New Zune Launched – but does it herald the holy grail of podcasting

by andy on November 13, 2007

The new Zune media player from Microsoft launches today. Early reports talk of full support for podcasting. What does this mean?

The new features relevant to podcasters and podcasting appear to be:-

  • The Zune Marketplace, the software that comes with the Zune, now includes a podcast directory;
  • A 1 click method of subscribing to podcasts from within web pages;
  • The device can sync with the base PC over the home wireless network – users will always leave home with the latest content. BUT – the Zune has to be plugged into a power source AND the process has to be started manually – kind of defeats the purpose.

My thoughts on all this:-

  • iTunes has had the magic URL 1 click subscription method for a long time – i.e. itpc://podcast/rss/feed/path
  • There needs to be a divorce between the media player and the PC – this has started with the Zune but is not yet complete. The holy grail is surely a media player which you can have in your pocket, which downloads new podcast episodes (that you previously subscribed to), over the phone network/wimax/wireless, without the need for a PC.

Significance to content producers

Ensure you put a Zune 1 Click subscribe link/button on your podcast web page – Paul Colligan has a nice tool to generate the URL and also some links to button you can use.

Add the Zune Marketplace to your list of podcast directories that you submit your podcasts to. There’s a download link for the Zune Marketplace below, you don’t need a Zune for it to work. There are about 1.2 million Zune owners right now – they’re hungry for podcasts – is yours in the Zune Marketplace?

Significance to content consumers

With a Zune, you’ll no longer be tethered to your PC – well, not in the wired sense anyway.

With the Zune Marketplace podcast directory you now potentially have new podcasts to subscribe to and an alternative to iTunes.

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