Zune

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Zune

Postby Peanut » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:55 am

Okay here is the latest with Zune (for those who are interested):

Swapped the 80Gb for the 30Gb that has been on the market for about a year now. Stinking battery problems with the 80 seem to be VERY common. On the Zune support site even Microsoft is tightlipped about the problem. They have yet to officially acknowledge the problem even though there are hundreds and hundreds of complaints. This should not surprise anyone.

The 30 is slightly bigger than the 80 (in thickness). The navigation "wheel" is not touch sensitive like the iPod or the Zune 80. In my opinion this is a plus as the touch sensitive wheel is just too sensitive. If it is in your pocket you can easily begin swapping songs or navigating the menu simply by brushing against something. This was annoying. The screen size and resolution is very nice - impressive actually. The ear buds that come with the 30 suck - two soup cans and a string would work just as well. I opted to buy another brand of inner-ear noise cancelling "buds" for $20 and I am quite pleased. The alternative was the Zune premium buds for $40. The cover and the screen are scratch resistant (unlike the iPod) - this is a nice touch and the finish is comfortable to hold.

Now for capacity.

30Gb is a lot of space. I have just under 1900 songs on it now plus one full length movie (1 hr 54 min) and I have used 10.2Gb of space out of the 30Gb total. That is pretty cool. Drive space is plentiful.

Now for the broken promises:
1. Not a drag-and-drop device (as described in the brochures). Windows explorer does not see the device when plugged in. This is a major PITA. You have to open the Zune program and use it's interface to "drag" songs to the device. This in no way resembles anything we know as drag-and-drop. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

2. This device cannot be used as USB Flash space for any computer. If Windows Explorer can't see it then it is just using up a USB port. Again, the Zune sales pitch was that you could partition this device and use space as a USB flash drive. Total crap.

File conversion:
1. It is an MP3 device. All music must be converted to MP3 to be played. No biggie as this is normal for any "ripping" device.

2. Movies must also be ripped from DVDs to the computer in a particular format. MPEG-4 is touted as the Zune format. I tried that. After two hours ripping one movie I found out it does not work because a very specific codec is required to format the MPEG-4 is a specific way. My ripping software uses a better newer codec so I cannot use that format on the Zune. Then I re-ripped to WMV format. This worked like a charm. The resolution is great and the sound quality is top-notch. Lesson learned - stick with WMV files for movies.

All in all I like the MP3 player. I am still whiffed at the 80 and Microsoft's lack of public acknowledgement their new product is defective ... but like I said, who is surprised by this? The 30 is very nice. I am a happy consumer.
- Peanut/Larry

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Postby Salmoneye » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:59 am

Zune Website...

*Please use one of the following browsers to view this site:

* IE 6+
* Firefox 2+
* Safari 2+ (Mac only)
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Postby Peanut » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:53 am

You can use Opera on the Zune Site. It is slow though.

Actually the Zune site is one of the slowest sites I've been to in quite some time regardless of the browser I use. As you navigate the site it is like each page takes 15 seconds to render then Whammo - it just pops up. You know when some slow sites render you get little bits of the site at a time ... as it builds the entire page? Well the Zune site seems to do all this in the background. So you sit there wondering if your browser is doing anything at all then it just appears. Strange and poorly designed. But then I expect nothing more from Microsoft.

I have yet to try to purchase music from the Zune Marketplace. Maybe those types of features wont work in Opera ... dunno!
- Peanut/Larry

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Postby Salmoneye » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:06 pm

All I tried to do was look at the 'engraved' Zune thingies using SeaMonkey...
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Postby Peanut » Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:18 am

Moving on to iPod.

Zune Zucks - 'nuff said.
- Peanut/Larry


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