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All posts tagged "Social"

Friday, September 5, 2008

Introduce Yourself, Wirelessly

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 06:00 PM


Ever meet another Zuner on the street and want to send them a "hello" track or picture but don't want to make one of your own? Zunerama forum members Trastan and Elxx have solved this problem with a neat little web application they call the Zune ID Card Generator. The AJAX on the generator site seems to work better in Firefox than IE, but the resulting card looks the same in either. Here's one I just created:

To make your own, just enter your favorite genre, your Zune Tag, a little bit about yourself, and a tagline and hit generate. The result is a nifty jpeg that you can beam to other Zune owners on-the-go. I hope to get to try this out soon!

Tags: , Hello, Social, Tag, ID, Card, Welcome, Hi

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Badges: Explained

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 03:00 AM


"The recent Zune Update a month or so ago added the ability to track your listening habits and reward you for them. Think of achievements on the Xbox 360, except not pedantic ones like listen to every artist that released a single in 2003. These badges are actually quite nice, and display on your Zune Card if you do whatever it is enough times in the previous month. A thousand plays isn't all that hard if you're sitting at your desk all day like us. No cheating, cause we know you'd just leave your player on repeat and turn your speakers off."

It's nice to see some transparency on what obscene amounts of single-artist/album listening triggers the badges, or how much time you need to spend trolling the forums in order to grab the bomb/powerstar rating badges. It's also a nice indication of where the badges are heading.
As much as it seems that the badges could only become more obnoxious (especially as the "trivia" feature gains ground), I think it could also be pretty cool. Little treasure hunts ("listen to every song featured in the 'You Don't Mess With the Zohan' soundtrack", or "listen to five songs that feature the Amen break" ) would be a neat distraction from the game of building up playcounts to your favorite artists and songs.

Tags: Social, Badges

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Help Design the Zune Social Trivia Game!

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 01:30 PM


Jessica Zahn, Zune Social program manager and all-around cool gal, has been enlisting help with a new feature for the Social, a sort-of trivia game that will combine personal quizzes with music knowledge. This has been on the books for a while, but recently Jessica (Ztag: Jetherealz) has started getting serious, dropping a ton of specs and proposed features. Additionally, she's been enlisting help from the Community—that's right, capitalized—to design and skin the site. Ryan (Ztag: Volvoshine) alerted us to a mockup he's currently working on over at Zune-Scene that looks pretty cool so far. If you want to get involved, visit the Zune.net forums, and make your voice heard.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Max and Cesar do 2.5

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 12:00 PM


In this thrilling sequel to last month's blockbuster buddy comedy, Cesar and Max are at it again. This time they've got their sights planted firmly on the cool things you can do with the new 2.5 update, like syncing a friend's Zune Card, working with the new Social, and apparently learning how to Salsa dance. If you were ever curious how Cesar uses his Social account (or how he breaks it down), stop by Channel8 and get informed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cesar Walks Through Zune Social

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 08:00 AM


My favorite Boston-originating, Channel 8-hosting Microsoftie Max Zuckerman has a sit-down with Zune blogger extraordinaire Cesar Menendez to discuss Zune Social. Cesar guides Max through his "digital mixtape" (I thought it was interesting how Cesar described the music you play as a representation of yourself--deep!), and even how to put the app on Facebook. Watch the full video (below) and become enlightened.

Zune Rocker shows us Zune Social [...]

Tags: Social

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Saga of Shrinking Playcounts

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 08:00 AM


I've been having some issues with the Social site ever since its update in mid-December. If it wasn't bad enough that Social doesn't recognize half of my songs (even the ones that are tagged correctly), and only decides to register a play even more infrequently, it seems someone's punched a hole in my artist play count balloon.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves here.

This is a screencap from December 13, when I wrote the article:

Note: Jay-Z (26 plays), Red Hot Chili Peppers (11 plays)

Later that night:


6 of my 8 most played artists were knocked out completely.

I don't know if this specifically has to do with the update, because I recall having some issues before then. Sometimes playing an artist would make the play count go down, and in other cases, one play would count double. Very, very weird.

Maybe this has something to do with the troubles Live and specifically Xbox Live has been having recently? Come to think of it, I might have an idea where all my plays are going... I'm envisioning a massive global conglomerate dedicated to siphoning off play counts and then depositing them in Swiss bank accounts. I mean seriously, only 5 Beatles plays?

I created a forum topic about this issue, but so far I haven't received a reply. I don't think I'm the only one... I just checked Cesar's card, and it appears he doesn't have any Tokyo Police Club plays, when previously they were one of his top artists.

