It’s been several weeks since the much anticipated launch of Microsoft’s Zune MP3 player and the consensus is the launch was a dud. I have not had a chance to checkout the Zune personally but a couple friends did buy it and say it was very well designed and the interface was great. The wireless 802.11 support was a plus but that fact you can only talk to other Zune’s is lame and the file-sharing has DRM (digital rights media) protection. Yes, the iPod’s have their own DRM protection called FairPlay, but there are ways around it, in fact that has been my biggest complaint from all the press people that have been comparing the two devices is around DRM, such as this quote from cnnfn.com: “And like Apple’s often-criticized format, which locks music downloaded from the iTunes music store so it will not play on non-iPod devices, music from the Zune Marketplace will play only on Zunes, not on iPods or other players.” Let’s get something straight the iPod and iTunes Store are not a closed or proprietary system. A closed system would be Betamax where a Betamax tape will not play in a VHS system and vice versa. Or a CDMA phone which will not work on a GSM network and vice versa. You can easily download MP4 (the FairPlay protected format) from the iTunes Store, burn it to a CD and then rip it to an MP3 format which is unprotected. However, it’s technically impossible for CDMA phone to some how work on a GSM network no matter how hard you try to hack the damn thing. So I have digressed from the original point of the post, but it seems the 1.0 version of the Zune player has a ways to go. The iPod wins hands down.