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Old 06-28-2006, 07:08 PM   #1
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Default A Look at ZING


Earlier this month we learned of SIRIUS' partnership with digital media platform developer ZING.

Rather than launching a "swiss-army-knife" radio, we predict SIRIUS has opted for an "it just works" philosophy, dramatically improving the out-of-the-box experience and focusing on ease-of-use and reliability. All of the power will be under the hood and seamless to the user.

ZING VP of Hardware Development Michael Gifford "believes a product needs to look as beautiful on the outside as it does on the inside." Gifford had a hand in producing the Mac mini and the XBOX.

To fully understand the SIRIUS-ZING collaboration, look no further than ZING CEO Tim Bucher.

A former Apple Computer executive, Bucher headed up Macintosh Engineering, where he produced the Mac mini. Bucher was also directly involved in technology development for the iPod, and helped with Microsoft's UltimateTV.

However, probably the most overlooked figure at ZING is visionary Arthur van Hoff. van Hoff was the guy who started Strangeberry, a Internet content distribution startup that was eventually acquired by TiVo.

The beauty of Strangeberry, and the reason TiVo gobbled them up, is that "it will recognize incoming programming (JPEG images, video, MP3s, or whatever) and route it to the appropriate device in your living room." This was the holy grail of the so-called "digital hub."

Here's some commentary on the top-secret Strangeberry:
So what are they really building? My best guess is that Strangeberry crew, all former Sun folks, developed a piece of software that actually makes finding devices on the home networks as easy as turning on the power switch. And it is using some variant of Apple’s Rendezvous technology. I remember these guys had released some variation of Rendezvous for Java in the early days of their operation. Rendezvous is a technology which can and does work with all sort of networks - Wi-Fi, Ethernet or powerline networks.
After joining TiVo, van Huff launched TiVoToGo, a service that allows the transfer of shows from TiVo to personal computers and portable devices.

So, How does this all affect SIRIUS?

The ZING platform is described as "the first portable audio and entertainment solution that can combine wireless and satellite radio capabilities."

With this in mind, we can only imagine the great engineering going on at ZING. The potential features of a ZING-enabled SIRIUS Radio may include:
  1. Automatic roaming from Satellite to WiFi (hotspots become SIRIUS repeaters)
  2. Always connected / Updates downloaded via the Internet
  3. Timeshift SIRIUS shows / Download Songs
  4. Automatic discovery of music on your network
  5. Create dynamic playlists mixing the SIRIUS service and your personal music collection
A combination of TiVo's simple-yet-powerful interface, recording capabilties, with Apple's hip and minimal style, the SIRIUS-ZING Portable Media Player may be something out of this world.
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Old 06-28-2006, 08:56 PM   #2
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That would be the most awesome toy ever. Especially if it was Sirius exclusive.
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Old 06-28-2006, 09:02 PM   #3
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The only gadget I love more than Satellite Radio is Tivo, if they could bake the cool from Tivo into a portable that would be the bomb.
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:06 PM   #4
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Talking Nice!!!

this sounds awesome! if it actually gets developed and goes up for sale, I'll be the first to buy it!!

hope it doesn't turn out to be "vapor-ware"
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:23 PM   #5
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Wow.

The tech nerd in me can't stop thinking about it.

Hopefully it is as good as a final product as it is on paper.
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:54 PM   #6
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This is actually very easy technically. How to make money with this would be the question. Probably a 3 years away idea for now.

BTW, you guys missed the most important feature (RIAA not friendly), sharing of content between radios. Basically a mini radio/computer on the network.

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Old 06-28-2006, 11:06 PM   #7
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I have both a TiVo and a Satellite Radio. If that is capable with thinking SIRIUS repeaters and wireless routers are signal redistribution devices and gets satellite service live (and is a portable) I'm definately getting it.
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awegrzyn
This is actually very easy technically. How to make money with this would be the question. Probably a 3 years away idea for now.
The first Zing device is scheduled to come out this year actually.
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Timeshift SIRIUS shows / Download Songs

I wonder how this will work out without threats from the RIAA
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Old 06-29-2006, 08:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soxnationonline
I wonder how this will work out without threats from the RIAA
I wonder how well this will work out if they enlist the S50 team to build it :P
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soxnationonline
I wonder how this will work out without threats from the RIAA

That is exactly what I first thought......my tivo network allows me to tranfer content between my pc and tivo box with no extra fee.......how on earth could sirius get away with that given the restrictions we have already seen with th s50?

And my ongoing question has been....If you can legally do it with tivo how come you can not with the s50?

I predict this will never come to fruition without significant subscription price increases or an additional fee for the networking service.
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:30 AM   #12
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Jeff,

3. You mention time-shifted shows. Is is safe to assume this unit will not have live portability?
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportboy
Jeff,

3. You mention time-shifted shows. Is is safe to assume this unit will not have live portability?

Nah, I'd say it will have live portability. If you look at #1 Jeff also thinks this...
1. Automatic roaming from Satellite to WiFi (hotspots become SIRIUS repeaters)
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Old 06-29-2006, 12:15 PM   #14
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It will be live. Time-shifting is good for specials and shows like Stern, when you can't catch it live.

Jeff
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Old 06-29-2006, 12:36 PM   #15
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Cool, thanks. The wi-fi part sounds very intriguing(sp?)
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