Showing posts with label Zune. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zune. Show all posts

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Zune! (And you thought you'd never hear about it again... well you're not, but here's some of its Doc's, just in case)

Microsoft Downloads - Zune Player Accessories Product Manuals

Online copies of the Zune HD Audio Video dock, Zune Sync Cable, Zune Cable Pack, Zune Sync Dock, Zune Dock Pack, Zune HD Audio Video Power Pack, Zune AC Adapter, Zune Premium Car Pack and Zune Car Pack.

Version:1.0
Date published:8/9/2012

ZuneAccessories\ZuneACAdapter.pdf, 690 KB
ZuneAccessories\ZuneCablePack.pdf, 889 KB
ZuneAccessories\ZuneCarPack.pdf, 1.1 MB
ZuneAccessories\ZuneDockPack.pdf, 2.8 MB
ZuneAccessories\zunehdavdock.pdf, 888 KB
ZuneAccessories\zunehdavpowerpack.pdf, 755 KB
ZuneAccessories\ZuneHomeAVPack.pdf, 2.7 MB
ZuneAccessories\zunepremiumcarpack.pdf, 1.6 MB
ZuneAccessories\ZunePremiumHeadphones.pdf, 284 KB
ZuneAccessories\ZuneSyncCable.pdf, 510 KB
ZuneAccessories\zunesyncdock.pdf, 902 KB

This download contains the online copies of the printed manuals for the Zune HD Audio Video dock, Zune Sync Cable, Zune Cable Pack, Zune Sync Dock, Zune Dock Pack, Zune HD Audio Video Power Pack, Zune AC Adapter, Zune Premium Car Pack and Zune Car Pack products.

Microsoft Downloads - Zune Player and Zune HD Player Product Manuals

Online copies of the Zune Player and Zune HD Player product manuals.

Version:1.0
Date published: 8/9/2012

ZunePlayer\zunehd.pdf, 1.9 MB
ZunePlayer\zuneplayers.pdf, 637 KB

Since I'm one of the 57 people that own a Zune (and 3 of those live in my house), I wanted to capture these manuals. You're going to need to pry my Zune from my cold dead fingers (that or when a Verizon get's WinPhone8... )

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Zune HD may be dead, but it's still getting some app love... 6 new games and 3 utilities recently added

The Zune HD is dead, but even so we're getting a few bread crumbs thrown our way every so often... And being we're talking Zune HD, all these are free.

image

image

BTW, the Shuffle By Album utility is one of the favorites in my house... 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gorilla Zune Web Service API'ing OR Using the Zune Web API on Windows Phone 7

Den by Default - Enhancing the general Zune experience on Windows Phone 7 with Zune web API

"I am avid Zune user and I really like the Zune client. It has the same social integration as Xbox Live and it makes it easy to see what my friends are up-to music wise. With the release of Windows Phone 7 it was obvious that Zune will be there as well – although it is not really marked as Zune on the device (except for the fact that it has the Zune icon) but rather as the Music Hub. The mobile client is somewhat limited compared to its desktop counterpart.

...

SNAGHTML224605ed

2-23-2011 8-25-09 AM..."

Love it when someone gets tired of waiting (for years... sigh) for an official API/SDK and just figures out how it works (enough for them and their usage at least). I've whined about the lack of a Zune SDK/API for years. Love my Zune. My son loves his Zune (though he hates me now that I got him a Zune Pass for Christmas... says his Zune is getting too full with all the awesome music he now has access too.. ;). My wife, hers.

As a dev when I get emotionally invested in a computer based product I want to extend that product, use it in different ways, integrate it more into my life, yada, yada. I want to code it baby! And not being able to do that with Zune, via either a client side .Net SDK or Web API has bugged me. So much I'd like to do, but no safe way to do it (there are .Net Zune Assemblies as there are posts on how to use them... but in playing with those and jacking up my Zune SDF a number of times... )

Remember, it's about the apps. About the apps others write... [Insert tasteless joke about "Freedom for a Zune SDK/API" here]

(via Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew - Dew Drop – February 23, 2011)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

XNA Game Studio 4 News (GDC 2010)

XNA Creators Online - GDC 2010

“This week at GDC, we’re unveiling XNA Game Studio 4.0! This latest version provides a powerful, productive, and portable technology for game development on Windows Phone 7 Series, Xbox 360, and Windows PC.

