Viacom "backs down" – doesn't want to know everything about every YouTube user any more


Angry media mega-corporation Viacom has lessened its demands for information about video watchers, says YouTube – but it still wants details of every item on the site.

YouTube says Viacom – which originally wanted to know what every user has watched on the site – has settled for a bit less data. The critical climbdown is regarding user-associations, so Google will still be handing over its database of stuff, only without the critical user details…

Opinion: Why isn't Apple letting us share music too?

stu-col.jpgStuart Dredge writes…

I’m genuinely excited about Microsoft’s plans for the Zune Social community, allowing Zune owners to subscribe to each other’s dynamic playlists, and embed their latest listening in their blog or social networking profile.

It’s certainly more interesting than the Zune-to-Zune Wi-Fi track sharing that debuted in the first Zune, anyway. Zune Social would actually make me buy a Zune, if Microsoft was selling it officially over here in the UK. Note to Bill: sort this out soon, please.

With the caveat that I’m not a Jobs-hating Microsoft fanboy (or, indeed, a Gates-stomping Apple nut), Zune Social has made me wonder why Apple hasn’t done more in the area of music sharing – or at least communities around the music stored in our iPods and iTunes applications.

Patent reveals Microsoft's amazing plans for Zune playlist sharing

redzune_300dpi.jpgDespite shifting more than a million units of its first-generation Zune player, Microsoft is constantly fending off accusations that the device has been a flop. However, with Zune 2.0 on the horizon, some genuinely groundbreaking new features might help it turn the corner.

Check this patent out. It was filed by Microsoft last year, and describes two features that could make Zune a contender. First: a system to analyse your music listening habits, and push new stuff down to your Zune (with permission, obviously).

How Zune music sharing SHOULD work

stu-mugshot2.jpgStuart Dredge writes…

The killer app of Microsoft Zune was supposed to be its built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, which would let you merrily share music with other Zune owners, without fear of a big fat lawsuit from the music industry. And since iPod couldn’t do it, the feature seemed set to give Zune a real chance at toppling Apple’s market-dominating MP3 player.

Orange Pay-Off: 15 seconds to be a sexy, weird, dancer

orange.jpgOrange has launched its Pay-Off contest and is inviting its customers to submit 10-15 second video clips of themselves either trying to prove that they’re the sexiest person alive (Face-off), are the best/craziest dancer (Dance-off), or are just plain weird but couldn’t muster a longer clip on YouTube (Weird-off).

The best videos are entered into a series of play-off rounds, where users vote for their favourite and the winner then has to face a new challenge – though what that is isn’t clear yet.