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Old 10-11-2006, 02:10 AM
Jason Dunn
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Default MP3.com's Micheal Robertson Says the Zune Will Flop


"Every week at MP3tunes we hear from people who have lost all or a portion of their iTunes music (it's often motivation to get 'music insurance' and open a $40 locker with unlimited storage). While we're happy to have a new customer, it's sad when someone loses their personal possessions. Their loss is often tied to a DRM (digital restricted music) problem. Music wrapped with restrictions like songs from iTunes aren't really a purchase, but rather a rental. Like all rentals they come to an end and you're out on the street with nothing. It's just a matter of time before one of the following happens: Technology company changes rules, technology or strategy. See: Your Music Goes Flat. A hard disk crashes. Computer is stolen, broken or upgraded. Exceed number of allowed devices (usually some are lost, stolen or broken). I've been looking for a good verb to describe losing all of your music to DRM because it's increasingly common and I think I have one: zune. Sample usage: He had an extensive classic rock collection that got zuned."

Never short on opinion, Robertson is "old" money in the Internet timeline, having made his fame and fortune on mostly defunct Web properties. Does anyone use MP3.com for anything other than looking up artist information anymore? Regardless, Robertson does make some valid points about the evils of DRM and the limitations of the first generation Zune product. I found the survey interesting - the sampling of 1500 or so people shows that 86% of them agree with the blog entry by Robertson. Now, it's not granular enough to determine if those 86% of people think the Zune will be a flop, or if those 86% think that DRM itself is the problem regardless of who's DRM it is. You won't find any argument from me - I really dislike DRM and routinely burn and re-rip songs to bypass it. No DRM tracks get played day to day in my home, though I do keep the DRM'd tracks as a backup copy just in case. Do you agree with Robertson regarding the success or failure of the Zune?
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