Zune: words fail me


Administrative note: I know you feed subscribers are getting a double dose from my earlier del.icio.us link, but this is so sad that it bears repeating: Zune marketing continues its unhinged, erratic lurching towards absurdity.

Microsoft note: Look, make me a reasonable offer and I’ll take on Zune marketing. Come on, it could be fun — and could I do any worse?

You can get all the details here at wakeupmicrosoft.com, but the basic story appears to be that at 3AM this past Sunday, a Zune-branded truck stopped outside of 178 Ludlow Street on Manhattan’s lower east side and blasted the area with club music Justin Timberlake over its “competition grade stereo system.”

Oy. Whose idea was this? Microsoft does have employees in New York City, right?

  1. Manhattan? Not so big on the dB Drag Racing circuit. There are many areas of the United States where this “shiny SUV with loud stereo” thing would be well received. Ludlow Street, still largely residential, is not one of them.
  2. The jukebox at Max Fish (the bar at 178 Ludlow) has been well-respected since the early ’90s. While I haven’t been there in years, bass-thumping club music was not well represented on the playlist the last time I checked. You do the math.
  3. Based on the hipsterrific flavor of the Zune’s branding thus far, you actually wanted to be in Williamsburg, or possibly even Bed-Stuy, not the lower east side, anyway. Your music scene intel appears to be a wee bit out of date.
  4. If the Zunemobile isn’t already on its way back to CA, think Daytona Beach. Please.

Now, before the video, I’ll present an exercise for the student: which marketing project makes you sadder…the Zune truck blasting Justin Timberlake at 3AM in an effort to attract indie hipsters, or the Zune sponsorship of a UPenn frat party? 250 words or less, please.

And if you’re actually interested, here’s the video:

DRM is dead. No, wait…long live DRM.


How shocked am I that EMI’s talks with online music sellers regarding DRM-free music distribution have sputtered out for the time being?

Not very. You?

A little later: Yes, I’ve seen the Harvey Danger essay. Admirable, but a self-release from a relatively obscure band is only barely relevant when discussing the timeframe for the majors deciding to forgo DRM on the music they offer for download.

OpenID: WTF?


I don’t know what the fuck is going on, but I like it: you can’t swing a cat these days without hitting a blog post or press release related to OpenID. AOL, CardSpace/OpenID collaboration, CC+VRM+OpenID, and now Jyte…just check out the Technorati image below. [Posts in English tagged “openid” over the last 180 days.]

In the space of six months, Open ID appears to have gone from being a relatively obscure identity-geek amusement to the dominant relatively obscure identity-geek amusement.

Technorati: posts tagged openid

I’m ashamed of all of you. And myself, now…


Just to pile on because I’m starting my second beer after a long day: I’m sorry, this a story that’s hitting the techmeme bigtime?

Apple and Cingular have both said that the iPhone will be released in June. Are there really enough obsessive freaks out there that the debunking of a rumor about which particular day in June the iPhone will be released is somehow considered important technology news?

Oh, right.

The Internet.

Obsessive freaks.

So anyway, anybody want to bash last night’s episode of Lost in the comments? I’ll totally pile on that, too.

Rainbows, My Little Pony Crack Pipes, and DRM-Free Major Label Downloads


If you don’t read or subscribe to Daring Fireball, you should. Go now. Enjoy. Today Gruber offers up a little exegesis of Jobs’ Thoughts on Music (I’ve started to suspect that the blogging police will come around and pull the credentials of any blogger who doesn’t at least link to Jobs’ essay, so here’s mine, just in case.)

Now, to get my two cents in: Jobs’ essay has given an additional boost to the chorus of folks who believe that the demise of DRM is imminent; while I do believe that the demise of DRM is inevitable, I’ve noted before that I don’t think it’s coming as soon as some would believe. On that topic, Gruber pulls an NY Times quote from an unnamed music executive:

A senior executive at one company, who requested anonymity to avoid straining relations with Apple, said that while labels might experiment with other forms of copy-protection software, “we’re not going to broadly license our content for unprotected digital distribution.”

So yes, I do believe that music and DRM will part ways, but I still expect to see a lot more “but we just tried [insert half-assed consumer-unfriendly DRM-free download experiment here] and it totally didn’t work based on this metric that we just made up” protestations before it actually happens.