First impressions of Microsoft's Zune

By Justin Mann on
How does the Zune stack up to other players like the iPod and Xen in real life? A spec sheet tells you one thing, a press release tells another. We all know that Apple doesn't consider the Zune a threat, so let's see how someone who actually tried it felt. There's a fairly good review of the Zune that talks about it not only in functionality, but aesthetics. From an interface standpoint, it seemed good.The Zune will switch backgrounds to match album art if you so wish, and has the ability to zoom in on any point to make it easier to read a section. Playing video on the tiny LCD seemed crisp:

Video on the device was bright and fluid. I watched several music videos with no dropped frames or stutters. The radio interface is large and easy to tune and read. I didnít look at the photo capabilities, myself, but looked over the shoulder of the guy next to me and the slideshow capability looked fluid.
He also talks about the software on the Zune, and of course the built in DRM. There's a very easy way to transfer music to another player, but as mentioned in other articles, by default, it only lets you play them three times before disabling them. The final impressions were very positive for the new player. Regardless, even if a device is flawless it is hard to sell it if everyone already has an iPod. It has some features that helps it stand out, for sure, and more reviews like this may convince some.

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