Microsoft Zune (gen II)
This Christmas I got an 8GB Zune, as my 2 Year Swing is rapidly reducing to the 1.5 year swing. After 18 months with the Creative Zen Vision:M I realized I didn’t really need 30GB of space for my music, and wanted a smaller model. I thought the new Zune looked excellent, and I was not wrong.
I want to break this down into two parts- the Zune and the Zune vs. the iPod. The reason being people, I feel, buy the iPod solely because of name recognition. I honestly feel the Zune is a better product- but I will get to that later on. Right now, the Zune as a device.
- Interface: Extremely intuitive. 3 buttons, clearly labeled, and the direction pad is touch making navigation very quick and easy. The software interface is excellent. One menu with bigger fonts and then top navigation for the sub-menus. Smart idea by Microsoft. And, it looks great. You really feel at home using the Zune.
- Zune Player: I think even if I didn’t have a Zune, I’d use the player. It’s light weight, visually stunning and super easy to use. I’d also like to attribute my listening/watching podcasts to Zune player, as it makes podcasting (word?) very easy. Integration with any number of Zunes is a snap. And don’t worry about losing your music to autosync, because the Zune player prompts you for auto or manual sync. Furthermore, it allows two-way sync, which means I can take music from the Zune and put it on my computer.
- Functionality: I could go on for days about the Zune’s functionality. The features it offer are second to none. First, the social. This function is awesome. You can tell what other Zunes are near, what they are playing and you can send music from your Zune to another Zune. Sure, it only allows for three plays, but you can’t scrutinize Microsoft for not wanting the RIAA on their back. This can really open up a lot of possibilities for the future of mp3 players, even if no one talks about it. The other awesome feature is the built in WiFi. If you have a wireless network in your house, just connect the Zune to that network (using Zune Player) and you can send music, videos and pics to your Zune wirelessly, anywhere the network reaches. Excellent.
All in all it’s an excellent device. In the next post I will talk (in some detail) about why the Zune is better than the iPod, though you might be able to tell I set myself up pretty well in this post.