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All posts tagged "interview"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CES 2011: Chris Pirillo Interviews Jason Dunn

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 03:30 PM

This is an interview I did with Chris Pirillo from Lockergnome. I'm usually the one doing the interview, but this time around it was Chris asking me questions. Chris was at CES as part of the launch of Reese's Minis - which are, seriously, perhaps the most delicious chocolate candy I've ever eaten. I'm a complete sucker for peanut butter and chocolate together!

And this is also the first time I've published a video here where I'm in front of the camera. Be nice please. :-) It's not HD because the video was streaming live and they had to keep the data rate under 2mbps - CES might be technology heaven, but it's virtually impossible to get a fast, stable Internet connection of any kind from the CES show floor.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jason on The Media Center Show: Zune HD, Xbox Live, Zune Phone

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


Ian Dixon interviews Zune Thoughts' own Jason Dunn to discuss why the Zune HD is truly an HD device, media center interoperability, and integration with Xbox 360. Just like last time, Jason and Ian have a great back-and-forth banter and are very informed on tech trends of the day. Check it out!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ars Technica Interview with Zune's Brian Seitz

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Articles & Resources" @ 06:48 PM


"Microsoft last night announced (officially) the Zune HD, even though the device won't be available for several months. While the product itself looks nice, it's the "platform" behind it that is finally coming to fruition and may be Microsoft's best chance at capturing a bigger slice of those home entertainment dollars. We spoke with Brian Seitz, the group marketing manager for Zune, about the new product and Microsoft's larger strategic ambitions. Here's everything you need to know..."

Brian Seitz fills in a few of the blanks that we've been wondering about. First, the connector on the Zune HD is the same as other Zunes, so that means all those Zune accessories out there right now will work. Excellent news! That's what I was hoping Microsoft would do, but you never know sometimes with these big corporations. The Web browser is based on IE6, but unlike the browser in Windows Mobile 6.5 (which it has to be related to), it probably won't have Flash support - but Seitz says it's possible. They're still working on the software it seems - which isn't surprising given the Fall release date. Read more...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Inside the Circle With Adam

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Talk" @ 07:34 AM


“1. What type of Zune do you currently own? I bought a brown Zune30 at the end of November, '06, which I then replaced with a black Zune80 the day it came out in 2007. The hold switch on my 80 broke a couple weeks ago and Microsoft was kind enough to replace it with a red one, which I absolutely love.”

Inside the Circle is a really good Zune blog that I wish I’d seen before now. Every few days they do a Social Spotlight, talking to a member of the Zune community and asking them a few questions so we can all learn more about them. Yesterday, ItC posted an interview with our own Adam Krebs! He gave some interesting answers to all of the questions so if you want to learn more about Adam, check out his interview here.

Tags: interview

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ian Dixon Interviews Jason Dunn

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 07:45 AM


"This week I am talking Jason Dunn from ZuneThoughts.com a great resource for Zune owners. Earlier this year the Zune firmware and software was updated and I talk to Jason about what’s new on the Zune devices and the updated Zune desktop software."

Yesterday, Ian Dixon released the latest podcast of "The Media Center Show". The interview was with someone you may be familiar with, our own senior editor, Jason Dunn. (If you're not familiar with Jason, well, then welcome to Zune Thoughts!)

Ian and Jason spend an hour talking about the Zune G3 updates. If you're looking for a new podcast to add to your rotation, Ian's looks like a good one but at the least you should follow this link to listen to the interview!

Monday, September 15, 2008

CNet Talks to Joe Belfiore

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 09:19 PM


“There are a number of businesses where Microsoft is playing catch-up these days. But arguably one where the company starts furthest behind is in the music business, where it decided two years ago to scrap its partner approach and go it alone with the Zune in its effort to catch the iPod. I had a chance on Monday, not just to play around with the latest crop of Zunes, but also to talk strategy with Joe Belfiore, a longtime Microsoftie who moved over earlier this year to head Zune development. I also followed up with him on Wednesday, following Apple's announcements, to get a few more thoughts. (At the end of this post, I've also embedded my video interview with him from Monday.)”