All in all, not a huge deal. But why do I get the feeling that it only keeps the embarrassing artists?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Zune Social update

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Announcements" @ 09:45 PM


You may have noticed that Zune Social was down for the last few days

Included (according to Cesar):
  • Improved overall stability and performance
  • Ability to view Favorites on your profile and the ability to remove a favorite
  • Most played artists will be displayed on your Zune Card, including three of the top songs for each of those artists (based on community usage)
  • Zune Gadgets Page: http://social.zune.net/profile/gadgets.aspx
  • Ability to view up to 24 recently played songs and 24 most played artists (increased from 5)
  • Easier to remove friends (directly from the friends activity module)
  • Timestamp for your recently played songs
  • Song and album information is now displayed in the send dialogs

I'm seeing a lot of the "stability and performance" upgrades, especially in Firefox, though for some reason, a few of the features are quirkier than last time (the "add to friends" link seems to only work when it feels like it, logging in is similar, e.g.), though this may just be due to Firefox's own weirdnesses.

Also, I got kind of excited by the idea of being able to remove a "favorite song," but I guess that isn't fully there yet either (or I'm missing something). I'm also beginning to see a bit of feature creep, as the lists don't seem to be scaling well to the design of the page. I hope they do something about that in the future, but for now I like the integration between the more static HTML and the cool Flash design.

EDIT: I knew I wasn't crazy! Jay-Z, my top-played artist, now shows 25 plays, when just yesterday (see above) it showed 26. The same thing with De La Soul a couple days ago (20 down to 19). Social seems to pick-and-choose which songs it wants to have show up on the "played" list. Sometimes, songs I know are supposed to show up (because their metadata is correct and have shown up before), simply don't. It's a little frustrating, and I hope it's just a small issue that'll be fixed soon. Then again, this is a beta...

P.S. Not sure where Train came from... I looked through my computer and I'm pretty sure I don't have any of their songs...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Restricted Words in ZuneCard Status Field

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Sites & Resources" @ 03:00 PM

The Zune Card is undoubtedly cool. You can set your own profile and background picture, in addition to selecting a custom status to describe how you're currently feeling (as if your last five played songs weren't enough of an indicator). Unfortunately, there are a few "no-no" words you can't put in your status. Most of them are fairly obvious (the "_-word", certain bodily parts and functions, and things like "Microsoft" and "Support"), but a few of them seem to be going a bit over the top. For instance, if I'm listening to to Jerry Lee Lewis' famous "Great Balls of Fire", it won't allow me to say so. I can't even say "I love my Zune!" without it throwing up a hissy-fit. It's interesting, because it recognizes some substitute letters but not others (e.g. $ for s, \/ for v, 1 for l, or * as substitute for any letter).

It's interesting to note that while "Xbox" and "Windows" are blocked (though not "XP" or "Vista"), "PlayStation", "Apple", "OSX", or even "iPod" are not. The only non-Microsoft trademark they block? "Linux."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Zune? Yeah, Its Social.

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Talk" @ 11:01 PM

With the Xbox, Microsoft was able to really connect console gamers in a way that had never been done before. The gaming community that Microsoft created with Xbox Live is unparalleled even on the PC. With the Zune, Microsoft promised to bring that same sense of community. At first, it just didn’t seem like there was anything there. But either Microsoft has really been listening to the community or its had a lot of plans that it just couldn’t get out for the first generation. I suspect it’s a little of both.

The result is the Zune Social which brings social networking to the Zune and your music listening experience. I really like the community aspect that this creates almost right away. People will be here to discuss music and share with the world what they like. In turn, this will give others a way to find new music they might like. Here’s the high lights, courtesy of Cesar.

"• Zune Card: Anyone will be able to create a free, customizable Zune card. You can personalize your Zune Card with your picture, custom backgrounds, biographical info and more. Your card will automatically update with the music you listen to on your Zune or with your Zune software..

• You can browse your friend’s pages, invite friends, send and receive song recommendations, and post comments to their profile pages..

• You can browse your favorite artist’s pages to find other listeners with similar musical tastes..

• Each song within the Zune Social will have a playable 30 second clip, and if you like the song, you can link directly into Zune Marketplace to buy the song (using Microsoft® points or on your Zune Pass)..

• You can check out Zune Social community-generated charts to see the most-played artists, songs and albums, or read comments and recommendations posted by other Zune community members on album and artist pages..

• You’ll eventually be able to post your Zune card to mainstream social networking sites Wherever your Zune card is located, it will automatically update with the music you’re currently playing."

Tags: Social

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