C (15259)
      I know a lot of Slashdotters hate iTunes for "DRM", "not HD(TV) quality", "too expensive", or whatever other B.S. excuse they can come up with

      Well, it's a bit off topic, but personally I dislike (but still use) iTunes because it's a resource hog. I don't own an iPod, and so it really shouldn't need to have an iPod helper service running continuously. It definitely shouldn't have an iTunesHelper process running continuously either.

      Yes, you can kill the processes, but iTunes will just start them back up again
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Paradise Pete (33184)
      It always amazes me how smoothly Jobs manages to deliver presentations, even when he's put on the spot.

      He's a brilliant negotiator and manipulator. Take a look at this video [youtube.com] of him addressing the Cupertino city council. Here's this big shot CEO taking his personal time and making the effort to come down to the meeting simply to give them some good news.

      He doesn't ask for anything. Nothing. But from this small gesture he's now completely won over the city council. And you know that later on when Apple has

    • by Brickwall (985910)
      This is nit-picky, but "Zuma" was a very good, if little noticed, album by Neil Young, featuring the songs "Danger Bird" and "Cortez the Killer".

      The "Zune" is MS's iPod wannabe.

    • by xtracto (837672)
      They know they have to be competitive in the market, so they are. They keep prices acceptable, even in face of stupid, greedy record companies. Jobs makes no bones about it, and he tells both the labels and the consumers the same thing. There are no "backroom deals" going on here, just a company trying to deliver the best product possible at a price the market can afford

      What I cant understand is why if every "music retailer" company knows that the music is being sold more expensive than it should they still
    • 2. Slowly improve it until the market finds it semi-acceptable.


      I believe when iPod/iTunes was first announced it was Mac only... the would be in the "slowly improve it until the market finds it semi-acceptable" category. In addition, there have been a series of "flaws" to use such a crass word about Apple with the iPods... non-replacable batteries, defective batteries, scratches... etc.

      For fast time to market, nearly everyone continously improves their products after they have been released. This is ge
  • by Bewbewbew (871127) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:25AM (#16452321) Homepage
    Teenage girls all over America issue restraining orders against Steve Jobs, related to his attempts to "share his earphones" with them.
  • by creimer (824291) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:25AM (#16452325) Homepage
    'By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable.'

    Dating advice for using the iPod?! Let's see Bill Gates top that with the Zune!
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:33AM (#16452451) Homepage Journal
      ``Let's see Bill Gates top that with the Zune!''

      Nah, I think I'd rather not watch that.
    • "Dating Me(TM) enables integrated solutions that optimize your Social Life Experience through new streamlined enterprise implementations and enhanced security..."

      "Dating Me(TM) is a service provided to you under the following terms and conditions..."

      "...in no event will Me be liable for damages to your reputation, orifices, or other assets arising from Dating Me(TM)..."

      "...you agree to allow Microsoft(TM) personnel to periodically inspect your residentiary premises for evidence of Unauthorized Account Activ
  • How Is This News? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:26AM (#16452327) Journal
    Apple: Jobs Unfazed by Zune ... from the well-he-would-say-that dept.
    How is this news?

    Of course he's 'unfazed' by the Zune. He sits atop a company that currently has massive (and, more importantly, very loyal) fanbase in both computers and portable media players.

    Microsoft is new to this market and I doubt jobs will be afraid of anybody (even Microsoft) in this market. Hell, I'll bet Jobs isn't even concerned about iRiver's or Sony's products even though they seem to have been in the market longer.

    What was he supposed to do? Halt all production and support of iPods at the sight of the Zune and declare that he's beaten? Is he supposed to assume the fetal position and cower and cry when he hears the word 'Zune?' Retreat to the northern woods where he trains night and day so that one day he might come back and beat Microsoft in some other fashion?

    I would be shocked if Jobs said anything otherwise. What's our next headline for Slashdot? Is it going to be "Steve Ballmer's Kids Love Zune"? What about "Jobs Says New Mac Models Are Good"? You gotta keep up those hard hitting headlines.

