Zune Reviews - 100 Zune owners
Zune Scene is in the process of publishing 100 Zune owner reviews. All reviews come from the Zunescene forums and are published as is. To contribute add your review to the forum, the first 100 reviews will be published here.
I bought a brown one this morning.
Everything installed and worked/works fine.
Nice smooth video, large screen, love the big album art!!!
Yes, you have to install the Zune Marketplace software.
No, you do NOT have to buy any songs with it.
Zune Marketplace (ZM) looks and feels like a scaled down version of WMP11.
I have no idea why you cannot use WMP11 to sync but ZM works fine and for me it's no big deal.
My first impressions are very positive.
Great interface, smudge resistant....
I love my new Zune!
Ratings (Out of 10)
Look: 9; the colors are foggyish
Feel: 9; plastic doesn't scratch easily, comfortable
Weight: 8; heavier than I expected
Screen: 10; its bright big and awesome!
Sound Quality: 10; sounds great...better than iPod
Battery: 10; so far better than iPod
Navigation/Menu Set-Up: 9; the d-pad takes some adjustment time but its great!
Wi-Fi Sharing: N/A; haven't found anyone to share w/ yet.
Connectivity to X360: 9; this is one of the coolest features! works great, sounds great, its FAST! Some files don't work.
Ease of Use: 9; very straightforward
Layout: 9; nice layout...some minor adjustments are needed
Lack of Bugs: 5; i run into several bugs but the service is new and I talked w/ C.S. and they were very helpful
Buying Songs: 7; could have avoided m$ points but works well
Subscription: 10; new to me and I love it! def. worth the $$$
Music Availibility: 10; over 2mil already
Lack of System Hog: 10; SOOOO much better than iTunes! Doesn't freeze or cause any problems!
Customer Service: 9; very friendly & helpful
I have had four ipods starting with the second gen and going all the way to the nano and 5th gen video. I liked em all. But, I've always been a microsoft guy. Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360 etc. So when I heard that the Zune was hitting the market I was really unsure because of all the music I had purchased on itunes. However, I caved in and picked up my white Zune today. And I love it I'm really happy with Microsoft's new product and I'm getting used to the new interface. Just thought I'd share my story for some of you deciding whether you should make the move or not. If you're looking for a change, I say go for it. Heck, worst case scenario (if youre like me) you'll still have your ipod(s).
Why- The video is better than expected, however i am still pondorus about how dark it is.
Music comes in great, but it hurts a wee bit without the little black things on the headphones.
Picture is very defined, and is easy to see
Lastly, The brown really accents my eyes
I love ZUNE! I have an iPod Video, Mini, Original Shuffle, and 1st Gen iPod. I have upgraded and stored some, and still used my video. My iPod video is now back in the box. I am a "switcher." The interface is better, although the click wheel is sweet. THe problems I have with Zune are easily fixeable with a firmware update.
Clock, Alarm, Switch EQ from song (or autoswitch), "Gapless" playback, video on the marketplace (coming soon from posts I have seen).
I switched within 24 hours of use.
The number one reason to switch was the Zune Pass, all the music I want for 14.99, I was spending 30 bucks easily on iTunes.
I just sold my iPod for a Zune and made a pretty good choice. .I had the ipod video and loved it but after seeing the Zune at store I sold my ipod to get me one. The Zune's functionality along with the huge screen and the slick rubberized plastic casing just blew my ipod away. Yes, the ipod was smaller and look nice(only for first week until it collected million of scratches)but the non-customizable bland UI was just outdated. I'm now a proud owner of the Zune and... oh yeah...........got to get back to putting more videos onto this huge sharp screen.
My overall rating: 9.0
Included headphones: 7.5 - fit in my ears perfectly, but sound quality just ok
Player design: 8 - smaller than i expected, buttons very responsive, screen looks great
User interface: 10 - Leaps and bounds better than iPod's. Very multi-dimensional, more than one way to get from here to there. Unbelievably, the controls work better than iPod's click wheel.
Zune software: 8 - at first I wasn't crazy about it, but it's really started to grow on me. Very well organized, and far less bloated than iTunes.
1) Album art a little bit stretched and grainy
2) Player doesn't support anything besides .wmv video natively - that means nearly all my video from my iPod must be converted, and with 86 videos, this is going to take a long time. Will have to only listen to music tonight and sync the video over night. Kind of a pain, but at least it only happens once.
Well, I picked-up my "Brown" Zune today and love it so far. I bought it before coming to work. When I arrived at work, I plugged it into my work PC just to charge it up. During my lunch break, I ran to my car so I can sync with my laptop. Once I connected the Zune to my laptop, it stated that my Zune needed a firmware update. Kinda wack for a brand new device to already need a firmware update. Once the update was done, a message came out stating my Zune already had a home on another PC and gave me two choices. 1) sign in as a guest or 2)associate the Zune to the new PC. I assumed for some reason it associated with my work PC even though it does not have the zune software installed. Once it associated to the new PC, all the pictures, videos and music was removed from the Zune. This is kinda wack but I was going to delete all that crap anyway. I just wish I had the choice to remove it, and not be removed automatically.
Even with those two gripes, I really love the GUI and feel and can't wait to get home and really mess with it.
