Zune 80


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Gamerhomie

I ordered an Originals Saturday night and when I woke up on Tuesday morning I found a note on my door stating the package came and no one was home! So I went down to the local Fedex and picked it up, no problem! I haven't put any music on it yet (still sorting my collection, the email said it was going to arrive Thursday) but I put some pictures on there.

The software is very nice, I'll keep using more regularly. At first the UI seemed a little laggy but now I'm used to it. It keeps getting better and better. Only complaint I have so far is that the images and whatnot that were already on the Zune don't show up at all in the Zune Software. I'll try to put music on it soon (I gotta study for finals)

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Xerxes

All this Zune talk is making me wonder...is it ever going to release in Australia? (I'm guessing highly unlikely)

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Berserk87

HOW ARE THEY NOT RELEASED IN CANADA.

why is microsoft constantly ignoring us... were a big market, and our $'s at par.

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Xerxes
HOW ARE THEY NOT RELEASED IN CANADA.

why is microsoft constantly ignoring us... were a big market, and our $'s at par.

Probably cause they are looking after their home turf first. US will always get preferential treatment simply cause MS is a US company, I'm sure you guys will get it in due time (down under we are still waiting for the first one :s)

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Berserk87
Probably cause they are looking after their home turf first. US will always get preferential treatment simply cause MS is a US company, I'm sure you guys will get it in due time (down under we are still waiting for the first one :s)

usually its good to get it to other countrys before the 3rd gen hits. :pinch:

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Flash

How is the screen quality? I read it is 84K color where as my Cowon D2 is 16.7 million colors

Edited by Flash
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Alan-
How is the screen quality? I read it is 84K color where as my Cowon D2 is 16.7 million colors

Screen quality is really pretty good, only complaints I have is when I am looking at still pictures (only in the Pictures spot is it not desirable, album art is great though). Sometimes I'll notice the glow on words is kinda..."giffy" I guess is the best way I can describe it, you know where you can tell it is a compressed image.

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Flash

Has anyone been able to get almost 30 hours of playing time? If I were to leave the screen off and let the thing play music for 30 hours, would it really last for that long?

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zivan56

If you are in Canada, you can buy the first generation refurbished at XSCargo for $130 or new from: these stores.

Personally, I will wait until it is a bit cheaper on woot.com and having it shipped to Point Roberts, Washington...

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Christopher
Nice review. What's the battery life like? I heard it's not great which is one of the things that is putting me off. However i like the bigger screen and FM radio option.
Good review. Like others I'm interested in what the battery life is like. A few pictures wouldn't hurt either.

I actually own a 30 GB Zune. My close friend has the new 80GB one.

Now, for both of us the battery life has been pretty poor.

At times we find ourselves getting 3-6 hours of battery life at best.

(This is just music mind you)

That said, there are plenty of good things about them as well.

Good video quality, the sound is quite nice, and the 'scratch proof' body is nice also.

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MightyJordan

Something must be wrong with your Zune. I get at least 10 hours out of my Zune 30 nonstop.

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Alan-

I get about 24 hours of Zune time, I think that's great (compared to my past experiences). The only reasons you may be having issues is if you use the as-of-now flakey hibernate mode which isn't exactly hibernating, so when I'm not using it, it's turned off (do that by pressing and holding back + down).

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alafferty

I just spent the last week travleing with my Zune 80 and i loved it. I have had all gens of the ipods and they are good devices but it was time for a change. The zune i found had about 25 to 26 hours of play time before i had to recharge it.

I watched about 2 hours of video on the device and found it to be great. Since the screen is bigger than the ipod i find it more useful to watch shows on.

The thing i really like about the Zune is that you have the option to touch or slide your finger up and down to get to tracks or artist and you can also tactile to navigate too. Since i have over 10k songs on my Zune i can use the touch to get there fast and when i get close i can just use the tactile to stop where i want the first time. On the ipod i found myself flying past my song or artist and then going back and forth a couple of more times. So the tactile option is a great feature in my opinon.

