"Zune is a Great MP3 Player"4.5 starson by larsensa
Pros: Easy to Use, Great Video, Nice Interface
Cons: Having to wait for future planned software upgrades
Summary: I purchased the Zune as my first MP3 player. It has been disappointing to read the negative feedback because I think it is an excellent MP3 player. Most of my friends have IPODs so I wanted to try a new product and I have been extremely happy. I showed it to my IPOD friends and the first thing they said is that they like the case because the material will not get all scratched up like IPODs cases apparently do. They also liked the widescreen video, the feel of the device, the color(brown) and the ALBUM ART feature I talk about below.
I compared the interface to the IPOD and it is nearly identical. One cool feature that the Zune has that IPOD doesn't is the ALBUM ART feature. When you search via the ALBUMS section on the ZUNE you actually see the ALBUM ART next to each album with information about each album. When you play your music the ALBUM ART is on the screen as well which creates a nice look and is another feature IPOD doesn't offer. Also, when you click on an individual ARTIST it opens up and shows each of that artist's albums with the ALBUM ART, etc.. again. You can pick the ARTIST's album that you want to hear by clicking on the ALBUM art. I think the ALBUM ART feature alone makes the Zune standout when compared to an IPOD.
The Zune software and marketplace are easy to use. I have a large selection of CDs that I am ripping so I haven't had a need yet to join the subscription service but I really like the fact that it is available if I want to be able to download all the music I want for $15 a month.
People complain about podcasts. In time with planned upgrades the Zune will work more seemlessly and be able to download podcasts. If this is of interest I have read some reviews that discussed how to have podcasts delivered now. Microsoft has already said they will be providing software upgrades in the future that will make it possible to get podcasts in the Zune software. From what I have read, it isn't difficult to do RIGHT NOW if that is an important feature for you.
Microsoft has also said they intend to expand the functionality of the wireless capabilities. I think it is pretty cool that I could be sitting in a Starbucks and send someone else with a Zune some songs and they could send me some songs to check out. The wireless feature looks similiar to the wireless you see on your PC with the names of other available Zunes in the area. The Welcome to the Social Ads are very appropriate because of this so I disagree with the other reviewer. Because I am older, I probably won't use the feature like I would if I was in Jr. High, High School, or College where many friends would be able to share songs amongst their Zunes. If I was in one of those groups, I know I would use it all the time. The same way that age group uses text messaging all the time.
It seems like most of the people complaining are hoping that Microsoft doesn't have success with this product. I don't see any reason why someone would pick a 30GB IPOD over this product unless they like the IPOD scroll wheel? I personally don't think that it makes much difference from the experience I had comparing the devices before I decided to pick the Zune.
There are already plenty of accessories for the Zune as well with many more planned for the future. It obviously isn't at IPOD level yet since it is so new but I think you will soon see more and more as people decide to give the Zune a chance and buy it rather than an IPOD. My only advice, go and compare the Zune and IPOD side-by-side and see for yourself. Just because IPODs are the most popular device doesn't mean they are the best device.
I am glad I waited for it to come out and very happy with my choice!