Here's the review I wrote for it on Amazon
Good jumping off point for Microsoft, November 14, 2006
Reviewer: Jordan "Jordan" (Sacramento) - See all my reviews
It's impossible to not compare the Zune to the iPod so I'm not even going to try, but let's get one thing out of the way right quick: Anyone who calls the Zune an iPod killer needs to have their head examined. Let's not forget that there are many people who have invested hundreds or thousands of dollars into iTunes music, so they're pretty much iPod customers for life(as Zune customers will be if they choose to use the Zune marketplace, but more on that later). The Zune doesn't really offer anything that should have iPod+iTunes users jumping ship, but it does offer a compelling option for those looking to purchase a product like this for the first time or iPod users who have chosen to continue to buy CDs instead of digital albums.
The first thing you'll notice after purchasing the Zune is that if they ever gave away some type of award for product packaging, the Zune would probably win it. The brown portion of the Zune box slips off to reveal a compartmentalized box inside that includes the Zune, the docking cable, stock earbuds, the Zune software, the token cheap felt case, and the documentation.
Onto the Zune itself. Even at 30 gigs it's a bit longer and thicker than the 80 gig iPod. It is substantially heavier but not to a fault. Those looking to use an MP3 player for active use will probably want a flash player anyway. Where the Zune holds a big advantage over the iPod however is the rubbery-plastic finish. Whereas the iPod's glossy finish is a magnet for fingerprints, the Zune's rubbery plastic feel attracts virtually no fingerprints, and when it does they simply wipe off. The screen accumulates them quickly, and while a thin plastic film coating is included, it has some large text on it, so you might have to invest in a third-party screen protector. Bummer. The control pad has been often maligned for not being a scroll wheel, but I don't understand why. Is moving your thumb around in circles really THAT intuitive?
Onto the software. It's a bit dissapointing that the Zune doesn't simply intergrate seamlessly with Windows Media Player 11 like most MP3 players now do. Instead you'll have to install the dedicated Zune software, which is essentially Windows Media Player 11 in some new clothing and with the Zune Marketplace built in. There have been many reports of hiccups installing the new software, so beware. It seems I was lucky. Once you do get the software going, syncing your music library to your player is a breeze, with a transfer speed of about two seconds per song.
As I said, the Zune software is essentially WMP11 with the Zune Marketplace included. The first time you enter the marketplace the software will ask you for your Windows Live ID. This is where one very cool perk comes into play if you are an XBox Live user. When you login with your ID, your Zune Marketplace account automatically links up with your XBox Live account, so you can share your Microsoft Points you already have across both services! Very very convienent.
Unfortunately, that may be the highlight of the Zune Marketplace. Graphically, it can't hold a candle to iTunes and is pretty darn ugly. Users can't review albums, and it as of yet doesn't offer anything besides music(this is probably going to change very very soon). I don't even use an iPod and I like browsing the iTunes store to see what's new and read user reviews. I couldn't imagine using the Zune Marketplace for anything except buying an album. But even that wouldn't be advisable, since the music you purchase on the Zune marketplace will work ONLY on the Microsoft Zune and nothing else. So until it starts offering TV Shows and movies, the Zune Marketplace is a major dud.
This is where the real treat comes in, once you get your music onto the Zune and fire it up for the first time, many of your initial doubts will vanish. The screen is large, bright, and the background is fully customizable. The interface is a huge breath of fresh air after using the stale Artist>Album>Song system on iPods and Creative players for so many years. Instead, Artist, Album, and Song are listed horizontally at the top of the screen, and as you move the cursor over each option all of the items spill out down the substantial screen, with thumbnail album art included! When you do choose a song, the album art for that song dominates the screen, and the sound quality is excellent. You can easily adjust the volume by pressing up-and-down on the control pad, and scroll through the song by pushing left and right.
So music playback is a huge "hit", but how about the video? The format support is pretty limited, and while the Zune software will convert just about anything, the playback format of converted videos is pretty poor. It was also a puzzling move for the Zune to have a 16x9 screen but only support 4:3 resolution. The stretching of the picture doesn't really take that much away, but it seems a bit pointless. One handy feature is that the control pad will re-orient the controls for the Zune when you hold the player sideways.
One last thing, you might have noticed I haven't even mentioned the much-hyped wi-fi feature. Why? Because it's practically useless. Songs received via wi-fi transfer can only be played three times within a three day period, and songs by some artists(such as the Rolling Stones) won't even transfer at all! The wi-fi capabilities of the Zune certainly offers exciting possibilities for future firmware updates, but they're certainly not present now.
So that's it. The Zune offers nothing that will have seasoned iPod+iTunes users jumping ship, and it certainly' won't kill the iPod, but the exceptional physical design, vastly superior user interface, and wi-fi possiblities in the future warrant a serious look by shoppers.
Zune HD Review
I finally have the Brown Zune of my Dreams. In a very short period of time, I would say 20 min, I had the Zune Software installed on my desktop and laptop, was already syncing 3 gigs of music and with already having an Xbox Live account, making a Zune Marketplace account was just about 3 clicks and I was done. This is AWESOME for us 360 people.
