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  #721  
Old 09-17-2009, 02:25 AM
DaveMac-MS DaveMac-MS is offline
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So Ashen - I've not seen you post on here before, welcome if you are new. Before I respond to your points below, let me share with you that the Zune team at Microsoft is not some faceless, emotionless, corporate suit & tie machine intent on snatching $$ from the hands of hapless consumers.

We are musicians. We have families. We play in bands. We're gamers. We're former club promoters from Los Angeles. We're former clothes marketers from Europe. Some of us used to work in the music and fashion industries (about 1/3 of us), some of us used to work in Xbox (another 1/3) and the last third of us came from the Windows Media Player/Digital Media Division team.

Heck, I'll even come out and tell you I used to be the PlaysForSure guy. We can talk about THAT one another day...

The reason I'm telling you this is that behind the "Micro$oft" slang, behind the public persona that Steve Ballmer portrays, behind the fact that it used to be cool to bag Microsoft (maybe it still is!), there's a team of incredibly passionate people who since 2006 have worked really hard to create a phenomenal customer experience.

We've learnt a lot, we've made some good decisions and some bad ones. There are things we'd do differently, and things we did early that we continue to be proud of today. But yesterday we showed that this upstart team can go toe to toe with the market leader who has sold 220M units. Almost every other competitor in this space - Creative, Cowon, Samsung, etc... has been making MP3 players longer than we have, heck have been making consumer electronics longer than we have - and yet we're able to go from market entry to a product of the calibre of the Zune HD in 34 months.

I'm damned proud of that, and I'm damned proud of the team. In fact, I spend my own personal time here in this forum NOT because I'm a PMP fanatic, but rather because there is so much mis-information and false assumption, that I find it a valuable use of time to share what I can and correct misconceptions when I can.

So... I encourage you to take a moment and think not of our team as a faceless corporation, but a diverse collection of fun people who have poured heart and soul into what they do to make the best product we can. Is it perfect? Absolutely not - and is there more we can do? You betcha. But once in a while consider that our motives might actually not be evil, and that the guys and gals on our team are in all likelihood more like the gang in here than not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by medion View Post
Ashen, I can field this one. Companies like Apple and Microsoft get more money from the service than they do from the hardware.
Not true. Apple makes VASTLY more money on hardware than on content sales - iTunes has historically been a marginally profitable entity for Apple.

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Originally Posted by medion View Post
Due to this, they need a format that can be readily used by that service, while still offering the DRM that the RIAA wants.
Not true. The RIAA is not involved here. The content owners (record labels) dictate how they wish to protect their content. All music purchased on Zune Marketplace (I believe - if not, then with VERY few exceptions) is DRM-free and downloaded in MP3 format (not WMA).

DRM remains on subscription content - but that should be obvious, you can't run a subscription service without DRM. But, as long as the experience is seamless, who cares? I don't plan to share my music or post it on the web, so it doesn't bother me - nor all our subscription customers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by medion View Post
Believe it or not, it does take time to implement codecs, and FLAC just isn't as wideley used as AAC or MP3. WMA is a no brainer, of course, since that's the main codec used for MS's download service.
Not true and true. Medion is right - it DOES take time, headcount and expense to add a codec - and by doing so, you're taking time, headcount and funding away from another feature. Just like your home budget - money and resources don't grow on trees - if you spend more on gas and bills, you have less to spend on entertainment and clothes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by medion View Post
Those cheap players have to make their margins on the hardware. Free open sourced codecs are great, because there's no royalties to pay. If you build in support for WMA or AAC, you have to pay MS or Apple a royalty fee. So, those cheaper DAPs use cheaper materials and cheaper labor, as well as royalty free codecs, to help boost the profit margin on the player itself.
They also have fixed budgets and you'll notice that they "take" from the UI, industrial design, marketing, retail, promotion and packaging budgets in order to spend bigger on features. You'll also notice that none of them has made any appreciable impact on the market leader in this category.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxis View Post
Whos talking about cutting ?? I dont think it would take a mammoth effort to get Flac on the device would it ? I dont think there would be any royalties paid for it would it ?
I actually don't know about royalties - maybe, maybe not. Maybe it was a resourcing issue. Maybe it was the last codec on the list and didn't make the cut in planning. Maybe there is a question over IP and we're waiting for that to be resolved - maybe, maybe, maybe... I really don't know - but I DO know that we have the ability to update the product (as we've done since launch in 2006) and you won't see us leaving it at that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxis View Post
You can correct me if im wrong .. but i think the previous zune 30 DAC had the built in (hardware based) presets. The new EQ for the HD appears like a software based implementation. Is that a valid assumption?
Really not sure - will ask around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxis View Post
Closed off apps support ... hmm .. From the moment i heard closed model and looked at the VERY MEAGRE apps selection i shook my head and moved on. No opportunity for other people to bring other ideas to the table.
Not true. The XNA v3.1 release allows games and apps to be built for personal use on the product. The app selection in the Marketplace is only the beginning and we've already committed to bring 3D gaming to the device, social networking (Twitter & Facebook) and additional content. As for other people to bring ideas to the table - Microsoft won't be writing all these apps, and I'm talking to all manner of folks right now about additional content.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxis View Post
Your obviously going to disagree with me and you probably think its justifiable due to you working there but i cannot understand how the smaller companies are able to innovate quickly while we have to wait a looooong time for certain features to be included.
Well, ya - I work at Microsoft, but I don't always agree with everything, and I'm pretty big on fighting for what I believe in. I win some battles, lose more of them, but that's how it works and I'm fine with that.

