View Full Version : Zune Battery Life - Let's Be Realistic...

Jason Dunn
10-25-2006, 01:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://zunecorps.com/?p=49' target='_blank'>http://zunecorps.com/?p=49</a><br /><br /></div>Charlie over at Zune Corps <a href="http://zunecorps.com/?p=49" target="_blank">posted a reaction article</a> to <a href="http://www.zuneinsider.com/2006/10/battery_life.html" target="_blank">Cesar's post</a> about the battery life on the Zune. Here's a short quote from Charlie:<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">&quot;I currently get under 8 hours of battery life from my 5th generation iPod due to the fact that I like to crank the volume up, and enjoy browsing through my music and pictures on the train to avoid making eye contact with angry commuters in the morning&hellip;think about what the Zune will be realistically capable of with a larger screen and wi-fi!&quot;</span><br /><br />Battery life is an important issue, and everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion as to how the device is going to work for them under the scenarios they find themselves in. But I have to challenge Charlie's post a bit - the scenario that seems normal for him is certainly not normal for the majority of people that I see using digital audio players. I have no hard facts beyond basic observations of people out in public, friends, and family - but the vast majority of people I know tend to <span style="font-style: italic;">listen</span> to their digital audio players, not <span style="font-style: italic;">watch</span> them. Video is an emerging trend, yes, but it's still quite early on in adoption and not something I'd consider to be &quot;normal&quot; yet. There are always going to be extreme scenarios, and no device maker is going to use an extreme scenario to quote battery life - I think what Cesar published was quite fair.<br /><br />If you stop and think about it, statistically most people are probably going to be putting MP3 files on there, likely in the 128 kbps range, and MP3 files tend to take less CPU cycles to play than WMA files (something to do with the compression decoding), so the battery life may be a bit better for some of us. I have no idea what the default level for the volume is, but I usually test with volume around 75% or so - though it depends on each device. It will be interesting to see what the battery life is like playing DRM'd tracks from the Zune Marketplace. DRM'd tracks tend to take more CPU cycles to play (overhead) so testing that would seem to be vital. The good news here is that the WiFi chip on the Zune sounds extremely efficient - there's not much difference between when it's off or on. It would have been interesting to see what the battery life would have been like with a few transfers thrown in there - say, a dozen or so over the span of the test...although it's highly unlikely one Zune user will encounter another Zune user anywhere in the world for some time - they have to sell a few million units first....

11-17-2006, 03:28 AM
I found this article on the offical Zune website that suggests you encode your music collection in wma 128 bit format to save battery.

How to help maximize the time that a battery lasts in your Zune device,