Rumor Roundup (and DRM-Free too?)
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://techdigest.tv/2007/10/rumour_zune_2_t.html' target='_blank'>http://techdigest.tv/2007/10/rumour_zune_2_t.html</a><br /><br /></div>Zunescene is <a href="http://www.zunescene.com/zune-announcement/" target="_blank">reporting</a> the gen2 Zunes will feature the following:<br /><ul> <li><em>"Wireless sync will be included in all models including 30gb version</em></li> <li><em>Zune Marketplace will have an expanded library including videos</em></li> <li><em>Zune Marketplace will feature podcasts (zunecasts?) for the first time.</em></li> <li><em>The new "squircle" button is called Zune Pad</em></li> <li><em>Prices are $149 (4gb) $199 (8gb) $249 (80gb)</em></li> <li><em>80gb Zune is slimmer and features a 3.2 inch screen."</em></li></ul>Additionally, <a target="_blank" href="http://techdigest.tv/2007/10/rumour_zune_2_t.html">Tech Digest</a> tells us the Zune Marketplace is going DRM-free on us:<br /> <em>"Apparently Microsoft plans to use DRM-free music as a big selling point for the new Zunes. As the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.alleyinsider.com/2007/10/microsoft-yep-n.html">blog </a>points out, this doesn't exactly fit well with the existing Zune sharing system, which by definition requires DRM to ensure people pay for the tunes they've shared."</em><br /><br />People often talk of MP3 sales and subscription services being mutually exclusive, as if people will not want one if they can have the other. I find the opposite true; I prefer subscription services for their value to me as a consumer, and I prefer MP3s for the freedom to port them across anything I want. It's asinine to charge for a track that doesn't give me full freedom to modify as I please and is locked with DRM. DRM should be for subscriptions only. I hope Zune steps up to become the first to offer subscription in addition to MP3s for the whole library, but I'm not holding my breath.<br /><br />The improvements look good in their own way. We've been crying out for an updated Zune Software (where is the rule written that all PMP-tied software has to suck?) and Marketplace for a while--to say nothing of the wireless sync, which should be very cool. These updates seem to have at the very least leveled the playing field with the iTunes Store and the new iPods, in addition to throwing in some cool extra fluff like the true Social stuff. If all this holds true, we're in for quite a night.