Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Zune It To Me One More Time


I was really trying to avoid yet another Zune rant, but it's such a mind-bogglingly disastrous little device that I just can't help myself...

As you can read in my previous post, I've lost another iPod. Rather than immediately buying another one, I decided to see if I could get by with the ol' brown Zune for awhile.

The first thing, I ran the Zune software by itself, looking for the inevitable update. Loaded up, incredibly slow boot, following by some gibberish looking error message, which finally resolved, and it came up. (Something about a connection to the online marketplace.) Hmm... they have an "exclusive" japanese b-side by Velvet Revolver, let's look at that.... nope - the Zune page shows no tracks available after all. That was a brilliant use of the homepage (btw, this resolved later in the day, and started working again). Then, yep, the inevitable update, and system reboot.

Rinse and repeat, with the Zune plugged in... hey, time to update the firmware. Got a very strange dialog, had the whole office come look at it, but aside from that, the update went ok, I suppose.

Now, to get some tunes onto the zune. First up - wipe the old test data I had on there... select all, press delete... hang, reboot. Oops. Try again, select "Erase Zune", dialog says "ok, fine", then the Zune software starts resyncing and loading all the test data back on to the Zune for me. How helpful... not. Set to manual, wipe, purge, clean, (three times). Figure out how to sync manually... looks like the most effective way so far (since I don't use the Zune software to manage my library) is to load a playlist, then sync that to the Zune manually.

Many moons later...

Zune is loaded, rocking out, life is good. I forgot how pretty the large cover art works, although the screen goes completely black while you're listening, to conserve battery power (configurable).

If it had stopped there, I wouldn't be writing this.

Today, I plug in the Zune to my Windows computer, to charge the battery, and I get a lovely "Found New Hardware", would you like me to install the driver for this device wizard. Really? I was just using this on this very computer yesterday. This is nuts.

Side note: after being seen in public with my Zune, a friend actually came up and admitted to me that he had one too. So maybe there is a secret subculture of underground Zune users, who speak only to each other, hiding their little wifi devices from the general view. This brings my total number of Zune sightings "in the wild" to three (that includes my own, and I didn't actually see the one I just mentioned, but why would anyone lie about owning a Zune?).

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