I'm currently syncing 3 DVDs I ripped while it charges, so I'll have a full review of functions including Xbox 360 streaming! This year has been a great year for hardware: New 360, New PC, new HD monitor, and now a Zune (to some extent new Slim line PS2 and DS lite). I'm now fully integrated and I LOVE it.
Everything about the case is great, so smooth and no finger prints at all. The double shot is great and I'm really happy I got the brown. The screen looks outstanding... I'm on edge for these three movies to finish:Advent Children, Serenity, and Shaun of the Dead. I will bide my time by posting and then playing Gears of War. Expect my review either this evening or tomorrow at some point, but let it be known that thus far, ease of use has been EXTREMELY simple (MCE PC, Dell brand and XP Pro Laptop, Off Brand) on both of my machines.
I can't wait to show this baby to all my friends at work tomorrow... and show it to the iPod guru in my office.
-Doesn't scratch easy
-No issues setting it up
-Almost sold out at Target(I got the last brown, they were out of black)
-Support for the Xbox 360 is AWESOME and easy
-Needs podcast support, I am using Juice to automatically download them into my music folder. Due to odd mp3 tagging, they can be hard to find on my Zune.
-Poor support for automotive setups, the charger with the autokit needs to have a line-out. FM modulators suck...
-Included headphones feel cheap, sound ok though.
-No disk mode, I have 10GB+ of free space, it would be nice to be able to use that for backup
-No video content in marketplace
Just got my Zune today!!! to be honest this is my first MP3 player ever!! I am definitely slow to adopt new tech but deciding to get a Zune is definitely a good move.
Pre-ordered from Dell and the goodie arrived today!! Nowadays the shipping is just unbelievably fast. Mine is white and I am loving the translucent double shot. very clean looking. Don't remind me of an ipod at all. Packaging is smaller than I imagined. But good thing comes in small package doesn't it?
Haven't even tried the Zune Marketplace yet. It's too late and I gotta get up early to go to work. Played with some pre-loaded contents and man oh man, the screen is AMAZING!! The only thing is that the felt bag that comes with Zune is a bit too snug, and the quality is ok.
FM radio reception is great. the UI is simple and intuitive. You don't need a user manual at all.
All in all, I am very very impressed.
I love the Zune itself. Its amazing. I have no problem with the thickness. I love the Zune so much. Im glad i didnt cancel my pre-order (was gonna use the money to save for a LCD tv)
Now the marketplace is what i dont like. im tryin to download stuff and it only downloads some of what i want. and alot of the bands i really like arent even available to download.
but im gettin used to it and figuring things out so we'll see
Well, I have mine sitting beside me right now as I'm typing this, listening to the songs it automatically synced onto it from my computer once I loaded the Zune software. This is my first MP3 player, and I really like it a lot so far.
*Sound is very good. Clear and crisp. I only have the volume level on 1 and it's plenty loud.
*FM Receiver is AMAZING!!! Show me an iPod that can do that. Seriously, reception is unbelievable, and being RDS capable is sweet.
*The interface is very easy to use and navigate after you work with it for a few minutes. I like the wheel, and to be honest would prefer this to the iPod's scroll wheel.
*The timer counts down how much time is left in the song. A simple feature, but a nice one.
*Size is nice IMO, and I don't mind the thickness at all. I really like the matte finish on the player.
*Screen is big and clear. I'd have to compare it side by side to other MP3 players though to say how it stacks up.
*earphones are ok, but don't fit in my ears very well. I've never really liked earphones, so will probably get a different set of headphones to use with my player.
*Charged in 3 hours just as it stated.
I've been waiting for the Zune since the rumor mill hit earlier this year... I purchased an iPod two-years ago (U2 Limited Edition); and had nothing but problems with it. Luckily, I had the replacement plan and replaced the sucker four times... When it last stopped working; I just said 'screw it' and waitied for the Zune... Without over-comparing (aside from the obvious quality issues); the navigation system is what sold me on the Z.
The navigation is simple, yet intuitive... Smooth transitioning and no hesitation (unlike the iPod)... I love how when you are (for example) listening to music and scrolling through pictures; the next music track will pop up and give you a brief detail of what is playing... very nice touch.
The quality feels good... I love the texture of the plastic and the overall feel of the unit. It seems sturdy and well-made...
Sound and video quality is excellent... Fonts are crisp and clean; with no pixelation...
Software... For the most part I like the Zune software. Once familiar with it, transfering (syncing) data is VERY fast (again... unlike iTunes). One thing I didn't care for, was that you had to have the software open to convert video. Example... I had a WMF that I was transferring (about 200mb) and it had to convert it... So... I minimized and opened Warcraft... 30-minutes later, it hadn't moved... Tried again after a reboot... same thing... Seems that you MUST have Zune opened and active to convert... Hopefully, updates will fix this.
I don't use the monthly subscription thing... I think it's a great idea for those who don't have mp3's... Other than that, the software is quite intuitive and responsive... Good stuff...
Biggest dissapointment? Like everyone else... The Wifi just isn't there... I'd love to have the ability to hook it up to my network at home, and remotely sync or grab files...
Lastly... the earbuds they give aren't the greatest.
