Well, after much debate… I broke down and bought a black Zune.
Install was a piece of cake, found my Xbox 360 gamertag and linked it to the Zune, had to reboot once, no errors at all. Had to do a firmware upgrade, shocking for launch day.
Entered my 14day trial key to unlock the zune pass to get unlimited access to their music library. Had to log out and then back in to enable it but all was good.
Downloaded a bunch of songs, nice interface, makes it easy to do.
First problem, had to close out the Zune app, opened it back up and my download list was gone, had to start over. Not a huge deal, workaround is to create a playlist first, I guess.
Started importing my non DRM mp3’s and aac files from iTunes, which was on another computer. No real problems there.
Next I decided to allow Microsoft to update my track info, I know in spite of the great privacy warning they show… It got a server busy error, try again later. Figure its launch day, I’ll try later.
Took about 3 hours connected to the USB port to charge the Zune. It does not come with any external power supply, guess I’ll have to buy one and a car charger too. No accessories were available at Best Buy when I picked up the Zune. I asked how many they had sold, 2 so far (it was 4pm).
Finally unplugged the Zune from the USB port, and got to play with it. Interface is simple to use. The picture res for the color images for the default themese are horrible. But you can make any picture you have as your background so that problem was quickly solved.
Played some music, sounds good, even on the included headphones.
Switched to the FM Radio and programmed my favorite stations. I like the idea of having an FM Radio, being able to play the radio when I’m bored with the songs I have should be good.
The Zune comes loaded with a few sample movies and played those. Good framerate and picture quality.
Turned wifi on, searched for other Zunes nearby, shock!… There were none.
So far, can’t find a search function, but its pretty easy to find songs using the twist interface. Its easy to add to a quick list.
Downsides coming from an iPod:
- Can’t use the device as a Hard drive (give it time)
- Can’t find a way to move the sample songs, movies and pictures to the computer
- Zune interface on computer seems slow at times, editting track info in bulk seems to only apply to some by not all the tracks, some of the time
- It is bigger then my 20gig 4th gen U2 iPod but feels good in the hand
- Some songs are not available on the Zune Marketplace for download and only available as purchase only. This seems to be misleading. Also, some songs are only available by album only.
- Not sure about this MS DRM stuff, time will tell. But nervous about the expiration date on each song downloaded, which is 14 days from now… Seems to be tied to the Zune pass.
Overall, I bought the Zune for one reason, the Zune Pass, which I figure at $14.99 / month, I’d download and listen to much more music then buying them for $.99 each. So far that’s true… I downloaded over 300 songs last night and already have my old library synced (the non iTunes bought songs).
I think I’ll stick with my iPod for now. I wish you the best of luck with your Zune.
Thank God for you early adopters. 🙂
Good job- nice review. I will hold off buying the zune.. particularly as I can’t even use it as a hard drive!
Keep up the great reviews… perhaps look at formating it better particularly in listing everything in bullet points, no the best way….. look at how cnet and others do it….
But I do not see any real reason why the Zune is better than the iPod. I personally do not have an interest in the subscription music model. I do not listen to FM because the ads drive me crazy. The WiFi does not seem to be anything really useful since it is limited and DRM ridden.
What is the compelling reason to buy the Zune over the iPod?
If music rental / subscription isn’t appealing then at face value, the Zune is not really any better then a new 5+ gen iPod.
If you have an older iPod(s) like I do, it is a step up.
The wifi is a gimic, but if MS starts paying people to share music with it, then there might be some good reason for it.
I’m not here to convince you to buy a Zune, everyone should do their own research and come to their own conclusions… I just took the leap and bought one and was surprised in a lot of ways.
I have not found anything my iPod gave me that the Zune doesn’t, so far. I’m sure there will be something.