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I read about the Zune a long time before it was released, even in America, i picked my first Zune 30GB up the first opportunity I got when i visited Florida, it was not easy, it was sold out everywhere, but i still managed to get it for a cool $140 which was around £70 back then, i was very impressed with it, it was so much fun to use and did everything i wanted. So when i heard about the Zune 80GB coming out i snapped one up straight away, i ordered my parents to buy one from Amazon.com as they where over in America at the time.
So to the actual review
The case is a very nice touch before i get to the software, the front is matt black with its two buttons and the 'Squircle' Touch sensitive pad in the middle. The back of the player is chrome, giving it a nice metallic feel in your hand, which i have to say is quite nice.
The bad point about the case is the screen, as you might be able to see, the glass that goes around the screen stretches fairly close to the edge of the player, and finger prints show up on it very clearly, but then again, anything with a glass or plastic screen will show up finger prints so its nothing to mark it down on.
I guess this is a good a time as any to talk about the 'Squircle' touch sensitive pad, yes, it works amazingly well, it gives very easy control over the software and has lots of uses app wise. The bad point about this though was sadly a short time after this was released touch screen became a big thing. It was just a shame they couldn't have given this player a touch screen, it would have looked great, the screen stretched down to the bottom of the case and the full menu displayed without having to scroll just a little bit. But anyway i digress, it works amazingly well for what it is.
So, to the software, and lets start from the very start, the boot time is amazingly short, its sort of like... pressing the play button to wake it up, saying loading twice to yourself and it should be done, which is very impressive compared to some other MP3 players i have used, which take forever to boot and some phones as well. (Thought i might as well mention that as a lot of people are using there phones to listen to there music these days)
Once booted you are taken to the main menu, which is a list of the features, including music, video, pictures, radio, games ect. it is very easy to navigate with the controls provided but if you don't like the touch sensitive pad you can change it to a click pad as it also acts as buttons, through the settings.
The background of the menu can be changed through the settings or the pictures sections, i like being able to change the background of my devices, it gives an air of customization and truly makes it yours.
The music section is also very easy to browse through, in true Microsoft style it is a good looking list of whatever you prefer, you can change between song, album, artist and others
You can also quick jump to letters in the alphabet for even quicker browsing, there isn't much i can think to say about the music playback, it is just... well... perfect, i have found no problems with it.
The supported media types are MP3, WMA, WMA lossless, AAC, and its own DRM format for Zune Pass subscriptions but it isn't directly available here in the UK (although there are workarounds out there...)
The headphones that are supplied are of a high quality and have magnets in the opposite ends of the buds so they stick together for easy tidying when you are not using them.
This player as you might have guess has a whopping 80GB of storage space, which I have filled sadly with movies and tones of music, but there are even bigger alternatives out there such as the 120GB version.
One of my favourite features of the device is the ability to wireless sync all of your media over wifi with your PC, it is very quick, hassle free and very useful for people like me who are forever losing wires.
So after my glowing review i have to say, simply, don't buy it.
The Zune HD is far far better in every way for around the same price, it can be a little tricky to import to England or... anywhere else besides America for that matter, i bought mine through a website that imported them in bulk so got a little discount as well.
On a final note, do not dismiss this MP3 player because it is 'just an ipod knock of' which it isn't having owned a couple of ipods, i can honestly say this is a lot more enjoyable to use i own it because it is good at what i want it to do, not just because it is a fashion statement like an ipod, apple are not the be all and end all of MP3 players and the Zune is out there to prove it.
I was so excited to see this when I was browsing ebay one day. At the time of purchase I hated Apple and it's over popularized IPODs and Macbooks ugh (I now own a macbook and love Apple but still ....)
The Zune was Microsoft's answer to the IPOD problem and after reading several reviews, it seemed that the Zune was a prime contender. After owning one for some time I'll say it's pretty good but definately not without it's faults and would I prefer an IPOD? ... Maybe? Here's why:
The Zune-Pad as it is known combined with the TWIST interface is a welcome change from the click wheel. It makes menus easy to navigate and does everything you'd expect for a multi-purpose touch pad/button.