Overall, I'm very pleased. At a price of $250 (I got mine at Target and they give you a $25 gift card), it's an amazing value... 30gb can hold all of my MP3's, pictures and about 10 full movies (with lots of space left over). I'm very optimistic with the Zune and it's community... I do hope MS markets this a bit better, because there's a lot of people who are unfamiliar with it. Since iPod is a household name, that's what kids what now...
Starting with the player
Opting to make a slightly larger player and have a larger screen was a great decision by MS. The screen looks great and displays photos and video in very crisp bright color. The information and art displayed really makes using the device a fun experience. Those with home docks will want to set the screen to on all the time to enjoy the Art and info. It will look great in a car dock as well. Don't be fooled, though, the device is NOT too big or bulky. It is still a very compact and light device that feels good in your palm and fits easily in your pocket.
The material it is made of was a smart choice as well. It doesn't pick up fingerprints or smudges.
The software on the player is excellent. Very easy to navigate and speedy. Sound quality is excellent and the included earbuds are decent. I used my professional headphones and it powered them just fine.
The FM tuner is a very welcome feature and has plenty of pre-sets.
Connects to a 360 with ease.
In summary what I loved:
The large screen, art and information. Being able to customize the themes and look of the player. The breezy easy menu navigation. All impressive.
Just Like Itunes, the store is useless and filled with overpriced DRMd songs. No thanks.
The PC side software is confusing. Syncing is weird and I still don't fully understand how it works. The player looks like a trimmed down version of WMP11. Basically the same but without a 'Now Playing' tab. Sadly this means it does not display Album or AMG info while you play music from the PC side. That information is available while searching the marketplace, however.
Gaps on live albums (and albums that are meant to be gapless). This is just lame. I actually think this is my biggest complaint. Maybe they can repair it with a software update? I hope users flood Microsoft with whines and cries about this.
In summery what I hate.
The gapped playback. The PC side software/player could have more playback features and Syncing is a confusing pain in the butt.
Id give it an 8 out of 10. Minus 1 for the gaps and minus 1 for the PC side software that could be better.
What I have not tested:
NTSC or PAL out to the TV. It is available but I don't have the accessory to try it.
WiFI sharing. Who really cares?
The Music playback is amazing, shuffling is easy to turn on and off, the naviagtion is bright, responsive and overall Great!
The screen... I'm in love with. So large, so clear, so crisp. Everyone who has seen it in the office thus far are really impressed. Syncing those 3 feature length videos did take awhile, but it was TOTALLY worth it. Great clarity, wonderful sound... I could easily see watching some on a break. Best part, the resume feature! It stops when you back out or turn off the device and will pick up where you left off! No need to fast forward!
I havent tried my Xbox 360 yet, that will be tonight.
So far, the Zune has been an AMAZING purchase for me and haters be damned, this is going to be iPod's rival, for sure. I have never owned a media player of this standard and for me to sync it up and get it going with not one issue in one night and even do things like sync my movies.... amazing!
The zune is amazing. The pictures are amazingly deceptive. It looked like a brick online but in real life its pretty small. I saw the suede bag and said, bullsh*t. thats way too small to fit the zune. I love the zunes interface and the customizeability of it. The searching for a particular song can at some times be difficult but thats only cuz i have about 240 different artists. I hate the fact that i cant use the zune while it is plugged into the computer, but my brother tells me all the ipods are the same way. The zune marketplace is really awesome for organization and it is so easy to upload stuff and sync it. The only drawback for me was that for the past few years of my life i have gotten all my music off oarangeline, shareaza, morpheus and other similar programs that have songs that dont have the correct meta data.
I spent 6 hours assigning album art -_-. but it was worth it, i love to look at the album art for the music i listen to because its all pretty artsy and indie.heres the rundown:
Zune interface: 10
zune weight/size: 10 (the difference for me between it and the ipod is that i have to put my pinky underneath it to support it whereas on the ipod i dont. big whoop) it fits nice in the pocket.
zune marketplace: 9 it is kinda screwy at times
zune headphones: 7 the magnets dont do anything in your pocket and i dont like the creases. ipod headphones are 1 non bent wire
zune packaging: 10
zune radio: 9 some local stations were fuzzy even tho the headphones were in (that is the antenna)
zune video: 9.5 hands down amazing and i LOVE the one tap to the right or left feature. not quite perfect video quality, still amazing
zune battery life: 8.5 it gets by but i hate how they advertise 14 hours and dont say thats under perfect conditions.
zune looks: infinity =] brown with the double shot green paint makes me want to orgasm and the feel of the zune OOH THE FEEL!
9/10. (ipod video 30 gig would get 8/10)
Good: The Zune is great imo. The screen size is nice. also sound quality is great. its very easy to navigate and what not. The software is pretty nice. easy to use when you get the hang of it but could be a pain if you dont know what your doing. also they have the Zune pass for $15, unlimited downloaded but some artists arent available via Zune pass and you can only buy them (red hot chillipeppers, as i lay dying, ect...). also some artists like Led Zeppelin arent available to buy or download cuz MS doesnt have the rights. But you can add your own *cough* illegally downloaded *cough* music so you dont have to deal with that/ Also there will be no need to buy newer models for a while because all upgrades will be done through firmware updates.
