"I thought things couldn't get any worse for Microsoft after the Vista licensing fiasco, the WGA fiasco, and the XBox 360 fiasco but this one takes the cake. I'll even bet that the folks at Apple are ROTFL at this latest Microsoft misstep. Microsoft's own Channel 9 blog has coined the term "Plays for Maybe" (via David Berlind's blog) in a brutally honest way asking: "I really don't get how the biggest software co. in the world - sets up a huge network of partners to trumpet their own technology: "plays for sure" - then when it itself enters the market - refuses to use it.""
A whole whack of blogs are up in arms about the fact that the Zune doesn't support PlaysForSure music. Meaning that if you have a large investment in, say, MSN Music downloads, they won't work on your Zune. This is old news to those of us that have been following the Zune, but evidently everyone else is just realizing it now. I guess what I'm wondering is how much it matters? I don't know a single person, offline or online, that has complained to me about having a huge investment in DRM'd WMA tracks and are ticked off the Zune won't play them. If that's you, speak up and tell me.
I have this strong sense that there's more smoke than fire with this issue, and people are getting more angry about the idea of Microsoft breaking the PlaysForSure concept than actual people with "trapped" music collections. The sad part about DRM'd music is that it's vulnerable to this sort of thing. Anyone with a significant investment in iTunes music (of which there are many more people) will face exactly the same issue if they ever break away. If you really do have a bunch of Windows Media files that are DRM'd, download and run Fairuse4WM
. It works amazingly well, and will free your music from the clutches of DRM.