Archive for the ‘Zune’ Category

About that Zune HD thing

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

I am a huge Microsoft fan, the Xbox 360 is my favorite console, Windows is my favorite OS, and the Zune has been my music player ever since it was first released (The Dell DJ was my music player before that). On the day a new model of the Zune is released it is somewhat of a tradition that I run out to Best Buy and pick one up. There are currently four Zunes in my household.

In the past the Zune has not been without its problems, it seems to take the development team a incredibly long time to fix issues with the software, it is very easy to lose all of the music you have purchased in the marketplace, the accessories feel very cheaply made, and there is no support for the device in cars or home theater audio systems. Another sore spot for the Zune has been its marketing, in the past there was no way of knowing what the commercial was trying to sell you until the Zune logo popped up at the end as opposed to Apple marketing where the entire commercial centers around the devices.

Although almost any device these days is a ‘music player’ I am more excited about the ZuneHD than I have been about any other Zune device. Built on the Tegra (NVIDIA) platform which offers a great amount of power and including a new OLED screen, a web browser, the Zune 4 software, the application store, and the inclusion of HD radio; this is most likely the largest step the Zune has taken in its progression thus far.

I will be picking up a ZuneHD as soon as the local Best Buy opens up, but if the issues continue this is likely to be the last time Microsoft wins my business. I might have to hold my nose and buy an Apple product, after all.

-Drew

Zune – Why hast thou forsaken me!?

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

From my article yesterday about Apple, one would think that I am a major Zune thumping Microsoft fan boy. Not so, I take anyone to task on anything that I think is annoying, frustrating, or just plain stupid. As I am preparing for a brief trip I wanted to import some of my newer CDs, yes I said CDs into my Zune. I still go to retail “stores” and “purchase music” with “money” I know, call me old fashioned. I was somewhat surprised at the results I got out of the Zune software.

The first CD I tried to rip into the Zune player is the new album “Day and Age” by The Killers. The Killers rock and this album is no exception, so I loaded the disc into ye olde DVD drive (left-shift held down for old superstitions) and away we went. Zune immediately detected that I had inserted a disc.

The first thing I noticed is that the first three song titles were all “Human”, yes The Killers can be a little, err eccentric.. but I doubt that they named 3 of their songs the same thing. (That may play hell on the CDDB). I then quickly looked up the track list on Amazon.com (the best. site. ever. for information about products, by the way) and determined that in fact all of the song titles were completely wrong.

I then swallowed my “pride” and downloaded and installed the latest version of iTunes (yes, I said it). iTunes had the correct song titles without any difficulty. I shrugged this off and thought well maybe with the thousands of CDs available this one huge release slipped through the cracks. So I manually edited the song titles and ripped the disc.

Then I inserted the newly released Fall Out Boy record FOLIE a DEUX (again with the requisite superstitious left-shift held down) I was a little surprised at what the Zune player did next.

fob2

One of the largest music releases of the year and the database behind the Zune software has absolutely no information about it (Except for the artist, which is a little weird). I realize its not a huge deal that a few of the largest music releases of the year have completely messed up data in whatever database Zune pulls its information from on a large scale, but on an micro-industry scale, the fact that the competition (iTunes) gets it right every time seems like it would put some pressure on Microsoft to get it right at least on huge releases like these.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Zune. The software and hardware has gotten better with each new revision, but in such a competitive (maybe not so much?) market, you need to get the fundamentals correct to stay in the game (WNBA, strong fundamentals..) the other flashy stuff can come after you have the correct information about huge album releases.