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View Full Version : Zune Thoughts and the Zune Hookup


Jason Dunn
11-12-2006, 03:26 AM
There are some disadvantages of being a Zune site staffed, at the moment, by a guy from Canada and a guy from Australia. The first major problem is that because there's no Zune launching here (yet!) there are no events here. I was invited to go to the <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2006/11/09/zune-player-store-accessores-and-xbox-360-hands-on/" target="_blank">Zune launch event</a> in Los Angeles that was held a couple of days ago, but after looking at what would be offered, and what wouldn't, I decided to take John Starkweather, a Group Product Manager at Microsoft in the Windows Mobile group, up on his offer to have me come down for a day-long Microsoft campus visit where I'll get a chance to meet with some members of the Zune team, look at some new Windows Mobile stuff, and hopefully chat with someone on the Windows Media team about their massively dysfunctional approach to the Windows Media Video world.<br /><br />I purchased a last-minute plane ticket (damn those get expensive) and am flying into Seattle on the evening of the 13th. On the morning of the 14th, I'll be going to a retail store to purchased several Zunes (right now it's looking like five or six units). That's something I couldn't have done if I went to the event in LA on the 9th - the invite didn't include a Zune, not even a loaner for review. So it was imperative that I be in the USA on the 14th. I'll spend the remainder of the day on the 14th working on my Zune review, hopefully posting it by that evening. I don't mind saying that it's a little frustrating publishing my first hands-on experience so long after (seemingly) everyone else on the planet has had hands-on time with the Zune, but that's the cards I was dealt. On the 15th, I'll be hitting the Microsoft campus and will hopefully learn some good stuff.<br /><br />Now here's the part that impacts you: I'll be purchasing one Zune to give away in a contest right here on Zune Thoughts. So if you haven't already registered a user account and posted once to get your account authenticated, do so now so you're ready for the contest. I've also been contacting vendors of Zune accessories, and several have offered up products for review and giveaways. So things are going to start to heat up here at Zune Thoughts - the best is yet to come!

jerboa
11-12-2006, 03:47 AM
Jason, that's some pretty serious dedication to the cause! http://forums.thoughtsmedia.com/images/icons/icon14.gif

Paul Martin
11-12-2006, 04:00 AM
Very nice! Thanks for a great giveaway for a new site. :)

BugDude10
11-12-2006, 04:07 AM
(1) Have a safe and enjoyable trip!

(2) The things we techno-geeks won't do for new toys, huh?

(3) I was in the local Comp USA earlier today, and it had a Zune display. There were two non-working Zunes in holders that were entirely impenetrable -- I mean, seriously, you want your airplane to be made of this material. The holders were solidly attached to the display, and were so big you couldn't get any idea of the actual size of the Zune itself. (From this display, my guess would be that it's about the size of a small toaster.) The non-working displays had decals where the screen would be, to show you how big and informative the screen will be, but the only control accessible in the display (the front wheel) didn't do anything. I left the store not knowing anything more about the Zune than I did when I walked in. Really, what's the point?

greekgoat91
11-12-2006, 04:23 AM
I hope I win. Have you guys seen this. Someone already go their Zune from a Best Buy in California. http://flx-tech.net/ It's the latest post

jdmountford
11-12-2006, 07:43 AM
First, have a safe trip.

Second, I work for VZW and am based in a Circuit City for a little while. Some guys with the CC staff and I have hit it off so we were playing with the Zunes before they went in the heavy acrilics previously mentioned. It is very responsive. The front wheel is not a wheel at all but buttons. It is a very simple clean design.

I have one major concern. The Zune automatically rotates all video and we could not figure out to change that anywhere in the settings. This is ok accept that all of the docks currently are made to have the device in portrait mode, NOT landscape. I see this becoming a problem.

So if you get a chance can you find out about that? I would appreciate it.

Darius Wey
11-12-2006, 09:48 AM
I have one major concern. The Zune automatically rotates all video and we could not figure out to change that anywhere in the settings. This is ok accept that all of the docks currently are made to have the device in portrait mode, NOT landscape. I see this becoming a problem.

