Zune HD

Is it too early to ask regarding battery life on Zune HD?

Sigh, I was planing to get 32GB iPod Touch later on to replace my... first-gen iPod (yep, it still kicking), but now I don't know. Zune HD looks pretty cool.

Engadget reported 24 hours music, 4 hours video. But that's direct from Microsoft so YMMV.
Engadget Link

EDIT: Engadget had updated those numbers since I read it:

Update: Microsoft has hit us with the corrected & updated spec list with a slight change to battery and charge specs: 33 hours of life playing music with no wireless, up to 8.5 hours of video. 3 hours to charge from PC, 2 hours via AC adapter.

You know, I feel like a 64gb would make more sense as the top capacity model, but I only have between 22 and 25gb on my zune at any given time (depending on the amount of video I put on there), so really I guess a 32 is fine.

I'm sold. Pre-ordered on Amazon.

If the specs were open enough to use it with any OS I wanted, I'd probably buy one.

Thin_J wrote:

You know, I feel like a 64gb would make more sense as the top capacity model, but I only have between 22 and 25gb on my zune at any given time (depending on the amount of video I put on there), so really I guess a 32 is fine.

With an iPod refresh looming in September, I think the lack of a 64GB Zune HD is a massive mistake (not to mention that the Touch also has a rumored camera addition). I'm not a fanboy to brands, and would definitely consider a Zune if it delivered more than the Touch... but even with this new iteration, it feels like Microsoft is just playing catch-up.

Guess I'll wait and see how these two stack up before making my decision.

SommerMatt wrote:

Guess I'll wait and see how these two stack up before making my decision.

I'm with you, but for $100 less and I don't have to use iTunes? That new iPod better crap golden nuggets or something!

Rezzy wrote:
SommerMatt wrote:

Guess I'll wait and see how these two stack up before making my decision.

I'm with you, but for $100 less and I don't have to use iTunes? That new iPod better crap golden nuggets or something!

says Engadget:

This would fall in line with Apple's habit of releasing iPods every fall, and we've heard plenty about upcoming iPod touches which boast, among other things -- a camera and microphone. Daring Fireball has also reported that these bad boys will come in 16, 32 and 64GB varieties running $199, $299, and $399, respectively

Apple has always been aggressive on pricing, so this makes perfect sense-- the 32GB touch matches the price of the ZuneHD, and they also are offering the fabled 64 GB option which pretty much seals the deal for me.

SommerMatt wrote:

Apple has always been aggressive on pricing, so this makes perfect sense

Oooh! I missed that one! Hmm... ok. I'll definitely wait to see what Jobs has to offer me!

I don't care how many useless extra features they pack in (camera? microphone? doesn't almost every cellphone on the planet come with those things now?) I still hate iTunes so the iPod is still not even an option.

And you know, somebody call me when they get their sound quality to equal the Zune's, cause right now it's pretty bad.

Thin_J wrote:

And you know, somebody call me when they get their sound quality to equal the Zune's, cause right now it's pretty bad.

I'll take a little bit of exception to this. The iPod Classic doesn't quite match the Zune, but it can be very good if you do one important thing:

Turn EQ off

Absolutely, positively most important thing to do on the iPod. iPod EQ = distortion, period.

The Zune, of course, has no selectable EQ settings (very smart addition by subtraction), but instead some slight built-in EQ to balance out the output characteristics of that hardware.

Does the Zune work on Macs? If so, I might give it a second look. I'm more interested in the upcoming iPod Touch models, though, for the Apps store.

Thin_J wrote:

I don't care how many useless extra features they pack in (camera? microphone? doesn't almost every cellphone on the planet come with those things now?) I still hate iTunes so the iPod is still not even an option.

What's wrong with iTunes?

On Windows, iTunes is pretty bad software. It's intrusive, trying to grab all your sound and video playback (because it comes with Quicktime), meaning you either have to uncheck a bunch of stuff or wrestle control of your system back after an install. Like it or not, it installs several running services, which are always active and always consuming resources, whether iTunes is active or not. This includes at least Rendezvous and a couple of services to handle iPods, instead of just using a normal USB device driver like regular Windows programs.

Apple has also abused its software update service to force Safari onto users that weren't paying attention, marking a new Safari install as a 'critical update', even for systems that didn't have Safari. They've changed that behavior now, but they lost a lot of trust with that. Defaulting to installing new software is yet another example, in what's becoming a long list, of Apple using a position of trust in your system to advance its own ends, rather than yours.