The Zune's large display is also great, it may even be better than the IPODs (I'll let you guys decide). It's big enough to let me watch anime with legible subtitles so, that's pretty impressive.
The other reviews have covered all of the features and I won't go into them I'll just list some gripes.
There is no mains charger supplied!! This is so annoying especially as a UK user because you can't just go to the shop to get one and when you take it anywhere it means you have to take your laptop with you.
No OS X compatibility, at least Apple are generous enough to make theirs multi-platform!
Discontinued product. The only updates for this model of Zune are to keep it compatible with the PC software, no new features I'm afraid. If you want an up to date top of the range player from microsoft you'd better get the Zune HD!
(Also posted on Ciao)
Unfortunately being a UK citizen (always had a admiration for the American culture) the only way I could get my hands on the Red Microsoft Zune was do what I always do in College, spend long periods of the day browsing through eBay. Finally after two weeks of waiting for someone to list the Red Microsoft Zune, now I had to wait another seven days for the biding to finish. Three days later I found myself listening to the device while at College browsing on eBay again. Well it's almost coming up to a year and half now with the elegant Microsoft Zune and my up most honest opinion is that I'm still extremely happy with the purchase. I usually have a tendency of losing interest in products that I purchase and after a few months I end up to a certain degree spending a vast amount of my money on something exceedingly similar to the product I had (its a real big problem for me)
PC Zune Software...
With the latest Zune PC software all Zune owners can now enjoy audio and video podcasts with the same ease as their iPod contemporaries. Podcast have been given their own directory within the main menu of the Zune, which is subdivided between audio and video podcasts, thumbs up. My opinion the Zune PC software is clean and has a uncluttered layout for my media collection. Not much could say about iTunes as I have had bad experiences with the itunes layout. From left to right, you'll find tabs for Collection, Marketplace, and Social, as well as a tab for Device that appears when a Zune MP3 player is connected. Each main tab includes a selection of nested tabs for viewing different content. For instance, beneath the Collection tab you'll find specific tabs for the media stored on your computer, including Music, Videos, Photos, Podcasts, and Channels. It's a positive experience to deal with overall especially with the feature of being able to see your new music you've added to the collection this allows you to access them quickly and easily. I can't remember how many times I have down loaded new albums and totally forgot the name of it, well now it doesn't matter when you are using the Zune software.
A major addition to the Zune's set of features is the ability to wirelessly sync content from your PC over your home Wi-Fi network. The feature requires a one-time setup to familiarize the Zune with your home network, after which it will remember to look for the network automatically each time it is plugged in for a recharge. If you're within range of your wireless network but don't feel like recharging your player to trigger the wireless sync, you can also initiate the sync manually by digging through the Zune's settings. Of course, you can always connect the Zune directly to your computer using the included USB cable, but the wireless option is a neat trick and shows that Zune can show some creativity to its rivals in the market place.
Microsoft have included a pair of high quality dynamic driver earphones to maximize the audio quality and it really does do that I have found myself just loving the sound quality and the way it drowns outside noise.
I admire the design of this device with its luxuriously large LCD screen it leaves the customers enjoying the album covers and watching their favourite media content. I have to jump straight to the navigation pad as it's hard to describe what the pad is like but it a cross between a laptop touch pad and a four standard direction navigation pad. Customers can find themselves navigate menu by pressing or sliding
their finger in four direction and to select the content by pushing the middle of the pad. The back of the device is covered with a kind of matte finished look with Zune logo and the bottom of the device.
I believe that this was a great purchase, and I would recommend this to anyone that wants a reliable MP3 player that can fit all high amounts of music media and few movies as I usually watch them when I'm travelling to and from College. 9 out of 10 from guys.
