Welcome to the new social

 

                                                                           ms_zune_social

So I’ve been on and loving the Zune Social since I’ve owned a Zune. that’s been about 4 years or so now. it’s gotten better with every passing year. Then Came Apples’ Ping. A piss poor Zune Social wanna be. It launched last year with the promise of Facebook integration. that turned out really well. that it would allow users to connect with each other and artist. MySpace is slightly better at it.

 Ping-logo That’s not saying much. But I’m a fair person. I give things a shot repeatedly on a regular basis and I don’t have a rigid view of things. to do otherwise would make me no better than a Apple fan boy. So rather than Dump on it, I tried it out and used it as intended.

I had a few surprises. 1 being that it still sucked. For all my evangelism of Zune and windows phone. 3/4 of my friends are still in the iOS ecosystem. I’ve only been able to find 3 in ping social. My night life may not be superstar level. but I have more than 3 friends that listen to music and use iTunes. It’s easier to find a virgin in a maternity ward than a friend in Ping. Twitter integration is a nice touch but It’s not how I connect to my friends. Import via webmail would be useful if it allowed me to connect to live.com or Gmail.com. So far its Hotmail (large user base. good target), AOL (so far so good), yahoo (WTF. Who still uses this and WHY?) and me.com (less users than yahoo. how many people do you know with a me.com account? If I bet that more people had a lycos.com address, would I lose?).

Apple users are generally kind of pompous and smug but knowing what someone bought is useless to me unless I can listed to it. knowing what they bought is not very useful to me as someone that’s use to listening to the entirety of their listening activity. hearing 30sec of what someone just bought on Ping Vs hearing everything they listened to that day, their favorites and even getting a song from them with a message (the sweet heart feature). which would you choose? to be fair, Zune is a subscription music service. Zunes music buffet vs. Apples À la carte basically means that your not going to get the same experience based on apples business model.

It does have a few saving graces. 1 being that you can get pin on the iPhone (may not be the best thing). The Zune experience on Windows Phone is completely and almost entirely disconnected from the Zune HD. The Zune HD is a better media player than not only the iPod Touch but also the Windows Phone. You won’t find channels or you social features in a windows phone. At least not until this fall hopefully. The other saving grace is that while it may not be easy to find friends on ping, what artist there are on ping is fun & easy to follow. 1 thing Ping got right was concerts. following their tour and knowing when a favorite artist will be performing near me is great and getting the tickets with 1 click is cool. seeing what the artist likes is also nice.

literally after that Ping becomes useless. If Zune Social wasn’t around the only music social network worth anyone’s time would be MySpace. But Zune can’t rest on it’s laurels. Steve Jobs decided to take that Apple T.V seriously and obviously needed a new hobby. Lets show him how a built in social network is supposed to be done shall we. Here’s what I’d like to see from the next version of the Zune Social:

 

  1. Build it into Windows Phone. There shouldn’t be any difference between the Zune HD and the Zune in Windows phone. I would expect the phone to be better. but I keep wanting to go back to the Zune HD for the Social and the channels (not to mention some of the media controls. scrubbing in video is missed. hopefully the mango update bring Windows Phone on parody with the Zune HD). when I go into the Zune App (please call it that and not music and video.), right along with music, video, podcast and radio. I want to see channels and social.
  2. Facebook and Twitter integration please. On the Zune Desktop (Codenamed Dorado), when you click artist and then bio. After their pictures & Bio, there’s a big blank space on the far right. that can be filled with their social media feed. their twitter and Facebook feed.
  3. more Facebook and twitter integration please. So Ping didn’t get Facebook integration because as Jobs put it “Facebook has bad terms and conditions he didn’t like” and Facebook didn’t want that many users on their servers. Frankly I don’t believe either of them. But I’m more inclined to believe Zuckerberg. My live login to Zune should also be hooked into Facebook the way Bing does it. same goes for twitter. allow me to post what song I’m listening to at any time on my Facebook wall (with a link back to Zune.net) & Twitter. the same way the Facebook and twitter apps do on the Zune HD.
  4. lots more Facebook and twitter integration please. 1 click allows me to follow me to not only follow an artist on Zune. but also follow them on twitter and like them on Facebook.
  5. Ridiculous amounts of Facebook and twitter integration please. I’m harping on this because Microsoft has lots of stock in Facebook. what’s the point of having the key to a Ferrari if your not going to pour on the gas? use Facebook to find friends and people with similar tastes that are not in the social.
  6. Now just hook Facebook and twitter integration into my veins and leave it there until I over dose. allow me to take the Zune experience into Facebook. allow me to send a link to a song or even gift a song and send it to someone via their Facebook and twitter. have Zune adjust my music and video preferences for me in Facebook. build a Zune App for Twitter and Facebook that connects to my Zune profile. connect @zunesupport @winphonesupport to the Zune desktop mail experience for fast in app support. if I haven’t thought of it, then please put it in the comments below. leave me on the floor with my headphones on hooked into my Windows Phone. I want my lips Facebook blue and twitter birds in my eyes. I want to be that over loaded on social network interactivity with the next Zune Social.
  7. Please keep the concerts up to date. It would be nice to have in app purchases of tickets. Zune had up to date concert dates before iTunes had it, but it’s been neglected. Put this back in and email me through the Socials mail to let me know when there are concerts near me. Partner with Live Nation. Link it to the Zune Social.
  8. find a way to connect to apples ping. allow zuners to interact with ping people as if bother were using the same device.  make a Zune Social app for iOS. allow the app to stream music from Zune.net.
  9. let users on Zune Social have pages similar to the way artist have pages. a translucent background. multiple photos. their profile along with recent, favorites, top artist & comments. about is their bio with pictures. while your at it. MORE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER INTEGRATION PLEASE. Deep connection to Facebook and twitter. be smart about it. if I commented about something via the Zune Desktop or on the Zune experience on my phone. please have it be a mutual social network experience. if I comment on a song or artist with Zune in someway, it should show up in the comments. reply’s to those posts should also show up in the comments.
  10. This is a little off base. but rather than make a separate post I decided to put it here. There needs to be as little difference between a Zune HD and a Windows phone. Bring everything about the Zune HD to Windows Phone. I love windows phone but as far as a media player goes, it pales in comparison to a Zune HD. The music experience has been lackluster and video has been PRIMITIVE on my HD7. I don’t want to miss my Zune HD anymore. if the rumors are true. that this is the Zunes last days. then please make sure that I don’t know the difference between a Zune HD and a Windows Phone. including plugging my WP7 into an Xbox to listen to music.

Apple making a social network is like Paris Hilton opening up a cooking school. An anti-so0cial company can’t be expected to make a decent social networking experience. Social networking done right works well for the user in that it allows the user to connect to Zune to their social networks and share what their doing. all without knowing that their advertising the phone.

So here’s to hoping that all the right people at Microsoft are listening. If not then hit them back at askzune@microsoft.com and let them know what you would like. Zune Social is already pretty amazing. but if iTunes wants to step on our turf. I say we show them how it’s done.

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