Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Zune - Not Made for Anyone

Okay, I thought I'd give it a try. I bought a 30 Gig Zune and took it for a drive. I owned a 20 Gig iPod before the Zune purchase, but it didn't have video. In deed the Zune has video but in Microsoft's infinite wisdom all video is converted to the wmv format instead of just supporting the major players (mpeg4, divx). There used to be hacks, and maybe they still work but I didn't try it, to force the Zune to "use" the other formats. But again, the Zune software will convert it to wmv instead of keeping it in the original format.

Okay, now for the real pain with Zunes. Microsoft did update the Zune software and underlying firmware which is great. I do like the fact that they can upgrade the Zune to be a newer version, but in my eyes, it was a PR stunt and they wanted to get something, anything no matter what it consisted of, out there for the Christmas shopping rush. They may have upgraded the whole thing, but they left out the critical pieces (Forum Entry). Unlike the iPod, the rating system is limited to a heart, a broken heart, or not rated. There isn't a smart/auto play list, only the playlist that you create by dragging the song to the playlist. For some people, this may be enough.

For a power user like me, having the smart play list found in the iPod is a must. I have 6 smart play lists which excludes songs from other smart playlists and includes into a playlist based on the rating of a song. For example, I have one name 1-No Kids. It's the primary one that I use and as you can probably guess from the name, it excludes Kids music. It also excludes slow music (that's in another playlist - 6-Good 4 Soul). The reason I use a number is that it sorts the playlists so that I can easily go to a play list while on the road with the iPod. I also have playlists based on ratings. 2-Best Stuff, 3-Great Stuff, 4-Good Stuff; each having songs included based on the 5 star rating scale.

One thing that I got used with my iPod using it as a hard drive. I didn't store a lot on it, but it came in handy when I wanted to copy something from my work computer to take home and work on. The Zune doesn't give you an option to even try and access it as a hard drive. Yes, there were hacks out there, but why fight it. The iPod just worked right out of the box. Who cares how you market a device, you shouldn't restrict a user in the use of the device.

Lastly, the odd thing about the Zune website is that you have to go to instead of You'd think Microsoft could at least buy and forward it to

Welp, off to listen to my video iPod that I traded the Zune for on Craig's List.

1 comment:

Derek said...

I hope you learned your lesson.