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Old 09-15-2006, 04:50 AM
Jason Dunn
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Default Coolfer Weighs in on the Zune

"Last week, at the invitation of Microsoft, I was one of a handful of bloggers who had a chance to see Microsoft's Zune media player and music store. (Disclosure: Microsoft paid for all travel expenses to Seattle.) Part of the afternoon was spent talking to key employees who work on the Zune project. The other part was spent hands-on with the device and watching a Flash presentation of the Zune's interaction with the software and online store. (The device I saw was not the final version and did not have wireless capabilities.)...What were my initial impressions of the Zune? It's a sleek piece of craftsmanship that's simple and functional. It doesn't have the sexiness of the iPod, but it does have a graceful utilitarianism. It comes in three colors: brown, black and white. The brown is an attractive, earthy shade and was my favorite of the three. (It looks much better in person that what is represented by the stock image seen above. No pictures of the Zune were allowed during my visit.) The black is more like a gray, actually, and the white has a full color to it. Each comes with what is called a "doubleshot," or a combination of a main color with a complementing trim. For example, when the power is on, the brown Zune sports a just-perceptible green trim. The device is heavier than I expected it to be. That could be a negative, but there's feeling of craftsmanship that goes along with the weight."

An interesting write-up from Glenn Peoples, who got some hands-on time with the Zune, although the version he got to try out lacked WiFi, and they didn't get to see the desktop software...so it was likely hard to get a feeling for the overall Zune experience. Still, Glenn got to try out the Zune and has some interesting things to say about it. What I found particularly refreshing is that he doesn't own an iPod and came at the Zune without preconceptions of how it "should" work. The flip side of that coin, of course, is that so many people own iPods they do have preconceived notions about how things should work. It doesn't sound like anything about the Zune is a radical departure though, so there may be less bumps than we think. I really like the idea of the "doubleshot" - adding a dash of complementary colour. Nice!
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