Microsoft's Zune Digital Player is in my personal opinion the best portable media player available for one simple fact, after the initial investment, which is generally cheaper than the Ipod, You're able to subscribe to the Zune media store and download an unlimited amount of songs, legally, for those of you who'd rather not use limewire (or the like) but don't want to spend A million pounds a song. I think the cost of the unlimited thing is like somewhere around 10 pounds a month, that's not bad at all. That's why I don't understand why the Ipod is so much more popular when this is clearly the better investment. Not to even mention that this is an 80 GB, which is really huge, most people would never need that much space but it's always good to have. So in summary, I would tell people who are in the market for a portable media player to forget the Ipod and make a smart investment.
I had a Microsoft Zune 80GB but I sold it seeing as I was getting the IPhone, when I bought it, I loved it and what I loved most about it, its is distinguished unique look from other mp3 players out there.
Microsoft Zune is a type of mobile media entertainment system which is developed by Microsoft and released November 13 2007. Microsoft Zune is super slim and ultra portable which allows an individual to take their music, video, pictures, wherever they go. It contains intrinsic features that makes this device a true mobile entertainment system. Unlike the Apple IPod, Microsoft Zune also utilizes a built-in FM tuner so that various sports and local news available can be listened to using this mobile entertainment device. The Zune contains easy to use intuitive touch controls. By incorporating the use of touch control, this makes browsing music, video and other files fun and effortless. This mobile device is capable of storing up to 20,000 songs, 25 pictures or 250 hours of video. The big 3.2 inch color screen also provides uncompromising portable video viewing.
The Microsoft Zune is capable of connecting to a home wireless network which can be used to easily connect and synchronize with a PC. Synchronization can also be achieved through various means such as dock, AC adapter, etc. the Zune also has a sharing community which can be used to discover and share various information. From the Zune online community, friends can be invited, various songs can be recommended, comments made, and connection with others that has the same music taste as an individual can be made, and other types of information
Overall this is an mp3 player that meets every demand of an individual and it is definitely worth buying. I can't really fault it from my experience from using it.
Hello to all!!. Im New to this websiteee :) WOOHoo
Im not an Owner of a ZUNE, But I'm very well interested of getting one. But I just have a couple of questions which will be greatly apprecaited if answered.
For those who bought and used the ZUNE is the radio good quality? Is it grainy or disturbed by buffering or a fluttering sound?
Are you able to put Movies/ Music Videos and Pictures directly onto your ZUNE? Are you able to Download your songs from LimeWire and upload them on your ZUNE? Can LimeWire be used?
Do you have to download any other program (s) to be able to use your ZUNE?
Is there a 160 GB ZUNE?
And lastly does the Zune only work on a PC? And When you say a PC does that mean a COMPUTER or a LAPTOP ??
** AND PLEASE AVOID THE RATINGS. THEY ARE NOT CORRECT. I HAD TO PUT SOME KIND OF RATING TO BE ABLE TO POST. **
Thank you guys for listening :) Until next tiME
The Microsoft Zune 80 is the Zune 30's bigger brother. It plays MP3, WMV, WMA, MP4 music and video files, displays JPEG pictures and has an FM tuner, but its real value is its truly whopping 80GB hard disk which can hold my entire music library and several full length films. It also supports wireless connection to your home network and can transfer music wirelessly to nearby Zune users (with restrictions) should you have the urge so to do. Given that there are few Zune users in the UK, this latter facility is currently of little value.
The device itself is light and neat, with a metal back and a clear glass front sporting only three buttons, each of which is overloaded with context dependent functions that take a little while to get used to. The central 'squircle' button (i.e. a squarish-circle) is the Zune's answer to the ipod 'wheel' and can be used for navigation by either clicking on one of its virtual compass points or just running your finger over it in the direction you want and the song list in the screen above scrolls off as if connected to it via a flywheel, slowing down over time. You tap on the centre to select. It is quiet in operation, the hard disk only making the slightest 'chunk' sound when started. The front window is very easy to smudge, but fortunately just as easy to clean with a dry cloth (or the shirt I happen to be wearing, in my case). The device seems fairly robust, although I have treated it with a great deal of care since I got it.