Bad: The screen is nice like i said but it has the same resolution as the ipods smaller screen and even though the screen is in a widescreen format, your videos dont play on the whole screen. they play as though your watching a widescreen movie on a 4:3 TV so you have those little black bars on the top and bottom. I dont know why they didnt have it stretch out...Another bad thing is the battery life. it says 14 hours, which by itself is very short. and to get that you have to have everything at its minimum which sucks. But it doesnt take very long to charge after its first charge so thats good i guess. Also the batteries cant be replaced...so that sucks as well. One more thing thats bad. The Zune Pass. $15 a month? unlimited downloading? zomg the greatest!! Not. once you cancel your subsciption your music is taken off your computer and 3 plays or 3 days later it gets taken off your Zune.
But overall its great. the battery life isnt a problem with me very much though i wish it was longer
if i had to give it a rating: 8.5/10
Since I have got the zune, I have to say it is the best MP3 player I have ever had. I put all my Mp3s (all legal mp3s I ripped from CDs I own or self-produced) on it and away I went. The quality of sound was amazing. I kept hearing rumors about harddrive based mp3 players skipping, but I haven't heard that yet (possibly after wear and tear?). I love the menus, and I find navigation rather easy. I have never used an iPod before... or iTunes... so I am not able to make a biased opinion... but I give this device 2 thumbs up (and 2 toe thumbs up)!
First let me say I am in no way an Apple-lover. I find Mr. Jobs' whining in the last year to be a little much. But I do recognize the Mac fills a niche extremely well. While it's not a niche I occupy, I'm not going to criticize someone else for locating there.
...and the iPod... while it is far from perfect (buggy software on Windows - please no flames, as I said above, I'm not in the Mac niche; horrible rip speeds; insufficient search and sorting)... it has been the best all-around player on the market.
So I was eagerly waiting for the Zune!
While the screen is BEAUTIFUL and videos are actually watchable... the Zune software is buggy (it wouldn't even load on a modern XP SP2 PC with a gig of RAM)... load times are PAINFULLY long... and dare I say search and sort on the device just not hacking it.
While I do not regret my purchase (if nothing else, I have a great video player), I agree with other posts suggesting a wait for version 2. Hopefully Papa Bill will pay attention to the reviews and make the tweaks that could make this device an iPod-killer.
My main suggestion:
Being able to sort on anything - artist, album, DATE ADDED, last played, song title. Make this true whether you're in playlist mode, artist mode, song mode, etc.
So all-in-all, 3.5 stars out of 5 (the iPod scores 3 of 5 in my book).
Oh yeah, MORE STORAGE! My mp3 library is 110GB and growing weekly (when new CDs come out).
Thanks for listening.
I've got my zune!!
But I wish I hadn't...
To start off with the zune software refused to run on my Windows XP machine. I then got out my laptop and it installed (Don't know why this happened). I then loaded my songs onto the Zune player, and it was the most painfully long experience. It was only 1468 songs, however it took longer than my ipod ever has (even since my old G4 model). I then forgave the Zune for this, after all it is bleeding adge technology (Above cutting edge, often falls over!(Crashes!!!) ).
I then started testing the player, and it played fine... To a point. The Zune crashed, rather as you expect, this is there first attempt remember. But it happened again and again. I then got fed up. I have uninstalled my Zune software (easier said than done) and put the Zune back in it's box.
I was very disapointed that such a long awaited product could be so rubbish. I will be writing an official complaint to Microsoft, and sending back their broken player. I wonder if their customer support will replace the Zune, no questions asked) like Apple have in the past, Apple even replaced the product when it was me who broke it (didn't see it on the floor when I parked my car in the gaurage).
I just hope they get their act together. Otherwise I think they may have to set up a new Zune recycling bank!!!
You'll be pleased to know that I have since ordered my new ipod Video. Should be shipping in four to six days!!!
Sory guys it's a massive thumbs down!!!
I bought the Zune for the sole reason of having all of my music portable. I have spent a lot of money on a car audio system and I want it to sound good. I bought an iPod 30Gb color and the Alpine iPod integration kit. It sounded like crap! Even with songs downloaded from iTunes.
I heard Zune was coming out and woulf have a subscription option. I bought it on the 15th, plugged it into the car after downloading a few test songs, and it is way awesome! CD quality with ripped and downloaded songs.
Well I got it. A lucky break came my way and allowed me to buy my new Zune (Black) instead of waiting until income tax returns. So before I give you my review I want to tell you that I have had a Diamond Rio, and a 60Gig IPOD. So I am coming at this with some experience with MP3 players.
Packaging was simple yet functional. My only real issue with this was documentation was sparse at best. I'd rate it equal with the IPOD. The Rio was much better at documentation.
Nice large screen. Great interface and good ability to navigate to the many songs I have. I like the finish of the Zune more than any other player I have had. This player has more capability than the IPOD, but not the Rio (I'm still spoiled by the Rio). I was able to navigate through my myriad of songs quickly and easily.
The ability for a wireless connection is still, in my opinion, useless at the moment, but I expect that will change in the near future. The wireless capabilities can be so much more than just transferring a few songs or pictures between Zune players. I just hope Microsoft listen to their customers and expand the usefulness of wireless connections in their product.
