Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Job posting reveals Zune-Xbox integration

Zune speculation is an armchair sport here in the tech sector of the Pacific Northwest (especially when we're all housebound because of a few inches of snow), and today Todd Bishop at TechFlash posted some interesting excerpts from the Zune team's job listings.
Based on his post, it looks as if the Zune Marketplace will begin to use the back end from Musiwave, the European provider of music for mobile phones that Microsoft acquired a little more than a year ago--and if that doesn't point to a Zune service for mobile phones, nothing does--and will continue to feature DRM (couched in ever-so-reassuring phrases like "to let consumers enjoy music in new and interesting ways").
But here's something else: Zune is coming to Xbox. There's a job listing for a user experience designer to work on the Zune Device UI, Zune PC Client and--hang on a second--Zune Xbox.
Zune Xbox? Of course. Both Xbox Live and the Zune Marketplace use Microsoft's own pseudo-currency, Microsoft Points. Xbox Live already lets you download video content and stream movies on demand from Netflix (if you're a subscriber).
You can plug any MP3 player into the Xbox 360 and listen to a mix of your music as you play. So why not take all these pieces to their logical conclusion, and let you access the Zune Marketplace from Xbox Live? Integration would be particularly useful for Zune Pass subscribers, giving them another device on which to use their unlimited monthly listens and 10 permanent downloads.

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