Further, though less critical on modern machines, it's a bloated pig of a program, taking a ton of RAM and CPU power to do what's fundamentally not a very complex job.

I like the playlist management in iTunes, though. It really does that well. I haven't found anything else that even approximates that functionality. Foobar's playlists are an abomination against God.

Fair enough. I don't use iTunes on Windows, so I had assumed that it worked as well as iTunes on the Mac which is a charming piece of software.

adam.greenbrier wrote:

Does the Zune work on Macs? If so, I might give it a second look. I'm more interested in the upcoming iPod Touch models, though, for the Apps store.

Thin_J wrote:

I don't care how many useless extra features they pack in (camera? microphone? doesn't almost every cellphone on the planet come with those things now?) I still hate iTunes so the iPod is still not even an option.

What's wrong with iTunes?

Hi, I'm the Apple updater and I will be updating iTunes for you. I see you had the good taste to purchase an Apple product- congratulations! I will now--for your benefit--attempt to download the other fine software products Apple produces on to your computer and try to make them defaults. Thank you for choosing Apple.

You probably don't have this problem seeing as you have a Mac, but I will not tolerate this BS. If Microsoft did stuff like this... Well they would be in yet another legal mess.

That's as far as I get with iTunes, it may be different now but I doubt it. I do get to operate my it for my Dad on occasion, and the general UI leaves much to be desired. I thought Apple was know for it's aesthetics, what's with this ultra-utilitarian, free-internet-download-like UI?

I don't mind the Apple updater so much, but iTunes on Windows is definitely a porky beast.

iTunes on my MacBook Pro is much nicer, and so far I'm still sticking with using my iPod with the MBP and iTunes instead of my Linux desktop.

adam.greenbrier wrote:

What's wrong with iTunes?

Malor listed off many cogent points, but when it comes down to it, NOTHING is wrong with iTunes for most people using a modern computer. *Legion* also doesn't like the fact that it has no watch folders, which is a valid point, but again, since I don't use my iPod that way it doesn't bother me. I can see how it might annoy others. Still, there are many ways to work an iPod without using iTunes, so if that's all that's holding you back, some research into these alternatives may prove fruitful.

My only wish for the Zune is that Microsoft would truly INNOVATE and give me something that we haven't seen before to make me WANT to switch. Sure, they have OLED screens, and a radio, and a few other tweaks that are nice additions, but they never seem to be able to leapfrog Apple with functionality. Looking at how Microsoft went from underdog to essentially beating Sony in the console race, I wish they'd manage to do something similar here.

Captain_Arrrg wrote:

Hi, I'm the Apple updater and I will be updating iTunes for you.

Hi, I'm the end user... and I just click "do not download/do not upgrade."

adam.greenbrier wrote:

What's wrong with iTunes?

Here's the real bottom line with iTunes, and in fact, a lot of Apple-developed application software.

The software is NOT flexible. Rather, it is highly tuned for a specific usage pattern. And how much you like it (or dislike it) will depend in great part based on how closely your own use patterns match those that Apple had in mind.

Thin_J hating the software and Matt liking it are both completely valid. Me, I mostly like it except for one important feature that my use pattern really relies on (though I have managed a decent workaround).

*Legion* wrote:

Thin_J hating the software and Matt liking it are both completely valid.

Thing is, I don't even LIKE it-- it just works, and does what I want it to do without fuss. It's seriously something I never really think about.

My one beef with Itunes is that when it breaks it seems to horribly break. One 4 occasions (2 to myself) where by installing some other software some function in Itunes gets broken (CD burning is an easy one to break) no matter how much you uninstall and re-install.. nothing short of wiping the entire system and starting from scratch can restore ITunes back.

At least on Windows.

adam.greenbrier wrote:

Does the Zune work on Macs?

I would also like to know.

SommerMatt wrote:
Captain_Arrrg wrote:

Hi, I'm the Apple updater and I will be updating iTunes for you.

Hi, I'm the end user... and I just click "do not download/do not upgrade." :)

Over and over again! Then there will be the one time you forget or miss click, and you're uninstalling bloat because iTunes operates like shady internet freeware.

SommerMatt wrote:

Malor listed off many cogent points, but when it comes down to it, NOTHING is wrong with iTunes for most people using a modern computer.

