So we’ve all been hearing and reading about Microsoft’s zune lately. Some has been good and some has been bad. Well, all the hoopla has gotten me interested in checking out the zune for myself. Yes, I know I work for Microsoft but that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to like a Microsoft product. Plus, Bill Gates said it was okay.
Let’s start with the box. Yes, I know, how exciting right. But you can’t tell me that you’re not a sucker for good packaging. The box is nice. Very nice. I would feel good about giving somebody just the box for Christmas. They did a great job on the packaging of this device. And no, that's not all that's good about it. It’s very easy to see what’s included in the box:
- 30GB Zune digital media player
- Sync Cable
- Manual and Disc
So I guess I should have actually read the box in Fred Meyer as to not buy a separate sync cable. Good thing I kept the receipt. Moving on…I had no problems with the installation process. It's a few easy steps, you say yes to the terms of agreement which always makes me laugh. Because, can I really take it back to Fred Meyer once it's opened and say, "Yea, I wasn't really comfortable with the terms of agreement"? Let me know if you've ever tried that. See, even the couple in the screenshot is thrilled with the completed installation.
Okay, I finally have the little sucker in my hand. I bought the brown one. Because like everybody else, I already own a white iPod. Which sits conveniently in my living room with my bose docking station. Okay, yes...it's bigger then an iPod but it's not nearly as obnoxious as everybody makes it out to be. It definitely feels smaller then my psp. In fact, it reminds me more of a psp then an iPod. And the sound is far superior. I love my psp, but the sound blows. Now that I've installed all the software I choose to immediately put all of my videos, photos and music on the device. You navigate with the d-pad which I thought would feel a bit archaic but it doesn't. I'm pleasantly surprised with that functionality of it. I check to make sure my videos, photos and music have made it and yes they have. Oops, there is that picture of my naked Aunt Jean. I'm not sure why she thinks its funny to send that to everybody. It's a good time to see how the delete function works. Basically I have to go into the zune software and delete it from my library and sync again. The software is very cool by the way. When I search U2 in the zune marketplace I can actually bring over all twenty one hours of music and their bazillion albums all at one time. As long as I'm willing to pay for it. Which I'm currently not, so I will slowly build up that library. Unless Bono wants to hook me up but I think he's busy saving the world. I totally get it.
When you buy the zune it comes with a fourteen day free zune pass which allows you to download as much music as you want for free. But only for fourteen days, after that the music will expire and you can pay for it. So, I will download as many albums as I can now and play the crap out of them so in fourteen days I will be tired of them anyway and feel good about myself that I scored such a good deal. That's how I roll. I've downloaded one of our segments from 10. Which was easy enough. I basically hit the zune icon below the segment. Download the segment to my desktop and then bring it over to the software to download. I picked my "How to Shoot" video because I love my refrigerator so much. And just for the record if TV adds 10 pounds then the zune adds 12. Because I have been eating really well and there's just no excuse. The 3-inch LCD looks great. My zune, or Evelyn as I now call her. Don't ask. Okay, fine. I will tell you. I had this Aunt Evelyn who was just super cool and I've always wanted to name something after her. So when my zune asked me what I wanted to name it I chose Evelyn. Thrilling story I know. Anyway, the three inch LCD is I think is a pretty good size. Which has its downfall because it does make the device bigger, but I would rather be able to actually see what I've downloaded.
YEA! I have radio! I miss radio! Seriously, I love my cd collection. I love my I-pod, but sometimes I just want to listen to the radio. You know, old school style. Which comes in super handy for an avid gym person because now I can actually hear Oprah and not just read the subtitles from a distance. I'm kidding about Oprah. I'm so much more of Dr. Phil fan. No, I'm kidding again. It's all about Tyra. Oh yea, and I love that the name of the song appears on my zune. That's right it's KELIS with "Milkshake". My Milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, cause...and I don't know the words after that.
Microsoft Points. Okay, here is where the xbox and zune start sleeping together. So you know how in the xbox live marketplace you can buy points. Well, you can do that here as well. Each album/song costs a certain number of points. It's the universal Microsoft system. I prefer just knowing how much things cost in an american dollar amount but hey if microsoft is up for a good time then so am I. Kind of like vegas. You don't really realize you've just blown your rent money at the roulette table because you just knew that number three was going to be coming up. You just knew it. Except with Microsoft Points you don't get free drinks. I'll talk to somebody about that.
Let's move on to the Wi-Fi. I keep searching for zunes close to me but haven't met anybody via zune yet. Evelyn would like somebody to beam her a song so she can try it out. Hopefully soon. Somebody, anybody.
So in a nutshell, there's no need to be so dramatic over the zune. Yes, there are many other functions and disappointments that people have been experiencing with the zune but you know what, I like the zune. And this is my impression at a glance. Yes, I like the zune! It's the same way I felt about the original xbox. Yep, kind of bulkie, not the hippest thing I've ever seen but it plays Halo. The zune, kind of a dookie brown color, but it gives me the radio and conveniently allows me to download my favorite tunes. You go zune! You go girl!
For other zune coverage on 10 check out these links.
- Hooking the zune up to a monitor in your car
- New Xbox 360 themed backgrounds for you zune
- on10.net background for your zune
- A high fidelity dock for your zune
- zune walkthrough
- sharing songs and pictures with your zune