• CONTEST ALERT - Experience the power of DDR5 memory with Kingston Click for details

Quick look at Microsoft ZUNE 30GB

Status
Not open for further replies.

Choto Cheeta

Rebooting
ZUNE.jpg


After the initial scare from the Fedex I finally received my Microsoft ZUNE 30GB Video player… Lets take a quick look at the player and its functions….

Qucik Details about the Product

The Product : Microsoft Zune 30GB
Product URL : Zune 30
Technical Details : Zune 30 Tech Specs
Price : Not available in India !!

The Packaging

box3.jpg


The Package contains bellow items.

  • The Quick Start Guide
  • The software CD
  • A velvate pouch for the Zune Player
  • The Zune Player
  • USB dock cable
  • Earphone

box2.jpg


Installation

As per manual its pretty straight forward…. Insert the software installation CD in the computer, start the installation, wait for the wizard to prompt you to connect the device and walla !!! start using it…

But the reality was far from that !!!

My system, E6600 / ASUS P5N-E SLi / 4 GB DDR-II / 8600 GT 256MB, in which I run Windows Vista x64 Ultimate…

I followed the start guide, installation from the given CD went fine till when it asked me to connect the Zune with computer via USB… I found, I had hit a major bump… Windows was unable to find or install drivers for the player….

instalaltion_Error.jpg


For a non technical user, it would had been end of happiness as no clue was there why the installation failed… but as soon as I browsed the CD content, as a pro user it had struck me that only x86 version of Zune software was given in the CD…. I feel the Installation wizard should have been detected the OS version and informed the user about the version incompatibility…

Though having said that I would also add its quite expected that most of the users will be on Windows x86 platform…

Zune web site did clarify that one would need different version of Zune software for Windows x64 platform…

Download Zune x64 Software

Installation of the Zune software was once again pretty straight forward, as expected now days, totally unattended…. One would need live Internet connection to continue the installation as it would download quite a few updates before it would continue the installation…

installation_02.jpg


installation_03.jpg


installation_04.jpg


installation_05.jpg


One thing to notice was the slowness of Microsoft update server… it took really long (about 2 hours) for the Zune software to obtain 35MB update for it self using my 2 mbps connection….

How ever as soon as I connected the zune player to the system, this time around windows was able to detect and install drivers for the device…

firmware_update_03.jpg


Good thing to watch was Zune software it self prompt to update the firmware to the available latest version…

firmware_update_01.jpg


and once again I found that slow MS server it tool a lot of time to download the update….

firmware_update_02.jpg


One may watch this bellow youtube video on updating the firmware of the product… its exactly the same in my case too…

Watch the youtube video…

After the final reboot the Zune now was ready for use !!!

zune1.jpg


The Interface

The OSD Interface :

Good to see a straight forward OSD (On Screen Display) interface which will seem easy for all age group and technical or non technical users… Basic functions are really easy to access and operate !!! So it will get a plus point here from me….. !!!

One big negative point is there is no on screen clock… I feel there should have been a OSD clock… I would home Microsoft includes a clock modules as soon as possible…

The Computer Operation :

I wont say that computer interface for the Zune software is easy for non Tech users, even I share the same idea for iTunes also… The Zune interface shares few common factors with iTunes… A lot of Drag and drop can be found where at Zune interface….

Once you know the basic, which is Creating one Play list and simple drag and drop the music / pictures / movie files in it… Next you just connect the Zune and hit Synchronize button either at PC (in the Zune software) or in the Zune Player it self… All media files will get copied in it..

Player Performance :

To start with I would say Radio is great… Auto scanner works really cool and the receiver is also remarkably strong…

The Ear phone which came with the Zune is some what pretty uncomfortable… However sound quality is as good as it is expected from a product like Zune…

One major negative point I would say is lack of support to xvid / divx format !!! Though it would support MP4 / WMA but still I would say xvid is necessary for this line up… For an advance user finding an one click converting software like ImToo is not a big deal and with Core 2 Duo and X2 type high performance processors around converting the video its self has became really easy job…. How ever I would also add that a converter application (even its a paid one provided on trail) should have been bundled to over come the lack of format support…

I liked the Multi Tasking, meaning it would continue to play the Radio or the MP3 while you can enjoy your picture slide show !!!