You claim smaller companies can innovate faster - and that's true - but Apple didn't invent the iPod concept, some might even argue they didn't even innovate a whole lot. What they DID do was execute brilliantly, and that led to market success. Smaller companies who are innovating fast are not executing well - or they'd be a bigger threat to Apple.

I argue that Microsoft is one of the very, very few players in this space who can offer any kind of threat to Apple's market dominance, and that's good for ALL players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxis View Post
Example ... build a device with as many options and control (to the point where cost and return becomes a factor) and then make it appear simple and easy to use.
That's EXACTLY what we've done. What you guys fail to understand is that by cranking the options and control dial up, simplicity & ease of use goes down and costs/returns go way up).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxis View Post
Someone needs to burn the entire MS research dept as its being depended on way too much for product development.
Microsoft Research is an entirely independent division - and as far as I know had nothing to do with Zune. They do amazing work and so I definitely disagree with this comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxis View Post
Cheers and thanks for the ZuneHD
As I keep saying - this is just the beginning, we're not stopping here. I appreciate the passion in here, but I do ask you guys to keep an open mind and consider the other side of the populist debate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lip View Post
1. As a potential Canadian Zune HD customer, can you ask your colleagues what happened with the previous generation Zune and the promise that marketplace was to come to Canada last year (obviously it didn't happen).
2. If I pick up a Zune HD now in the US and bring it to Canada, since marketplace doesn't work, will it still search marketplace and get the artist data of the albums/artists I put on the device myself or will I be left with a lot of "ugly blanks"?
1) I believe this was a content licensing issue, and I've seen this question pop up a few times, so I should go find out from the content team what the deal was here. 2) Yes, that should work okay, although you might need to change your PC locale to the US. Hard for me to say... Others in Canada might have some better idea...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashen View Post
DRM is treating the customer like a theif, and focing them to stay with products that support that DRM(and pay to support that DRM)
While I disagree with this comment, it's a good thing for Ashen that we don't sell DRM'd music anymore, and DRM only applies to subscription content and video. However, DRM on video has been around since the year dot - anyone here have cable?

Again - my argument that the problem with DRM isn't DRM itself, but the customer experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashen View Post
you know what the fix for this problem could be, MS could try WORKING WITH THE ROCKBOX TEAM and make rockbox for zune adding in their DRM and app support on top of the excellent feature support that rockbox provides.
Do you think that we'd have been able to release such great UI, or such a popular SmartDJ feature, or such a phenomenal HDTV experience with the dock if we'd had to work with an external team such as RockBox? And then where is the competitive advantage for our millions of dollars of investment if any vendor could then take those RockBox enhancements and apply them to their products?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olley View Post
I like the UI on the Zune HD, but behind that we have features dumbed down for the masses when they could have both appealed to the masses AND appealed to the audiophiles, geeks, and ABI members. ?
No, I posit that isn't possible (right now, maybe in the future). You want it simple for the masses so you do a managed PC client with MTP, but then you want it to look like a disk drive for the geeks so you add MSC - you've just doubled your test matrix, and added a hefty support cost. You could multiply that example all over the device.

