Thursday, September 23, 2010

More on Open Music Platform

Ok, so I’m sure some people have read my post yesterday about the market speak coming from Microsoft about the state of Zune Marketplace in Australia.

I thought I should probably take some time out to explain my thoughts/feelings a little better.

Open Music Platform

I think the idea of having DRM free music, being able to share your music between devices regardless of where it came from is very important. I have a very large collection of completely LEGAL music that I want on my mobile devices.

From an adoption point of view, being able to sync a Windows Mobile 7 device with music you purchased from iTunes is great, and I wouldn’t expect anything less.

The State of Music In Australia

In Australia, we have very limited ways to get downloadable music. We have iTunes, Bigpond Music if your a Bigpond user and that’s about it. There are a number of online music stores online, but due to licensing restrictions they can’t sell us music in Australia. Sure, we can trick them by using US Proxies, Paying with US credit cards etc, but the point is that it’s actually against the Terms and Agreements and probably illegal.

Marketing Speak

The post I pointed to from Dave Glover didn’t do anything to clarify the original point that Zune Marketplace doesn’t allow Music Downloads within Australia. He went on to point out how we could use existing music we owned, get music from other sources, and all the Video content we could get. But I go back to the point that he didn’t address the original issue of not being able to buy music through Zune Marketplace which can be enjoyed in the US and Europe.

Usage Scenarios

Lets look at the major competition from an Entertainment point of view. You know who I’m talking about, Apple and their iPhone and iPad.

  • iOwners can use one tool to download new music and sync with their devices. It’s easy to use and just works. This is a simple scenario that won’t be available to Windows Phone 7 owners in Australia.
  • iPhones and iPads can natively access iTunes through wireless internet access. If you want new music and you have signal then it’s available. Again, this won’t be available to Windows Phone 7 owners in Australia.

Why is this happening

There are only 2 possible reasons I can imagine that would prevent Australian Windows Phone 7 owners from accessing online music.

  • MPAA or some other Music Industry representatives cannot come to an agreement with Microsoft. I actually find this unlikely due to the fact that Apple managed to get some sort of agreement in place.
  • Microsoft View the potential market in Australia to be too small, and therefore won’t invest the time and money into getting an agreement and systems in place.

My Criticism

My issue with this whole thing is the Marketing crap that comes out of Microsoft about this issue. It is an issue that will affect the uptake of the phone.

In addition to this, I did take the time out to reply to Dave Glover yesterday through the comments on his post. I think the worst thing I said in the post was “contempt”, in the context of the way they (Microsoft) can’t be honest about what’s going on. But it seems my comment didn’t make it through moderation process.

What I’d Like to See

This is really simple. I’d like to see Microsoft publicly acknowledge this as an issue and at least explain why we can get Video on our phones (I don’t care for this) but won’t be able to get music (I care about this). Possibly even detail what they are doing to correct it.


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