Zune Marketplace 7/10
Zune Marketplace seems to be like Itunes, though I like it better. When I used my IPOD I never really used Itunes because I was unhappy with it's performance. I will take a wait and see approach with it though.
Zune Software 7/10
I have only one issue with the Zune Software. When installing it, it was stuck at 95% for a good 15 minutes before telling me to reboot. A less patient person would have cancelled the installation or would have done a reboot on their own and possibly messed up the installation.
My Conclusion 7/10
The Zune is a great player with lots of nice features. There could be some imporvements to the player and software, but they are not deal breaking issues. Of the three players I listed in the beginning of this long rambling review. The Zune ranks right up there with the Rio and surpasses the IPOD in almost all areas, in my opinion.
All that being said I feel I need to say something about my purchase of the Zune. First off, I am not a Microsoft fan. In fact, I am annoyed by them more than I appreciate them. Secondly I bought the 60Gb IPOD because I needed more room than my 20Gb Rio and many people seemed to like it. I bought it and the more I used it the more I really began to dislike it. Hence, the purchase of the Zune. As of right now I am quite happy with the purchase and am thinking of buying another one for the wife. (I gave her my IPOD and she didn't like it so she is going to give it to her brother.)
I hope you all enjoy your Zune.
After initial problems with disc and getting Zune marketplace on either of our two PC's, I find the Zune to be great. Love the screen and the sound is at least as good as the IPod (whch I own also). THe loading from the computer is much slower than my MAc to IPod, but no big deal really. I just do other stuff while it loads. In the end, its all about the layout and the screen that got me to buy
I LOVE MY ZUNE! my boyfriend gave it to me as an early christmas present (awesome!); this is actually, sad to say, my FIRST mp3 player. obviously i can't compare it to an ipod or other, but i have lots to say about it anyway. consider this a review if you're thinking about giving it as a gift or getting something special for yourself!
*the packaging is cute; it's small and simply designed; the box slides out to reveal compartments containing the player, earphones, USB cabble; and another hidden compartment with the instructional pamphlets and 14 day free trial of ZUNE PASS
*it's smaller than i thought a 30GB player would be; i was thinking about getting a player from creative labs, and they looked bulky to me; not so in zune's case
*it has a sturdy build; aluminum/metal case instead of plastic...a definite PLUS for me because i have a history of dropping things or having things fall out of my bag
*set up was EASY; i just slipped the cd in my laptop and ZUNED away...it didn't take long for the battery to charge and all the songs from my windows media player were automatically put into my zune library...it took SECONDS for songs from my cd collection to load into the player (after i ripped them..which took MINUTES)
*the screen is HUGE; the picture quality is SO CLEAR...just as good or better than viewing stuff on my computer
*the videos are AMAZING...like watching something on TV...and since the screen is so big you don't have to squint to see what's playing
*i love the fm tuner! it picks up stations better than my radio at home or in the car! i couldn't believe it
*it comes with preloaded content: songs, videos, and pics....and they're not the standard cheesy sample media that usually come with these kinds of things...there's actually good stuff: the video for paul oakenfold's "faster kill pussycat" for example
*you can personalize the background with your own pics or pics you downloaded off the web....mine is a purple sunset and it looks purdy
* you can't use it with any other music-sharing/downloading service except zune marketplace....this sux for me cuz i have 2 months to go on my napster-to-go subscription and no way to put my napster songs onto my zune unless i buy them
*zune marketplace is pretty confusing to me, and i'm not fond of this points system where, from what i understand, you have to buy points instead of just paying 99 cents or whatever it is they charge for ONE song...the page looks nice, but i can't search with ease like i do with, say, napster
*it's kind of heavy...it could potentially knock someone out if it was thrown at them*
*i want to try out the wireless feature, but alas, no one around me has a zune
*i don't have xbox, nor will i ever get an xbox, so those features are useless to me
although aquiring music for my zune will be an issue for me, i would still want one...i put 12 cd's on it and still have 20-odd GB left...i can fit my whole cd collection on it and then get rid of those cds that have been collecting dust...it's a great toy to have
Display: The key feature on the Zune is really the LCD display. It's actually 44% larger than a video iPod screen. It's large enough to watch a music video, or movie and actually see the expressions on peoples faces. The pixel density is about double that of modern laptops, so it's more like watching a mini HDTV than a mini television. The refresh rate is also higher than a television, which means the frames move extremely fast to make the motion appear fluid rather than jaggy or digitized.
User Interface: The user interface is the second most important feature (after the display) for making the Zune stand out. The large center button can be pushed in 4 directions (left, right , up, down) or pressed straight down. Anyone who can use a web browser can operate the Zune.The layout is really minimalist, we observed many people at the LA preview picking up and using the device for the first time without asking any questions or looking for instructions. The menus have a sleek animation from one screen to another that gives the Zune a modern edgy feel, and personalized background pictures stay visible during navigation.
Sharing: The award for most unique feature on the Zune goes to the Wi-Fi functionality. The official range is 30 feet but this is a conservative number, we've already done tests beyond 50 feet. Users can detect who has a Zune in range and then transfer songs, entire albums, and even photos to other Zunes. The recipient is prompted to accept or deny the incoming files. To preserve copyrights, transferred songs can only be played 3 times, then data is automatically deleted. Although the track gets deleted, it can be flagged, in which case the Zune remembers all the details of the track and can fetch it from the Zune Marketplace in a legal and permanent manner.
Feel: The Zune is not slippery. It actually has a matte finish on a special 80 durometer plastic that feels neither hard nor rubbery. A lot of the "softness" comes from the finish texture rather than the material properties. The best part about the outer shell is that it's nearly scratch proof. Dig your nails into it and see what happens. We did our best to scratch the test unit but without any success.
Appearance: The players are not shiny like most consumer electronics lining the shelves these days, and that seems to give them some personality. Although the brown Zune is quite popular with pre-orders, we couldn't get ourselves to like it. The secondary (double shot) colors are not really dominant, they are more of a detail than a color scheme. The dark chrome border around the display and black button is a huge plus for all three colors and without them Zune would be aesthetically lost. The devices look better in person than photos (kind of like most people) and the best thing about them is that they are unique. It's impossible to mistake a Zune for any other player.
Media: The Zune sports a 30GB hard drive capable of storing thousands of songs, images and videos. The hard drive cannot be used as a memory stick for storing and retrieving word documents, zip files, and other such data. This is by far the biggest drawback of the player considering most competing devices are recognized as mass storage drives by computers. FM radio is integrated into the Zune including the ability to gather track info from the airwaves and display it in real time.
Sound: The sound quality of the device is 100% dependent on the headphones used, not so much the player. The standard ear buds are exactly that, standard. They look great, and sound as good as any earbuds on the market, but to get the most out of the player consider upgrading. We actually don't recommend the Zune Premium Earphones either unless you are limited for space. If sound quality is a must, consider blowing $300 on some nice headphones with active noise canceling.
Service: Zune marketplace launches with over 2 million songs and offers 2 options for enthusiasts. Songs can be purchased for about 99 cents or a subscription for infinite downloads can be had for 14.99. Individuals with an existing collection of ripped CD tracks or illegally downloaded music may choose not to participate in the marketplace at all. The Zune will play and even share songs from other sources. The ability of Zune software to fetch album art for ripped and illegal music is nothing short of fantastic. Be aware, however, that songs purchased from iTunes are protected with strict DRM codes and cannot be played in the Zune or any other non-Apple device.
Value: The Zune is priced at $249 and quite simply has more features and functionality than any other player in that price range. A comparison chart is available for line by line evaluation with iPod.
Conclusion: Based on features, Zune is the premiere player available on the market today. It has already pressured other manufacturers to drop their prices in an attempt to remain competitive. Expect to see the mp3 category heat up over the next few years as the competition scrambles to add larger screens and Wi-Fi connectivity. The mp3 player is the first Zune branded device to be released, expect to see more Zune products in the future including the Zunephone and Zunegamer among others.
well ive had my zune for more or less a full day. figured id finally give my review...
Screen: what better place to start than the screen. its pretty damn big. i feel like im carrying a portable tv around with me. who wouldve thought that an extra half an inch could make all that difference? so far ive put on final fantasy advent children, a bunch of football clips, some flcl and a naruto music video i made. my fear of being unable to read subtitles was quickly put to rest. (though flcl's subtitles are alot easier to read than advent childrens). all my wallpapers/images that i put on there look awesome. great quality all around.
Design/Feel: to those who doubt that the brown zune looks good, i strongly advise you to check one out in person and see for yourself. (though my friend almost convinced me to get the black, which looks pretty nice itself with that blue doubleshot). like everyone else has said, the actual feel of the zune is nice. whoever says that this thing is heavy is a weak little girly man. weight feels just right and it fits comfortably in my hand. good stuff overall.
Headphones: maybe i just got lucky but i actually enjoy the packaged headphones ALOT, which is pretty sad since i just bought a pair sony noise cancellation ones not too long ago for $40. there nice and loud, and they actually stay in my ear. the magnetic thing is a nice touch as well.
Interface: the interface is well done. sleek and does its job well. i love how i can still listen to my music while looking at my images or changing the settings. not much else can be said. good stuff.
Packaging: obviously people dont buy stuff for the packaging. they buy it for the stuff inside the packaging. however its worth noting that this package was very well put together.
Software: to be honest i had some difficulty at first. i was definately too used to the "drag and drop" method of my previous mp3 player. however i feel like ive finally grasped it after a little bit of playing around and asking questions. syncing is done quickly, even for videos (that is if it doesnt have to convert of course). to those who are having trouble with it just stick with it and it will soon become second nature.
overall im very pleased with my purchase. its nice to have some variety on my daily bus rides to work, instead of just strictly music. i was never a stickler for alot of memory but i definately appreciate the 30 gigs this puppy packs. today alone on my two bus rides i listened to music, changed my wallpaper about 7 times, watched some nfl clips, viewed a slideshow, listened to the radio, and messed with the settings. bus rides are alot more entertaining now. the zune serves its purpose and serves it very well. i highly reccommend the zune to anyone seeking to get an mp3 player for the first time or just looking for something else.
Alright, I was excited to get the Zune media player. But there are a few things that make me mad.
1. It doesnt work as an external harddrive.
The iPod does.
This feature is nice because you can put items directly on it (ie. a power point presentaion) that you couldn't view on the player and transfer it to another computer, which could read it.