We'll keep marching towards addressing the needs of as many customers as we can - we wouldn't have the XNA SDK if we didn't care about geeks, developers or the die-hards - but our decisions have to be the right thing for the business.

Phew - longest post yet I reckon! Anyhow - I'm done for the night, chat to you tomorrow gang.

Cheers, Dave.
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Last edited by DaveMac-MS; 09-17-2009 at 02:30 AM.
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  #722  
Old 09-17-2009, 02:31 AM
tonti tonti is offline
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repost on the question dave.. will the smart dj feature be available on the zunes itself and not just the zune software?
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  #723  
Old 09-17-2009, 04:53 AM
DaveMac-MS DaveMac-MS is offline
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Originally Posted by tonti View Post
repost on the question dave.. will the smart dj feature be available on the zunes itself and not just the zune software?
It isn't today, and I'm afraid I can't comment on future features of the device or software... sorry!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashen;396410as to returns due to complexity, thats easy, [B
you just make it so [/B]that the GEEK has to know how to get to those features and then has to agree to not blame MS if he/she has problems due to tweaking them(easy fix is a soft reset of all the players settings like i have had do to with a few players after i changed to many things at once and couldnt figure out what one thing was causing my problem)

no i also have 1 other thing to say about this, You could do something AMAZING, you could build your own RockBox port for the zune for those who want to use it, most normal zune/player users woudnt even know what rockbox was and wouldnt have the skill to install it.

you wouldn't have to officially support it, infact you could make people agree to something like a hardware only warranty when/if they rockboxed the player, let them use an MS approved installer that marks their zune as having been flashed on YOUR END(shouldnt be hard for you guys) if they choose to flash back, then the mark could be removed(flashing back/reflashing could be a feature of the zune suit under help for example)

You could leave out ms's proprietary code and tech(including playforsure/drm support) just inform people b4 install that they wont be able to use subscription music or DRM video content after flash(most people i know wouldnt care at all)

<snip>

Note that rockbox boosts/boosted ipod sales and from what i have been told, didnt lead to alot more returns
No offence Ashen, but I think you'd make a terrible business manager.

"You just make it so" the customer has to find a feature.
They "have to agree not to blame MS" if they have problems.
"Most normal Zune users wouldn't know what Rockbox was and wouldn't have the skill to install it".

I really don't want to sound rude, but you're completely ignoring some very major customer service, UI and legal issues here. You can't just make users "agree not to blame MS" if they have problems. You can't ship features in a product that you hope most people don't find or know how to use, and nobody is ever going to make a Zune Rockbox port if "most normal Zune users wouldn't know what Rockbox was and wouldn't have the skill to install it...".

Why would we invest a dime in a Rockbox port if most users wouldn't use it? Wouldn't we be better off putting every one of those dimes towards a feature our users would use?

I think you're making the very common mistake of assuming you and your circle are representative of the wider community. The first thing we learn in Zune is that I'm not our target customer, and quite frankly, neither are you. The features you've identified as important already distinguish you so far from the average user that I don't know where to start!

