Blog Post

Zuned Out

Update: I have opened the box, and set up the Zune and have played around with it for an hour or so. I need a few more hours to do an in depth review, but the initial reaction has been mixed. The device when it come to looks and usability is definitely though not quite as smooth as iPod, is still pretty intuitive. The software side of things, well that is another story. But need more time to make an honest assessment. More tomorrow!

Last night when I came home, Roy, doorman of our building, handed me a big brown box. It was from Microsoft, and my best guess was that it was the new Zune device. One of the last media folks to get hold of this device, I knew that I could wait till morning to open it, and perhaps give the new device a whirl.

This morning, however, the RSS reader is full of Zune negativity. CNN is beating up on the device, and well, it seems to be a bit of a PR mess. Not many (any) positive reviews out there about the device, which was supposed to outpod, iPod. Well, 53% of our readers did not think it had a prayer, but still I was going to wait and see how this device was going to turn out, and who knew like XBox 360 it could be a big November surprise.

It is now 10.09 AM and the box remains unopened. The reviews have soured me on the device already. Is there a point to another review of the device, given that the gigabytes of coverage already devoted to Zune? What do you think? Should I open the device, and give it a shot? I have a new Lenovo laptop sitting next to me, loaned by Lenovo people just for this specific review. (Now that laptop is seriously sweet, despite the WindowsXP!)

49 Responses to “Zuned Out”

  1. I got a Zune and my girlfriend begged me to get her one for Christmas. She is a gucci / LV girl for life and she loves the device. Unlike the iPod, it still looks new after 2 days because it doesn’t collect your finger grease like the iPod does. Zune is right on target IMO.

  2. Stacy Young

    The only folks interested in wireless features at this stage of the game are techies. There are too many limitations and speed issues to get the kids excited about it aside from trying to hack it.

  3. Nobody sends me nothing (not that I’d want a Zune, anyway, unless it were a Pocket PC Zune camera phone). They went to the trouble to send it to you, so I’d get on it. When I got the Visual Studio 2005 Superhero, I posted about it, and they don’t feature foam toys on CNN too often.

  4. Am I the only one that thinks that MS isn’t exactly stupid, and not many people realize the potential value of a media device with Wifi yet?
    I can think of at least 5 examples of highly useful things that I would guess MS could add, just by updating the firmware, and that are currently not possible on the iPod. I leave the list as an exercise to the reader :) (or I’ll type it after some sleep, it’s 3 am, here in Amsterdam :))

  5. theWordofGod

    It does not matter if you review it or not. It does not matter if BusinessWeek or CNN bashes it and has an orgasm on the air when taking about the iPod.

    The kids, the geeks, and the early adopters are the ones who will turn the zune into a hit or not. Through them, if microsoft is smart, the necessary updates and new features will come. Through them, the “cool” factor will develop.

    You think the talking heads on CNN knew what the hell Digg was? or Linux? These morons just read blogs and spew their “pundit” crap. They are the definition of establishment. Who gives a fuck what they think.

  6. Would be a service to your readers if you reviewed it. I’m a former MSFT employee, not a huge fan (except for XBox) but to be fair I’ve often found that reviewers start from a place of hating MSFT (hey I can understand that) and let that poison the review.

    Would be interesting to see your take if you could start from “Neutral” and let the experience (not the previous reviews) sway you.

  7. Remember Tom Hanks in Survivor… What if that box he didn’t open had contained a radio transmitter? Might be something REALLY juicy inside that box. At least open it and satisfy your LOYAL following’s curiosity if not your own… :)

  8. “After careful and detailed analysis I have come to the conclusion that a Zune is in fact different than an Ipod.”

    Thanks Captain Obvious.

    From reading your “analysis” I could most definitely tell you would be the type of person who would purchase the Zune.

  9. jasleinstein

    I don’t know who at MSFT pissed off John Dyvorak. I figure I didn’t have a right to join the “u I hate the Zune” group unless I had tried one. So I bought mine. I bought a black one.
    I unboxed it. Put the CD in the PC (it would have been nice to download via the and installed the software. Connected to Zune and walked thru three or four minutes of silly sign up stuff like I did with my Ipod.

    I opened up my music library folder and drug a bunch of music over to the Zune. Unplugged it, put it in my shirt pocket and listened to music while I did some stuff around the house.

    It played the music just fine.

    I got aggressive and moved some pictures over to it.

    It displayed them just fine.

    I got really crazy and put a music video on the Zune.

    It played it just fine.

    After careful and detailed analysis I have come to the conclusion that a Zune is in fact different than an Ipod.

  10. Robert Dewey

    Nah, I’d pass… I don’t need to see yet another Zune review. Just send it back and move on.

    Besides, when you open it, you might find some sort of legal document telling you that you just auto-agreed upon opening the box (just like when you “auto-agree” when you by or use a Windows-based PC). ;)

  11. I haven’t been able to get my hands on Zune yet, but so far it is apparently proving to be quite a disappointment, with horror stories about installations going awry, software crashing, synchronisation failing – in short, the sort of stuff that one may have come to expect from Microsoft products.

    I did have high hopes for Zune, but so far it seems that the roll-out phase, at least, has been a bit of a disaster. Somewhat surprising, given how much effort Microsoft seems to have invested into the device.

  12. I say evaluate it as though you were the only one doing a review — then check your experience against everything flooding the blogosphere today. If you have anything new to add, post it, but if not, a short post saying just that would also be good. If the Zune really is the anticlimax many are reporting it to be, yours is s strong voice to add to the consensus.