I ended up with a Zune after Christmas this year. After reading comparisons of several media players I settled on the Microsoft Zune, mainly for the storage, screen and built in FM tuner. After playing with it for a few days I decided it is time to write down my first thoughts.
I have to say that I like the device. The interface is easy to use and the quality seems to be nice. To date, I have only transfer existing MP3’s from my own collection. At some point I will probably try out the Zune Marketplace. I’ll leave a review once I do that.
- The screen is very nice, nay, beautiful. It is very clear and of a decent size to view videos.
- Ease navigation through the menu systems.
- Size is nice. It has a good weight to it making it feel substantial.
- Synchronization with the Zune software on Window is easy and runs in the background with no noticeable performance degradation on the PC.
- Built in FM tuner. I like to listen to local radio from time to time and the radio works very nicely.
- Storage is nice. The 30GB is plenty for me, and probably for most people. There are options to swap the hard drive out for a larger one, but I doubt many will want to go through that hassle. I would imagine that Microsoft will come out with larger options to compete with the iPod in the future.
- A wide variety of third party accessories.
- It looks like we will be able to play games in 2008. It is a ways off, true, but it is something to look forward to. I believe that speaks to the commitment at Microsoft to competing strongly in the portable media player market.
- Inability out of the box to view the file systems. There are hacks available to allow you to do it, but a lot of people may not know how or want to go through the steps.
- Wireless sharing is on by default. This drains the battery faster of course. It is fairly easy to turn off, however nothing tells you you should.
- It does not come with a wall charger. I know that the USB charging will suffice for a lot of people, but travelling usually means that is not available. There are plenty of options available, it would just be nice if it came with one.
- No support for Auidible.com. 😦 I wish I would have known about this one before purchase, it is of course my own fault for not investigating. I have found a work around to convert my audio books from Audible into MP3 to transfer to the device. This may be too much to do for some people. If you do not want to take the time to do that keep in mind the lack of support. Hopefully Microsoft will correct this in the future.
I am sure that continued use will garner further insight. For the time being I am happy with the my Zune. Every product has good and bad points. Most of the negatives for the Zune have workarounds that I can deal with. I would recommend one to anybody, other than perhaps users of Auidble.com.