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  #1  
Old 07-31-2007, 07:04 PM
David Tucker
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Default Through the Glass

So I'm sitting a Southwest flight to West Palm Beach right now. My uncle is sitting on the aisle listening to his Nano. I have my Zune playing Stone Sour's "Through the Glass". It's a perfect harmony of Microsoft and Apple.

He was quite impressed by the video capabilities of the Zune but his comment was "That's really neat but I don't need video.  I just want something little." And so it goes.

What does that say to me? Microsoft doesn't need Zune 2.0 (not yet anyway). And as much as I hate to say it, they don't need to give the early adopters the long awaited update. (Let's be honest. Raise your hand if you won't just buy 2.0 when it comes out anyway. That's what I thought.)

No, they really need a small, flash based Zune. By all accounts we'll get one in September. That's when the real competition starts. I can't wait myself. The new GUI that the iPhone sports is just as nice, if not nicer, than the Zune interface. Microsoft and Apple really are good for each other!
 
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2007, 08:35 PM
priesmeyer
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I sold my Zune and am about to need the video capability again (riding the bus to work again and like to pass the time with my recorded TV and vlogs). So I really want another Zune device BUT I don't want to be stuck with the Zune Marketplace (and i don't have to today, thank you) and I DO want to be able to watch my Media Center recorded TVs (which I still can't do).

So, I don't want to buy a 1st gen Zune device at this time of the year, but I don't know if Zune 2 will provide PMC functionality.

So, I'm back in the same boat- the Zune doesn't do what I need it to do, but it does what it does better than my Samsung Portable Media Center.

 
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2007, 08:52 PM
Damion Chaplin
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Originally Posted by David Tucker View Post
Let's be honest. Raise your hand if you won't just buy 2.0 when it comes out anyway. That's what I thought.
Yes, let's be honest. [raises hand]

Honestly, the only reason I bought a Zune was because I worked for this site. Up until then, I had always thought of my Archos as the end-all be-all of media players. Great file format support, drag-and-drop, etc. The Zune, however intrigued me with its giant screen and direct challenge to the iPod. So I took the plunge, bought a Zune and sold my Archos.

9 Months later and we still haven't seen any real update to the player as promised. Still no DivX support, still no drag-and-drop support, not even gapless playback or a global resume function (not that they actually promised any of those things).

So no, I won't be standing in line to get Zune v.2 unless these issues are dealt with. I say MS needs to stop trying to compete with Apple's hype machine and start concentrating on making their current Zune actually competetive with what everyone else has had on the market for 3 years.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm very happy with my Zune and won't be selling it to get an Archos again, but I'm definitely thinking twice about getting another one.

Just my 2 shells.
 
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:10 PM
Rocco Augusto
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Originally Posted by priesmeyer View Post
I DO want to be able to watch my Media Center recorded TVs (which I still can't do).
You know, when I got my Zune a few months ago there was a registry entry that would let you add a ton of new file formats to the Zune software and one of those formats was the Media Center recorded TV format. I have been watching transcoded Media Center recorded shows on my Zune for months and love it, though I do wish there was native support without the use of a third party hack
 
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2007, 11:45 PM
Damion Chaplin
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The Zune software still has to encode it though, right? It would be nice to drag-and-drop that ripped DVD or recorded TV show with no reencoding. It's such a hassle to reencode everything that I've all but stopped watching video on my Zune. I don't have the time to do it and, more to the point, I can't afford the spare CPU time when I am sitting in front of my PC. Surely with a 30GB drive they could get the software to downscale a 720x480 file to fit the screen...
 
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Old 08-01-2007, 02:51 AM
David Tucker
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Oh, I don't disagree with any of this. I think, though, that Microsoft is clearly focusing on getting that flash Zune out right now. And really, in the long run, that's better for us. Because if Zune fails...then that's it. But if a flash based Zune is successful...that is where the bulk of the purchases will be.
 
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2007, 04:51 AM
Sven Johannsen
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Originally Posted by Damion Chaplin View Post
The Zune software still has to encode it though, right? It would be nice to drag-and-drop that ripped DVD or recorded TV show with no reencoding.
I don't know about that. We are talking multiple Gigs of file before transcoding, and mutiple megs after. Be nice if transcoding were faster, but the smaller file size shortens the file transfer time too.

Shame that the Zune guys didn't talk to the PPC/PMC guys. Have been able to record a show, have it picked up by the "TV shows recently recorded" automatic playlist, and have that transcoded and copied automatically while I sleep for some time.

***long quote trimmed by mod JD***
 
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2007, 04:53 PM
Damion Chaplin
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I don't know about that. We are talking multiple Gigs of file before transcoding, and mutiple megs after. Be nice if transcoding were faster, but the smaller file size shortens the file transfer time too.
With 30 gigs of space, I really don't mind using up 2G for a DivX movie. My Zune holds my music collection and my wife's (in case she doesn't have her PMP with her) and I still have 7GB of available space. Plenty of room for all 3 LOTR movies ripped into a reasonable bitrate... and a few Transformers episodes to boot!

The difference between a 30-second transfer for a 500MB file and a 2-minute transfer for a 2GB file is not a factor for me. I would gladly trade that extra 90 seconds for the 30 minutes it takes (minimum!) to reencode the file...

I agree a flash-based Zune is the next logical step for MS, but I'm personally not interested in buying one. I'm far more interested in them not orphaning my current Zune. For all I know, Microsoft thinks what our Zune currently does is all it needs to do. That would be a shame and would prevent me from considering another Zune in the future... Even if v2 does all the things I wish my current Zune did, I will have lost all confidence in MS.

Last edited by Damion Chaplin; 08-01-2007 at 04:57 PM..
 
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2007, 06:25 PM
Rocco Augusto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damion Chaplin View Post
The Zune software still has to encode it though, right? It would be nice to drag-and-drop that ripped DVD or recorded TV show with no reencoding. It's such a hassle to reencode everything that I've all but stopped watching video on my Zune. I don't have the time to do it and, more to the point, I can't afford the spare CPU time when I am sitting in front of my PC. Surely with a 30GB drive they could get the software to downscale a 720x480 file to fit the screen...
A lot of my TV shows are recorded using my OTA Digital TV Tuner (Hauppauge HVR-950) so a one hour show is 4GB+ once it is done recording. I also have two Hauppauge MCE 150's installed in my media center which are a little more forgiving on the space, but still a couple GBs for a one hours TV show (I record on the "Best" setting)

Even with these super large files, I was able to transcode several Star Trek: Voyager episodes (don't laugh!) and transfer them to my Zune in a half hour. Not to shabby but I still feel Microsoft should have included support for this in the Zune software without a hack.
 
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2007, 07:55 PM
ale_ers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocco Augusto View Post
You know, when I got my Zune a few months ago there was a registry entry that would let you add a ton of new file formats to the Zune software and one of those formats was the Media Center recorded TV format. I have been watching transcoded Media Center recorded shows on my Zune for months and love it, though I do wish there was native support without the use of a third party hack
I agree. I use ZuneTVWatcher and I think it works a little better (it transcodes right after the show is recorded without the need for Zune software). I still think they plan to add this functionality, but when is the big question.
 
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