So if you get a chance can you find out about that? I would appreciate it.

I've heard this is by design and cannot be changed, though I'm hoping the Zune team will add portrait/landscape mode functionality in a future firmware update.

jdmountford
11-12-2006, 09:56 PM
I've heard this is by design and cannot be changed
This will be a deterrent to buying a dock then, until someone makes a swivel dock. Honestly I can not see giving up a three inch screen to have video play in portrait mode, at the same time what is the point of having a dock that I can not watch video with. I know a lot of people will want docks for Music. To me there is no other point to buying a device this size other than for video, as the Zune is fairly big. Lets face it there are any number of Music players out there that are VERY pockitable. This is a video player. And I am a bit annoyed at this HUGE (in my opinion) oversight.

Jason Dunn
11-13-2006, 01:59 AM
The Zune automatically rotates all video and we could not figure out to change that anywhere in the settings. This is ok accept that all of the docks currently are made to have the device in portrait mode, NOT landscape. I see this becoming a problem.

Ok, stupid question from me: why would this matter? I have a dock for my Zen Vision:M, and I can't imagine watching video on it while docked, because the dock is right next to a full sized computer. Is the scenario here that iPod users watch video while the unit is docked, and you want to be able to do the same thing on the Zune? I've never heard of such a thing, but I don't know many people with iPods. :confused:

Darius Wey
11-13-2006, 02:28 AM
Microsoft's vision is that if you have your Zune in the dock, and you're going to watch video, you'll connect the A/V cable from the dock to a TV or monitor. That combats any issues involving orientation and screen size.

fyiguy
11-13-2006, 02:52 PM
On the morning of the 14th, I'll be going to a retail store to purchased several Zunes (right now it's looking like five or six units).

Oh no, Jason and Fry's a very deadly combo to Jason's wallet...:D

Make sure you check out how many people have them on the MS campus especially the cafeteria, you will be amazed at how many there are. It seems like every other person has had one for months...

I didn't like the brown at first, but once you see it in person like people say it does grow on you.

***quote trimmed by mod JD***

jdmountford
11-14-2006, 06:49 AM
Jason Dunn wrote:
Ok, stupid question from me: why would this matter? I have a dock for my Zen Vision:M, and I can't imagine watching video on it while docked, because the dock is right next to a full sized computer. Is the scenario here that iPod users watch video while the unit is docked, and you want to be able to do the same thing on the Zune? I've never heard of such a thing, but I don't know many people with iPods. :confused:


Not a stupid question at all, it just means that I need to be more specific. In this scenario I am not talking a syncing dock or cradle I was instead talking about a multimedia dock, something with integrated speakers for playback and a stand. These devices are used by iPod owners as an alternative to say a radio. They can also work well on trips or something where you may be in a hotel or someone's home for a few nights. Basically when there is not a TV or radio around but you want more than the three inch screen and headphones that your device has. There are even a few really great devices out there that you can plug an iPod video in very similar to a portable DVD player but it uses the iPods hard drive instead of or in addition to DVDs. These devices are bigger screens like 7-8 inches and hold the iPod at the back of the unit. A few even can play DVDs on top of use the iPod. I would love to see something like that for the Zune.

Either way it is a way to watch video with out holding the device, but will not work with a Zune right now due to the screen rotation. It is just a little annoyance and one that most people will probably not notice or be bugged by, it is just something that caught my attention very quickly as video would be my primary media in the Zune.

<O:pI hope that helped clarify my earlier posts.<O:p</O:p

Darius Wey
11-14-2006, 08:48 AM
Either way it is a way to watch video with out holding the device, but will not work with a Zune right now due to the screen rotation. It is just a little annoyance and one that most people will probably not notice or be bugged by, it is just something that caught my attention very quickly as video would be my primary media in the Zune.

You could always get a kickstand case which will free up your hands, though it's far from the elegant powered solution that is the dock. Maybe we'll see a few accessory makers come up with something neat in the near future. ;)

Jess
12-05-2006, 10:03 PM
Great giveaway! :)