Points to ponder on Microsoft’s Zune

Normally, I don’t like articles that don’t publish the fact that an author might have alternative motives, but Andy Ihnatko’s article about the Microsoft Zune has some interesting points.

First off, why am I upset about the author’s motives?  Andy Ihnatko is the author of a The Mac OS X Tiger Book.  Plus, he writes for MacWorld and The Mac Observer.  Now, I don’t have a problem with a Mac author reviewing and/or trashing the Zune, but the fact is, it’s not made clear that he *is* a Mac author.  It would be like Paul Thurrott publishing in the New York Times about OS X Leopard.

Ok, I’m off my soapbox about disclosure.

Back to the article…

Andy raises two good points.  The potential for misleading pricing, and the ‘music player tax’. 

I’d like to know where the Universal Music CEO quote came from.  If that quote is true, then it’s really scary what the music industry believes.  I personally have never downloaded illegal music, and when I buy an iPod this year, it will not have any illegal music put on it.  Therefore, why should there be a kickback to *any* distributor?  Besides, does anyone SERIOUSLY think that money will go to artists?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha… Oh, excuse me for being cynical.

As for the misleading pricing, I don’t agree that Apple’s fixed pricing is the best option.  It IS a good compromise, balancing a simple pricing structure with a need to generate revenue.  BUT, it completely scares me to hear Microsoft try to go with points.  Again, now it’s much harder to track how much money should go to an artist.  People used x number of points, but how much of that was paid for, how much was earned through sharing, etc…

For me, just the idea of a the record companies will profit from me buying a music PLAYER will cause me to do a LOT of thinking on my music player purchase.