Ina Fried of CNet News had a very interesting interview with Joe Belfiore, the head of Zune development, last week. Ina quizzed Joe on a variety of topics including his take on the Apple announcements and what he thought about the future of entertainment devices. Joe’s comments were very interesting because I think where he sees the Zune going is pretty exciting.

It’s also interesting to note that Joe didn’t give the standard denial when asked about the idea of a Zune phone. He played rather coy on the issue, actually. Ina also has a video up too so you can spend some time reading and watching while you wait for the update to go live.

Tags: zune, interview,

Friday, August 3, 2007

Crave hits Live at the BBQ

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune Events" @ 07:00 AM

E-40 is a massive man who looks like he might cripple two smaller men just for a morning work out.

Poor Dante Maddox had the enviable job of interviewing Common at the first Live at the BBQ event. Along the way, he bumped into E-40 and other bands that were there. Unfortunately he had to sit through Common’s concert before he could talk to him.

The two part story over at Crave is a fun read. Its Dante’s first live interview and despite his nervousness, I think it was well done! If you want to know what the BBQ is really like, though, you can always go yourself if you happen to be in NYC this weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Generation Zune Interviews Jason Dunn

Posted by Aaron Roma in "Zune Talk" @ 05:59 AM


"When you first hear about the Zune, what where your initial thoughts? Did you think they could come through strong? There were rumours for quite a few months, but I remember seeing the first confirmed picture and thinking “Hmm - this could be very interesting!”."

As part of ongoing Zune Community Interviews, Drea Avellan of Gerneration Zune interviewed Zune Thoughts front man, Jason Dunn. Drea delves into Jason's thoughts on Zune and experiences running a Zune community site. Check out the entire interview here.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Zune-Online.com Interviews Steven Biars of the Zune-Linux Project

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 10:00 PM


"Earlier this month I talked to Steven Biars, member of the Zune-Linux project and the administrator of Zune-Linux.com site/forum. According to him the newly formed project is "an opportunity to unleash the power of Zune. Zune-Linux is not about money or fame, we're in this to better the Linux community and to better the capabilities of our Zunes"."

Even though the Zune-Linux project is still in its infancy, Zune-Online.com's interview is well worth a read if you're interested in seeing where the project is heading and what makes the Zune-Linux team tick. I know a few people who have held back from a Zune waiting for the day when it's capable of running a different platform, so despite the possibility of Z-L ruffling a few feathers in Microsoft's legal department, it might work to the company's advantage by way of increased sales.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bill Gates at CES on the Zune

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 11:00 PM


"Dean Takahashi: There wasn’t much mention of Zune today. We keep expecting the next Zune device like the 60-gigabyte version or something else.

Bill Gates: Zune deserves an event of its own. We clearly don’t have any new model. We just introduced the product three months ago. It’s doing well. We knew what we wanted. Just like the first-generation Xbox, we wanted to get on the learning curve. We wanted to get credibility. We wanted to have a reputation of doing something innovative and something that we could upgrade over time because of the large screen and the WiFi. We feel great about Zune. Sometime this year, maybe twice, we’ll have more Zune events where we talk about concrete things. It wouldn’t have made any sense to a talk about it here for a lot of reasons."

This CES interview with Bill Gates covers a myriad of topics, and there are a few Q&A's about the Zune. Gates says Microsoft is still on target to sell 1 million unit by the end of Microsoft's 2005/2006 fiscal year, but they have to sell a lot of units. Does the Zune have the momentum to make it? Perhaps - I think they'll get a boost if they manage to unleash a cool WiFi feature or two!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Q&A With Robbie Bach

Posted by Aaron Roma in "Zune Talk" @ 08:00 AM


"Regarding Zune, it’s just a year ago, about that time, that you started it?... Why choose this one? You could have done a GameBoy killer or a PSP killer."

A+E Interactive has posted a fairly lengthy interview with Robbie Bach. Who is Robbie Bach? For those that don't know, Robbie is the president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, which include the Xbox and Zune teams. While this interview is not solely Zune related, it does provide a little insight on the position behind the Zune, and where the Zune falls into the overall picture of Microsoft's entertainment vision.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bill Gates on Zune and Office

Posted by Darius Wey in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 05:30 AM


"Bill Gates knows that when it comes to the Zune, Microsoft has some catching up to do. The success of the iPod has been described as "phenomenal, unbelievable, fantastic". And that was just Gates talking about it on Wednesday. But despite catching up, Gates thinks that Microsoft can win some pocket share for its own media player, over time. While today's music players are largely islands, the Microsoft chairman paints a picture of a future in which all manner of devices - from cars to music players to digital cameras - all share data."