The interface moves around very quick and smooth. I got an 80gb Ipod classic as well and since they went to their new interface it is so sluggish and really doesnt do much for me.

Just my 2 cents!

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PsyOpWarlord

I took the Zune 80 back yesterday for a refund that I was getting for my Mom. The battery life on mine was horrible. From a full charge I started it playing music at half volume to test it out. After 5 hours I picked it up off my desk to check it and it was at around/just below the 50% battery mark. I sat for about 15 minutes after that scrolling thru the settings and looking at album art and the battery had dropped to about 30-35%. So I lost maybe 70% of the battery in less that 5 1/2 hours and only maybe 20 minutes or so of that had the screen on browsing the device. To me that wasn't acceptable by any standards and I can't wait around hoping MS fixes the issue with a firmware update.

The other disappointment was the Zune desktop software. I've been using WMP as I've been trying to stay away from using iTunes. The Zune software is very slow. I don't know if it has problems with a larger collection (around 40,000 songs) but it would keep handing when scrolling thru the music for a few seconds at a time. Just for grins I loaded iTunes (first time I ever tried it) and it was a lot faster and the iTunes software has a better interface for managing your music. If I could have used WMP to load/manage music on the Zune or if I could just have dragged and dropped music/pictures/videos onto the device I would have been happy.

Unfortunately I did not feel comfortable giving it to my mom as a gift.

On the plus side I really liked the extra screen size and interface on the Zune itself. The navigation pad was way better than my sons U2 iPod. I also liked the radio and how it pulls the artist/song info from the station for displaying on the screen. If MS fixes the battery issue and overhauls the crappy Zune software I might give it another shot for myself.

I went ahead and got my mom the 80GB iPod as it seems less prone to her having problems using it. She has friends with iPods and they can help out of she has questions. For myself, I guess I'll personally just stick to my ATT Tilt with an 8GB card and use that to carry some music with me. Although the battery life is not great on my Tilt at least I'm not stuck with the Zune software to manage my music.

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Gamerhomie

Alright, I've played around with the Zune 80 for quite a bit now and I have this to say:

The Good

Design

I love the physical design of the Zune (the large screen, the "squircle") and I love the insides (the U.I., layout). It feels good in my hand, everything works great, if I'm watching a video the screen shifts to the side and so do the controls (I know the iPod Touch does this but I'm saying it's good that the Zune does. This isn't comparing iPod to Zune.) Switching from photos to music to videos is as easy as it could be and there are nice little tidbits that help (hold down the back button to go straight to the main menu and actually just leaving your finger on the touch pad doesn't dim the screen for as long as you hold it)

The Zune Software

The design is great here too. Colors and how everything is organized in columns. Everything updates automatically so there aren't missing files and whatnot.

The Bad

Radio

I haven't messed around too much with it because there isn't much to do. Just pick a radio station. Right? But that's the problem. I can't no matter where I am, around town, in Chicago, the radio doesn't work. I can only capture one station (107.9) and even that has terrible reception. I would love to use this feature if I could figure out how it works.

The Zune Software

- Not everything about it perfect. For instance, I always hated shuffle that always starts out with the same first song (not sure why it does that) but I always have my music on shuffle so I get to hear the same song on my play list every single time.

- Syncing is weird. I don't like the way it syncs videos for instance (not sure about music). When I dragged and dropped two music videos yesterday the progress started in the bottom left hand corner of the Zune but it would jump all over the place. It would go from 26% to 42% to 89% to 37% to 5% and so on.

- Some albums are separated on the Software and thus the Zune. I mean that I have a Bioshock album in my folder just as every other album but for some reason the Zune recognizes every song as an album so I have about a dozen Bioshock albums which is a pain to sift through as it does it for a few more albums.

- Some albums just don't sync. I don't get it. I have a few Modest Mouse albums that just didn't sync and there were no errors reported.

So there's my little summary of what I found that I liked and disliked. If anyone knows any solutions to my problems please post them.