Cheers, Dave.
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  #724  
Old 09-17-2009, 06:15 AM
hc2 hc2 is offline
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I have 2 Sansa Fuzes, an Ipod Touch, and a Zune HD. My take:
1. Right now the Zune HD is the most feature rich device-HD Radio, tagging songs from the radio, artist and song info, wireless sync, etc.
2. The Touch has had time to mature and shows some benefits from that.
3. The Sansa Fuze is the more open player and benefits from supporting more music formats.
My own test between the Fuzes, the Touch, and the Zune HD showed me the Zune is equal to the Fuze in sound quality using the same formats (MP3 @ 194 kbps average). The Touch is in third place. (see How Does It Sound thread).
I do not expect MS to be as open as other players. I fought that battle when the Open Source vs Windows wars were raging a number of years ago.
MS and Apple are bound by corporate rules more than we realize. Licensing, patents, intellectual property rights, and stock holders restrict their development paths.
It does to Sandisk as well but Sandisk is supplying a player and washes its hands after it is sold. Sandisk has no further interest in what you do after you buy the player.
MS and Apple supply content and have to answer to the content owners. I imagine MS would be restricted in obtaining content if they made a player that supported open codecs that allowed folks to obtain songs and video without paying any compensation.
I am not apologizing for MS and Apple, I am just pointing out that supporting FLAC (as an example) could potentially cause BMG Music (as an example) to stop supplying Zune Marketplace with music. Rhapsody, iTunes, Sandisk's Slot Music cards, and others have the same restriction.
As far as "word of mouth" outselling media advertising, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. And Microsoft's #1 goal is not the revenue stream from selling hardware, it is the revenue stream from selling content or supplying the access to that content. The more players they sell means the more content they supply, but if they opened up the hardware they would potentially lose out on the content access.
After saying all that, why not use WMA lossless ? Windows Media Player can encode into Lossless WMA. The Zune supports up to 768 kbps WMA lossless. Also Foobar2000 can batch convert FLAC to Lossless WMA. Look on Hydrogen Audio for other methods:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/

Last edited by hc2; 09-17-2009 at 07:12 AM.
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  #725  
Old 09-17-2009, 07:16 AM
mangobot mangobot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
I think you're making the very common mistake of assuming you and your circle are representative of the wider community. The first thing we learn in Zune is that I'm not our target customer, and quite frankly, neither are you.

Cheers, Dave.
Hi Dave,

Just a quick thought. I realize that you have a good point, and a lot of the features that are asked for probably are only well known in a very limited market. However, wouldn't a more fleshed-out browser be essential to the normal consumer? Everyone uses browsers on the computer that have many features (even if they don't directly make use of them), and even browsers on smartphones that are much more robust. Think we can expect an update to the browser sometime soon?
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  #726  
Old 09-17-2009, 08:36 AM
Afflaq Afflaq is offline
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Despite being new here, I really hate seeing this thread devolve into an argument about what Microsoft represents and what the Zune team represents. I have gone through the software circle of life...when I was 17 it was "o man MS isnt free and open to everything I'm going to run Slackware forever" ..now that I'm 26 and in the software devel world...I just want my toys and things to work. I don't want to spend 3 hours configuring something when I get it.

Ashen, I don't quite see the arguments that you're making being valid and I think that if you really took a step back and tried to be objective you'd agree. I am in the same corporate world as Dave, doing development for an extremely large company and if you look at products like the zune in a bigger picture, it is not feasible to design these products for the superuser, not to mention that there are limitations -- hardware, financial, and sellability in play.

The other thing that people seem to be constantly forgetting is that this is version 1.0 of a NEW SOFTWARE PLATFORM. Sansa/Samsung players in comparison do not have anywhere near the featureset, and they've all been running essentially the same firmware for a long long time..and it's been revised...a LOT.

The ZuneHD platform is just a puppy, give it time to grow into a dog. It might even learn to fetch the newspaper for you if you give it enough time. Realistically if it isn't a proper fit for you right now....just wait. Use your s9 until the featureset you want exists, that way you don't have to complain.

PS: Dave tell the zune folks to add smart DJ mixing to the device itself and I will love them forever.
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  #727  
Old 09-17-2009, 08:38 AM
Afflaq Afflaq is offline
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also -- whoever mentioned the marketplace not being praised as much earlier..I agree. Probably my favorite thing in the zune vs. ipod battle is the marketplace, it adds another dimension.
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  #728  
Old 09-17-2009, 09:08 AM
dustyg dustyg is offline
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I also wonder about the accessories that are available to the Zune. I always thought this was a big thing holding the popularity of the Zune back. If you go into Best Buy you will see a several shelves full of swag for the iPod and there just isn’t much there for the Zune. I know my daughter was mad when I made her get a Zune instead of an iPod because she could accessories it like she could the iPod (my reasoning was because I didn’t want 2 different software and potentially downloading things twice).


Dave my question is are the accessories not there because of licensing thing with MS, or just vendors not making them?

