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: