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Zune reviews

Zune 120 GB Review

Zune rev

Many months after the intro, it's nice to see that a new review of the Zune 120 GB.  Sometimes it is these later reviews, when all the initial enthusiasm has melted away, that can be the most objective of a product. 

Website I4U News takes on the challenge of the Zune 120 GB.  This is the only hard drive player that Microsoft is making these days, and matches the largest of the iPod hard drive line.  The review is a reasonable length, and hits all the high points of the player.  They also focus their attentions on the ecosystem, better known as the Zune Marketplace, that the Zunes fit into.  While they don't go into lesser used functions, such as picture viewing, or battery life while playing videos, they do talk about using the built in WiFi to access Marketplace tunes via the all-you-can-eat subscription.

While their review does a good job of highlighting the uses of the monthly subscription Zune pass, I hope that users with exisiting larger music collections don't feel that they are left out, or that the Zune is not a viable player for their collections.  Plenty of us have a Zune, and don't use the subscription aspect.  While it is a reasonable option for many users, it is not for everyone.  I think their overall score of 8 is pretty accurate however you look at it.

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Zune Remains Editor's Choice

01425i22033000 I was surfing, and came upon the PC Magazine's holiday shopping guide of "How to Buy an MP3 Player."  What was intriguing is that there are only three players that get their coveted Editor's Choice designation: Apple's iPod Nano, the iTouch, and the Zune 120 GB.  While I'm not surprised that Apple dominated their choices, I was a little surprised that they saw the value of the Zune.  I've long maintained that "the ultimate music player," that Apple frequently touts its iTouch as, would, by definition, fit all of my music, which is 39 gigs at last count.  I'm not saying the iTouch is a bad product, and I've even been thinking of buying one, but at least to me, I'm looking for it to replace my Palm T/X as nonsmartphone PDA organizer, and not as a music player.

When Apple ceased any new meaningful development on their hard drive based players, and designated them as "classic" to justify this, they ceded this portion of the market.  Microsoft's Zune was well positioned to take this segment over, but unfortunately most of the players sold are flash based.  Still, for the serious music enthusiast, the Zune is the way to go, and PC Mag designates it as "...the best hard drive–based portable media player on the market." 

I'm just glad that someone is making a product with a large enough capacity because sooner or later my Zune 80 will need to be replaced, and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase another one.  How many pieces of electronics do you own that fit into that category?  Around my house, that is quite few!

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No Place Like Zune For the Holidays

Christmastree When it is time for some holiday shopping, most of us around here would much rather get some electronics rather than a necktie.  An audio player of some sort is a "must have" item for any gadget fan, and an up to date one with a really large capacity is my personal preference.  While it is hard to believe that I'm coming up on my year anniversary of owning a Zune 80 gig, I'm still intrigued to see what players are being recommended this year for music lovin' holiday shoppers.

I spotted this piece today in The Washington Times.  Topping their list, was, you guessed it, the Zune. They mention that there are both flash and hard drive models available, and that the Zune is "nice and affordable," which makes it kind of the girl next door that you don't think of while fawning after some cheerleader.  At least the paragraph does mention the Zune's strong points: WiFi music sharing (which they got wrong and characterized as streaming), and the all-you-can-eat music pass, which they are out of date and didn't mention the latest iteration to keep a generous 10 tracks a month.

While their details are a little less than accurate, I do agree that the Zune should top any holiday shopper's list.

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Two Thumbs Up For the Zune

While we've complaining about the unsubstantiated Zune bashing (see here and here), there have been some positive reports as well.

Over on The Silicon Alley Insider, read about their cautious outlook for holiday sales of the Zune.

Then, jump on "down under" to an Aussie site, Hydrapinion, and read why they think that their Zune is "an amazing thing."

Finally, Baller Status has a more balanced review of the flash Zune here.

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Zune 80 Reviewed by The Digital Lounge

Trolling the Web for ClicZune content brought me to this video review from a tech site called The Digital Lounge. The author is reviewing at length the Zune 80GB. As far as video reviews go, it is one of the more comprehensive ones I have so far seen.