Thanks
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  #729  
Old 09-17-2009, 09:54 AM
harpreetgill21 harpreetgill21 is offline
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Can you tell us anything about international Launch?
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  #730  
Old 09-17-2009, 10:02 AM
Afflaq Afflaq is offline
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also while I'm on my ranting spree -- Ashen, how many Cowon or Sansa or Samsung representatives do you see actively participating in discussions on forums? I understand that corporate communication to customers is getting better across the board, but I think it's a pretty amazing for someone in Dave's position to make himself vulnerable to the types of criticism that he does...even more surprising to see him answer them. To have that kind of person on the team obviously shows that they care what the community thinks. I don't think that Dave is unaware that word of mouth and approval of the geek population sells devices, if he was this thread wouldn't have ever existed. I don't see anyone from the ipod development team participating in discussions, that's for sure.
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  #731  
Old 09-17-2009, 10:05 AM
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epithetless epithetless is offline
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Wow, Dave. Monster post. Kudos for having the stamina.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
I appreciate the passion in here, but I do ask you guys to keep an open mind and consider the other side of the populist debate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
No, I posit that isn't possible (right now, maybe in the future). You want it simple for the masses [...] but then you want it [adjustable] for the geeks [...] - you've just doubled your test matrix, and added a hefty support cost. You could multiply that example all over the device.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
What you guys fail to understand is that by cranking the options and control dial up, simplicity & ease of use goes down and costs/returns go way up).
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
I think you're making the very common mistake of assuming you and your circle are representative of the wider community.
You make some pertinent points above, ones that bring me to a conclusion I have been heading toward for some time: Instead of Microsoft, we should really be taking issue with the masses (the U.S.-only masses the Zune is marketed for, of course). Damn our country's failing educational system! Now, aBi-ers, this is the big question: How exactly do we go about making Americans less simple-minded?

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Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
You'll also notice that none of them has made any appreciable impact on the market leader in this category.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
I argue that Microsoft is one of the very, very few players in this space who can offer any kind of threat to Apple's market dominance [...]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
We'll keep marching towards addressing the needs of as many customers as we can - we wouldn't have the XNA SDK if we didn't care about geeks, developers or the die-hards - but our decisions have to be the right thing for the business.
Dave, statements like these continuously irk me, and I've finally figured out why:

To begin with, I am a visual and sound artist, so that's the filter through which I tend to experience the world. The way Zune HD and the Zune brand present themselves -- with attention paid to superficial aesthetics and graphic design flourishes -- appears, at first blush, to position the device (and corresponding "Zune experience") as a work of art. And I think, deep down, I wanted to believe that was possible. ("Imagine," I thought, "a well-funded megacorporation focusing on creating a technological work of art!") But it simply isn't.

The Zune is, regardless of its stylishness and whatever passion its disparately-experienced makers pour into it, purely a product. A business venture. I get that now. As long as you're answering to market trends, data pools, and revenue streams, you're necessarily sacrificing the artistic capacity of what you produce. That's just how it is. Your focus is on "the market leader," not on unrestrained innovation. And that makes perfect sense from a business perspective; I was just looking at it with from a different -- and decidedly wrong -- one. I fully admit it was my mistake for doing so, and the resulting disappointment is mine to be blamed for.

Anyway.

On the topic of XNA: Why is a full device reboot (still) necessary when exiting XNA applications? This seems terribly unclean to me "experience"-wise (although, in fairness, it also seems very Windows). I have to assume there's some technical reason for this, but can it be avoided? (Note that I'm not asking if it will be avoided -- Don't misconstrue this as a question about future updates and ignore it, please. )
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  #732  
Old 09-17-2009, 10:16 AM
musichound musichound is offline
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Sorry Ashin, DaveMac is correct:
Why would MS concentrate on a smaller audience? So they can sell a small amount of Zunes? Adding a boatload of features will only scare off most people, who are only interested in a more simplied player. What MS does, along with Apple, is target the largest possible sector of interest, so that they can sell the largest possible amount of players. I am in the minority, who is interested in the most feature laiden player possible, so that means I am not one of the people that MS is targeting.

EDIT: Forgot to add:
I also think most people don't give a damn if a player is locked or not, as long as it just works.
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  #733  
Old 09-17-2009, 10:59 AM
musichound musichound is offline
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Dave, I have a question, which must have been asked hundreds of times:
Why can't there be an option to transfer music files in MSC mode? Is this because of a fear of music piracy? Or, is it because DRM is mostly popular in the U.S.?
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  #734  
Old 09-17-2009, 11:00 AM
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oppizzippo oppizzippo is offline
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Hey Dave here is a question I hope you can find out for me. Would there be any legal issues with me using my zune pass for DJing? I did some DJing about 5 years ago before I went off to college, now I'm looking to get back into it. Zune pass would be the ULTIMATE way to get music, and if I have an internet connection I could play practically any song they could think of. Thanks for all of your help!