New to XNA Game Studio 4.0

  • Hardware accelerated 3D API’s on Windows Phone 7 Series
  • Visual Studio 2010 integration with our toolset
  • Added buffered audio support to the Audio API’s
  • And much, much more!

…”

It makes me a little sad that my Zune is being ignored… Poor Zune… :(

I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed that the Zune deployment story was going to get better. When I heard WinPhone7 was going to be a Silverlight & XNA development platform my hopes increased even more.

We’ll see…

(via LiveSide - XNA Game Studio 4.0 unveiled at GDC)

 

Update #1 03/09/2010 @ 11:55AM:

XNA Creators Online - XNA Game Studio 4.0 FAQ

“…

Q: When will XNA Game Studio 4.0 be available?
A: XNA Game Studio 4.0 will be available for download in the coming month. Additional information can be found online at the XNA Creators Club Online site at http://creators.xna.com.

…”

Michael Klucher's Blog - Achievement Unlocked: XNA Game Studio 4.0 for Windows Phone

“…

When we first announced XNA was a development platform for the Windows Phone 7 Series last week and followed up with some real-time Twitter Q&A (@WP7Dev), we got a lot of questions about Zune/Zune HD and how that will work with XNA Game Studio 4.0. Development for the Zune and Zune HD will continue to exist in XNA Game Studio 3.1, however, in XNA Game Studio 4.0, we’re encouraging you to migrate your games over to the Windows Phone 7 Series platform. [GD: Emphasis added]…”

Poor Zune… Pisses me off a little. I hate seeing the power of my Zune pretty much wasted and locked away.

Now if WinPhone7 devices come out and are even better than my Zune HD (more storage, a great phone, a great media player, works with the Zune Pass, works seamlessly with the Zune software, etc), I might feel better. I need a new phone anyway… ;)

 

(via @majornelsonTweet)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Testing… Testing… This is only a test (kind of)

Testing out the new Zune Affiliate program, Zune.MicrosoftAffiliates.com.

Zune Pass Free Trial

Zune and the Zune Pass rocks, so as I get the word out I might as well try to earn a few buys… right?  :p

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

PDC09 List Updated and MP4, WMVHigh RSS feeds now available too

Just a quick note to let you know I’ve refreshed my PDC09 list including the now available MP4 links, PDC09 Session Video List (Okay, so I lied) and also added MP4 and WMVHigh RSS Feeds in my feed post, PDC09 RSS feed file for your podcast catcher of choice (i.e. Grab all the PDC sessions for your Zune, Reader, FeedDemon, etc)

 

In short:

PDC09 Session Video List (Okay, so I lied) (HTML table of Sessions, WMVHigh, WMV, MP4, PPTX)

PDC09-Complete-RSS.xml (The above list, with item entries for all sessions with WMV videos)

PDC09-Complete-MP4.xml (The above list, with item entries for all sessions with MP4 videos)

PDC09-Complete-WMVHigh.xml (The above list, with item entries for all sessions with WMVHigh videos)

(XML files hosted on my Office Live Small Business site, jaged.net)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
PDC09 RSS feed file for your podcast catcher of choice (i.e. Grab all the PDC sessions for your Zune, Reader, FeedDemon, etc)
PDC09 Session Video List (Okay, so I lied)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

PDC09 RSS feed file for your podcast catcher of choice (i.e. Grab all the PDC sessions for your Zune, Reader, FeedDemon, etc)

This is a VERY quick and dirty RSS feed which includes the PDC09 video sessions as enclosures (i.e. so you can grab this in your podcast system of choice). I’ve only tested it in Zune 4 and FeedDemon so YMMV. This is my first attempt at generating a RSS feed, attempting to host a feed on SkyDrive(now it’s hosted on my Office Live Small Business site), playing with the System.ServiceModel.Syndication namespace, etc, etc. So the fact that it seems to work at all is amazing… :)

The enclosure is the WMV version of the session (i.e. not the uber WMVHigh version).

