Friday, October 23, 2009

Twitter, Last.fm & Facebook on 360












Apparently I made it into the first wave in the update preview program on XBox Live. Thank you Microsoft, it's pretty sweet to have the opportunity to play with these new toys on the 360 a bit earlier than most. I've seen a lot of unneeded hate on various boards when it comes to this update. If you don't want it, don't use it. I have certainly noticed the new apps are quite unobtrusive and will in no way hamper your console experience. Now on to breaking down what I would consider the biggest features in this nifty little package.

Twitter

I dig it even though I don't really see myself using it a whole lot in the future. Not that I don't use Twitter, I just finding typing too much with a controller a bit cumbersome. However I think it will be very useful for the occasional shout out to find a fourth for some firefight. It also makes links useless, but with the 360 not having a web browser at all, that really shouldn't surprise anyone. It won't make me get rid of TweetDeck anytime soon, but still does as advertised and that's all I really expected of this one.

Facebook

It's a bit on the sluggish side, especially when going through a photo album. But overall I think the interface on it is more pleasant than Facebook itself. Not to take anything away from Facebook, it just seems a bit cleaner. I can see myself using this a bit more than I initially expected to. Also the ability to find Live friends on Facebook and vice-versa is quite handy and could help to flush out a fledgling friends list. I would also think it will get a bit smoother as future updates and tweaks are applied. I have no basis for that, but I wouldn't doubt that possibility in the slightest.

Last.fm

Personally I believe this to be the killer app in the update. I have used last.fm for quite some time on the PC, but damn is the interface really streamlined here. I even find myself marking tracks as loved where I rarely bothered to before. I really can't stress enough how good this is.

Zune Marketplace

I really haven't dove into this very deeply at all, though I'm looking forward to some streaming 1080p tomorrow. I'll check it out a bit later and hit you with some impressions afterwords.

Update: So after playing around with Zune Marketplace, I'm impressed. For one, it sure makes finding old content you have downloaded long ago and since deleted a cinch. The streaming quality surpasses Netflix in my opinion, and the ability to purchase as well as rent movies in 1080p is phenomenal. I think that Microsoft has done very well here. Anyone who complains about paying for a Live account now, you are certainly short sighted. If you think they could keep up this level of Dashboard innovation for free, you are sorely mistaken and certainly not a business major.


So far I'm fairly impressed. Having used all of these services on PC for a while, I think Microsoft has made these relevant on 360. They don't feel too gimmicky and fit in quite well. Twitter and Facebook can even serve gaming related purposes. In the cases of last.fm and the new video streaming on Zune marketplace, I think they have hit a sweet spot in the digital content delivery that they have really been striving for from the beginning.

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