Microsoft Zune

Microsoft released the Zune today.  This thing looks totally sweet, but unfortunately it only comes in a 30 GB capacity.  I only have about 70% of my music collection copied onto my computer in MP3 format, but even that is 32 GB, already larger than the Zune’s capacity.  That would leave me a) no room for my existing collection, b) no room for future expansion, and c) no room for any photos or videos at all.

Once they release a new version with an 80+ GB hard drive, and with the ability to access the internet wirelessly (it already has wireless hardware, but only to connect to other Zunes -- lame), then I’ll really be excited about the Zune.

Posted by Anthony on 9 replies


01. Nov 14, 2006 at 01:16pm by Anthony:

And the tag-list that I used for this post is telling: Internet.  Movies.  Music.  Photography.  The Zune, and the latest/future iPod, is all about convergence.

02. Nov 14, 2006 at 02:55pm by Anthony:

There are some interesting points in this Ars thread, including:

It costs more than 4 out of 5 models of iPod
It is heavier and bigger than all the iPods
It has less storage capacity than the highest capacity iPod
It has less battery life than all the iPods
It does not act as a portable HDD, unlike all the iPods
It does not play games, like the HDD based iPods
There are precious few accessories for the Zune, unlike the iPod

The Zune site is a little light on details so I don’t know whether it’s true that it won’t work as a portable HDD (i.e. just plug it in and you can drag and drop any files you want to it).  But if it is true, and if you have to use some proprietary MS BS to use the thing, that’s certainly a deal-breaker for me.

Apparently Archos has a similar device, the Archos 604 WiFi, which as you can see already supports WiFi for internet access.  And it’s been around for a while now.  They apparently had to issue a press release saying "Look!  We have one of these too!!" because they are not very well-known and don’t sell very many of them.  Anyway, the WiFi functionality is cool, but the thing is just ugly, and it too only has a 30 GB capacity.

03. Nov 14, 2006 at 03:03pm by Kev:

I don’t have a portable MP3 player yet, but I will avoid the Zune like the plague. I want to avoid the embrace, extend, and then lock down mentality that Microsoft has.
I will likely purchase an Ipod when I am ready. I know that Apple does a certain amount of locking down, via the AAC format etc., but it seems that in the long run Apple will be "more free" than Microsoft in terms of what I can do with my music, that I have legally purchased.
I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the Zune is a Microsoft product. I really try not to give them my money when better and/or cheaper alternatives are available.

04. Nov 14, 2006 at 03:12pm by Anthony:

I agree about the possibility of them locking down the content probably more than Apple would/will, but I don’t plan on buying any DRM’d content (from the Zune/Urge store or iTunes) so it doesn’t affect me.  The only stuff I’ll put onto it will be non-DRM’d MP3s that I made from my own CDs.

I’m not a big fan of Microsoft, but if they make a device that’s nice looking and has a feature-set that I want, I’ll have no problem buying one.

05. Nov 14, 2006 at 10:10pm by Kim:

No games? That’s absurd! Who wants a portable MP3 player that doesn’t have Parachutes pre-loaded?

06. Nov 15, 2006 at 10:00am by Mike:

I actually have an Archos Something-Or-Other.  And it’s actually even uglier than the one you linked to, but it was the cheapest option available to me at the time (just graduating from PSU) that would allow me to store digital photos since I didn’t feel like lugging a laptop to Europe.  At some point I’ll upgrade to something a little nicer, but for now I’m sticking with my ugly, small capacity, grey scale LCD display MP3 player.

07. Nov 15, 2006 at 10:49pm by Kev:


08. Jan 12, 2007 at 08:20pm by Larry Cooper:

I bought a black Zune on Amazon for $229.00 with free shipping and no tax.  I love it! 

I have a Dell running Windows XP.  After loading the Zune software, I connected the Zune and it auto downloaded every song and picture file on my PC. 

The sound is great, the screen size and resolution are great, and the FM radio is great. 

I never did own an ipod because I was turned off by the small display. Also ipod has the gloss finish that is a fingerprint magnet.  The Zune has a Matte finish and looks and feels just fine.

If you own a PC, then this is the way to go.  It works seamlessly with XP. 

I also have a large CD collection on my PC, but I’ve edited most of them and removed songs that sucked.  Very few Cd’s have all good or great songs except for The Beatles, Greenday, and Blink 182.

You just hate Microsoft for some stupid reason.  It’s a great American company and I support it when I can.  Go Vista, Xbox360, and Zune.

09. Jan 12, 2007 at 09:36pm by Anthony:

Quoting Larry Cooper:

You just hate Microsoft for some stupid reason.

Actually, I hate Microsoft for some very good reasons, namely that they produce IE and IIS, both bug-ridden piles of poo that make my life as a web developer so much harder.  But as I already said, if they make a device that has features that I want, I won’t have any trouble buying one.

Now that the Apple iPhone is (almost) here, though, the chances of me getting a Zune are probably pretty slim.

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