The only place I have to host the file/feed is on SkyDrive, so hopefully that will work for you all and for this purpose. (Now hosted on a Office Live site… )

I’m currently playing with providing more versions of the file, with more targeted sessions (like one file with the CL sessions, SVC, etc) and to also offer the WMVHigh as the enclosure. The end game will be to create a utility where you can create your own feed list/rss file with only the sessions you want, which you then host yourself & hook to your catcher.

PDC09-Complete-RSS.xml (direct, use this one in you podcast catcher. Right click on it, Copy Shortcut, paste into your catcher… ) and the SkyDrive file link (this is if you want to grab the file yourself to mod it, host it elsewhere, etc).

Update: 11/25/2009 1:55PM
Now MP4 and WMVHigh feeds available too. There’s only a couple sessions missing in the MP4 list (you can see what’s included in what list on my PDC09 List page, PDC09 Session Video List (Okay, so I lied))

PDC09-Complete-MP4.xml

PDC09-Complete-WMVHigh.xml

 

Here’s some screenshots of it in the Zune software;

image

image 

And how am I generating the file you ask? Why via my, still VERY much work in progress and way fugly coded, Microsoft Conference Resource List Maker (http://pdclistmaker.codeplex.com/) of course! :)

 

Update #1 11/23/2009 @ 8:00AM PST:
Instead of hosting the file on SkyDrive, where there’s no permalinks directly to the files, I’m now using my OfficeLive Small Business site I created a billion years ago. There at least I have a permalink to the file, one that won’t change over time. And heck it’s free and I can get download reports, etc. If this works out, I’m going to have to use this service for more stuff! lol

Update: 11/25/2009 1:55PM
Now MP4 and WMVHigh feeds available too. There’s only a couple sessions missing in the MP4 list (you can see what’s included in what list on my PDC09 List page, PDC09 Session Video List (Okay, so I lied))

PDC09-Complete-MP4.xml

PDC09-Complete-WMVHigh.xml

 

Related Past Post XRef:
PDC09 Session Video List (Okay, so I lied)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions Released – Get your Zune HD Dev On

XNA Team Blog - XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions

“Are you as excited as we are at today’s arrival of the Zune HD? If you've already picked yours up from your local retailer or are eagerly awaiting your delivery from Zune Originals, we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions to support Zune HD.

Barring the new input models available, your game should port over relatively easily.

Beyond the changes outlined here, all of the other XNA Game Studio functionality with the Zune HD remains the same as it did with earlier versions of the device.

…”

Microsoft Downloads - Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions

“This release adds extensions to XNA Game Studio 3.1 to target and develop for the Zune HD media player.

File Name: zuneextensions.msi
Version: 3.1
Date Published: 9/15/2009
Language: English
Download Size: 11.0 MB


This add-on for XNA Game Studio 3.1 adds the following functionality to the product:

  1. The ability to target and develop for the Zune HD media player.
  2. The addition of new Touch APIs to the XNA Framework for use on the Zune HD.
  3. The addition of new Accelerometer APIs to the XNA Framework for use on the Zune HD.

Also included are documentation and examples integrated into Visual Studio help that will show you how to leverage the new APIs. You'll even find a tutorial on how to update the Platformer Game Starter Kit to use the new Touch API's!

Instructions

1. Ensure Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.1 is successfully installed before proceeding.
2. Download and run the Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions installer.
3. Follow the instructions displayed during setup.
4. Launch Visual Studio 2008 from the Microsoft XNA Game Studio 3.1 folder on the Start Menu.

