Steven Levy, the Newsweek tech reporter has the kind of inside access at Apple worth Walt Mossberg's weight in gold. Check out this locker room talk about the size of Zune's "social neworking" je-ne-sais-quoi from his Q&A with Steve Jobs.
Levy: Microsoft has announced its new iPod competitor, Zune. It says that this device is all about building communities. Are you worried?
Jobs: In a word, no. I've seen the demonstrations on the Internet about how you can find another person using a Zune and give them a song they can play three times. It takes forever. By the time you've gone through all that, the girl's got up and left! You're much better off to take one of your earbuds out and put it in her ear.
That kind of crass, unprotected earbud action, first documented by Wired's Leander Kahney, is fast and raw. But the Zune's wireless, sterile, faceless interaction seems like an easier way to play grab ass with a stranger's playlists without the awkward social interaction we use gadgets to get away from in the first place. (And with less chance for picking up ear-borne infections.) Girls are scary, so I just twiddle my thumbs and listen to music instead of talking to them.
Q&A:Jobs on iPod's Cultural Impact [Newsweek]