chikahiro94 / Member

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Thoughts on Zune ownership: 8 months in.

I bought a 4gig Zune back in September last year (got it in October) after giving my friend my old iPod Nano (3rd generation phatty). It was $50 from Newegg, refurbished, and came with a car kit and leather case. You can read my initial impressions here.

* The Zune marketplace remains unused for me. The two reasons being it uses Microsoft Points and quite frankly I'd rather buy my music from Amazon. I prefer Zune and Amazon to iTunes since they sell MP3s, though.

* The Zune marketplace and player don't handle audiobooks well. The books they have are under "spoken word" rather than getting their own category like iTunes - annoying. Putting audiobooks onto the Zune requires a seperate application from Audible - very annoying.

* Ripping music is easy, but like virtually every other ripper I've used it does not say, "Hey! Your CD is damaged so all these tracks I ripping are going to sound like a high-volume scream." Oh well... failure of the application, and failure of me keeping my CD's in good condition.

* The FM radio works well, and is easily one of those features that I'll require from all media players going forward. My Sansa was a bit better in that you could record FM radio, and the new Nanos can do time-shifting of sorts (like a radio DVR, but only for 15-minute stints?). I'd like to see Microsoft improve this in the future, but chances are it'll only be fore Zune HD players and newer. Sadly, none of the radio stations here use the radio tags, so no finding out what stuff is (which is a bummer since I just started listening to a Hawaiian music station and they don't really say who they're playing).

* I love the squircle, and much prefer it to the iPod wheel.

All in all a very solid player.Right now I'm very curious to see what the Windows Phone 7 has to offer - its due out towards the holiday season. I find it very satisfying to see Sony and Microsoft in bed again - Sony Erricson is going to be making Windows 7 phones, which means a Sony will be making and selling a product that has Live! as a feature. Suck on reality, fanboys! The two companies work together regularly - its not as black and white, us versus them, as you think it is!

I wish I knew exactly when Microsoft started changing - there's been some sort of internal shaking of the status quo. While not perfect I'm a lot more impressed with them than I was even ten years ago. I'd like to give credit to Ray Ozzie, the new chief software architect (Bill Gate's old job), but it has to be more than that.