What I really miss the Blue tooth… Product in this range should have an opiton for blue tooth too for users like me who would like to use blue tooth headsets for complete mobility… Once again I consider this as a major negative point for the device…

Battery Performance :

The player is suppose to provide upto 14 hours of playback time with Audio and Wifi Off.. and 4 hours of video with wifi off…

I took near about 3 hours to show its fully charged and I stared using after the full charge…

I played with the device the large 3″ display was on most of the time… I played radio and MP3 but I played some video too… But after 6 hours of wrestling with it I was really feeling the pain in my ears so I thought of give up as the battery still was showing about 40 % remaining !!! So not a bad performance….

Verdict Time

Pros that I found… Off course they are my personal opinion…

  • OSD Interface is really easy for all…
  • Good Battery Backup !!
  • Nice Mat finish design !! It feels good to hold the device in your hand…

Few cons which I really think MS should over come as soon as possible…

  • Needs Blue tooth support
  • Default ear phone is one real unconformable one…
  • Xvid / Dvix Support is one must
  • A converter application should have been bundle…

Over all I would say some how MS failed to generate the hype like iPod or iPhone as its not a bad product either… I would hope Zune comes to India soon and with some aggressive pricing it certainly has the potential to do good !!!

thank you....
 

iMav

The Devil's Advocate
this is the 100$ wala zune v 1 its an absolute bang for the buck product .... the best part u can have the new firmware on it enjoy ur music sir ... o btw hav u tried the wi-fi syncing?

super review
 

infra_red_dude

Wire muncher!
Awesome review and very thotfully written (as always :) ). I'll look into this model as I wanna buy a PMP.

BTW Saurav, is a Sony MiniDV cassette also included with the Zune package??! :D ;)
 

fun2sh

Pawned!... Beyond GODLIKE
awesome review choto bhaiya!
@charan wat do u mean by old ZUNE.

hey cheeta in how much did u purchased it. and how much time did it took for delivery?
and also tel from where did u orded it!
 

gauravakaasid

Back to l33ching :)
AFAIK....Zune doesnt come with bluetooth....they got only wi-fi

@Saurav Da....superb review...bring it over during the next meet :D
 
Last edited:
OP
Choto Cheeta

Choto Cheeta

Rebooting
iMAV said:
this is the 100$ wala zune v 1 its an absolute bang for the buck product

Charan said:
Its the old zune !!!

Well it is the Version 1 but as I see not much hardware update was done in case of 30GB model... just the button layout was changed a little...

Major Hardware update was done with ZUNE 80GB where it got largers display (from 3" to 3.2")

now there are many software changes, but though MS is know not to provide such updates to the old versions to sell their new models, but still in this case with Firmware upgrade 2 all OLD zunes get all the new features of the New Zune v2 :D

so not loosing much...

iMAV said:
o btw hav u tried the wi-fi syncing?

:cry: my wifidongle is not working so didnt get the change yet... will test as soon as I replace it :D

Anirudh said:
BTW Saurav, is a Sony MiniDV cassette also included with the Zune package??!

:lol: mistakenly did a right thing :lol:

Actually the white plastic was waving a lot due to wind from the window so, hadto put some thing to stop it :lol: but it also gives you an idea how big the package was :D

casanova said:
I think ZUne models are available with bluetooth as well. Any ideas.

Microsoft site doesnt list it !!!!
 

The_Devil_Himself

die blizzard die! D3?
nice review choto dada I also tried to review it but I wasn't confident enough so I put that in a hijacked thread(and not a new one):p.

Look HERE if anybody is interested.
-The radio reciever is good ,it detected all channels (about 10-11) here in Delhi but only 2-3 channels plays stereo sound indoors:(.

-I have some registry keys(hardly 2-3kb) which will let you add more file types(not xvidd though) to be added to your zune software,but they will be converted to .wmv before going to your zune device.It just does away the need of a separate converter to some extent.

one question:hey choto tell me do you connect your zune as guest?or have you formatted your zune to connect it as regular to your pc?Which firmware upgrade have you got(the latet 2.2 one).I am still on 1.2--I'll do a lot of research before upgrading.

@choto:The bundled earphones fits absolutely good in my ears!!fits better than nokia's premium earphones.
 
