"I bought it as a curiosity, would have sold it on eBay, but then I started using it... and wow!"on by rvjames
Pros Great screen, interface is clean and intuitive. Tight integration with Zune Marketplace
Cons Lack of Accessories
Summary I am an avid iPod and iTunes user. I have had every iPod model as they have rolled out... Been a Mac user since 1984 and bought the Zune as a curiosity. I thought I'd play around with it and then sell it on Ebay... But, something happened on my way to an eBay listing... I ended up using it, and liking the Zune.
Here's what I like.... Great display, the interface is clean and intuitive. Music sounds great... Seamless software integration with the Zune Jukebox and Zune Marketplace... I love the subscription service "all you can eat" music option. Also the non-scratch rubberized exterior seems much more rugged than the iPod exterior.
I have listened to it with ear phones and plugged into the MP3 jack of my car... Sound is great.
I didn't find it too heavy or clunky. The small extra size of the unit is made up by the brilliant and muchlarger display of the iPod.
What I don't like.... The lack of accessories (I have several on order). The lack of PodCast and Videos (although this will probably be coming)... And, when the WiFi can synch wirelessly than watch out... This thing will take a big leap up!
So for all of the iPod fanatics that either write reviews without owning a Zune or look for the smallest flaw I say..... give Mr. Softy his due, he has gotten his first unit out the door and it is pretty good.
This may not kill the iPod, but competition is good, and I would say that the Zune will be good competition to Apple's dominance.
Pros Large, Clear screen; Scratch-resistant Body; Simple, easy to use navigation
Cons Slightly larger than iPod Video; Limited accessories at launch; questionably limited video formats
Summary I popped into Best Buy today after work to tinker with one of these, and I am quite happy to report that it feels solid, and isn't as large as my initial impressions from this online review had left me with. The unit is slightly taller than an iPod Video, and more thin than the admittedly Bulky Creative ZEN Vision:M. These would be the two best comparisons to this play in my opinion. Style-wise, if they came up with about 10 more of those double-shot colors, It would easily topple the iPod. Sure, they're both solid units, but Microsoft kept with the old addage of KISS(Keep It Simple Stupid!) and here it pays off very well. While not quite as endearing as the click-wheel or the touch-scroll pads, navigation was far more straight-forward than any other player on the market. the processor was quite fast and removed any Clunkiness from simular interfaces offered on Samsung's T9 player. I didn't get the pleasure to listen to it, but judging by reports by non-apple fanatics(you can tell who's an iPod zombie from the sub-3 rating they give this player without any thoughtful remarks) the sound quality will slot right in between the Creative and the Apple. I won't remark on the WiFi, because while novel, time will tell of it's usefulness. I think personally, I'm going to try waiting until Black Friday to see what they do with this player. It's priced exactly the same as the iPod Video but any edge in pricing will only serve to benefit this interesting new entry into the Portable Media Player market.
Pros Great Potential
Cons Poor execution. Product rushed to market
Summary Unlike many of the negative reviews here on CNET that are just people who don’t like Microsoft, I’m actually a fan of most Microsoft’s products; even more the reason why I’m so let down with my initial experience with Zune.
For the last few months I’ve wanted device such as an iPod, but I wanted a bigger screen and better compatibility with the tools I use (mostly Microsoft based OS, media player, gaming systems, etc.). When I heard about the Zune I held out and purchased one a couple of days after they became available. In fact, I had the Zune software installed on my PC before I had even purchased a Zune because I was using it to stream media to my two Xbox 360s.
Now a week purchasing it, I’m very frustrated, had multiple phone calls to tech support and have discovered the product was rushed to market before it was complete. I say it was rushed to market because I have experienced many issues with the new device’s software and website and I’m told there is no solution at this time and look for updates in the future. When I ask when, I’m told there is no ETA.
I’m sure that at some point in the future this will be a good device. But at this time, I can’t recommend it. I can’t even download new music from the Zune service because there is a known issue with account activations for existing Live customers.