Related Resources

  1. XNA Game Studio 3.1 Readme
  2. XNA Developer Center
  3. XNA Creators Club
  4. XNA Game Studio 3.1

…” [GD: Leach Level:95%]

Interesting… kind of. Not as much released as I expected. Maybe more information will be released in the come days? (Like getting apps onto the Marketplace, etc)

Zune dev via the XNA Game Studio was okay to start, expect for the deployment story. Releasing/deploying a game previously was a major pain. I’m not yet seeing much yet to ease my mind there. Also I’m bummed there’s no internet API yet? MS will be releasing a Facebook and Twitter app, so…

I’m betting that there’s more to the Add Dev story, it’s just we’ve not heard it yet (and given how the XNA app deployment/marketplace story improved SO much for the 360, I think it’s a good bet)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Zune 4.0 Software
As promised, XNA Game Studio 3.0 RTM’ed today
XNA Game Studio 3.0 RTM/RTW October 30th, 2008
XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP Available (Get your Zune Gaming on! :)

Zune 4.0 Software

Microsoft Downloads - Zune Client software, version 4.0

“PC software for Zune

File Name: ZunePackage40.exe
Version: 4.0
Date Published: 9/15/2009
Language: English
Download Size: 464.9 MB


To see if the Zune is available at your location please click the link below: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/952586?sd=zune

…”

Zune.NetZune Software What’s New

“…

quickplay

Get instant access to the stuff you care about most with shortcuts to favorites, recently downloaded or played music, videos, and more.

smart dj

From any artist, album, or song, Smart DJ will generate a related playlist from the music on your computer and new music from Zune Marketplace.

mini mode

Putting the Zune software into mini mode while listening to music allows you to use your other programs while continuing to see what's playing.

image

While there’s going to be TONS of Zune HD news and links today, I wanted to capture the direct download link for the software.

I’m going to try to limit any further Zune posts to those related to App’s and Zune App Dev (i.e. where’s the new XNA Game Studio? Or will it be renamed to XNA App Studio? Or Zune App Studio? or…? What will the deployment story be for Zune app dev’s, etc, etc)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

RNC/DNC Zunes

Gizmodo - Democrats and Republicans Get Special Edition Zunes For Their Conventions

“Microsoft's just slapped together a pair of special edition Zunes for both the Republican and the Democratic National Conventions and they look pretty damn great…

DNC

RNC

That’s pretty cool (and I think kind of clever). I so want one (guess which party…  ;)

Now want I really want to see is a special/custom PDC 2008 Zune in my PDC goodies bag… (hint… hint)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Zune Buzz Word Bingo – My first Zune game attempt

CodePlexZune Buzz Word Bingo

I’ve just created the Project and checked in the source to my first XNA and Zune game attempt. Yeah!

For whatever reason, when programming mobile devices, the first game I seem to want to create is a Buzz Word Bingo game. This is the third time I’ve created one, the first for the Motorola PageWriter 2000, once for an old Windows Mobile version and now for the Zune.

Being a long time WinForm (and VB1-6, VB.Net7-9) developer, the hardest thing for me was/is to get over the fact that there's no design surface. No dragie dropie, no UI building help, no designers, etc. You're writing code to draw everything and to lay everything out, period. And that's okay, it just takes some mental adjustment.

 

It’s a very simple game, and the code is very fugly, and the UI... well the less said about the UI the better. :p

It's based on getting four in a row, across, diagonal or down. Once you get 4, you "Win."

The next thing I'm going to add is network play (luckily my son has a Zune too so I can even test it). Just think how cool it would be, to be in a "all hands" meeting/presentation and be playing a ah-hoc wirelessly networked peer-to-peer session of Buzz Word Bingo... LOL. Like the tagline says, "the cure for the common meeting." ;)

Here are some sample screenshots, from the "Windows Copy" project and as well as some pictures of it running on my Zune. On the Zune the "Card" actually looks better than the Windows version, though the picture doesn't do it justice.

