Welcome to the show notes for Downloadable Content 10/04/2006, "Zune And Very Zune." The episode is available for direct download at this link, or feel free to subscribe to our iTunes compatible feed here. This guide will help you navigate our frequently insane and often rambling conversation. Apologies for the cell phone noise that creeps in - we’ll store them in a lead-lined crate during future podcasts.
1:25 - When we say "This shit about the Zune," the revelation that caused all the hubbub was from Zunester - one of these MS insider blogs (like Zune Insider or Gamerscore). David Caulton, the man who runs the Zunester blog, wades into the comments and is as frank as he can possibly be with the people who comment there. I recognize that people are working hard on it. In the future, I hope that their hard work and my requirements for a device of this kind will converge.
3:20 - The URGE service doesn’t really make any sense to me. I currently subscribe to Napster’s buffet-style, all you can eat service, and I’ve been pretty happy with it - but I tried the Free Trial of Urge just to see, and it drove me screaming into the hills. My father might have called the interface "piss-poor." The user experience is just trash, in my opinion. It’s the sort of thing that makes you want to pirate music purely out of spite.
3:41 - You might not know exactly what "Plays For Sure" is, so concerns about whether or not the Zune is a PFS device might not make sense. With iTunes, it’s basically an end to end service - what Robert would call "Vertical Integration" or "Pwning The Value Chain." They run a digital music service that integrates seamlessly (though not always entirely sensibly) with their own portable music player, I forget exactly what it’s called. Some kind of Pod. In any event, you can get that the confidence of that setup by using an iPod and iTunes on a Windows as well, but for the wealth of warring music players and digital music services on the PC side of the equation there had to be some kind of common ground. Plays For Sure could also be called "plays well with others."
4:25 - I switched to Cingular recently, because a) virtually everyone I know is on Cingular, and b) T-Mobile lost a phone I sent in for service and then had the gall to fucking charge me for it. In any event, I’d just gotten sick of the Sidekick. It became clear to me after using different iterations of it for several years that I hadn’t really purchased a platform, as I thought I had - the Sidekick is really a service with a custom hardware component. Because I was switching over to Cingular, the incentives were pretty nuts - I picked up two of their 8125 model phones (a.k.a., the HTC Wizard) for a hundred bucks after rebates. It’s been a lot of fun, even if it’s not the fastest option out there - it’s capable, and it wasn’t terribly expensive. The Sidekick feels a good deal more "solid" as a consumer device, and I’ve always loved its gigantic, luxurious thumbboard. But I’ve had more control over this new device from day one, and I don’t need to pay a premium on the hardware just because Paris Hilton owns one.
4:38 - I’m referring to the band Great Big Sea, here. We’re sort of obsessed with them.
5:57 - People who interact in social contexts - imagine that! - could probably have many amazing experiences with the sharing features of the Zune. Buses, planes, prisons, workhouses, etc. When one or more parties are members of the music subscription service - something that will operate like I imagine my Napster sub does - you’re basically being exposed to music and getting full access to it as a matter of course. That’s sort of an optimal scenario, but I understand why someone might be excited about that.
6:40 - Yes, J Allard is behind it.
7:44 - Huge, huge, huge spoilitos in the Chris Morris’ "Game Over" Column for CNN Money. I’m not even going to link it. That’s pretty low rent.
7:55 - Burger King games, you know, whatever. But the screenshot Kotaku chose for the story is pretty funny lookin’.
8:46 - I guess we forgot to mention it. Just like we did for Book One, we’ll be heading over to The Comic Stop in Lynnwood to do us a signin’ for Book Two. It’s on October 21st, from 6pm to 8pm, and I’m pleased to announce that it’s actually a joint signing with our pretend enemy Scott Kurtz. He and Kris from Starslip are actually coming up to Seattle for to Hang Out for a while, and it seems rude to keep them all to ourselves. If you want to play in the Charity Poker Tournament Robert described, you have to let the Comic Stop guys know - all the info is available at their site.
9:40 - We thought this was odd. I really liked Sword of the Stars, you might have seen that we consented to advertise it, but there are places where it doesn’t go together like you might expect. Tom Chick pulled out the game’s spine and held it aloft in his 1up review, and this apparently kicked off some kind of blood feud between himself and SOTS designer Martin Cirulis. Things get progressively worse from there. There are allegations of various kinds. Things are alleged.
9:49 - The "Chick Tract Guy" he refers to is Jack Chick. You’ve seen these before - they’re designed to be seen. I used to hand these out when I was a kid. I’m not proud of it. I’ve long sense jettisoned the religion, but somehow managed to retain the haughty moral superiority that makes my writing so insufferable. The title of the strip, Zune And Very Zune, is actually a reference to one of the songs I used to sing at church.
12:41 - Here’s the newspost I wrote about the Gamespot review "controversy" at the time. Really looking forward to Savage 2, by the way - it’s an independent project through and through, and it’s only being released online. I hope it goes well for them.
28:11 - See how he laughs at the joke, then stops, and then is like Whaaa? He knew about the three day limit on songs you share from a Zune, but not that you could only listen to it three times during that span of time. So so, and that becomes the boundary of your usage instead (unless you’ve got the subscription thing I talked about before).
28:30 - This "parrot" thing is an oblique reference to our Harlan Ellison experience, specifically the post entitled Foolscap, but the whole page there is full of strange tales and repartee.