Below, I’ve detailed the issues and concerns I have…
1. Account Activation:
a. When activating my Zune account (linking my existing Xbox live account), the process stalled at the login prompt. For hours it would not complete/sign-in. I had to shut down and restart the Zune application to complete the setup process
2. Purchasing music:
a. On my three attempts to purchase an album or singles, I received incomplete status icons across the list of song(s), the songs were not downloaded but my points were deducted
3. Sync Issues:
a. The free meter in the Zune application goes from 10meg free when I connect it to over capacity when I try syncing. I shut the application down, reconnect it and it restates 10meg free. This isn’t a file conversion issue. The content is already on the device…
b. Photos with same name but in different directories are not synced to the unit Disney Vacation\IMG_001 and Honeymoon\IMG_001, etc.. It states already on device, but there not
c. I tell the unit to monitor My Photos, My Video & My Music directories, but it continues to pull media files from other folders when I sync such as the overall My Documents folder.
d. I’ve tried to delete the My Documents folder from my library and it returns. After repeating this process three times, the last attempt in the Zune application displaying c: under the folders view
4. Unit Interface Issues:
a. Why is it necessary to drill down through several menus just to turn on video out? Why can’t this unit sense when a cable is connected to the TV to at minimum why doesn’t the AVE pack remote or base have a TV out button on it
b. Why does the view by folder option not respect the hierarchical structure of my folders?
c. Why is there no support for folders for video? My home videos don’t have a genre
5. Application Interface Issues:
a. When the Zune Marketplace is not available, the application does nothing to inform the user other than not display the options to drill down
6. Content Issues:
a. Why does Zune create a redundant directory for ripped files under My Music call Zune and only use it for some of the albums ripped?
b. Some of the CDs I’ve ripped have appeared under other artist folders. I had Aerosmith and Garth Brooks under the Alanis Morriset directory
c. At times when I select delete from library and PC it doesn’t remove the PC files. This may have been because the read only attribute assigned to the some of the files. If that is the reason, then the interface game me no warning that it couldn’t delete the files
d. Why can’t I see content purchased that appears in Media Player? Limited file type support is an issue
7. Customer Support:
a. When calling into tech support, tier 1 was not able to escalate my call to tier 2 to receive service after 30 minutes. I was asked to call back in the following day
b. Why did it take several days for my account to be credited for the album that would not download?
c. Why once my account was credited for album that didn’t download do the incomplete transactions still appear in the interface?
d. Why can’t tier 1 support find my previous calls and escalate me to tier 2 with spending 20 minutes answering questions I’ve already answered?
e. Why doesn’t tier 2 support read the references from the prior calls or listen to the end user’s explanation?
f. Why can’t a problem be escalated to a manager with tier 2 support?
g. Why won’t a tier 2 agent provide customer support contact information other than the statement “go to our website”, which by the way doesn’t have a customer feedback option? I was told it is comingUpdated
Owning a Zune has been a roller coaster... At first I was very excited by the product, its packaging and the integration with my Xbox 360. Then I suffered several issues with ripping music and downloading music. Now, three weeks later, Microsoft has contacted me directly three times to and all of my purchasing and ripping issues have now been put to bed. I probably should have been kinder in my original review and not rated it so low. I would probably give the unit an 8 now consistent with CNet's but with the disclaimer that realize this is the first generation of the software.
Pros Great Battery Life, not too big, not too small, Zune Software is fairly easy to use.
Cons WMP11 does not currently support it, but, might come at a later time.
Summary Overall, I'd have to say that this is a great product so far. Even though, there currently is no support for it on WMP yet, that will come out at a later time. With battery life, and durability, I have to give this product a 10. This product really does kick the iPod in the kenosha. Especially since the Zune can't get scratched very easily.
Pros FM radio, video,
Cons Software bugs
Summary Zune is not that bad. The video quality is nice. The FM radio has good reception. For me, he only problem I see is the software. Sometimes Zune doesn't sync will with the software.