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UGO gives Zune 8GB thumbs up

UgoA new review about the 8GB Zune has surfaced online, this time over at UGO. Reviewer Karim Tabar generally had good things to say about the Zune, with the pull quote for this review summing it all by stating "watch out, Steve Jobs, you can actually learn a thing or two from Bill Gates' Zune."

In his short review Tabar examined design, features and software of the 8GB model. He found it be "one of the slickest pieces of hardware" he has seen. He was also particularly happy with the FM radio and it's ability to provide song information on-screen.

It is refreshing to see reviews of the second generation Zunes being more positive than the first go around. That's one thing you can generally count on Microsoft to do - learn from its mistakes and improve for the next time around.

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Zune Reviewed by PC Magazine

Folks, PC Magazine says the Zune 80 outperforms the iPod Classic. Isn't cool? On the negative side, the reviewer doesn't like the Flash Zune. Well, can't win them all I guess.

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Zune 8 Review: My Girlfriend Likes it Too!


We’ve seen Sam’s Zune 8 unboxing video, but here’s my shot on the Red Zune 8.

How do you know if a product is ready for mass market and if it has the potential to become a real hit in sales? Well, the answer is simple, you ask my girlfriend! Valerie does not have the geek profile at, all and electronic toys are not her thing. But even though she’s not a gadget lover like you and me, when a product is extremely well designed, she’s attracted to it. Last year, when the Zune 30 came out, she literally turned her back on it and said it was ugly, bulky and not appealing like her cute little iPod nano. She was right; the Zune 30 won’t be remembered as a design wonder of the 21st century...



This year, Valerie went to Target to buy a red Zune 8 for me. You know want? She couldn’t resist and she opened the box on her way back home! When she came in, she said, “You not what, I could use one of these…”. That’s it folks, I can tell you, that means that Zune 4 and 8 can attract women and this is a major milestone for the Zune. You can’t just release a pink color device to grab a woman’s attention. You have to think about what women want, and I think that the Flash Zune has achieved that this year with the new devices.

Continue reading "Zune 8 Review: My Girlfriend Likes it Too!" »

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Zune Review: Can we Stop Comparing the Zune to the iPod?

Zune_review Wall Street Journal technology guru, Walter Mossberg, published his review of the Zune. After usual Zune 30 extreme bashing, Mossberg had few goods words for the new Zune players:

“We’ve been testing these new Zunes and find them to be notably better than last year’s entry. They are smaller, lighter and more attractive, and they include three big improvements. First is a new controller, called a Zune Pad, that combines buttons with a touch pad for scrolling. Second is a completely overhauled, simpler PC-software program and online store, the Zune Marketplace. Third is expanded usability of the built-in Wi-Fi, which allows you to synchronize your Zune and your PC without plugging in a cable and makes sharing songs between Zunes — its only function last year — slightly better.”

But then the inevitable iPod comparison kicks in with this paragraph:

“Unfortunately for Microsoft, Apple hasn’t been standing still, either. It now has its own large-screen, wireless model, the iPod Touch, with a radical “multi-touch” interface like the iPhone’s. The screen on the Touch is larger than the one on the bigger Zunes and is much sharper. Its Wi-Fi allows you to browse the Web, watch YouTube videos and even buy music without a PC — none of which is possible on a Zune — though the Touch is $50 more and holds much less content than the new full-size Zune.”

If you have a few minutes, you should read Mossberg’s Zune review. He got it right on a few things, but I think that the comparisons with the iPod becomes less and less meaningful. The Zune is becoming a lot more than a mp3 player. The social aspect of the Zune brings something we’ve never seen before and the Zune music experience is becoming a product a platform on its own. A new product category will have to be created soon.

I’ve been using the ZuneSocial for less than 24 hours, and I already discovered new bands and the songs are already on my Zune 30, thanks to the Wifi Sync feature. That, is an experience. That, is something I could not have done before.

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Video Review Of Zune Home AV Kit

This is my Un-box video of the new Zune Home AV kit, and I still haven't gotten my Zune 80 or 8 to review, so I can't review the kit with any new Zune's yet. Well, I hope you guys like it.

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