Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mobile Entertainment: Fun On The Move

Imagine what that long subway ride or bus commute would be like if you didn't have your Blackberry or your iPod to keep you entertained. Today's consumers depend on a variety of mobile devices to keep us connected, informed, and even entertained. The mobile consumer services and entertainment industry has witnessed remarkable advances over recent years. Cell phones now have the ability to connect to the Internet, play MP3 files, and enable users to play games. Digital media players can combine touch technology, Wi-Fi capabilities, and m-commerce functions all in a small device that easily fits in your pants pocket.

When Apple launched its famous iPod product line, it revolutionized the way people listen to music. Soon thereafter, Microsoft broke into the portable media player market with its Wi-Fi enabled Zune. Although the iPod continues to be a leader and set the standard in this product category, Microsoft's Zune offers some unique features. Earlier this month, Apple released its latest generation of improved iPods. Amidst the buzz from the new iPod launch, Microsoft released free Zune 3.0 hardware and software updates for its portable media player.

According to the Zune website and corporate press releases, the new Zune software features several notable advances in mobile entertainment and m-commerce. Most importantly, the Zune Marketplace is now available on the go. Users can shop for music right on their handheld device thanks to enhanced Wi-Fi access to the Zune Marketplace. Users can also tag and purchase songs they hear on the Zune’s FM radio tuner. If the Zune is near a wireless signal, users can instantly download the songs.

To help users take full advantage of the wireless functionality, Zune is "working with high-speed Internet access provider Wayport Inc. to deliver Zune users free, wireless access to the Zune Marketplace from more than 9,800 participating McDonald’s®restaurants across the U.S." Dan Lowden, vice president of business development and marketing for Wayport, made the following comment about working with Zune: "Our ability to enable and manage applications and devices over converged networks creates exciting new opportunities for our clients to attract new customers whose digital lifestyle extends beyond their home and office."

Other new features of the Zune 3.0 software include audiobooks, games, and a clock. Users can purchase audiobooks through Audible.com and through OverDrive-powered Web sites, an infrastructure provider for major booksellers and library systems, and then listen to them on their Zunes. Users can also now enjoy Zune's first step towards another major media segment — games. Zune 3.0 devices come preloaded with two free games, including: Hexic, a popular puzzle game, and Texas Hold ‘em style poker.

1 comment:

Sam said...

These labels tend to become more and more popular. As long as people can listen to music of their choice, these technologies will continue to grow.