First Zune Virus Discovered

Well, it didn’t take long. The first Zune virus has been spotted in the wild. The virus prevents users from wirelessly sharing songs with other Zune users using the much hyped “Social” feature of the Zune. Apparently this afflicts a huge percentage of the music purchased from the Zune store.

Actually, technically, it probably isn’t right to call it a virus. It’s more like a trojan horse, and as it turns out, it managed to infect Zunes before they even left the factory. It was placed by Microsoft and the major records labels.

Yup, you’ve got it right. The Zune’s major distinguishing feature is “The Social,” the ability to beam songs that self-destruct after a few listens to other Zune users (if you can even find them), and then they go ahead and make the feature broken by design in order to appease record labels who don’t want free promotion.

The record labels are even worse. The promotion isn’t free, it’s actually revenue generating, because Universal (one of the major record labels) get $1 for every Zune sold. Moreover, it’s not just promotion, it’s people recommending things to their friends, which has got to carry more weight than just about any promotional channel.

4 thoughts on “First Zune Virus Discovered

  1. Pingback: Edelman, Looking out for Numero Uno at GeekFun

  2. DarkLordofIT

    I know this is old, but I just have to say; this post is indicative of a fundamental misunderstanding of music licensing, is misleading, and is frankly lacking in any real intelligence. Maybe if you mentioned in the beginning your great dislike of Microsoft and that you were looking for something, anything in the Zune to bash, that article would have made a little more sense. Why you gotta be a hater?

  3. eas Post author

    I know this is old, but I just have this to say; this comment is indicative of a fundamental misunderstanding of business ethics, consumer rights and the use of satire as a form of social commentary, and is frankly lacking in any real intelligence. Microsoft made “The Social” a major part of their initial Zune marketing campaign without actually having the licensing in place to deliver on it. Record labels have long cut generous promotional licensing deals, and they have demonstrated a willingness to favor Apple’s competitors in this market because they fear Apple’s market position, so Microsoft’s failure to deliver on their promise is even less understandable. Maybe if you mentioned in the beginning that you have an irrational need to start fights with strangers on the internet over something, anything that anyone had written about the Zune, even if it was written 2 years ago, your comment would have made a little more sense. Why you gotta be a hater? Oh wait, it’s not hatin’ when you do it, right?

    (I’ll just add that even without the DRM issues, “The Social” was a totally idiotic feature to promote at launch. Anyone who thought about it for a minute would realize that it would be a prominant reminder that no one had a Zune, and no one was buying Zunes. Having promoted it, Microsoft needed to follow through. They should have held big Zune “The Social” meetups and parties for Zune owners, with lots of free give aways for their Zune non-owning friends. They should have been giving away lots of Zunes, instead they gave away one or two “designers” zunes.)

  4. Landin

    ATTN: All Zune haters, we dont use zunes for “The Social” so your propoganda is in vain. I do have one thing to say about the idea of calling a limit on the social a virus, google RavMonE.exe. Its the last virus your Ipod will ever see.

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