2. Once you put a song onto the Zune you cannot edit it's information.
Once again, you can do this on an iPod.
This makes me mad because I aquire my music for free and it generally doesnt have the correct track information, or at least not in the right place. So to change this, so I am able to find my song, I have to delete it and change the info in my libary and sync my device again.
I love the device but at the same time it makes me so mad. It is like my girlfriend.
wow. it's alot smaller than i was expecting... i hadnt seen one in person so i didnt know what to expect..
one feature i noticed right now while it's syching/charging... when the battery is charging, it shows you the progress of battery life rather than just showing battery life.. small feature, but if you need to charge it in a hurry, this helps you know how much it's charged.
Until recently I haven’t been a Microsoft fan. The ipod has been dominating the world with its compatibility sleek look and style. Tuesday I ran out and bought a Zune a brown one for the fact, and I have to say its so ugly I love it, screens great features are cool and custom background. Never in my life I have I seen a design so original as the zune. I hope with fingures crossed that zune will at least be neck and neck with the ipod as in sales and community. Best wishes to Microsoft and Toshiba two thumbs up.
My gf heard all my hints and bought me a Zune for my bday...which is on Thanksgiving. A few days early never hurts anyone
Now! On to my review.
- Color - I got the brown one i must say, its absolutly sexy. It has a weird but very likable green ora (sp?) around it. Very nice!!
- Feel - Something about the texture they used on the Zune. Its very comfortable to hold and not cold like metal (4th gen ipod owner) It feels like velvet yet it doesnt scratch and smudges are non existant, so far
- Buttons - Im not gonna lie, its gonna take a lil to get used to. Coming from a scroll wheel, this design is very smart as well. I own a pocket pc and it feels the same as the contact list scrolling where you hold down the button and it starts to scroll. About 3 seconds later it starts displaying a letter on the right hand side, thus making it as fast as the Ipod to navigate.
- Software - I dont think i like the windows software you need to install. The one installed on the Zune is fine, but the Windows Media Player Zune clone thing is a no go for me. It looks great, but there is alot of bugs in it still. Its ok tho, its newly released, right?
- Thickness - I dont think i like the thickness of the Zune. Its bigger than my GF's 60GB Ipod...which is kind of sad. But i guess its ok seeing as they probably needed the space to add the Wifi and the Radio chips (?)
- Packing - Headphones and a USB Cord...where my wall charger??? Upon realizing they sold it seperatly, i was bummed!!!
I have owned just a couple of other hard drive based players - the Cowan M3 and the Zen Vision 30gb. So, my comparison will focus on that and not iPod because I simply don't know much about the iPod that you would learn from actually having/using one. Having said that, I do perceive it as the market leader and that position is no accident. So, when some friends asked me what I'd recommend (first timers), I told them to give the iPod Nano a shot. They picked up the 8gig model and I'm sure to hear from them what they think.
On with my *micro-review*:
The M3 doesn't have video, so let's just leave that out and go with the Zen.
Size and weight: Zune is significantly smaller and lighter.
Out of the box: They could have added a more significant manual for the Zune, intuitive or no. Kinda dumb that no A/C charger available, but the one I bought still takes the usb end of the supplied cable. The earbuds sound just fine and the magnetic thing is just plain *cute*.
Color/finish: Zen's case is metal but I had a silicone-based *skin* for it that is very much like the Zune case. I like the naked Zune way better than the naked Zen
Controls: Zune's are simpler and I only needed a minute to *figure it out*.
Video screen: Zune's is smaller, but seems *big enough*
Sync speed: Comparable, and the Zen is *fast*
Software: Prefer Zune Marketplace -- the Creative Labs' software simply wasn't making it, and never used it after first exposure.
Battery Life: Don't know yet as I've just charged it.
FM Radio: Clean display, but couldn't get it to scan -- will check elsewhere on ZuneScene.
This thing is light, stylish, and feels good in the hard. The hard, impervious plastic reminds me of a Monte Blanc or a new Vespa. I have been fairly careful with mine, but I am a slob. There are no scratches or sign of use on it, even though I let my young kids use it. I believe reports that it is highly scratch proof. I had no desire for video, but at the HD space I needed, the video was basically thrown in for free, and the additional space makes it much, much nicer than the ipod. I ended up loading all our family videos on it, and it has been nice to share.
The sound is great. No complaints.
I use mine with noise canceling headphones at the gym. Perfect. Light in the pocket. My pocket gets nice and steamy,
I have the zune, and have just downloaded an album from the Marketplace!
You can sign up to a US Live account (you will need a bogus address).
Secondly, UK M$ points will not work on a US gamertag, but you can buy points from ebay.com and have the code e-mailed to you immediately.
The software on the unit is international, I can choose "Europe" in the radio settings and listen to radio1 breakfast show!
The USB adapter works fine in a standard USB connection.
To summarize the Zune works fine in the UK and I prefer it to the iPod because I hate the way everybody has the da*n things.
BTW I bought mine from seller "lightning!" and got it for £164 including delivery so it can be bought cheaply considering it will retail at £179 in the UK (eventually).
In addition I have friends ordering zune because of my experience so I soon will be able to use WiFi like you lot!