    The questions in this article are laughable! Interviewer: "Jobs, I've pitched you so many softball questions but in an effort to pitch you another, how can the iPod lose its popularity with Dick Cheney and Queen Elizabeth owning one?" Jobs: "It can't, but let me attempt to be modest as you pop a woody for me." Interviewer: "I know you've only sold millions of iPods so let me attempt to further illustrate how great it is, will it always be about the music?" Jobs: "It's about whatever makes it sell the most."

    Stop humping his leg!

    I think the only way you could worry Jobs is if you made a media device that physically pleasures the user (with nods to Stanislaw Lem). Although Jobs could just fire back that the video playing iPod requires some effort but can meet the same needs.
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@NosPAm.gmail.com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:31AM (#16452405) Homepage Journal
      How is this news?

      I would be shocked if Jobs said anything otherwise. What's our next headline for Slashdot? Is it going to be "Steve Ballmer's Kids Love Zune"? What about "Jobs Says New Mac Models Are Good"? You gotta keep up those hard hitting headlines.

      How is this news? Simple: By reading between the lines.

      Every company delivers the same BS of, "We think our competitor provides no real challenge in the market." But if you actually listen to what they're saying, you can hear what they really think about it. Sort of like how Ballmer's denials of Google's importance always come across as, "I want to throw a f#@$ing CHAIR at those Google DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS, DEVELOPERS!"
    • "how can the iPod lose its popularity with Dick Cheney and Queen Elizabeth owning one?""

      They own one? That must explain the earphone sharing, and all the trans-atlantic plane flights. You'd think that each would be rich enough to afford their own iPod.
      • by ickoonite (639305)
        To my knowledge, the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. has never been referred to as Quooey Too.

        Those in the know, however, call her Brenda.

        iqu :P
    • Hell, I'll bet Jobs isn't even concerned about iRiver's or Sony's products even though they seem to have been in the market longer.

      As a matter of fact I also wouldn't be concerned about Sony (who invented portable music, but at that time it was the arguably most innovative tech company, but I digress) when they come up with a portable music player in 2004, which couldn't even natively understand the MP3 format, in order to force you to their hideous Sonic Stage software and their Connect store.

      Hell! Does

  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:29AM (#16452377)
    Apples Strength is that they tend to only add features that people really need and can use. Microsoft just takes whatever people complain about not having and shove it in there doesn't matter if it is really useful or not. Apple knows that people wants wireless access to their iPod but apple won't put it in there until they can find a way to make it right, so it is actually a benefit vs. an expensive feature that people won't use, more then just past the for 1/2 hour for the ohhs and ahhs.
    Lets take a look at virtual screens. OS X is just releasing this as a new feature in its OS next year, Unix/Linux has had this feature for decades. Why now did apple finally release it. Well because there is enough CPU/GPU power to make it so people can understand it and not call and complain about there windows being missing. Or not seeing where they put what. It is about not releasing a feature until it can be made useful. Not just putting in a feature half hazardly jest because people who like buzzwords say they want it.
    • by Phantom of the Opera (1867) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:49AM (#16452655) Homepage
      Apples Strength is that they tend to only add features that people really need and can use. Microsoft just takes whatever people complain about not having and shove it in there doesn't matter if it is really useful or not. Apple knows that people wants wireless access to their iPod but apple won't put it in there until they can find a way to make it right, so it is actually a benefit vs. an expensive feature that people won't use, more then just past the for 1/2 hour for the ohhs and ahhs.
      Lets take a look at virtual screens. OS X is just releasing this as a new feature in its OS next year, Unix/Linux has had this feature for decades. Why now did apple finally release it. Well because there is enough CPU/GPU power to make it so people can understand it and not call and complain about there windows being missing. Or not seeing where they put what. It is about not releasing a feature until it can be made useful. Not just putting in a feature half hazardly jest because people who like buzzwords say they want it.