ZDNet has posted the first part of a two-part interview with Bill Gates, who talks about Zune and where it fits in Microsoft's vision of connected entertainment, and what's new in Office 2007. Worth a read!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Zune on CNN, Upstaged at the End

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 09:00 AM


CNN has published a video interview with NYT's Andrew Ross Sorkin who introduces the Zune to the news team. Unfortunately, the Zune got served at the end by the new iPod shuffle. I'm not denying that the iPod shuffle is an impressive bit of booty, but a lot of mainstream media seem so blinded by Apple's offerings that they tend not to show much interest in other competitors' products. Perhaps we'll see a turnaround in a couple of years time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Steve Kaneko Tackles the Brown Question

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 07:40 PM


"Why brown? Because love it or hate it, people feel something. Artists and musicians take chances everyday, and so will we. What few people haven’t seen yet is that we didn’t stop with just brown, we encased it in an “anti-freeze green” double-shot. There’s nothing like it out there that resembles the warmth and grittiness of certain styles of music. It is both formal and informal. And it appeals to men and women. It’s a color that’s both everyday and high fashion at the same time"

I guess that's a fair response to Microsoft's choice of brown as the trademark colour of the Zune. I'll admit that it's grown on me. The brown Zune doesn't seem as bad now as it did weeks ago when it was first revealed, though I'm still a sucker for the black Zune with its cool blue trim. Back to the interview, Steve goes on to discuss other aspects of the Zune design. Most of it is focused on the current. I'm actually interested in the future. What does Microsoft have in store for the second-generation Zune and beyond, and even nano-sized Zune devices (assuming they're in the making)?

Robert Scoble Interviews Matt Jubelirer

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Off Topic" @ 10:11 AM


"Microsoft’s iPod competitor, Zune, will be released on November 14. Matt Jubelirer is product manager for the Zune project. We spoke with him to get an in-depth look at Zune."

Robert Scoble made it back to Seattle to interview Matt Jubelirer, Zune Product Manager, on various aspects about the Zune. The video is 40 minutes long, and I've just finished watching it so I can comment on it. All in all, someone needs to tell Jubelirer to get a bit more excited about his own product! There were plenty of opportunities to poke fun at the iPod, but Jubelirer was apparently too polite to take any of them. He also didn't know the screen resolution, which is a bit odd - I've seen a couple of interviews with him and there's always a few technical details that he doesn't know (last time it was whether or not the WiFi data is encrypted). Watching this video, I feel like the Zune team needs a pumped-up, excited Zune evangelist type that really knows the device top to bottom, and can deliver the message with enthusiasm. Sorry Matt, it's nothing personal, but if you want people to get excited about the Zune, you need to show some yourself.

In terms of things that we learned from the video, there's not much that's new here. At the 32 minute mark they start to talk about how the Zune will work with the Xbox. Scoble asks if he can put HD video on the Zune and look at it in full resolution using the Xbox. Jubelirer responds by saying that the files can remain at their native resolution - which seems to support what Scoble wants to do - and Jubelirer says it's a "flexible option", which means it might be an option in the Zune Marketplace to control the transcoding. At the 33 minute mark Scoble picks it up and says it's lighter than the "competitive products", meaning the iPod, which echoes what Jake Ludington wrote when he compared it to his iPod. The reality is that the Zune is the same weight a a 30GB iPod, but it must be better distributed over it's larger frame in order for so many people to think it weighs less. Read more...

Monday, October 9, 2006

Zunelicious Interviews Bill Wittress

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 09:31 AM


"I love working on Zune. It is incredibly entrepreneurial. You literally have 10 different things going on at any given time. On any given day you may meet with senior management, have an interview with an analyst, crunch numbers for finance and meet with a partner for dinner. The next day it will be completely different."

