Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yes, There Are Zune Users Out There... And I am One of Them!

For any of you Zune owners, the latest 3.0 software and firmware has recently dropped. I must say, I liked my Zune before 3.0 was released, but there were things that could be better. Now, with 3.0, a few of my issue have been resolved and I am now more in love with my Zune then ever. Some of the updates that really made my day are below:

--Audible Support: This one is huge. I had a lot of Audible audiobooks that I bought when I had my previous MP3 player (which had Audible support), but when it died and I upgraded to my Zune, I couldn't listen to them. They've been sitting in my Audible account forever and now, finally, I can listen to them and not feel like I totally wasted a bunch of money.

--A Clock: It may seem trivial, but I thought it was really stupid how there was no clock on the Zune anywhere. Now I can time my runs and better manage my pace, as well as not have to pull my blackberry out of my other pocket just to check the time (if I'm for some reason not wearing my watch).

--Games: I really didn't seem to think this would be that cool, but after having played a little Hexic while listening to a podcast, I can see how games will be a stellar addition. As long as they don't take up too much space, I'll probably buy a few for when I'm on the go.

--Better Video Support: Some video podcasts that I subscribed to wouldn't be watchable on my Zune because the format wasn't quite right, even though they were in MP4 format. It seems that this has been addressed as those podcasts are now watchable.

--Mixview: This is a part of the Zune software that is loaded onto your PC that mimics iTunes in giving you a neato way to see similar artists to what you listen to and such. It's neat, but I won't use it.

There are a few new features that I really could care less about, like buying things from the marketplace wirelessly, buying songs you listend to on the radio, Zune channels, and the added social integration stuff, but I'm sure they have their uses for some users. Now if only Microsoft could get a little more market share. For what it's worth, I feel like my Zune is a much better product than an iPod, especially when it comes to the wireless syncing, better video screen, and moderately less bloated software.

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