      I like your points. It brings to mind two students that have to write a term paper that has to be 50 pages. One student fills it with crap and changes the font size and spacing until it reaches that 50 pages, thereby fullfilling the minimum. The other student ignores the 50 page requirement and just researches the subject and writes until the paper makes sense. The teacher with any brains (or interest in the subject matter) is going to grade the second student higher. Not all teachers have any brains. Big corporations and especially governments won't take anything other than 50 pages and won't really read it anyway.

      Apple did its homework with the iPod and worked hard for that A. Microsoft glanced over to copy as much as it could, slapped something together, put a pretty font on it, slapped some stickers on it and put it in a nice brown binder. Microsoft gets the C.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888)
      I think you've pretty much hit it here. Yes, the iPod will eventually support wireless. But when it does, it will support many of the useful features that people are complaining that the Zune doesn't support, such as wireless syncing with your host machine and wireless downloads of purchases. The wireless sharing ability that the Zune features is kind of a nice idea, but it's more gimmicky than anything, IMHO. More like it's another "feature" to add to the side of the box than anything that people will use.
      • Exactly, the only wireless that I think matters is syncing. Anything else is just a gimmick. If you really want to do wireless right then if you're near a wireless hotspot you should be able to browse songs from your player and download them right on the spot.
  • Wait, what? Steve Jobs is talking about _girls_? And he works at _Apple_? /me ducks
  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by iworm (132527) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:31AM (#16452403)
    You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear.

    Why not just keep both earbuds where they are, enjoy the music, and still stick it in her ear? Or am I misunderstanding something here...?
  • by Grahl (8946) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:31AM (#16452421) Homepage
    Wasn't there a time when Apple was unfazed by IBM-PCs? :>
    • No.
      the IBM-PCs were strong competition when they left the building. Hence the 1984 commercial (The XT was released in 1993). Also apple was competing many other computer manufactures. What Apple didn't expect where all the "IBM Compatible" systems out there, that allowed developers to create a lot of "IBM Compatible" Programs for them.
      • Hence the 1984 commercial (The XT was released in 1993).

        Nope, XT's were released in 1983 with a whopping 4.77Mhz 8088 processor.

        In 1993 we should have had at least 486's by 1993.

        I'm sure it was just a typo though...
  • What is Jobs susposed to say? "I'm scared, help me!!!" ?
    • by krell (896769)
      "What is Jobs susposed to say? "I'm scared, help me!!!" ?

      This is the same Steve Jobs who shit his pants [hbs.edu] when someone introduced a battery-operated motor scooter.
      • by clem (5683)
        Wow, imagine what he'd do if someone introduced a battery-operated motor scooter with a built-in colostomy bag.
      • by rahrens (939941)
        After reading the article you linked to, I don't see where you get the idea that Jobs was somehow afraid of the battery powered scooter.

        I saw a Jobs that was very critical of mostly the business plan, not so much the product, at least not until he got to the design. And design is something thet Steve knows something about.

        In fact, he was right about one thing: the Segway was a bust with the public, but has proven popular with commercial, industrial and police organizations, something Steve suggested they
        • by krell (896769)
          "And design is something thet Steve knows something about"

          I guess this means that if the Segway had come encased in translucent blue plastic, it would have been a roaring success.
  • "Earphone sharing will prove a more potent force for social networking than the iPod rival's wireless song-sharing feature, he reckons"

    Not to mention social diseases as well. "Remember: Wipe the Wax! This public service announcment brought to you by the Department of Public Health".
  • by d0n quix0te (304783) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:36AM (#16452495)
    Just as geeky as the 90's version of uncool, tragically unhip, business dudes and engineers beaming business cards to each other. The novelty will wear off after 2 tries. The only people who will do it are going to be geeks... Oh wait, the geeks are going to buy an Ogg Vorbis player made by a Taiwanese company that nobody's heard off....

    The only people who will use this feature are going to be the dorks working in Microsoft's Zune division who came up with this non-feature... well, at least until they get laid off....
    • by Slurms (144553) on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:54AM (#16452729) Journal
      Wireless sharing for the Zune is not about sharing songs with a girl in a bar. It is entirely about giving Starbucks a means for sending you commercials disguised as "zune-casts" when you walk into their shop.
    • There's nothing cool about handing out business cards whether it's physical paper or digital data. Cool isn't even on the screen.

