Monday, June 30, 2008

Thoughts on Zune.

Quadb's got his review up, so I guess I should post my own.

I really like my little mp3 player, the Microsoft Zune. I got it free---the 8GB version---just over a week ago, and have been trying it out since then. I was never one to listen to much music (except at shows), but in part that's because I was never able to hear music unless I was at my computer or in a car. Since I don't drive, and don't like musical distractions when I'm working, I haven't listened to nearly as much music as one might think I have. Plus, I'm picky. The radio is dreadful. I now, though, have a decent collection of recent indie stuff, and I do like to keep on top of all of it. My Zune is helping!

Some thoughts:

- It's small and light and nifty looking. It's black on the front with a nice-sized screen and a silver metal back.
- The touchpad thing and the two buttons work well and are easy to work without having to look at.
- The screen colours are nice, though I haven't used it much. (You can see photos or watch videos.)
- It was super easy to get my mp3s from My Music folder onto the device. I don't really use iTunes, so I didn't have an issue there. Since I do subscribe to a few podcasts with iTunes, though, it's a bit annoying that I can't easily put them onto the Zune. Heck, my own podcast is available for download only through iTunes at the moment. I'll have to look into this.
- My device came with Zune "premium headphones," which I recommend. In fact, a friend with an iPod just ordered herself the Zune headphones because they're the best ones she's seen for the price they're going for. I haven't even opened the regular headphones that ship with the Zune.
- There's an online community I can link up to. I've signed up, but there doesn't seem to be much happening there. I don't care what other Zune users (whom I don't know) are listening to. I suppose if a handful of my friends joined that would interest me.
- I can listen to the radio using the Zune. This is cool. I used this function a bit when on the way to and from the conference. It worked just fine. The only problem is that there wasn't a station in Pennsylvania or New York State broadcasting the Euro Cup final.
- There are other features, but I haven't used them yet.
- Finally, my Zune package did not come with any detailed instructions. I'm usually someone who likes instruction booklets (or at least .pdf's), but as it turned out, the thing's pretty easy to use so I haven't needed instructions. It has meant that there are some functions that I didn't realize were there for several days after I started playing with the Zune. But I suppose that's part of the fun.

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