Complete Media Player Reviews (Part 4): Zune Software
So far in this series of posts Iâ€™ve taken a look at Windows Media Player, iTunes, Media Monkey and Helium Music Manager. Today Iâ€™m going to review Microsoftâ€™s 3rd Media software offering; the Zune 2.5 Software:
Zune 2.5 Software
I realise the Zune software may not really be considered a serious music management alternative unless you actually have a Zune Mp3 Player, however like iTunes I think youâ€™ll find thereâ€™s a lot of reasons to use this program.
The original Zune software was horribly bad, so the decision to start over from scratch was a good one. Unfortunately this meant the initial Zune 2 release lacked some of the functionality of Zune 1, but made up for it by actually being stable and reliable.
Comparisons to iTunes is inevitable, this is after all Microsoftâ€™s answer to Appleâ€™s product. Seemingly the design process for the software was, â€˜lets look at iTunes, and do something completely differentâ€™, which is actually a good thing.
The result is a very usable and attractive application, in fact although its not designed for advanced users at all, I still enjoy using it just for the well designed UI and attractive theme. Actually what I like best is the playback visualisation. Rather then the usual clouds and swirls, the Zune software displays a full screen of tiled album art, which looks really good:
Tag management and album art retrieval is basic at best, but functional at least. The usual features are included such as smart-playlist creation, sorting by genres and a rating system. The rating system is unusual, simplified to just 3 ratings: â€˜nothingâ€™, â€˜broken heartâ€™ and â€˜heartâ€™. I actually like this because I really hate debating over wether or not a song deserves a 4.5 stars or just plain 4, however I know a lot of people wonâ€™t be happy with it.
Really I think Zuneâ€™s strength is in itâ€™s interface. In fact I often do use it to browse my library and play songs, just because it does it so nicely. For anything more then that I would suggest the previously reviewed music managers such as Media Monkey.
Conclusion: Great design and UI but lacking in advanced features. Use in conjunction with another music manager or tagger.Advertisement