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Old 01-25-2007, 04:04 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default What's the Zune Missing? Podcasts, Audio Books, and Car Integration

http://www.casadehambone.com/AllYouCanEatMusicFor1499EachMonth.aspx

"I woke up one day last week and decided to join the social. That's right - the marketing from the billboard I see each and every morning, combined with the desire to see first-hand how we are competing with the iPod, forced me to get a Zune. Let me say that Zune Marketplace combined with a Zune Pass (i.e., all-you-can-eat music for $14.99 each month) is simply awesome. And I hate to admit it, but I love the concept of a music subscription service so much that if Apple were to come out with a subscription model for iTunes, I would likely subscribe right now. And I would do so despite considering iTunes to be the devil - after owning two iPods for well over two years, I have bought all of two albums from iTunes (both of which were done so I could see the process.) So for as much as I love the Zune Pass and the subscription model, there are a few key items lacking in my Zune experience that I desperately want: support for podcasting, audiobooks and native integration with car stereos."

Blogger Kevin W. Hammond shares his thoughts on the Zune - and, specifically, what it's missing. He's a big fan of the music subscription concept, and uses it heavily, but has found the Zune to be lacking in other ways that he currently uses an iPod to fulfill. Specifically, the inability for the Zune to bookmark audio files means it's nearly useless for listening to long-form audio content such as podcasts and audio books. Myself, I don't listen podcasts very often (likely because I have no commute, and most I've heard are terrible in both quality and content), and have never listened to an audio book in my life.

On the subject of Audible support on the Zune, I remember leading up to the official Zune launch there were many people asking about Audible support - but Microsoft never had an answer for them, and still doesn't apparently. Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but Audible requires that you use their software to load up the audio books on the PC side of things, right? Or can it only be done through iTunes? So what would be required then would be for Microsoft to allow the Audible software to see and manage content on the Zune. Is Microsoft going to allow that? Good question - somehow I doubt it. They'll probably want to follow how Audible works with iTunes, which means integrating Audible content into the Zune Marketplace - and who knows how long that will take. I have a feeling you Audible fans might be in for a long wait.
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