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Author Topic: Wireless sharing - 58% of top songs are sharable?  (Read 12494 times)
Zunerama Ed.
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« on: January 18, 2007, 04:59:14 PM »

From the Zunerama blog:

This week, Jason from ZuneThoughts noted some underwhelming wireless sharing results among Zune owners at CES, and from his own spot-checking.

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".


(Note: the pic was an earlier test where I didn't get all 50 songs into the playlist.)

29 out of 50..! Yikes.

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.

I come away with three observations from this field test:

- More content providers need to get with the program. Labels need to embrace wireless sharing. With the Zune's copy protection controls, any perceived risks are surely outweighed by the benefits of sharing as an easy way to get music spread around to potential buyers.

- Songs that can't be shared wirelessly should be flagged. This really should be addressed through a firmware update. As it is now, users go through wireless negotation - searching for nearby Zunes, sending a "send music" message, having the other Zune accept the send - without knowing until that point whether the song can be sent. An upfront warning message would help, along the lines of "One or more of the songs you've selected can't be sent wirelessly. Continue?".

- Some is better than none. As underwhelming as the 58% is, I need to remind myself... that figure is still 58% higher than would have been possible on any of today's iPods. This is a groundbreaking music sharing approach, and it will only get better from here.

Here's the song list, and sharing results:

« Last Edit: January 18, 2007, 10:15:44 PM by Zunerama Ed. » Logged


Diego15nets
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2007, 05:09:52 PM »

Had you already sent those songs before? Where they are .mp3 format?...that's weird... Huh
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Zunerama Ed.
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2007, 05:34:38 PM »

None had been sent before. They were all in the default .wma format, downloaded from Marketplace.

It is I believe because the labels associated with those songs haven't agreed to allow wireless sharing for their content. I think Microsoft is still in negotiating to bring more labels on board.
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MonocularJack
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2007, 05:50:10 PM »

Interesting test, made me think about how I perceive and use sharing.

First, when I think of the sharing concept I imagine using it to share songs that are a little off the beaten path.  If a song is in the top 50 I feel I can just tell someone to go grab it off Marketplace.  On the other hand if I've found something that's really different then a) it's usually harder to remember the band name because it's not common and b) it's usually a lot harder to describe that band's style of music.

Second, I buy all of my music from either eMusic or BestBuy, since it's the same price or cheaper than the Marketplace.  I'm still on the fence about the Pass concept so I never have to worry about which labels may have allowed me to share, all my music is in 320kps VBR MP3.

Third, I share to introduce people to music, not to make sure everyone has a copy.  Some seem to use sharing as a way to transfer music, along the lines of "Hey, I want that copy of Flogging Molly, beam it to me" while I'm more "beam me something I've never heard of before" or "You're into punk?  check out this band The Scotch Greens, you might dig them"

So for me sharing is all about discovering new and interesting music and often times that music is already in MP3 format.  Not that there isn't anything interesting in the top 50, it's just that I've usually already heard it a hundred times and am looking for something different.

All that being said though, you *should* be able to share all of your songs regardless of how they got on there (Pass, MP3, etc.) and in the mean time you should know ahead of time what music is sharable.
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2007, 06:06:50 PM »

Great points. It would be interesting to do a more comprehensive, or representative, sampling of Marketplace songs. The Top 50 is going to un-random in terms of labels and probably other factors.
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2007, 07:20:17 PM »

It would be interesting to find out which of these tracks are still unsharable  when purchased normally, not with a Zune Pass.

Lets say Zune Pass is like renting music, we should have been expecting it. But Jason on ZuneThoughts talked 3 failing tracks out of 8 purchased normally.

Anyone interested spending $50 to buy the top 50 and share it with another Zuner ? Smiley
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Zunerama Ed.
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2007, 07:49:42 PM »

It's a good question. For some reason, I have the impression that the wireless sharing is either available for a song, or not, regardless of whether the song's acquired through Zune Pass or by individual purchase.

But, I may be wrong about that!
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2007, 08:00:28 PM »

Completely off topic: Is that a homemade wallpaper? From what I can see of it, it looks pretty cool.
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Zunerama Ed.
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2007, 08:12:37 PM »

Completely off topic: Is that a homemade wallpaper? From what I can see of it, it looks pretty cool.

It is - it's a simple one I made for the screen shots I'm making for the soon-to-be-released Zune Guide. I'll have to upload it to the Wallpaper board.
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2007, 09:27:43 PM »

Well said MonocularJack. My thoughts exactly. If/when I send a song I'll send something I want someone to discover. The last thing I'll do is send the number one song everyone has already heard a thousand times on the radio. (which btw, if you like rockabilly punk, check out The Living End)

As for the test, it once again reaffirms the need to either A) purchase CDs or B) Buy music from eMusic. Both cases eliminate the presence of DRM, and allow users to do as they wish with their music.  If Marketplace wants to seriously compete, they have got to work it out with all labels and yes, if there are some labels that absolutely refuse to allow their songs to be shared, you've got to give customers some fair warning. The Zune's sharing feature has got to be one of the, if not the most important, features that works, and works well. Of all things, it's what sets the Zune apart.  Some serious work needs to be done in this regard to get all the labels on board.
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2007, 09:56:22 PM »

Completely off topic: Is that a homemade wallpaper? From what I can see of it, it looks pretty cool.

It is - it's a simple one I made for the screen shots I'm making for the soon-to-be-released Zune Guide. I'll have to upload it to the Wallpaper board.

Still off topic: Please do! I haven't really warmed to any of the other papers with the Zunerama logo (nothing personal, Mr. Petey) but I really like this one.
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Zunerama Ed.
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2007, 10:28:20 AM »

Today Gizmodo and Engadget both picked up this 58% story.

engadget link

gizmodo link
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A_Str8
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2007, 10:58:08 AM »

In the engdget write-up, they do not say that your test was run on the top 50 songs. From what they wrote, you'd think 50% of all songs aren't shareable
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2007, 11:43:09 AM »

Engadget hasn't written one unbiased thing about Zune since launch.  They only blog negative, sarcastic comments or re-post other people's negative reviews or comments.
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Zunerama Ed.
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2007, 12:23:47 PM »

Completely off topic: Is that a homemade wallpaper? From what I can see of it, it looks pretty cool.

It is - it's a simple one I made for the screen shots I'm making for the soon-to-be-released Zune Guide. I'll have to upload it to the Wallpaper board.

Still off topic: Please do! I haven't really warmed to any of the other papers with the Zunerama logo (nothing personal, Mr. Petey) but I really like this one.

OK I just uploaded the Zunerama wallpaper - thanks for asking. Link:
http://zunerama.com/forum/index.php?topic=2235.0
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