Zune-y Tunes

The new Microsoft/Toshiba competitor to Apple's iPod and iTunes -- Zune -- is betting a lot on this simple concept: users will be able to wirelessly send other Zune owners any song. The recipients can listen to the song for up to three plays within three days. Then, the recipients must buy the song if they want to hear it again. Microsoft and the record labels see this concept as wireless "street teams" and it looks good on paper. It's tough enough to have to compete with iPod in design, functionality and now in concept. The question is -- will it fly with mobile music device users given that they will be able to share their music in such a limited way? And will it be enough of a lure to differentiate Zune from Ipod? Or, is this a fantasy of the record labels to go along with whatever fantasy Microsoft might have about taking back the mobile music market after letting Apple get a five-year head start.