Last edited:

iMav

The Devil's Advocate
@choto sir: the v2 has touch sensitive interface :D but what u have totally rox for the price ;)
 
OP
Choto Cheeta

Choto Cheeta

Rebooting
Devil said:
-umm..Device takes 3 hours to charge fully.Video palyback time:4-5 hours,audio playback time:10-12 hours.

:lol: I put that as Pros in my review... yaar driving a 3" display for 4 hours isnt a bad thing :p

but again its all our personal opinion...

but nice review there too...

The_Devil_Himself said:
Zune version one-a Review

Zune version 2(or generation 2) are already out so there isn't any need for a review for these one year old PMPs(Personal media player) but since M$ has been kind enough to release firmware upgrades for their older product so with the latest firmware upgrade 2.3 the device is as good as the newer Zunes except of course the looks.

First look
When I received my Zune the first thing that came to my mind was OMG this is really big!! but after using it for 3-4 days now Its fitting nicely in my left hand and doesn't feel bad at all.Secondly The device wasn't charged at all I mean M$ shouldd have charged it a bit as is the standard practice.The packaging was really nice with all the accessories packed up nicely.The whole package included:the Device,earpones,usb cable,installation CD,and a really nice pouch(I love it),so nothing flashy but all essentials.

Day 1
Charged up Zune a bit and turned it on,it was preloaded with some pictures,never heard before songs(all crappy),and some nice videos(nothing for 18+ though).All went smooth.
Tried installing Zune software on my XP MCE install but the bugger wouldn't install!!!Later I found out it doesn't work well with MCEs.Downloaded the latest version from the zune site but it also dint install.Formatted MCE installed XP pro and then it got installed(after a full 3-4 hours of trying!).But when I tried installing the latest version it showed me 'unidentified version' whatever I am happy with the former one.Connected my Zune to usb port and synced some songs and Mp3's and videos-the software did a good job of resizing wmv videos but you definitely need a separate video converter for all the other video formats.It was 3:45 in the morning so I went to bed.


Day 2
Ok got up at around 11am that day.
tried FM/radio on my Zune but it wasn't that great indoors with just sone few channels playing stereo sounds though it detected all 10-11 channels here in Delhi.Synced all my music content to it--the software worked perfectly(some says it crashes often but it dint crash even once,maybe cos of my clean XP install).I cudn't even fill 3gb of its 30gb space :( so it was time to search through all my back up DVDs and rerip my audio CDs at 320kbps instead of 196kbps :).
Played with it whole day inspite of my exams just around the corner.

Day 3
Its working great and I have got accustomed to its size,Now I can handle it with a single hand and browse everything without any problem.
The initial Hype has died and things are getting normal again and I am using it as PMPs ahould be used.

Day 4
Today.I knew it doesn't work with any other software so Linux is outaa question but whenever I connect it to PC(for charging) Rythmic music box come up..lol..but nothing more than that.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PROS
-3' widescreen is awesome and I really mean it though the resolution is same as Video iPods i.e. 320x240.The videos are crisp and color reproduction is pretty good.

-FM reciever--it isn't great indoors but it sounds awesome(compared to my nokia 6610i's stereo FM) outdoors.It was one of the main point where it scores over iPod(ask iMav)

-The navigation is as easy as it gets though the scroll is not scroll like iPods but is a collection of 4 buttons+1 center button.But getting to a particular item in your collection is far easier cos of various ways of tagging them(I can't explain it more in short the navigation is far easy)

-The bundled earphones are pretty good with excellent bass reproduction(even a noob like me can spot the difference b\w a good and a bad earphone).But I will be buying a ep630 soon and still enhance the hearing experience.

-Did I say the 3' screen greeaat oh yea!!

-Oh and I almost forgot WiFi yea it has wifi capabilities so it can sync with your wifi enabled desktops/notebooks and with other Zunes.Who knows they can even put a web browser in next firmware upgrade.

-Firmware upgrades:I mean this is a real cool thing-why do we need to buy the new flashy Zunes when our hardware is as good as the new ones?just for the softwares?No we can just upgrade our Device's firmware and it is as easy as nothing.Kudos to MS for this thoughtful implementation.

-some 2d/2.5d games are scheduled to be released for Zunes early next year.


Cons

-M$-not again!.Why can't we use our device with other softwares like we can use iPods?Why no software for peeps running OS X's?Can't even dream of a Linux compatible software from M$ though some guys are working on it independently.(Zuneforlinux something).

