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View Full Version : Zune Patent App Promises Recommendations Via Wifi

Adam Krebs
09-21-2007, 03:30 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://blogs.zdnet.com/ip-telephony/?p=2388' target='_blank'>http://blogs.zdnet.com/ip-telephony/?p=2388</a><br /><br /></div><em>&quot;A newly posted Microsoft <a target="_blank" href="http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&amp;Sect2=HITOFF&amp;u=/netahtml/PTO/search-adv.html&amp;r=1&amp;p=1&amp;f=G&amp;l=50&amp;d=PG01&amp;S1=20070220552&amp;OS=20070220552&amp;RS=20070220552">Patent Application</a> appears to describe technology that would provide automatic downloads to a Zune media player if newly tracks from various artists whose work is already stored on Zune or on a user&rsquo;s PC-based library becomes available....Say you have five Dave Matthews Band tracks already stored on your Zune. Dave puts out some new tracks. A music service could flag a track for promotion, and that track could automatically be pushed down to a Zune- or your PC media library- in much the same way Windows Updates are pushed through to users.&quot;<br /><br /></em> This is really cool. It seems like a logical extension of podcasting, and if it could sync to the device directly, all the better. Granted, I'm typically on top of the releases from my favorite artists, but if it was coupled with an intelligent recommendation system (a la Pandora or Urge's AutoMix), and only pushed ones it really thinks I'll like, this could be amazing. I love discovering new music, Microsoft loves pushing its partners' new songs. It's a win-win.<br /><br />At the same time, this has the potentially to be really annoying. Let's say I was in the mood for some Dave Matthews one day, and I start downloading his albums like mad. I check my library a few days later to actually listen to the songs, and find I really and truly hate most of them, but the Zune recommendations keep coming.... Ahh!<br /><br />Plus, if the recommendation system is poorly implemented (which would <em><u>never</u> </em>happen...right?), I'd be getting hardcore hip hop on my mostly folk-rock Zune or vice-versa. We'll see how this plays out.

09-21-2007, 04:58 AM
This is good and bad news.

Good: Microsoft is doing something.

Bad: Microsoft is doing nothing. In other words, if Microsoft has to patent something as simple (common...seriously, after waiting a whole year and Apple coming out with new iPods...this is all Microsoft could come up with) as this, then where are the other patents that show some amazing Zune technology to go against the competition? Honestly, a whole year passes by and all you get is some automatic-download feature that has the equal potential of being obtrusive and annoying? Nevertheless, I could just be overstating the fact that Microsoft is not patenting their other technology or there is no attention being to it...

Adam Krebs
09-21-2007, 05:27 AM
Honestly, a whole year passes by and all you get is some automatic-download feature that has the equal potential of being obtrusive and annoying?

Well, to be fair, there was that "we pay you when you share songs" patent, and the interface patent too, but yeah, I think we're all hoping MS has something huge up its sleeves.

09-21-2007, 10:03 AM
True and true...lol.

Damion Chaplin
09-21-2007, 08:25 PM
This would only be a good feature if I could turn it off.

I don't want anyone being able to snoop around in my Zune to see what I like so they can target advertising to me (and that's what promo tracks are - a form of advertising). If it's anything like Netflix or Amazon's recommendations - based on what I've already bought and/or have on my wishlist - it will be more of an annoyance than a beneficial feature (if I were to allow it to do it in the first place, which I wouldn't).

Next thing you know, the RIAA will be suing you because some music service's snoop-bot discovered tracks on your Zune they couldn't verify as legally-bought. :mad: That might be my paranoia speaking, but I wouldn't put anything past the suit-happy RIAA at this point.

09-21-2007, 09:01 PM
If this feature does come then it will be optional. You do not have to get recommendation if you do not want to, so no one will be snooping around in your Zune.
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Personally I like this a lot. It will be pretty cool to discover new music. It is similar to LastFM which I find really cool.

David Tucker
09-23-2007, 06:50 AM
Oh, I'm sure it would be optional. I really like the idea. One thing I miss about Yahoo's music service is that they provided me with recommendations based on my song ratings. I found a lot of new music that way.