Cory
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  #735  
Old 09-17-2009, 11:07 AM
lip lip is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Afflaq View Post
also while I'm on my ranting spree -- Ashen, how many Cowon or Sansa or Samsung representatives do you see actively participating in discussions on forums? I understand that corporate communication to customers is getting better across the board, but I think it's a pretty amazing for someone in Dave's position to make himself vulnerable to the types of criticism that he does...even more surprising to see him answer them. To have that kind of person on the team obviously shows that they care what the community thinks. I don't think that Dave is unaware that word of mouth and approval of the geek population sells devices, if he was this thread wouldn't have ever existed. I don't see anyone from the ipod development team participating in discussions, that's for sure.

+++1
Couldnt agree more. Listen, Im Canadian and not able to participate in some of the main reasons for this player to exist(Zune Pass and marketplace) but can see that the only thing missing from this player is a better push in apps which hopefully will come in time and will be integrated with mobile apps and also marketing. If MS used a quarter of apples marketing for the iphone on the zune hd they would take a large chunk of marketshare...its just a better looking and cool device right now...who knows what apple will come out with next but as of now this player is head and shoulders above a touch

Thanks again Dave.
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  #736  
Old 09-17-2009, 11:08 AM
Afflaq Afflaq is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashen View Post
not saying they have to offer every feature possible, but it would be nice if ms listened to the user base and would support common codecs, flac and ogg tho not as market flooding as mp3 are quite common today and gaining popularity.

also, the Straitjacket they put on the zune by locking it to the zune software isnt helping sales any IMHO, most people would still use zune suit and mp3/wma/aac files, but the GEEKS would use ogg/flac and MTP/MSC drag and drop rather then loading up the zune software....again this wouldnt have any negitive effect on zune unit sales, in their eyes tho, it would take people away from the "zune experiance" (market place) and that means less sales of music/videos, this is poor logic since the same people would fire up the zune software if there was something they wanted off the zune marketplace....even i would and i HATED the zune software....
the ipod has software based restrictions and it's sales aren't hurting any. Your logic is flawed.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashen View Post
Let me be clear, Im no FOSS zelot, infact If you knew me, you would know I am not anti MS for the most part, infact the only times I am are when they make STUPID moves and then are to bloody pig headed admit it and fix the problems.
example, vista was put out FAR to early, poor driver and app support, alot of show stopper bugs for avg users(no working adobe reader support for example)

another example: no MTP/MSC mode for zune, and zune software suite not installing without hacks on any windows version xp or newer(should really be 2k and newer but hey...)
You should clarify here. Works fine on XP32 - maybe it doesn't work well on XP64, but that's another story. Also, in some fairness, XP is 9 years old - I wouldn't support it either.


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Originally Posted by Ashen View Post
I love server 2008, its what vista should have been and i use it as a workstation/desktop os, i use to use windows xp x64/server 2003, both forced me to HACK THE REGISTRY to get around a rollback "Bug" thats really not a bug, its a stupid move to keep the software from installing fully on server windows...... and since xp x64 is just server 2003 in "pro" mode it has the same issues as server 2003 x64.....( i use to run both)
Again your animosity seems to be directed at the corporation as a whole and not really at the zune group. If you bothered to really read alot of what Dave said, they aren't following a pack mentality in the zune group because they're dictated by Microsoft - they're making decisions on what they feel is in the best interest of their group. You have to consider also what kind of position that Zune is in from a Corporation standpoint. I may be off base here, but companies are going to cut items that aren't profitable. It's a fact of life. Cowon can afford to get away with doing all kinds of things with lower sales because literally the players are their only division that matters. Zune on the other hand has to be profitable initially if they want the product line to be continued by Microsoft. Thus, there's a mentality of "make it popular first, and add in that additional functionality that the geeks want later" -- right now getting Zune to be a household name is the goal, not supporting your ogg because 0.5% of the target demographic care about it. Those things can come in time, the important part upon release is nailing the ease of use, hardware design, and overall happiness of the customer using the product.
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Originally Posted by Ashen View Post
Oh and dave, I hate to have to point this out, but sansa/sandisk, samsung, cowan and the like do effectively no marketing, IF they did the kind of marketing apple does with ipod/iphone their sales could make a dent in apples, BUT they dont really need to, their devices make them money and marketing costs money up front to do.
That's not entirely true. Samsung/Sansa/Cowon will never have the ability to compete against apple because they don't offer the kind of experience that apple does - and to a lesser extent that microsoft is starting to offer through the marketplace. The ability to purchase music directly off of your device and participate in things like marketplace are what separates the zune/ipod from samsung/cowon/etc - when you're looking at a player, you're looking at an extremely small piece of the puzzle. I am sure that at $299 for a 32gb player - the majority of Microsoft's profit on the zune are not going to come from the device itself, they are going to come from the recurring subscriptions associated with the Zune Marketplace.