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raider360

Nice. I love new Zune.

and we have same keyboards :D (Y)

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Altra

I've owned my Zune 30 since April, and I love it. I owned 2 iPods before that eventually junked out on me. I might eventually buy a new Zune 80, I just bought my wife one recently for her birthday and she loves it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Mrcookjr
Just got mine on sunday (Zune 80). It's an amazing device indeed, i'am very happy with it. (Y)

I also. Loving the new model.

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Delightus14

Nice review. Cept I wold never touch something from Microsoft on a hardware basis. Hate 360's. And diffently dont like this. lol

Nice review but, diffently when I see one I will have a look at it :)

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coolkat007

i have two zunes.. i dont have any problem with my first zune but the second one has some serious battery issues.. I guess its not the manufacturers fault but as i bought it of ebay (im UK and zunes are not available in stores), i was sent a used piece.. i returned it back for refund. but i just love my Zune.. I have used ipod mini, Nano, both 2nd gen and latest version and also the ipod video but i like the zune better than all those.. given the size.., i would go for nano but i have loads of songs and video i always want to carry with me. so, i had to choose between non flash ipod or zune i agree zune does not have games as ipod or other silly features but the zune i bought is a 30 GB one, first gen.. it has the equalizer so i have no complains.. the battery lasts as its new.. with the release of new firmware.. its just the best MP3 and video gadget!!

Zune + Zune-dock > apple TV.. I sync music and videos wirelessly.., its just works great.. microsoft needs right people in marketing zune and yea.. i think they shld officially release it in EU.

my manager was showing his new ipod touch last week.., it was sleek but i wouldnt pay that much for a device which gives just 16 Gb max?

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Shadrack

Good review! I was going to write one, but i'm lazy and when I saw there was already one posted here I decided that I would just add to it...

So these are my additional Pros/Cons to the OP:

Pros:

* Really responsive interface. I've not experienced any "lag" with the album art which is kind of surprising.

* Unlike the OP, I really was impressed with the headphones that it came with. I have my own that are better, but I was still impressed.

* I really like the Zune software interface. It is good, and after some polishing it should be better. I like iTunes more, feature wise... but I like the look and feel of the Zune software a lot more.

* Marketplace subscription is good. Lots of selection. The subscription has allowed me to be more experimental with what I listen to.

Cons:

* Currently a really crappy video podcasts bug where subscriptions WILL not sync automatically. The whole podcast system is just really buggy right now and it is annoying that they haven't fixed this.

* Sometimes albums I've downloaded off the marketplace have two sets of songs that have slightly different ID3 album tags. This is stupid and very annoying. For instance, the Demetri Martin CD, "These Are Jokes [CD/DVD]" are half the tracks and the rest are under just "These Are Jokes." WTF? Thats pretty damn annoying.

* Can't burn subscription songs to an audio CD w/o purchase. That sucks because I only have a CD player in my vehicle. I might have to get something with an audio in.

* Limited video format support. I think everyone's life would be a lot easier if the Zune 80 supported xvid/divx :p.

* No external hard drive support. WTF?

* You can't play music directly off the device from the software. HOWEVER, you can copy music to a computer from the Zune software and play it from the computer (to anyones computer you are connected to). Thats kinda weird from a "lets stop music piracy" point of view. Some of my friends have their computers connected to their sound system and it would be nice to just play my tunes through the Zune software w/o copying the tracks to their computer.

Most of my cons have to do with the actual Zune software. The device on its own once loaded with media has been nothing but pleasure to use. I've had it lock up on me once, however... you can reset it from some key combination (I think it is hold play/pause and "down" on the pad...). Resetting it worked and I haven't had it lock up again. Hope that it doesn't again. I would recommend an extended warranty. I am of the opinion that hard disk drive based PMPs are more prone to failure than their solid state counterparts.

Edited by Shadrack
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BigGiantHead

Could MS add full wi-fi capability along with a web browser in a future firmware update or does the Zune hardware restrict the wireless functions to sync only

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