"Real experiences of a Zune owner after week one"1.5 starson by DSL69
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.