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Old 08-31-2007, 07:00 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Zune Marketplace Not Impacted by URGE Merged with Rhapsody

Remember this story last week about URGE merging with Rhapsody? I was a bit nervous about what the impact was going to be on the Zune Marketplace, because I always thought that the Zune Marketplace was just a skin over the URGE library - the fact that they look and function the same isn't a coincidence. The day this happened, I reached out immediately to my main contact on the Zune team, Cesar Menendez, and my Zune PR contact at Edelman, Lane Keough. I asked each of them for a quote on what impact this move by URGE was going to have on the Zune Marketplace. And I waited. I sent a follow-up email a few days later...and waited some more.

At this point I was starting to get worried - usually the only reason PR people don't email you back is because they're busy trying to figure out what they should say ("the message". I never did hear from Lane, but it seems my pal Cesar was off getting married and whatnot so I guess he's excused.

And what did he have to say about this issue? “This doesn’t actually have an effect on the content available in Zune Marketplace, but for details on MTV’s plans, you should contact them.”

And that's that - it seems that while the Zune Marketplace may have been based off the URGE code at some point, they must have all their own music partnerships in place and a completely separate back-end. Back to business as usual people...
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:54 PM
David Tucker
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That's definitely good news!
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:35 PM
Adam Krebs
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It's funny--a couple months ago, I was snooping around the Marketplace DLL files, and was elated to see "MTV on Zune" "VH1 on Zune" and "CMT on Zune"... and completely hidden! I recalled how people knew the iPhone and Apple TV were coming by hacking the iTunes dll's, and hoped for a similar outcome.

I took a step back and examined the same files for Windows Media Player and found that what really happened is that Zune programmers basically performed a find-and-replace for any mention of "URGE", and replaced it with "Zune" (though they left some URGE mentions invisible).

For the most part, the Zune has been a series of makeovers on other products, merely branded with Zune logos, but utilizing other technology. It proves that in Consumer Electronics, looks, and not technology, are everything.

I'm still waiting for the first of the truly original Zune changes that are more than slight differences.
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