Zunelicious recently scored an interview with Zune's lord of accessories, Bill Wittress. He talks about some interesting things that we can expect next month - the magnitude of the launch, the quantity of accessories available, and integration with the Xbox 360. The latter is something I'm deeply interested in. Sure, MediaTags and device playback support are great, but there is so much potential still waiting to be unearthed. Here's hoping Microsoft makes up for the shortcomings with a firmware update.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Zune Video Overview: Chris Stephenson and Tony Kiewel

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 06:51 PM

We've put together another video from some of the stock video footage provided by Microsoft. Both Chris Stephenson, General Manager of Global Marketing, and Tony Kiewel, Head of A&R Sub Pop Records have a bit to say on what Zune is and what it has to offer. A YouTube version can be found below (quality isn't great, but it's easy to access).

Also, if you missed the selection of Q&As with Chris Stephenson from earlier in the day, check out our "Diving Deep on the Zune" article.

Diving Deep on the Zune: Q&A with Microsoft

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 08:19 AM

Continuing on from yesterday's "Diving Deep on the Zune" article, we have a selection of Q&As from the conference call with Microsoft. People in attendance were Microsoft's Cesar Menendes, General Manager of Marketing Chris Stephensen, Harvey from Zunerama, and Jason Dunn from our very own Zune Thoughts. The text below was transcribed from the latter 15 minutes of the conference call. Read on for more!

Harvey: There is some speculation that with the DJ-ing feature transmitting to nearby Zunes - will each owner be able to assign a nickname to their Zune, so that it's identifiable who you're DJ-ing to?

Chris: Absolutely, yeah. You'll have a name, every Zune will have a name, every person in the community will have a name. You know, we call them gamertags in the Xbox Live community. So you'll have your own Zunetag in this community as well. When you buy a device and join the community, you'll sign up and you'll give your device a name and you'll give yourself a name, so you'll know exactly who you're sharing to in your local area. You can have your friends list of all the people that you have selected, like you do in instant messaging, for example. You've got all your buddies. You can actually just select the guys that you want to share with, and join into that community. We haven't gone specific about an announcement on that DJ-ing feature, but you're probably referring to the Toshiba article on that, and the nice thing about having a wireless device here is that there's many scenarios that we can enable in the future. We call it future-proofing, so we got a roll-out of really interesting scenarios for 2007 that will bring the whole wireless idea to the next level. So, very much part of the rollout plan is being able to establish and create new features as we go along. That's definitely something to look out for in 2007.

Harvey: Chris, one thing that I haven't seen out there in the material releases today are the dimensions and weight of the player.

Chris: The player is exactly the same weight as an iPod Video. In fact, we're 5.6 ounces. They're 5.5, if you want to be really technical. It's pretty much the same size as an iPod Video. We are 4.4" x 2.4". They're 4.1" x 2.4". It's a little less than a quarter of an inch taller. It's basically a little taller, the same weight, and the same width.

Jason: And the thickness?

Chris: They are 0.47", and we are 0.58". So, we're a little thicker.

Harvey: Okay, and that's comparing it with an 80GB iPod?

Chris: That's comparing it with an 80GB, and the 30GB is exactly the same. In fact, the 80GB and the 30GB for the iPod are the same. The 30GB is 4.8 ounces. The difference is actually screen size. The screen size [of the Zune] is quite a bit bigger - it's 3". It's got the wireless built-in as well, so that little bit of additional thickness is really down to the additional features that are inside, and there is also a radio receiver in there.

Jason: Can we talk about the battery life for a little bit? Are you committing to any numbers in terms of Wi-Fi on or off, or video playback... that kind of stuff?

Chris: There is so much sort of development work, and as you guys know, in the technology process, you're working on maximizing the firmware on that stuff right up to release. What I can say right now is we're not releasing those specific details. As soon as we do, we'll let you guys know. I will give you a couple of quick hints at it, though. I actually have the numbers right in front of me. We are quicker to full charge. Over a period of two hours, there's significantly more charge than an iPod. In terms of the overall battery life, in terms of music, pictures, video - it's very comparable. We haven't got specific numbers. It's very comparable to all iPod Video scenarios. Sometime, probably in the middle of October, we'll get closer on some of those specs.

Jason: Now is that the new iPod that has the enhanced battery life, or are you guys comparing yourself to the older units?

Chris: This is all the brand new stuff that has been recently released. Yes.

