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New Zune Owners: Tell Us What You Think?



zune-hdWhile I”m not in the market for a new Zune HD, I’ve been following the reviews and first impressions pretty keenly. I’ve seen some glowing reviews and some knocks. Even the glowing reviews point our some issues, but to a large extent that’s to be expected. One review that caught my eye is Andy Ihnatko’s review in the Chicago Sun-Times. He seems very impressed with the new media player.

I also noted that Rob Bushway mentioned on Twitter a few days ago that his early experiences weren’t that exciting, so I’m curious as to what GBM readers who may have picked up a Zune HD think.

Sound off in the comments. Did Microsoft finally get it right with the Zune HD? Do they still have a ways to go? Is this he media player of your dreams? Curious minds want to know.



  1. DaHarder

    09/17/2009 at 2:12 pm

    Having played around with my Zune HD since (roughly) 0400 15 Sep 09, I can safely say that it’s one of the finer pieces of consumer electronics I’ve experienced in a very long time.

    From it’s strikingly handsome industrial design, to it’s gorgeously intuitive GUI, it represents the ‘next step’ in dedicated media players.

    Compared to my Sony X1K, Samsung P3, Cowon S9, and iPod Touch, it offers a far more cohesive package than any of them (at core media playback tasks) with excellent sound quality and a truly vibrant OLED display.

    The fact the Zune Marketplace/Software is also very well done only sweetens the deal, especially MS’ brilliantly realized subscription service – The Zune Pass.

    There will be those who will fail to even give this player a chance, but to be quite honest, it’s their loss, as the Zune HD truly represents the next plateau for consumer media devices.

  2. RMorse

    09/17/2009 at 4:38 pm

    I own a couple of iPods, and my wife has the iPod touch. I acquired a Zune 120 last year, and I stopped using my iPod. I thought the general menu layout was quicker to navigate and I found my experience with the Zune to be more enjoyable. I just bought the Zune HD and I was hoping to hear more a positive note from Microsoft about the app store and opening the system up to some creative new applications. But they sort of silenced that for the moment, however, the Zune HD rocks and I hope that Microsoft allows some indie development down the road.

  3. JanSolo

    09/17/2009 at 4:44 pm

    The Zune HD has a lot of positive aspects:
    – Screen. Bright, crisp, amazing. Makes my iPhone seem like a crt from yesteryear. I kid, but it is much better than my iPhone’s lcd.
    – ZunePass. There are pros and cons, but mostly pros. I love being able to stream and download lots of different artists. This enables me to experiment with new music without having to outright pay for music I don’t enjoy. The only issue I have with Zune Pass is the lack of video present in the Zune Pass. Oh and you don’t always know what can be downloaded and streamed. You often times find an artist that you can only buy music from, not stream or download.
    – Wireless. I love being able to sync my Zune that is in the cradle from my laptop. I never did this on my previous Zune and now I feel like a fool for never doing it. It is easy as hell.
    – The browser on the Zune is actually okay. I wish Windows Mobile came with it. The keyboard though.. it’s tough for me to use.
    – The UI is awesome but inconsistent. Sometimes there are back arrows in certain areas, other times you have just have to click on the oversized text on the upper left to back.
    – Metadata on artists is fantabulous – bio, discography, pictures, etc. Really well executed. And with a Zune Pass, I can also listen to other music by artists I already own music from on my Zune.
    – Screen rotation is nearly instantaneous when switching from portrait to landscape. It makes my iPhone 3G feel like a laggy 8088 trying to run Vista.
    – I made the mistake of not buying the cradle for my ZuneHD so I cannot playback video on my tv. BUT, if you are a media whore who loves music, movies, tv, etc. do not make the mistake of not buying the media cradle as it is utterly and totally worth it.
    – Size. The Zune has a smaller screen than the iPod Touch and is likely not as thin, but because of it’s smaller size, it fits on my jeans pocket much more easily than my iPhone does, though I now I have to theoretically have two devices with me if I don’t want to use my iPhone for video/audio playback. Microsoft – convergence is key! Get that damn Zune powered phone out already.

    I plan to take my ZuneHD down to the local Apple store for a quick comparison to the iPod Touch.

  4. Fleon

    09/18/2009 at 2:04 am

    Honestly, the Zune 4.0 experience is pretty horrible for me. I didn’t pick up a Zune HD, but my old Zune 30 is still working great… I wish I could say the same about the Zune software.

    It’s taking me anywhere between 30 seconds to 4 minutes (yeah minutes) from the time I type in a search of the marketplace til I get a result. Pretty unusable.

  5. Fred Beiderbecke

    09/20/2009 at 7:53 am

    I picked up a 32 gig with the Dell 15% off.

    This thing is tiny. I was amazed at the size like I was with the original Nano.

    So far, there has been a little adjusting to the different interface. I am not sure how to do things that I did in my iPod, but that is normal.

    Zune software is a bit cumbersome in places. It picked up everything from my iTunes library (I keep it all in mp3), but lost some album art. Getting the art is a disc by disc process, not the do it all from iTunes.

    Sound quality seems very good with Shure 210 headphones.

    The Zune pass is very nice. I am doing the 14 day trial, but will probably continue on after it is over.

    The marketplace is pig dog slow. I agree with Fleon. I do a search, go do something else and come back. Very slow.

    MS needs to get some interesting apps out there.

    I have not tried the internet browsing yet.

    What’s the deal with Metallica? It appears you can not download their stuff with a Zune Pass, you must purchase it.

    I purchased the cradle but haven’t made the effort to hook it up yet.

    I am not one to watch movies on a device.

    Overall it is nice. Is it a must have? Unless you are a movie watcher on the device or are interested in the Zune Pass, I’d say no.

  6. Doug

    09/20/2009 at 11:33 pm

    The Zune HD has a very flowing and artistic interface which definitely has a learning curve.

    I didn’t read the directions (I don’t even know if there were any in the box) and its taken me a couple days to learn some basic tasks such as shuffle and volume.

    It’s very worth it though. Sometimes I actually find myself just tapping around the interface for the fun of it, its so smooth.

    My friend has a brand new iPod touch. I let him try out my Zune and he envies it.

    If only they had more apps…

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