Yesterday I finally got my Zune 120, all the way to Australia from America through Ebay thanks to Microsoft’s failure to release the Zune internationally at this point.
All I can say is it was completely worth it.
The bad thing for Microsoft is it’s taken 3 years to get the Zune to meet it’s initial expectations, the good thing is that I really don’t care because it’s a fantastic product. I have to admit I have never wanted an iPod primarily for the reason that I don’t want what everyone else has, and also because I don’t like iTunes.
The Zune software is perhaps Microsoft’s most under-appreciated work. I’ve been using it for a few months now, ever since the 2.5 release, and like it a lot, but it wasn’t till I actually had a Zune myself that the whole experience opened up and I realised how great the software is. What I love most about it is that Microsoft has not taken the approach of meeting the iTunes head-on, feature for feature. Instead they’ve worked on creating a great experience, so that even if the Zune lacks something Apple provides, users are willing to make the compromise.
I had to find and download a hack from somewhere to get access to all the Zune features and online services, but everything is working perfectly now.
The Zune itself looks great, feels great and has a awesome navigation pad which I prefer to the ‘Click Wheel’. It’s not quite as good for scrolling long song lists, but much better for skipping up or down by a couple songs at a time, something I find the Click Wheel not so good at. The screen however is horrible for attracting smudges and finger prints. Also the provided headphones are pretty crap, I replaced them immediately.
Anyway, up to this point I would be hard pressed to name another product which really wasbetter than the iPod, although a few did come close (Creative Vision:M and Gigabeat S series). The Zune 3.0 however I can honestly say provides a better experience and product than Apple and the iPod (classic).
Also Microsoft’s strategy of providing updates and new features to all Zune owners, no matter how old the product is really fantastic.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.