Intro.1.0  GamePlayA.1.0  GamePlayB.1.0 Winner.1.0

DCP_3170

(The background is a picture we call "Frisky'zilla" :)

DCP_3173

DCP_3175

 DCP_3178

 

Related Past Post XRef:
XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP Available (Get your Zune Gaming on! :)
All sorts of XNA Goodness Announced - Community XNA Games via XBox Live and XNA on the Zune!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What podcasts are on your Zune?

image

image

Alan Lok’s post (Red. Green. Refactor. - Software Development and Programming Podcasts) prompted me to update my castRoll, My castRoll - A list of the Webcasts on my Zune, and tweak my blog layout a little to make my blog/cast rolls a little easier to find.

And while I was at it, I decided to also snap some screenshots to share the pretty pictures… :)

 

As I think about it, I wish these features would be added to Zune Social;

  1. Give me a way to list/show the podcasts I’m subscribed and listen too. (So I don’t have to manually edit my castRoll, can easily share it with friends, etc)
  2. Let me see the recent podcasts my Zune friends have listened to. (And let me subscribe to them easily too)

Pretty much take the music experience on Zune Social and extend it to include podcasts. I think both of these features would be a cool way to pass the social word about podcasts and see what friends are listening too (and of course then make it easy to add said podcast).

 

Since we’re talking Zune, I guess I also have to share my Zune Card, don’t I? (which may not come through in feed readers… if not, click Zune Card)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP Available (Get your Zune Gaming on! :)

XNA Team Blog - Announcing: XNA Game Studio 3.0 Community Technical Preview (CTP)

"Today, we are delivering the first Community Technical Preview (CTP) of XNA Game Studio 3.0, giving you the ability to build games for the entire family of Zune media devices.  This feature gives you access to the majority of the XNA framework APIs while retaining a seamless sense of integration with the Zune media experience.  In addition, this release now requires either Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition and higher (C# language support must be installed), or Visual C# 2008 Express Edition.

Keeping with Zune media experience, the XNA Game Studio 3.0 integration includes discoverability/access to user’s non-DRM music – allowing you to customize background soundtracks or create real-time visualizations.  In addition, we’ve announced the ability to have multiple nearby Zunes wirelessly engage in an ad-hoc social gaming experience. 

A preview release of XNA Game Studio 3.0 is now available through the XNA Creators Club Online site (http://creators.xna.com), with a final release scheduled for the holiday 2008 season.  For those of you that prefer the shortest path to happiness, the direct link to the XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP is here.

..."

I know what I'm doing this weekend!  (I didn't want to fix the front sprinklers anyway... ;)

Important note: You can't build XNA games for the 360 with this CTP. You've need to keep Game Studio 2.0 around for now (but they will be addressing that in a future release).

Also here's the 3.0 CTP Readme, http://creators.xna.com/XNA3CTP/readme_xna.htm

(via The Z Buffer - XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
All sorts of XNA Goodness Announced - Community XNA Games via XBox Live and XNA on the Zune!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Encoder 360 - Encode/Transcode your Video for your 360/Zune (with VB.Net Source)

dcunningham.net - Encode360 (Post Tag Archive)

"Encode360 is an application which will convert virtually any video format to high quality WMV’s which can be played by the X-Box 360, the Microsoft Zune device, or anything else that likes WMV format!

It has some great features including:

  • Uses Windows Media Encoder as a base, so it’ll create 100% Microsoft compliant WMV’s
  • Automatic re-scaling of video sizes to match your TV resolution or Zune screen. This prevents nasty stretching and artifacts
  • Encode as WMV8, WMV9 or ultra high quality WVC1

..."

While I've moved to a Vista box for my Zune sync'ing so need to manually transcode less, I still thought this looked like a very cool project especially since its written in .Net/VB9. It's important to note that the linked source is for Encode360 2 RC2.