      Beaming cards was mainstream... I had a wrecker driver wave a palm at me when he was towing my car in 2000... until the iPaq finally got a fast enough processor in the ARM to make Microsoft's handheld OS usable, and Palm lost the plot and tried to turn the Palm into the same kind of "laptop replacement" device Microsoft was pushing. Pocket PCs wrecked beaming.

      Why?

      The Pocket PC makes beaming business cards a cumbersome trial that only the geeky can handle. You had to navigate multiple menus, switch modes in the receiving device, and wait, and wait. The Palm made it simple and automatic... just hold one button down and it Just Works, and works *quickly*.

      So the question is... will the Zune make beaming music "a cumbersome trial" or "simple and automatic"? How long will it take?
    • The business card things was stupid, but what was cool was beaming a whole bunch of addresses to someone else. I've done it a number of times when someone joined our team and needed everyone's contact info.

      It would be really cool if the Zune allows me to beam an entire playlist to someone else. Of course, it would not be cool if the receiver could only play them a couple times and if the beaming took more than 15 seconds.

      • >I've done it a number of times when someone joined our team and needed everyone's contact info.

        I did say that tragically un-hip business dudes and engineers were the only people who used the beaming function ;-)
  • by Peregr1n (904456) <ian.a.ferguson@gmail.com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:04AM (#16452859) Homepage
    I think Steve Job has intentionally missed the point. Yes, the whole sharing thing is pointless and won't be used. But Wi-Fi will be the future (hopefully for iPods too) for uploading music to the device and playing back to speakers.

    For example, I play music from my MacBook wirelessly to my speakers through my AirPort Express (yes, I'm an Apple fanboy) a lot. I really wish I could do the same, but from my iPod, so I don't have to power up the MacBook. If iPod had Wi-Fi - ta da! Problem solved.

    I think Steve knows this is the future but is spreading a little FUD about the Zune. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation of video iPod has wi-fi - carefully timed to arrive with the iTV - so it can play video wirelessly too. It's the next logical step.
    • by goMac2500 (741295)
      When the Zune can play music via WiFi over my Airport Express let me know. Notice Jobs didn't say WiFi wasn't the future, he just said the song sharing was not the future.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:06AM (#16452879) Homepage
    If I were Ballmer, I would seek out an opportunity to comment on the doubtless many medical studies that have shown that ear wax, mites, bacteria, Avian flu virus, cooties, parasites, AIDS, those icky crayfish-like ear thingies from "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan," the gay gene, and terrist nucular WMD materials remain on ear bud surfaces, no matter how clean they seem to be.
  • Won't Zune make use of an earpiece to deliver sound to your brain? Perhaps Apple has a "System and Method for Sending Music to Potential Girlfriend Through Earphone" patent and they intend to strenuously enforce patent violation by Zune users?

    "People will buy iPods because they can let someone borrow their iPod to listen and that's faster than copy songs from Zune to Zune." WTF is Jobs on about?

    • by Tony (765)
      Basically, there are very few reasons to buy a Zune. One of the things Microsoft has touted is the ability to share a song in a limited fashion via wireless.

      Jobs is saying that process is cumbersome. Rather than transfer the song from device-to-device, users are much more likely to physically pass their device over to their friend, let them listen, feel happy, and go about their day.

      Yes, the Zune can also do this. But, that isn't a *reason* to buy a Zune over an iPod.

      He's simply stating that the marketing h
  • I think this [bbspot.com] conclusively shows that the iPod will triumph over the Zune.
  • Subtext? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Doug Neal (195160) on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:27AM (#16453179)
    So what he's really saying is essentially "you're much more likely to get laid with an iPod than a Zune"...
  • Isn't that his job?

