Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Zune Hatin'

Today there was an article on Ars about the new Zune 2.5 update where even the title expressed its distaste for the device. I just installed the update though and I think it made a device I already like a lot even better.

The main reason I got a Zune is because I wanted subscription music to go. With this new 2.5 release, Microsoft has proved that their "social" idea for the Zune is a pretty cool one, and they're making the music subscription a must-have for Zune owners. The new update allows you to automatically sync all of the music your friends are playing. Since Zune records what you're listening to and gives you the option to share that information with others on your "Zune Card", they just take this information and push the music you've listened to down to other people who have the music subscription.

Now, this might not sound that great reading it here in a blog post, but imagine if you automatically got the music that Paul van Dyk was listening to on his Zune, or Barack Obama, or whoever you want. Right now the Zune guys have offered a few DJs for this purpose, but I can see the possibilities here and they're pretty cool.

Furthermore, Microsoft fixed the gapless playback problem, one of my annoyances with all of these devices over the years and one that Apple took its sweet time fixing for the iPod.

In any case, I don't really get the Zune hating. Microsoft released a software update that does cool stuff with existing hardware. Even for an iPod fan, shouldn't this competition for Apple be applauded?


Luigi said...

Have you actually played any mp3's with the 2.5 firmware? They are not playing gaplessly; wma's are playing without gaps. Apple took their time, but at least they did it properly.

Trimbo said...

No, but I have only ripped AAC since 2003, so all of my existing gapless tracks are all in AAC. Can't speak to whether it works in MP3, though I didn't see any complaints about that on the Zune forums.

Trimbo said...

Oh and by the way -- Apple took, what, 5 years to get gapless playback? Microsoft has had it in WMA for a long while now, and got it on the Zune in 1.5 years, so I'd say even if there are bugs with gapless MP3 playback, my small jab at Apple seems valid....