Microsoft Zune HD portable media player
Image via Wikipedia

Why is Spotify so good? Because it starts from iTunes and improves it. It is like Apple, but better (except that is not yet available in USA). Why is the Zune a bad experience? Because it is not at all like iTunes. Like it or not Apple is the standard in music. Just as the whole world has been educated to use Windows, and a few to use Mac and Linux, in music, the whole world is educated to use iTunes, and a few to experiment with the alternatives. So Spotify built a great platform that is intuitive to use. It is like iTunes, but the songs are free and the Genius is your friends. Huge success. But Zune is just…. obscure. I try most WiFi gadgets, and this afternoon I spent a couple of hours trying a Zune out. My rating is 2 stars (sorry to use Apple again). The Zune is beautiful as a device, the graphics are attractive, original, but it is incredibly slow to load songs, the monthly costs at $15 are out of the market, and using the Zune software which is, not surprisingly, only available for Windows, is too complicated. I guess Microsoft has a hard time admitting that if you enter the music field you have to be like iTunes but better, which also means to start looking kind of like iTunes. It is hard for people to learn another language. Apple should know that, they have a better product than Microsoft Windows in OSX and market share gains are slow mainly because people are afraid to change. If I had anything to do with Zune, I would leave the gadget as it is and would do a new version of the software that is more intuitive, more like iTunes, that allows you to import your lists from iTunes, that basically clones iTunes as Doubletwist does. Or wait! Maybe Microsoft should buy Doubletwist and make it work with the Zune.

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