Jason: Perfect.

Harvey: There's a lot of speculation out there about the effects of Wi-Fi on the battery. Can you tell us how you're testing it?

Chris: To get a detailed response on that, I'm not the right guy to talk to. That would be more like a Greg Gibson question. He's our head of engineering. The basic principle is that the way the software and the firmware is being created is to maximize the... basically, you're only utilizing Wi-Fi when you're utilizing Wi-Fi. That's the very simple way of looking at it. When you're sending, it's only Wi-Fi. It's not like Wi-Fi is on permanently - sort of burning down the battery. When we launch, that's what you're going to have. You're going to have a system that's Wi-Fi when you want it to be Wi-Fi, and otherwise it's not. Effectively, the headline on that is Wi-Fi is not a significant limiter of battery life, based on the way we've written the engineering specifications.

Harvey: Related to the battery, I think the biggest complaint we get about the iPod is that the battery is not replaceable. When it dies, you have to replace the iPod. Is the Zune - is that a non-replaceable battery?

Chris: It is, yeah. It is actually a similar product in that respect.

Harvey: How about release dates? Can you confirm any of those?

Chris: Um, release... Sorry, did you say Apple release dates?

Harvey: Sorry, release dates for the first Zune player and the service?

Chris: We haven't released the specific date right now. It is Holiday '06. So we'll be coming to market on Holiday '06. We're working around a few different dates. There's a huge amount of stuff going on around the holiday period, so I don't think it'll be a surprise to anyone to say it's November. But we haven't announced that, and we're waiting to get the right day, and just see everything else that's going on in the market at the moment.

Jason: Getting back to the battery for just a second here, I think in the FCC documents, they specified that it was 700mA. Can you confirm that that's going to be the final shipping battery size?

Chris: I could not, quite frankly. There's a certain amount of things that you guys might need to know about that we need to follow up on. A lot of the detailed tech specs - I'm not really the right person to speak to.

Harvey: Can you tell us about the pricing? $299 has been a well publicized rumor. Might that change with the Apple announcement this week?

Chris: Well, you know. We've always said that we'll be a parity with the market. We'll be at the right place for the market. We haven't announced price right now, and you're right, $299 has been banded around. I've seen $199, $249, $299, and even $329. We haven't announced the price right now. Watch this space is the way to answer that.

Harvey: It's interesting that Apple split the differences with their two updated iPods...

Chris: Yeah, it's interesting that they decided to reduce the price of the 30GB. It's come down $50. That's obviously a huge financial hitch. I'm not sure what they think we're doing. It's certainly an interesting thing to do - to reduce the price of a good-selling product like that - that was selling well at $299. We'll take it as it is. It's an interesting move on their part, and it's an interesting opportunity in the market place.

Harvey: Just about the Marketplace, and I apologize if this is in the specs. Is there pricing release for the subscription services?

Chris: No, we actually haven't released pricing on any of the products or Marketplace products at the moment.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Engadget Interview: J Allard, Microsoft Corporate Vice President

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 05:25 PM

"You know, it's been our philosophy that digital music is just getting started. The world is gaga about iPods, but everybody in the world listens to music, not just 50 million people that have iPods. And so we're taking a real deep approach when it comes to music and saying, "There's an opportunity with this technology to narrow the distance between artists and their audience." What does that look like? And we're talking about a lot of different artists saying, "What can Zune be doing to change the medium for you in really exciting new ways? How can we get beyond just getting the zeros and ones off of CDs and putting them in people's pockets, and change that?" We're talking to consumers and saying, "How can we change the way that you discover new music? You know, we'd love you to find new people based on the music you love, we'd love you to find new music based on the people you love." How do we change that dynamic?"

A very interesting interview by the gang at Engadget. J Allard talks about how Zune isn't a device, it's a platform. And like all Microsoft platforms, it's a long-term play with a lot of depth, and designed to bridge with other Microsoft platforms to the greatest possible effect. In the case of the Zune, it's bridging into the Xbox and Vista. How deep that will go is anyone's guess, but I expect big, bold things from the company where Zune is concerned over the next several years. No one takes on the iPod empire in a single pitched battle: it's a long-term war. In the end, if we as consumers get better devices, all the better.

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