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28 November 2006

Do You Zune?

So I broke down and bought it...

Not on November 14, 2006 (the launch date). I actually waited until November 15, 2006 just to make sure I wasn't jumping the gun...

My simple review: There are bugs - but I'm glad I bought it.

I must say there are some pretty harsh reviews out there - everything from "trash" to "waste of time and money." And while some seem to have valid arguments, it often ends up being a hard core iPod user or someone with all-or-nothing syndrome (the idea that if there is one single problem you MUST throw the entire thing down the drain).

Now for a slightly more detailed review:

The device itself is awesome. I love the size, weight, color, texture, buttons and especially the size of the screen (320x240) which shows your standard 4:3 video crisp and clear. The case itself is strong, solid and the buttons easy to press without being easily bumped. You have the essentials and nothing more to clutter up the device.

I wasn't all that concerned about the software on the device or the software used to download media (Zune Marketplace) probably because I expect bugs at the beginning. And because software is easy to upgrade. Each time you attach the device it downloads necessary updates. And the Marketplace can only get better since it's a web-based ap that receives upgrades in real time.

Now don't get me wrong, bugs do exist:

  • I can connect to the Marketplace on my desktop but not on my laptop.
  • The Marketplace has no podcast function which means every podcast you have is treated like a song.
  • The Marketplace is a bit unstable - having to be shut down every now and then to catch its breath.

User Interface
Love it. Love it. Love it. Of course I am not an iPod user so I have no point of reference. But the navigation is easy and concise. Titles, descriptions, images and the like are all laid out well. The volume indicator is cool as is the flyout menus for images. Throw in an FM radio, the wireless functionality and I'd say you're miles ahead of the game.

I purchased the Home A/V Pack which comes with power cord, dock, A/V cable to hook up to your receiver and small remote that looks just like the black Zune. Works well and looks cool too.

I'd recommend: More professional earphones. The ear buds that the Zune comes with are supposed to be cool (magnetic to keep them together during storage) but they aren't cool enough to be my default set...