Zune Can’t Share 40% Of Songs

Jan 20th, 2007 | By | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players

Zune articles. Archived stories from Zunerama’s Zune blog.
Some Zune users are starting to get upset with the limitations imposed on the device’s wireless sharing technology:

Zune’s wireless sharing is described by Microsoft with a footnote – indicating that “the Zune to Zune sharing feature may not be available for all audio files on your device”.

Curious about this, I conducted a test of my own. I pulled down the top 50 songs downloaded from Zune Marketplace, using my Zune Pass subscription. I then created a playlist of those 50 songs, and attempted to wirelessly send the whole playlist to my wife’s Zune.

When the transfer completed, a message appeared on my player: “Can’t send some songs because of rights restrictions. 29 of 50 songs sent to Carrie’s Zune”.
zune graphic

29 out of 50..! Yikes. Click on the song list graphic to view the sync results for each of the top 50 songs.

The wireless transfer took 5 minutes, 2 seconds to send the 29 songs – or about 10 seconds per song. Pretty respectable, for what amounts to two hours of music. But I don’t like having 50-50 odds that I’ll actually be able to share a given song wirelessly. This assumes, of course, that my Top 50 sampling is representative of Marketplace as a whole.

Unfortunately for Microsoft and Zune users, the Zune’s wireless song sharing, something that has the potential to be a killer feature, is nearly useless. There’s no rhyme or reason (from a user’s perspective) to what can be shared, there’s no one to share songs with and once they are shared they are limited in use.

iPod users, of course, can wirelessly share 0% of their songs. Based on sales, though, it seems that no wireless features are better in many users’ minds than clunky wireless features.

Wireless capabilities will eventually be a killer feature, but Microsoft will need to find more practical uses than limited song-sharing.

No Responses to “Zune Can’t Share 40% Of Songs”

  1. Wesley says:

    Wow, what a great scientific trial. The top 50 songs are, in my mind, the most likely to have the most restrictive DRM. What about 50 podcasts? 50 songs downloaded from myspace? Podsafe Music Network?

    And 29 out of 50 is not a 50-50 chance. It’s closer to 60-40. Not that that’s good, but factual inaccuracies like this are what erode the respect bloggers desire.

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