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Old 11-14-2006, 06:00 PM
Aaron Roma
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Default Gigabeat S User Gets Hands-On at a Zune Kiosk


"The fonts and animations are pretty slick. Very smooth and modern looking. The 3″ screen looks very big and provides a nice canvas for the album art displayed during playback. Pretty flashy compared to the iPod’s menus. Oh yeah, instead of a small square of album art as on the Gigabeat S, the album art fills the screen, and the progress bar and song information are overlaid in white text."

Blogger, and apparent Gigabeat S user, Jezlyn, stumbled upon this Zune display while shopping at Target. Jezlyn spent some time playing with the display units, and as offered up some thoughts, insights, and comparisons to the Gigabeat S experience. Overall, Jezlyn seems quite pleased with the Zune and how it stacks up to the Toshiba unit. She did notice that the display unit didn't seem to have any options in the menus for the wireless features. Hmm.... maybe more on this later. While I was out and about yesterday evening, I noticed several Zune displays: Wal-Mart, Circuit City, Best Buy. Unfortunately all where either enclosed displays, or in the units were either non-functional or not plugged into power. Has anyone else had a chance to play with a Zune display yet?

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Old 11-14-2006, 07:25 PM
Paul Martin
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I ran some errands before work this morning and stopped by Circuit City to see the Zune. It was all strapped up with hard plastic covering any sort of port. Most disappointing was not being able to really "hold" the unit. They had 2 side by side, the one on the right was a brown non-functioning unit. On the left was a white unit you could try out. They had the white one hooked up to a speaker set (I think it must have been this Altec Lansing set up for the Zune, but they were using a line-in instead of the built-in Zune cradle.

Just a few steps away were the rest of the portable music players, including the ipods. It was nice to be able to hold them in the hand, though neither of the ipods had any music on them.

I went by a Staples a couple of doors down and they had the exact same setup.

Overall, the Zune was nice. I don't have any player at this point, so I'm not married to a certain UI. I did think the horizontal perspective for video was nice. Still, just walking in, I might lean toward the ipod simply because I could pick it up, hold it, and get a real feel for what using the device might be like. At this point, either is safe from my wallet.

Last edited by Paul Martin; 11-14-2006 at 07:40 PM..
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:10 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Thanks for the link to my blog post! Just wanted to mention I'm female... In your post you referred to me as a "he".

Anyway, I'm going to keep my eye on the Zune's progress. I really hope the Zune software is improved, though. I just read an article on Engadget outlining some issues they had with the install. While that is kind of to be expected, what I'm more wary of is that the Zune software seems to be a reskinned Windows Media Player 11 + the Zune Marketplace. As I mentioned in my blog post, I'm not a big fan of WMP11. I'll reserve final judgment until after more user reviews of the Zune and software integration come out, though.

Glad to see another decent portable media player out there with some solid backing. Competition is good.
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:23 PM
Aaron Roma
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Originally Posted by Jezlyn View Post
Thanks for the link to my blog post! Just wanted to mention I'm female... In your post you referred to me as a "he".
Whoops! Corrected! I actually was trying to be carefull and include no reference to gender, because I wasn't sure, but I guess I let one slip by!

I can say that I've install the Zune software a couple of times without any issues.
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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I hope the store displays are better set up and maintained than PocketPC displays were in stores. In that case, no one in the store ever knew how the devices worked so the displays were haphazard and devices were often not functional.
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