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View Full Version : Ladies and Gentlemen: The Worst Zune Review Ever

Jason Dunn
11-14-2006, 11:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/technology_news/4202050.html' target='_blank'>http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/technology_news/4202050.html</a><br /><br /></div><em>&quot;It's bigger, boxier and less shiny than the iPod. In my book, that's a bad thing, as is the bizarre brown color and even more bizarre semi-translucent green tones at the corners...this thing doesn't seem to be compatible with my iMac. The included software won't run at all, and I'm now investigating a runaround to actually get files on and off the player...until we can try out the Wi-Fi functions and the Zune Marketplace, it's not completely fair to deliver a verdict&hellip;but we will anyway.&quot;</em><br /><br />This &quot;review&quot; from Popular Mechanics&rsquo; Upgrade editor Erik Sofge seems to be a the result of two things coming crashing together: disastrously bad media relations and someone who should have never graduated journalism school (or maybe he never went). First off, who sent him a brown Zune? Brown is a colour that people either love or hate, and while I completely understand why Microsoft is offering the Zune in brown (it's a trendy colour again, though most fashion-challenged geek bloggers don't grasp that), the PR company sending out Zunes to the media should only send the white or the black. Period. Next, the PR company obviously didn't ask if the person reviewing the device even owned a Windows XP-based computer! Sofge's own blunt-as-a-butter knife journalistic instincts come into play here, because one thing you should check on before starting to write an article is if it's meant to work with your niche platform. In the same way that it would be unfair for me to slam iLife in a review because it wouldn't work on my Windows XP PC, it's utterly ridiculous that Sofge is reviewing a product he can't actually use. And then, rather than fessing up to his lack of knowledge in accepting a product for review that he can't fully use, he delivers a verdict anyway. I can only assume that he gets paid by the word and his editors are out at a strip club somewhere rather than checking his work.

11-14-2006, 11:28 PM
He did have a couple backhanded compliments in there at least. I do know that the Brown color is not a "like it or hate it" as it really does grow on you.

I think the housing on the Zune is a very minimalist design with an understated strength. The accent colors set off the primary color with quiet sophistication. Obviously not every color is for every person. I am certain as time goes on we will see Microsoft with Toshiba release new colors into the Zune arsenal. This is, of course pure conjecture on my part, but if MS is in it to win it they will have to put out alts to stay competitive. (I would love to see a great green or bluish purple).<O:p

With any luck no one will read this guy's column other than to poke fun at someone for working in a technology field and not reading the Minimum Operating Requirements!

PS. "work around" is the commonly used term not "runaround". And he should try running his i-mac in Windows emulation mode.<O:p

Vincent M Ferrari
11-14-2006, 11:56 PM
Perspective time, folks.

No one reads Popular Mechanics for their gadget news. Now if Popular Science had said something similar, that would be a problem.


<blockquote>In the same way that it would be unfair for me to slam iLife in a review because it wouldn't work on my Windows XP PC, it's utterly ridiculous that Sofge is reviewing a product he can't actually use.</blockquote>

Indeed, and frankly, anyone doing reviews should at least have the common sense to verify its functionality before they grab one. God, even common sense would tell you it wouldn't work out of the box with a Mac, no rocket science required, although it would probably work fine with a Mac running Parallels or Bootcamp (for the massochistic type)...

I would love to play with a Zune. Not own one. Just play with one. I mean, how could you not want to hold it in your hand and get the full rich album art experience? :p

Jason Dunn
11-15-2006, 12:28 AM
Perspective time, folks. No one reads Popular Mechanics for their gadget news.

Hey, blame Google News Alert - I get an email anytime anyone anywhere mentions the Zune online, then my wrath is unleashed. :D

11-15-2006, 12:44 AM
It was only a matter of time before one of these popped up and it will only be a matter of time before another one comes along. I say wait till it starts to get a name for itself and you won't have enough time in the day to read through all of them. :rolleyes: <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

Vincent M Ferrari
11-15-2006, 02:14 AM
Hey you. Quiet. Just play. Go enjoy the rich album art experience and report back, mmmkay? ;)

11-15-2006, 02:50 AM
I can't keep my hands off my Zune. I already sold my Ipod, I'm not going back.

I got the black one, but I almost get the brown one, the white is fine but it didn't atract me.