Also if you are interested in seeing the MediaInfo.DLL or Windows Media Encoder used in .Net/VB it's worth checking out the source (and it's good to read other people's source anyway ;).

(via Zune - Downloads, Wallpapers, Info, Mods, & Hacks - Convert virtually any video file to Zune FREE!)

Monday, January 07, 2008

I've Finally Joined the Zero's (as in 2000's)... My first "Drive to Work Podcast Listening Session"

I think I have to turn in my geek cred's... 

My drive into work today was the first time I've listened to a podcast (DotNetRocks #304 with Kathleen Dollard) via a MP3 player.

Yes, I've finally joined the podcast generation. Call me Mr. Geek!  LOL

All in all it was pretty painless and very cool.

Subscribing to Podcasts via the Zune Marketplace is easy (too easy? I have hours and hours now on my Zune to listen too now... :/ ).

Also I really dig how easy it is to subscribe to podcast feeds not on the Marketplace. I've "subscribed" to a number of free college courses available via audio feeds/podcast (from Yale, Stanford, UCLA and a couple more). Once you plug in the URL, the Zune software treats it just like any other Marketplace podcast...

In the car it took a bit to find the right FM frequency and due to the length of my drive, I had to play the "Pick a FM Freq" a couple times... But that's really just a one time game. Now that I have the freq's I should be good.

One improvement I'd like too see on the Zune is user configurable forward/back jump intervals. It seems that the podcast forward/back jump is 15 minutes? I'd like to be able to change that so for podcasts forward is 5 minutes...

I accidentally hit the forward jump about 26 minutes into a podcast. I then hit the back jump which took me to back to 15 minutes into the cast. So I had to listen to 11 minutes that I'd already listened to just so I could "catch up."

 

All in all I'm a very happy camper. I'm SO sold...

 

Update #1 1/11/2007 @ 6:30AM PST:

I am such a Zune nub. I realized yesterday that if you press and hold the forward or back you will fast forward or rewind and can avoid jumping/skipping. Sigh... I hate being a nub (aka noob, newbee, etc)

So in the above podcast listening case, I could have jumped back to 15 minutes in and then just fast forwarded to where I was previously.

BUT my feature request is still valid. It's hard enough driving here in LA, I don't need to be watching the road AND fast forwarding my Zune... A user definable skip interval is still something I'd really like to see.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Zune Video Content for Every VS Developer Interested in learning VS2008

Ronan Geraghty's Weblog - Visual Studio 2008 on my Zune

"So Santa brought me an 80GB Zune. Clare says that putting the videos from the Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit on it makes me a geek. Maybe she's right :-o, but I think it's pretty cool and there's a Zune folder in the training kit if you look closely enough!

image_thumb_2

..."

That's it. I'm buying a Zune 80 as my birthday present (my precious... ;)

Now the decision... Run out and get it now or buy it online?

I guess I can run out quickly and if it's not in stock, can get back in time to buy it online so it arrives tomorrow. That sounds like plan...  :)

Update #1 1/3/2008 @ 10:31 AM PST:
Okay, well it seems you can't buy Zune 80's at any local (Simi Valley) stores. They just don't carry them, that you can only get them online...

 

Update #2 1/4/2008 @ 9:20 AM PST:
I hate to say this, but I posted this without first looking very closely at it... And it seems the linked Training Kit download DOES NOT contain the above folder (nor any video's that I can find).

Maybe they were removed them from the download due to size constraints, or it's a version or regional thing...? (I'm betting on size reasons...)

I'm still digging around and will update this post if I find any thing.

Thanks to jbrinkman for point this out...

 

Update #3 1/4/2008 @ 4:55 AM PST:

Here's a trick that seems to work...

Now in the Zune software, add the above Channel 9 feed URL and the Zune software will download all 28 of the video's for you (make sure you set the Series Settings to "Keep: All" or mark them all for download, etc).