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Originally Posted by Ashen View Post
The ipod isnt the most popular player on the market because its the best as im sure you know, its the most popular because apple marketed it VERY WELL and keeps marketing it very well, building a mental image (in dumb shallow people) that the ipod is the thing to get and if you have one, you cool.

Hell, with proper marketing you can sell anything.......look how many people voted bush into office his second term!!!!
Again, you're wrong. The ipod is the most popular player because it offers the most and comes from a respected name in media. when you think samsung, you think memory. When you think Sansa or Cowon, you think "huh?" -- the point is that Apple was historically touted as the leader in media based production, so when they jumped into the portable market it was an expectation that they would provide something of superior design with ease of use. Again, back to the lowest common denominator. Ease of use and a boatload of features sold the ipod, not the marketing or the sound quality. Not to sayt hat they didn't do a good job of selling the brand, but the product and apple's previous reputation sold itself. Not to mention that Apple sold the first generation ipod in October of 2001, and it wasn't really until 2004 or so that they became a household name.
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  #737  
Old 09-17-2009, 02:57 PM
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hawkshot hawkshot is offline
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Hello Dave,
The new software for the computer is great; a lot quicker and more responsive than the previous versions. I do have a concern with the new firmware for the Zune 80 however. Although I have not tried it on any other zune 80/120's, the aac support seems to be broken with the new firmware 3.2. This is a concern for me because near 90% of all my music is encoded in this format @ 128kbps.

The issue is that every 3 or 4 songs the player will reach the end of the file and continue playing. An example is I was playing a short song such as the Beatles "Love Me Do" (which is only ~2mins) will read as current time position as 5mins and remaining time as 0:00. A manual advance will sometimes move to the next track, or it will freeze the player requiring a reset. This happens enough to be an annoyance.

My questions are thus:

1) Have there been any similar complaints, or is my player unique?

2) If this is found to be a common problem, will there be any effort to fix the bug with the discontinuation of the hard drive models?

3) If 2 is answered in the affirmative, how long can be expected before a fix is released.

To the admins, I feel funny posting here because it is the HD forum and it is a 2nd generation issue. Could this thread be moved to the main Zune page?

Thank You
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  #738  
Old 09-17-2009, 07:15 PM
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Hawkshot - I've got folks investigating this now. Can you shoot me an email at aussie@zune.net so we can work with you to repro?

Cheers, Dave.
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  #739  
Old 09-17-2009, 08:02 PM
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Hi Dave

Their is a good chance you've already answered these questions but I'm going to ask anyway because I curious to hear your answer.

I was just wondering why we're forced to use the Zune Software to transfer music? I mean would it be that hard to let us have a choice as in we can use the Zune Software if we want but we could also Drag 'n' Drop or use Mediamonkey, etc.

And why is it the Zune still can't sync to WMP? I mean WMP is from Microsoft like the Zune so I thought it be common sense to have it sync to your own product.

Thanks in advanced
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  #740  
Old 09-17-2009, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMac-MS View Post
Hawkshot - I've got folks investigating this now. Can you shoot me an email at aussie@zune.net so we can work with you to repro?

Cheers, Dave.
Just so you know I have heard similar reports from other people... Not sure if they were using aac or not though.
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