-The device can't be used as mass storage device though there are some hacks but they have their own limitations.:(

-umm..Device takes 3 hours to charge fully.Video palyback time:4-5 hours,audio playback time:10-12 hours.

-nothing more that I can think of right now.

Yes one thing I have also noticed is, the battery comes totally empty !!! u have to chare before using where as most other devices come with atleast 60% of their battery :D

one question:hey choto tell me do you connect your zune as guest?or have you formatted your zune to connect it as regular to your pc?Which firmware upgrade have you got(the latet 2.2 one).I am still on 1.2--I'll do a lot of research before upgrading.

As soon as u connect the device with Zune Software (download the new from my given link) it will ask you to upgrade the firmware and I already wrote...

Well it is the Version 1 but as I see not much hardware update was done in case of 30GB model... just the button layout was changed a little...

Major Hardware update was done with ZUNE 80GB where it got largers display (from 3" to 3.2")

now there are many software changes, but though MS is know not to provide such updates to the old versions to sell their new models, but still in this case with Firmware upgrade 2 all OLD zunes get all the new features of the New Zune v2

:D pretty fast and straight forward upgrade takes less than 1 mins to complete but after that its a whole new product :D

and for information it is Zune 2.2 firmware which the software will download for u live from the MS server :D
 

The_Devil_Himself

die blizzard die! D3?
touch sensitive or touch-screen?I dint know this.
Btw are you talking about the touch sensitive squircle?yeah ver.1's squircle is not touch sensitive and the buttons need to be hard pressed.

BTW Microsoft payed huge bucks for the names 'Zune' and 'squircle'.

@choto:thanks dada,I've added those registry files if it helps.

Just one more question:do you know about this guest thingy?Its there in my Zune device and software but I heard it has been done away in firmware upgrade 2.2,If it is that so I'll upgrade to version 2.2 ASAP.
 
OP
Choto Cheeta

Choto Cheeta

Rebooting
iMav said:
@choto sir: the v2 has touch sensitive interface :D but what u have totally rox for the price ;)

opps didnt know as still the MS web site doesnt advertise that... if you be kind enough to please guide me to a link which would have details about this new Zune features :D

thank you...

@choto:The bundled earphones fits absolutely good in my ears!!fits better than nokia's premium earphones.

We better post the pictures of our ears :lol: may be I have a different shape or may be you does :lol: :lol: as once again its personal feeling :lol:

Just one more question:do you know about this guest thingy?Its there in my Zune device and software but I heard it has been done away in firmware upgrade 2.2,If it is that so I'll upgrade to version 2.2 ASAP.

I have heard that too, few mishaps while upgrades, but do remember, make sure PC is virus free... and no AVS should run while u install the zune software or when u try to doc the device for the firmware upgrade...

Rest should be fine... :D

@choto:thanks dada,I've added those registry files if it helps.

thnx for the keys... :D will test them as I get some time :d
 
Last edited:

iMav

The Devil's Advocate
Choto Cheeta said:
opps didnt know as still the MS web site doesnt advertise that... if you be kind enough to please guide me to a link which would have details about this new Zune features :D
touch sensitive means the suircle or watever devil said is touch sensitive u slide ur fingers up; down; right or left ;) (like ipod classic goes round and ound this goes up and down :D) dont have a link but had seen working vdos on gizmodo and engadget when it was released
 
OP
Choto Cheeta

Choto Cheeta

Rebooting
vivekbabbudelhi said:
congrats saurav !!!

ur cool now;);)

hey whats that suppose to mean...

I was always cool beside all other guys showing off their new Nokia N80 or N95 and Sony or such, where as I boldly continue to use my 8 year old Nokia n3315 :lol: :lol: :lol:

yaar this device may harm the cause !!!!
 

desiibond

Bond, Desi Bond!
Choto Cheeta said:
hey whats that suppose to mean...

I was always cool beside all other guys showing off their new Nokia N80 or N95 and Sony or such, where as I boldly continue to use my 8 year old Nokia n3315 :lol: :lol: :lol:

yaar this device may harm the cause !!!!

How did you get your zune shipped to India and what was the extra cost? Can you please guide me how to get a Zune (My cousin in Saint Cloud has it) delivered to Bangalore?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom