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Old 11-14-2007, 06:00 AM
David Tucker
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Default Positive PC World Review

“It took them a while, but the folks at Microsoft have finally built a pretty good portable media player. With wireless syncing, a new touch-pad control to rival Apple's Click Wheel, and some interesting new features built into the Zune player software, this latest generation of Zunes should finally provide some real competition. We've reviewed both the $250 80GB Zune and the $200 8GB flash-based Zune that released today. Both offer very good sound quality and a nice set of features beyond standard audio and video playback, though the 80GB player is probably a better fit among its competition. But it's the Zune software--and the changes to the Zune Marketplace and online environment that come with it--that may eventually have the biggest impact on the Zune's success.”

PC World has a nice little write up about the new features in the Zune. It’s interesting to note that the review does focus entirely on the software and Zune Social aspect while ignoring the player in its entirety. Given the number of reviews out there it’s not much of an omission. I think most people expected the Zune UI to be better than the first, excellent, iteration. It’s nice that PC World gives the Zune team the credit they deserve by calling it serious competition.

The one thing I do disagree with, after my short time with the desktop software, is their assertion that it’s little more than an avenue to get media onto your device. I think as a desktop player for music and video it’s excellent. And to me the Zune Desktop’s primary purpose, after being a conduit for your music library to your Zune, is to be a vehicle to discover new music. And so far in that respect the desktop software has performed beautifully.
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