Zune – where are the podcasts?

Microsoft have announced the upcoming release of their rival to Apple’s iPod – called the Zune.

Microsoft Zune

The Zune will have a 30gb hard drive (as opposed to the top iPod’s 80gb), will have an iTunes rival called Zune Marketplace (‘cos we all know the key 18-24 year old demographic thinks marketplaces are cool) and will allow limited sharing of songs over wifi (limited as in the shared song can be played 3 times or stored for 3 days after which it disappears!). Somehow I don’t see that kind of sharing being too appealing when the sharing being done right now (burn to mp3 cd and give to friends!) is still far superior (and cheaper).

Oh, and while it can play video, you can’t buy video in the Zune Marketplace nor can you share video.

I didn’t see mention of the ability to subscribe to podcasts anywhere either – unbelievably lame. Podcasts are the only thing I listen to on my iPod.

Apple can’t be too worried.

Still, it looks nice in brown, doesn’t it?

[Update] – this is the top story on TechMeme right now

16 thoughts on “Zune – where are the podcasts?”

  1. I didn’t see mention of the ability to subscribe to podcasts anywhere either

    Tom – I wonder if thats the origin of the Pod word? IE the Apple association.
    On a similar note, I notice the Zune fact sheets (which are incredibly bland) are .docs and not Adobe PDF.

  2. Peter,

    Wikipedia tells us that podcast:

    The term, coined in 2004, is a blend of the terms “iPod”, a popular portable audio device, and “broadcasting”

    I notice the Zune fact sheets (which are incredibly bland) are .docs and not Adobe PDF

    True Peter, of course, PDF is as proprietary a standard as .doc – .rtf would have been better (or .odt – the open document standard, although this is poorly supported yet).

  3. Hey Tom,

    Regarding the sharing feature. I initially had the exact same thoughts as you about it’s usefulness. However, I don’t own an iPod and I don’t have need for either Zune or an iPod so I asked someone who has one – my 14 yer old sister (I also asked my 19 year old sister who has lots of friends with iPods).

    14yr old sister said it was the coolest feature she could think of and that all of her friends would love it. A lot of her friends have iPod nanos and they don’t even have computers to load songs onto it – maybe one or two computers between 10/15 of them… they always complain about issues with iTunes screwing up their songs when they try to load music onto different iPods. (I know nothing about iTunes so I don’t know how they do it.)

    The ability to get music from a friend’s Zune and listen to it on her one before you buy was brilliant according to her. I explained to her that you could only play it 3 times and only have it for a max of 3 days but she didn’t care… her response to that was “I’ll have decided if I want to keep and buy it after listening to it once”.

    My 19 year old sister was the exact same. When she was younger it was all about sharing your screensaver/background image on your phone. She said if she has the option to listen to music on her music player before purchasing then she would definitely want it. She just said that she hopes the purchasing process is seamless and that if she marks the music as something she wants that she should have to just plug it into ANY computer with Zune market place, enter her CC details and have the music reactivated.

    Looks like the teenage market down here would be “Zune-compatible” – my sister asked where she can get it now!

    To FMK. Come-on, only Apple could release a Creative clone is crappy white plastic! I can’t understand how anybody could like that white crap. The black ones are nice, and the new powerbooks are nice but arrraaagghhhh!!! White shiny plastic!!!!! It looks so tacky.

  4. Interesting feedback Brian – btw, congrats on the new job with Microsoft.

    Thanks for the extra tidbit fmk – I heard Ben give a talk at Les Blogs 2.0 last year and he was an amazing speaker.

    Zune, I realise you can probably listen to podcasts on the Zune as it will play mp3’s – what it doesn’t appear to be able to do is subscribe to podcast feeds the way iTunes does, and download the new podcasts automatically as they are published.

  5. Tom,

    It will be interesting to see how all this turns out. The only reason I would get an iPod/Zune would be for Podcasts so the ability to subscribe would definitely be something I would be after.

    I’ll withhold judgement until the Zune comes out.


  6. ClicZune,

    I am aware that the Zune will play podcasts, but will it allow you to subscribe to podcasts and automatically download new episodes as they are published the way the iPod does? I haven’t seen that said anywhere.

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