Here is a simple review of my latest and greatest gadget, the MICROSOFT ZUNE…!
At first shot the zune is bigger, bulkier and somewhat lacks an element of that classy iPod look that we have been used to and convinced of but hey the ipod is not the end of life.
The packaging is relatively smaller than the iPod, i would say 25% lesser than the iPod packaging. The display screen is certainly bigger and the clarity on the screen is definitely way better off than any iPod or iPod wannabe i have seen. Plus, you have an FM tuner. I listen to a lot of FM so i love this! I don’t have to blow another 4000 rupees on an FM tuner unlike the iPod which comes with none.
The controls are elegant and simple. Four way directional buttons with a center select button and a back button and a play/pause button that also doubles up as a power button.
Finally like all players we got the hold switch which is on top of the player and its a slide switch. There is no notable difference in the quality of the sound between the iPod and the zune. I would certainly recommend you buy a good pair of Noise reduction, in ear ear buds for crystal clear clarity and noise isolation. Personally i own a Panasonic in ear ear phone that goes for Rs. 1500 but since my Zune is black in color i need a black ear phone and i got myself a Sennheiser CX300B headphones that goes for 49 dollars in B & H Photo Video .
Ok back to the zune. 7500 songs, WMA, MP3, ACC, H.26 format are what this plays on the player. It works with the Zune software and somewhere down the next few weeks they will add windows media player support for this. MPG and WMV are the video formats playable and i would say it kicks ass and beats the heck off the iPod or my old iRiver PMC 120 player.
On the whole for a first time start up Microsoft has done a fantastic job with the player and im sure they could build more into this. Whats more, when i get my XBOX 360 i could dock my Zune into it for unlimited music streaming on XBOX live and zune market place.
And yes, did i talk about the zune market place? Heck no! Tell you what, its awesome. I found songs from “1942 A Love Story” and some R D burman stuff (even though i dont listen to R D burman) and i was amazed.
I cant wait to get the XBOX and if they release the 2nd generation of zune in India rumored to be around December i would be the first one to get that too!
It makes sense as a windows user to buy from Microsoft. I dont have to install some alien software, certainly not the crappy iTunes which wants to make two copies of all of my music and put it in its own install folder for whatever reasons it wants. Apple can do better without abusing windows users like this, i guess. I’ve never liked the ITunes anyways. I think its a poorly built and designed application comparing with rich players on the Windows platform like the Winamp and Sonique offerings. (yeah i know sonique is dead but still its an awesome app)
On the whole the Zune is a treat for an advanced windows user and a avid microsoft fan boy like me. I would say things just cant get any better.
About the price, the zune costs 199 US dollars for a 30GB (Rs. 7960) and FedEx shipping is another 40 dollars (Rs. 1600) + Customes fee Rs. 1270. That totals to Rs. 10.760 which is far more lesser than what a iPod sells here for.
You don’t need additional headphones unless you are a techno additct like me. However for your information i spent 49 dollars (Rs. 2460) on the head phones.