  • by joshsnow (551754) on Monday October 16, 2006 @11:37AM (#16453315) Journal
    It takes forever,' he says in the article. 'By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear. Then you're connected with about two feet of headphone cable.'"

    This kind of common sense thinking demonstrates why Apple are still so far ahead of their competitors - even when equivalent music players offer more, on paper, than the iPod equivalent at a similar price point.

    The technology is always hidden behind the usability and is only included if it's absolutely necessary. That's a good enough reason for me to continue buying iPods.
  • by SnowDog74 (745848) on Monday October 16, 2006 @12:17PM (#16453873)
    A: Our core initial strategy on the store was that if you want to stop piracy, the way to stop it is by competing with it, by offering a better product at a fair price. In essence, we would make a deal with people. If they would pay a fair price, we would give them a better product and they would stop being pirates


    I've been making this point repeatedly since 1996. This simple fact... that Jobs chose to view piracy as competition, is the single most important reason for iTunes Store's, and consequently Apple's, success.

    In a sense, the song is free. The user is paying for convenience (robust UI), fidelity (AAC vs. MP3) and selection that the P2P services cannot provide. Whether you want to call this a form of RDF-ing the features/benefits, the fact is that people do pay for design, convenience and selection.

    For this reason, tracing back to Jobs' philosophy of Piracy-IS-Competition (as opposed to the "Throw Tons of Lawsuits to the Wall and See What Sticks" approach), Apple distributes more volume than all P2P services combined... even though their product is free.

    Because of the product-software integration Apple has, they have a degree of quality control Microsoft cannot touch. Microsoft does not understand hardware the way Apple does. They see hardware as a repository for their bloatware. Whereas Apple sees software as a means to enable hardware to do things related to productivity and entertainment, but the hardware itself must be built to appeal to the consumer's needs, not the shareholder's.
  • by ptomblin (1378) <ptomblin@xcski.com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @12:22PM (#16453933) Homepage Journal
    You know that Zune allows you to send songs to another Zune over wireless?

    Although you, as a Zune owner, can block particular Zunes from sending stuff to you, other Zunes start off in an unblocked state. Do you know what Microsoft have done? They've invented a new kind of spam. Companies will hack the standard and create a box which will automatically find every Zune in the vicinity and send their (audio/video) adverts to them.

    You'll have Zune users in public places swearing at the constant interruptions and hitting the 'do not accept' button.
  • by OverDrive33 (468610) * on Monday October 16, 2006 @12:23PM (#16453967) Homepage Journal
    Sitting on the subway, listening to my Zune when I hear a quick couple beeps during my song. My Zune is telling me another Zune just entered my wireless radius. I jump to the wireless screen with one button, and see the user 'Loves2Splooge' has 1242 songs to share. I am able to browse his list as easily as I browse mine - I can even preview the song wirelessly before transfering to my Zune. I take about 30 tracks and permanently store them to my Zune.

    THAT would be an iPod killer... what makes it sad is that it's only the stupid software that limits the aforementioned ideas. I hope someone is able to come out with a custom OS that enables users to do just what I've described.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bri3D (584578)
      Oh and that little copyright thing. The RIAA doesn't want us to believe (and it's possibly not) that copying songs to our friends is legal.
  • by micromuncher (171881) on Monday October 16, 2006 @12:26PM (#16454013) Homepage
    If you look at explosions in other gadgets and human nature... Steve is wrong about Zune's music sharing. Here is why...

    Kids love cell phones. They love text messaging. They also love text messaging on their computers. One common theme is to express their individuality by publishing What they're listening to right now. Sometimes in a chat they'll even include a link to the song. Couple this with increasing introverted behavior. Kids will love the ability to share a song via wireless. There is this innate need to get inside the headspace...

    Sharing a headphone requires an unwanted and unwelcome [physical] contact.

    The Zune wireless can be extended to do more than share music. Its personal publishing.
  • by HoldmyCauls (239328) on Monday October 16, 2006 @03:26PM (#16457081) Journal
    So, basically he's saying that the MP3 player market will be divided between those who:

    Make money
    and
    Have sex

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