I really don't understand where you get this impression. I have a Core i7 gaming rig. It chews through Crysis like it's from 2004. iTunes still runs like utter sh*t. It's my own personal conspiracy theory, but I still think Apple purposely designs iTunes and other Mac-owned software that runs on Windows to run like crap, just to say, "Look how bad Windows is!"

On the other hand, the Zune software is zippy, clean, and far easier to use in comparison. It also avoids the Mac platform, which is still a very small segment of the market that I think Microsoft understands its really not going to win over. Right now they're still trying to win the larger side of the market, the one where they dominate in other ways.

Nei wrote:
adam.greenbrier wrote:

Does the Zune work on Macs?

I would also like to know.

A bit of research later: no. Not officially. There are some freeware programs and libraries that you can use to access a Zune from a Mac or Linux-based machine, but Microsoft's player is officially Windows-only.

NSMike wrote:
SommerMatt wrote:

Malor listed off many cogent points, but when it comes down to it, NOTHING is wrong with iTunes for most people using a modern computer.

I really don't understand where you get this impression.

Where? Personal experience. I've run iTunes on a five year old Pentium 4 laptop, and on my current 2.0ghz core 2 duo laptop, and have yet to see anything that would cause me to have the hyperbolic reaction that other people here apparently have towards this piece of software.

Granted, I only run it when I want to update my podcasts or add new music to my player, so I only have it running (at most) 15-30 minutes a day. I rarely use it to actually play media, either, so essentially it does what I want it to do and is then shut down. Whether it's a "resource hog" or not during those 15 minutes doesn't affect me, since I am usually just uni-tasking at the time.

I guess that's just what it comes down to-- if people use it and have a problem with it, I can't say you're "wrong." For the way I use it, though, it does what it's supposed to do and isn't something I ever think twice about.

NSMike wrote:

On the other hand, the Zune software is zippy, clean, and far easier to use in comparison. It also avoids the Mac platform, which is still a very small segment of the market that I think Microsoft understands its really not going to win over. Right now they're still trying to win the larger side of the market, the one where they dominate in other ways.

I've never used the specific Zune software, but ironically, I have had nothing but trouble trying to use Windows Media 11.

Saying that Microsoft shouldn't bother trying to win over the Mac crowd is a recipe for failure, as far as I'm concerned. People aren't slavish fools-- if MS builds a better player, people will buy it, regardless. Not bothering with a Mac version means NO ONE will. Even RIM finally came out with an OSX version of the Blackberry desktop software, although by your logic everyone that owns a Mac will buy an iPhone

SommerMatt wrote:
NSMike wrote:
SommerMatt wrote:

Malor listed off many cogent points, but when it comes down to it, NOTHING is wrong with iTunes for most people using a modern computer.

I really don't understand where you get this impression.

... have yet to see anything that would cause me to have the hyperbolic reaction that other people here apparently have towards this piece of software.

Come on you know iTunes runs like sh*t and the iPod's audio quality is sh*t.

EArlier this decade, Jobs said people want sh*t and so Apple made sh*t. And he was right. People bought sh*t in droves. He knows his sh*t. And so Apple is now the sh*t. Their stock symbol even changed to SH*T. Lo and behold, it is worth alot of sh*t. But remember you don't have to take their sh*t.

Man, I don't even know what to say to that.

SommerMatt wrote:

Man, I don't even know what to say to that.

Don't feed the troll?

Podunk wrote:
SommerMatt wrote:

Man, I don't even know what to say to that.

Don't feed the troll? :)

Assume it's satire?

I've never used the specific Zune software, but ironically, I have had nothing but trouble trying to use Windows Media 11.

Well, they are developed by 2 entirely different teams. Windows Media 11 is a disaster.

NSMike wrote:
I've never used the specific Zune software, but ironically, I have had nothing but trouble trying to use Windows Media 11.

Well, they are developed by 2 entirely different teams. Windows Media 11 is a disaster.

Indeed. The thing that drove me nuts about the Zune software is the autoplaylists lacked the deep programmability of the WMP11 playlists (or the iTunes smart playlists).

I have playlists that use a long sequence of logic to create my own little "radio stations". On some of them, I'm simulating the radio stations on Soma.FM because I can't just stream Soma.FM stations in my truck.

It may be the case that limitations on the device meant the feature was not going to be supported, or it may be that they just didn't consider serious ( ) playlist programmability to be a priority.

Other than that, it was peachy. It was even well-behaved in VMs that didn't provide 3D/GPU support (and thus couldn't support some of the graphical decoration of the client - it tossed a warning message the first time it ran and then degraded gracefully)