Just got off the phone with Microsoft about the new Zune and the magic therein. It’s a 30GB player that comes in three colors – black, white, and brown – and plays back most major file formats. That much you can read over at CrunchGear so head over there if you want the specs.
Of specific interest to TC readers, however, is the social sharing system. The Zune has 802.11 networking built in and you can send a song to your friend for three days or three plays, which ever comes first. The goal, obviously, is to sell music. However, we could also conceivably see this as a MySpace-like network of users who pop music to each other with giddy abandon and infect others with their musical stylings on the train (perhaps a sandwich board that says “I’ll Send My New HARDCORE RAP Single to Your Zune. Talk to me. Please?”) Once you get back home you can connect to the Zune Marketplace – and presumably an artists home page – where you can learn more and buy music.
[Picture courtesy of Engadget]
Clearly all the data isn’t in yet, but this definitely pushes the MP3 player out of the pocket and into the realm of social networking. The question, obviously, is what is Apple going to do about this and, as a corrallary, how low Apple and Creative shares are selling as we speak? Perhaps MS could create a “Zune Inside” logo for those guys? Or maybe fund a halfway house for underconnected MP3 players?