Done. Now you have all the video's and they are just a Sync away from your Zune...  :)

I hope this helps...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Five Days of Training Materials for VS2008/.Net 3.5

Thursday, December 27, 2007

We've been Zune'd (and happy about it ;)

Santa's assistant (who happens to be named "Dad" ) brought by son an 80GB Black Zune for Christmas... (Full Disclosure: I've been playing with it as much as he has. ;)

All in all, I'm going to get one for me and I'll likely get a flash based one for my wife. It's a very solid product...

 

Some randomly ordered thoughts;

Software

The software is both cool and not. It's really a v1 (The real v1 version was a Media Player interrogation implementation). It has a very cool sugar coating, but the insides are not quite there yet.

Some things are really easy to do and intuitive. But when you need to delve a little deeper, that's where its v1'ness shows. Like editing the music ID tags. The Find Album and Advanced Editing feature in Media Player 11 is something the Zune software really needs.

The Zune Marketplace integration is nice in how seamless it is. I actually like that it uses MS Points. This makes it easy to give my son Points he can use on the XBox or for the Zune. We haven't signed up for a Pass yet, but we likely will.

Besides the tag editing (which we can work around by using Media Player) I think my biggest issue is the Search feature. I swear I must be stupid cause it just doesn't seem to work for me. Yes, it finds stuff, but not what I want it to find.

Much of the Zune software is context based, what happens when you click on stuff depends on "where" you are, in the Collections, Device, Marketplace, etc. For example, if you click on Device and then the Settings link, you get Device related settings. Click on that same link when you are in the Collections, you get Collections related settings.

Okay, that's cool...

But why doesn't searching work the same way? When I am in Collections/Pictures and I search, that should mean I'm searching within my pictures, right? When you're in the Marketplace/Entertainment you'd think searching would let you search just there (and its subcategories)?

Nope and nope.

Search is not context based, nor does it seem to search anything but music. Not Pictures, videos, podcasts, etc. Nor does there seem to be a way to filter the search results (like with "pictures:" or something).

For example, it was having a problem sync'ing a couple pictures. And while it would give me the name of the pictures, it wasn't providing me a link to them. Okay, let's search on those file names. Nope. I don't want songs from the Marketplace named "stupidcat," I want a picture with a filename of... Sigh. I had to find them in Windows Explorer and THEN look at them.

It also kind of irks me that DVR-MS format is listed as supported, but isn't. I spent a few hours downloading and playing with a number of Zune converter products (HAVE to have those recorded Southpark's on it... ;)
[Note to Self: Convert videos to MP4 format. When converting to wmv, the Zune software will transcode it during the sync, thereby taking much longer. MP4's are just copied and also take much less room on the HD.]

Oh and it bugs me that the playlist formats between Media Player and Zune are different. Come on...

The Podcast support and integration is very cool. It's the definition of seamless. This feature and implementation is one that may finally draw me into the podcast world (about time isn't it?  lol). 

Again, great sugar coating but the insides need some work still. BUT I believe the inside goodness will come (at least I'm keeping my fingers crossed.) MS needs a major software update in the first or second quarter of 2008... or a steady stream of incremental updates, and not just bug/security fixes, but feature additions too, ala XBox Dashboard updates.

I know I sound down on it, but the software does work and does "just work, no muss, no fuss". It's cool looking and does a good job. Its multitasking/multithreading is VERY cool and smooth. It seems to be a solid foundation for future revisions. I just want more. ;)

What I really want is a supported API so I can build my own shell...  :)

Hardware

Very nice. VERY nice. (Though I want a touch screen... I know, I know... please no iPod comments).

The wireless sync'ing is extremely cool.

The video is smooth and clean.

The UI is simple and easy. While there can be some improvements here too, but it feels more v2 than v1 (which in this case is accurate).

Battery life seems good (remember to turn off wireless if you're not using it though... )

 

Again, all in all, I like it and am happy with it and the value that I, and of course my son, have received. It's a keeper.