The battery cannot be accessed without dismantling the machine and is charged through the USB cable you use to synchronise the Zune with your PC. Since rechargeable batteries degrade over time, I'm not sure what you are supposed to do when they finally pack in. The batteries are supposed to last for up to 30 hours of music before a recharge is needed, but I haven't tested this yet.
The operating system starts off clearly, with a list of big words such as 'music', 'videos', 'settings' etc but once you drill down into the music library it is not difficult to get lost amongst albums, genres or song lists until you figure out how to navigate your way around, but once you do, it's easy. So far, the OS seemed completely stable, which was a nice change for a Microsoft offering. The screen shows a big picture of any album art associated with a piece of music, and you can fast forward through a piece with the 'squircle' button. You can also lock the machine using a slide button at the top edge, either when running (to ensure your song list isn't interrupted with accidental button pushes) or when turned off (to ensure it isn't accidentally turned on).
The 3.2-inch video screen was big, clear and bright, with only slight shearing on the edges of moving images which didn't affect my enjoyment of the picture. Videos are shown sideways to ensure the aspect ration is reasonable, as the screen is longer than it is wide. Note that importing recorded TV relies on a PC running the Media Center application that comes with some versions of MS Vista. Given the occasional (but not Zune-related) problems that I and many others have had with Vista, I would recommend thinking very hard about whether its worth upgrading to Vista just so you can use the Media Center.
The Zune 80 has no graphic equalizer controls, which might make control freaks a little jumpy, but as the sound quality through the earphones is very good anyway there is little need for them.
The FM tuner seems merely OK; its reception seems poor and fluttery in comparison with my other radios. It takes advantage of the RBDS text service transmitted with FM channels and you get a display of the channel name and programme.
I installed the Zune software on an Athlon PC running MS Windows Vista Ultimate without any problems (a new version 2.3 has just been released). The device itself has had no problems synchronising with the PC via USB 2, and can also do so via unencrypted wireless. It is supposed to be able to do so via WEP or WPA encrypted wireless also, but I can't get this to work.
The item is not officially for sale in the UK. I bought mine from an ebay reseller who presumably made a recent trip to the USA.
I'm a techie, and I really like to know what software is doing to my PC; not so much out of curiosity, but out of suspicion. Zune have this itunes-like application that you MUST use to synchronise your PC music library with your Zune. Like many Microsoft offerings, its general design approach is to look pretty whilst 'doing stuff' that you needn't worry your pretty little head about. Why can't I just copy music over onto a mounted drive like I could with my old Archos recorder? There is no technical reason, its just MS doesn't want me to. There is a registry hack available that presents your Zune as a mountable drive, but I haven't got it to work yet, and is not recommended to non-technical users.
I was taken aback when I realised that the Zune was unable to read the MS proprietary dvr-ms video file that the MS Vista Media Center writes. The Zune synchronisation application converts these files to something more digestible before transferring them over, taking a long time doing it, and audio-only dvr-ms files (recorded from radio over DVB-T, for instance) do not playback on the Zune, although they get converted and transferred. This speaks of simply appalling software design or implementation, although it is no more than a minor annoyance to me as I mostly listen to my own MP3s.
I'll be damned if I can get the wireless synchronisation to work over my WPA secure network, and I'm not going to downgrade my wireless network's security to accommodate the Zune. However, this could be a technical failing on my part.
The Zune was a major improvement over my five-year old Archos Jukebox, which itself was a major improvement over the portable CDs and tape players I had been previously using. Given the huge capacity, I no longer have to edit my portable music library to fit, and the video replay is very useful for those times stuck in airports and railway stations. It also compares favourably with the equivalent ipod. However, it is flawed, and some of these flaws seem intentional own goals. It does its job well, but it doesn't make me gasp in admiration. Perhaps I'm a technological spoilt brat, but I expect *no* wrinkles for my money.