Vincent M Ferrari
11-15-2006, 02:54 AM
They make a cream for that :-)

11-15-2006, 03:30 AM
I can't keep my hands off my Zune.

Keep it up and you'll go blind ;)

Have fun and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts on your new toy.

11-15-2006, 04:14 AM
It wasn't that bad. Granted the guy was an idiot assuming that a Microsoft product would work on a Mac. However I read it more as a first experience blurb not a detailed review. (The article was barely a page long) He did like video playback and did confess that it really wasn't fair to deliver a verdict. He expressed his view on the features he could experience, whats wrong with that? I've seen articles all over the web on the Zune and its release and frankly they all say pretty much the same thing as this guys. If the WiFi and Zune Marketplace aren't up to snuff, then the Zune will be the iPod's ugly cousin. Is ZuneThoughts supposed to be an objective Zune website akin to the other Thoughts Media sites, or a site that flames anyone who doesn't share your view of the product. I love the brown by the way.

11-15-2006, 04:27 AM
Wow, whoever hired this guy should be fired along with him. Let's see; didn't require basic requirements of device before using it, bad grammar and unprofessional statements. The last time I saw the color brown I didn't think it was bizaar and what ever happen to word like dull finish, or powder coat finish. Which is how I would describe it after seeing it yesterday at CompUSA. I don't like the the look of the Zune myself or think brown should be the color of PMP's choices that is soley my opinion. The inner gadget freak in me loves new stuff so I like it for that but the rest just doesn't make me want to put down my iPod but I am waiting for that review of the Zune.

11-15-2006, 04:37 AM
Keep it up and you'll go blind ;)

Have fun and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts on your new toy.

HAHAHA! too late I just put the firts five seasons of family guy! :D

oh,oh,oh and the Marketplace has way more latin (did I say I was latino?) music than iTunes and the search is drastically faster.

Vincent M Ferrari
11-15-2006, 04:47 AM
Problem is, he said it wouldn't be fair to deliver a verdict and then proceeded to do exactly that. Sorry dude, but that just stinks.

As for objective, I see you only have 1 post here, which means you probably haven't been around very long. It's all good. I can only suggest if you want to question the objectivity of Jason, Darius or Aaron, you read the prior postings on this site before doing so. Plenty of criticism and no fanboyism whatsoever.

11-15-2006, 05:16 AM
Yeah one post here. But note I mentioned all the Thoughts Media sites. I've been a fan of the sites for years. Jason has even reviewed products that I worked on here in Austin Texas. I agree with you objectivity is not something generally lacking on Thoughts Media sites. But I stick by my earlier assertion. Taken in the context of the entire article (from which only the comments that hacked folks off were quoted I might add) it wasn't that heinous a crime to "give a verdict". Perhaps if he had used the words, "from what I've seen so far my opinion is" would have sat better with folks. But it frankly surprises me that his personal opinions in a article that was really quite uniformative have struck such a nerve. If anything the article was pointless. All he said was what everyone already knows.... if Microsoft can't deliver on the features that differentiate the Zune from the iPod then the product will slide into obscurity with all the other DAPs on the market. Not being an Apple Fanboy, if anyone can take on Apple in this market its Microsoft. I say that from experience. Worst Zune review? From Popular Mechanics probably not. Most Pointless? Probably.

11-15-2006, 06:16 AM
WOW that is is lame review...
and who says the media isnt baised...

Jason Dunn
11-15-2006, 09:59 AM
Worst Zune review? From Popular Mechanics probably not. Most Pointless? Probably.

My suggestion? Lighten up - I was having some fun being a bit more extreme than normal. It's all good! :D

11-15-2006, 02:33 PM
The sad thing is that "reviews" like this are often quoted or miss quoted and people spend lots of time in damage control.


Vincent M Ferrari
11-15-2006, 05:31 PM
But the funniest part is that this is being even considered a review!

Think about it. If I want to review a car, but it had no tires, would I write a review on the car?

Obviously not.

Part of the Zune experience is software. If you can't review the software, you can't review the Zune. I'm seriously disappointed in PM for even putting this on their website in the first place.

11-15-2006, 05:55 PM
Agree with you on that Vincent. Now the two articles Jason posted this morning, the unboxing and software setup; those are truly useful. Thanks Jason I'm getting a better hands on view of the product reading your articles posted from Canada than I could fondling a Zune at my local Target store.:D