Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sharing? Just once in a blue Zune

Microsoft's Zune player is going to feature a built-in wi-fi connection, designed to allow owners of the device to connect to other Zune owners and not share the music they have on their devices as that would be illegal. But they could, if it was allowed.

The DRM on this makes our heads spin a little:

While Zune users can share an unlimited number of tracks, each individual track can only be shared once with any given user. Once shared, it can never be shared again. Also, each shared track is good for only three spins, or three days, whichever comes first, after which it disappears from the user's device.

So, if you want to share this really hot track with people, you can't. But you can share it with a person. Providing you warn them to only play it three times - kind of like using a fairy's wishes.

Oh, and the WiFi burns through the battery use like a demon at a barbecue, too.

Microsoft have pledged with device will be available to buy in the US before Christmas, but cannily haven't committed themselves to which Christmas - Russian, Greek, Western - or, indeed, which year.


Anonymous said...

Looks like you missread that - to me it says that I can only share the new Britney Spears song with YOU once. But I can share it ONCE with my mum. and ONCE with my friend billy.. etc.

The interesting thing will be whether or not I can share my non-DRM MP3's with you... It's looking like i wont be able to.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...


"Shared once with any given user" does suggest you can share it with me, your mother and so on, although "once shared, it can never be shared again" suggests that you can only share it once.

Like I said, the rules made my head spin...

Anonymous said...

The zune will apply DRM toany data you put on it, even if it's released under a CC licence, is out of copyright, or is even your own work. Don't buy one- there's loads of superior players out there.

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